Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Interview day

Interview day.....when the phone rang yesterday, I was completely surprised to find on the other end..the weekend style reporter from the Moscow/Pullman Daily News...."Christina" ask a few questions about our horse breeding operations, then asked if she might in fact, come and visit and potentially do an article on our farm......yahoooo !!! my answer, of course, was YES !

I am all about details, and I never let the opportunity for a first impression to be less than top notch...
So, at the crack of dawn I was up...first the house had to be cleaned up a bit....then out to the barn to do chores, straighten the barn, tack room and the area close to our arena up a bit....Next was a bath for HeartBreaker....he is always a bit less than receptive on the whole bathing issue, but he takes it never the less ;-) scrub, scrub...out with the dust and in with the clean! I put HB in the stall to dry, rushed up for lunch and showered just in time to see Christina pull up the driveway.

Christina came inside and we did a bit of an interview....she then wanted to see the horses, so off we went....HeartBreaker was more than happy to be a perfect gentleman for the interview, and frankly, he looked just dang handsome. When I was putting him away in his paddock, another car drove in, the, I caught HeartBreaker again, and we took him out for a few pictures.

Next we visited our weanling foals..who are being supervised by Kallie. I took out Kallie for a few pics, and we then moved on for a bit more conversation. Hanalei and Henri were right in the mix of things too...curious minds you know

It was a wonderful visit...Christina is new to horses, and I am afraid I have spoiled her a bit..she now thinks all stallions are as mannerly and as kind as HeartBreaker...perhaps someday in the future, when she interviews another horse breeder, she will find her first exposure to a stallion was an exceptional moment.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The thinking horse vs the listening horse

The thinking horse vs the listening horse. Quite a few posts have been floating around some of the groups about how folks love their "thinking" horses. Sure we want our horses to think, but what I want, is my horse to listen. A fine example I can share happened yesterday. I have been training Kallie to drive...each step has gone well and she is now pulling my custom made travers with ease. while I drive her. Yesterday, when I went to unhitch her, the travers move a bit and startled her. I could see her mind working...she really wanted to escape, and escape whoa command, was met with just that...a WHOA ! I was actually a bit surprised she responded to my whoa command as quick as she did..I was actually planing an escape route so I would not get plowed over by the travers. Kallie whoa "d" and she relaxed and we went on to unhitch with no problems. Hitching and unhitching is a bit of a challenge alone, and a real recipe for disaster if you have a horse that will not listen..... For me that is a true relationship .....a willing partner that follows the lead of the herd mare (me) yet does it willingly and without question. Thank you Kallie! you just added a feather in your cap ;-)

Monday, September 6, 2010

The wrong Turn

When you live with a large acreage a herd that plays together, stays together is a thing of beauty. Every one knows the can wander off grazing, but you best be ready to move, when your herd leader says MOVE!

As a horse owner when you do not have complete access to your horse's pasture within a sight line, a lost horse, away from the herd, can only mean one thing....trouble!

After being gone to town, when I returned home today, my mare herd contained 5 horses, not 6. This is NOT good generally means one thing...someone is hurt and can not travel with the herd....other things come to mind, none of them pleasant....SO, I fed the mares/youngsters and rushed to the house for a quick change of clothes and a 4 wheeler ride to find my lost soul ....Flame.

Lots of things went through my head....where was he ? was he stuck in a fenceline somewhere? had someone shot accidently shot him?( we have an elk season going on ) was he on the other side of the perimeter fence and I would need a miracle , with fence pliers to get him back through the fence?

I was TOTALLY relived to find out that Flame had simply taken a wrong turn...LOL...he was with the herd, and followed one of their "horse trails" but the herd took the other trail instead...and there was Flame, really only 50ft from the trail that would lead him to the herd, but since he is a youngster, and could not see it, and did not know it was there close, from years of experience, there he stood, waiting for help ;-) He was perfectly fine, and downright happy to see me ;-)

WHEW !!! I put my heart and soul into my herd, and never want to see one injured in any manner...this time we got lucky!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Kallie at work

Kallie has been working! I am starting Kallie in harness, soon to be put to a cart....and I finally found a suitable cart for us...a heavy duty training cart with thick, nobby motorcycle wheels...Kallie has shown a stellar attitude in all her lessons, I attribute this to her early training with Trainer Mike ( Mike Kincella- Deer Park, WA well respected dressage trainer ) He found Kallie's work ethic for us, and she has not failed to step up to any challenge I give her.

My process of cart training has been as follows....there was not a whole lot of ground work I still needed to do with Kallie..she even ground ties! so, intro to harness, wearing her harness while lunging, long linning, ground driving, into to blinkers, working with blinkers while long linning, with me out of sight, into to the travers, dragging the travers beside her, travers work with 2 helpers ( Kallie in travers, but not hitched to it ) hitching to travers....

NOW..we start, travers and long linning, travers and blinkers, more long linning, travers and driving OUTSIDE the arena....up, down, over gravel, on the road edge ( I have a huge advantage, we live on a noisy county road, BUT I have a safe place to work a driving horse along side of the road, including room for a travers, and esp using blinkers.

and soon...I will hitch Kallie to our cart...the "keen green" screamed NAME ME !!! and we start the whole process all over again ;-)

stay tuned!