• "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it's creed: "We hold these truths to self-evident that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be to the sit down together at the talbe of brother-hood...I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of character." -Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial
  • "But when a long train of abuses and usurptions pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them uder absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards to their future security." -Declaration of Independence
  • "There are no safe choices, Miss Temple. Only other choices." -A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  • "If you are a painter, paint. It doesn't mean you have to paint Jesus into every picture, just paint good. If you paint good enough, then people will aask why you do what you do." -Issac Slay; The Fray (on why the band doesn't use the name of Jesus in every song)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Update on Mustang

Remember my last update on how I said it was a week and half before Marsha and I went to pick up the mustangs? Umm...well...ah...yeah...week and half came and went and I'm into week 2 of training my mustang. Wow, I am really bad at this blogging thing. I have actually been meaning to get on here and blog about my new mustang, but with trying to get into a new routine with training now three horses and plus hitting up some barrel races with MJ, things have been a little more than crazy around here. So I'll just get started.

In a nutshell, I got a three-year-old chestnut gelding from the Adobe Holding Facility in Adobe, Wyoming (I was really hoping for a mustang from the Pryor Range, but it's close enough too home ^_^). A while ago, I had mentioned I had a couple names I really liked that I was going to choose from when I saw him. The minute I saw him, I knew what his name was going to be. I named him Raider, from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Marsha and I picked up Raider and Marsha's four-year-old mustang Balou in Mississippi and took them to a nearby trainer that Marsha knows for the weekend so we could spend the weekend playing with them and getting them started.

Day one was a little more than rough; I honestly felt like an idiot and I really didn't know what to do. Raider came off the trailer and he drug me a good twenty feet across the roundpen before I could plant my feet and skidded to a stop. Fortunately, as the afternoon progressed and I watched a one of Cohn Livingston's students (Marsha's friend and a really great guy all around) work with her mustang and I had a better idea of what I was doing. By the time we finished Friday evening, Raider was joining up with me and I could pet him and rub his head.

Day two, Saturday, we went back to Cohn's barn and taught our mustangs how to tie and stand as we walked in between them, clapped, made noise, etc. Raider didn't even flinch at all. He let us walk up too him and pet him all over his body. In fact, the only time he moved was when he figured out he could move his line and went to visit Balou. Otherwise, he simply stood there. As the day progressed, Cohn helped me with trying to lunge him and getting him to go forward, cause he would constantly stop and simply not move or push into my space. It took a while, but by the end of Sunday, I had a pretty good start with lunging. We also introduced the saddling process and he didn't mind it at all. He simply stood there and let us throw the saddle on and off several times and cinch him up (the only time he moved was when he got a little off-balance and he took a step to re-balance himself).

By the end of Sunday, day three, I was mounting and dismounting and being sent around by Cohn at a walk, trot, and canter. That's right, folks. Only three days out of the wild and I was already riding him. I also got him started on pivoting on his hind end on the ground. I was shocked and excited too no end whatsoever.

The original plan was to load up the horses on Marsha's trailer and head back home Sunday evening, but all weekend it downpoured frequently and Marsha didn't want to travel on wet roads late at night with a trailer loaded down with three horses (she also brought her Supreme mare, Splash). So we decided to leave on early Monday morning. Monday morning, we woke up (early again-thankfully not as early as Friday morning) and went down to the barn for the last time. Marsha and I took our mustangs out and we both loaded them into her slant load trailer like normal horses. We all were very surprised and happy at how level-headed and easy-going both Balou and Raider. It made for a great weekend all the way around.

After we got home, even though I had already ridden Raider, I spent about a week on doing nothing but ground work. By the end of the week, I had him in a snaffle bit and working off very light mouth pressure by ground-driving him twice a day. I also started riding him again at a walk and trot, this time, with steering capabilities. We've worked on in-hand showmanship skills and have been playing around with several different trail obstacles like walking over a tarp, walking and trotting over poles, and pivoting inside a box. He's got his hind-end pivot down on the left, but it still needs a little polishing going to the right (he has difficulties planting the left hind so he can spin around it, but he's getting it). We've also started cantering and currently working on his leads. Marsha said she's going to get on him and teach him how to bend his body, so hopefully it'll help him understand his leads and where to put his body a bit better.

As you can tell, the past couple of weeks with Raider have been extremely hectic and busy, but exciting and fun at the same time. The learning curve we've both had in the past two weeks have been simply incredible. I now have to start thinking about what I have to do for my freestyle routine for the competition in October. I'm still pouring over several songs that I really like (most of them from Thousand Foot Krutch and a couple from SuperChick and Fireflight) and I'm going to start playing around with them on MJ to see what I can come up with.

I will be updating a lot more as the days progress; at least once a week, if not more. I have also been posting pictures and such on my Facebook and started using my Twitter to update too (so if you want to find me on Twitter, there's a little button on the side that says "Follow me" you can click on ^_^). So there will be plenty of places there will be updates on Raider and also quite a few on MJ too, since I've started taking her her to barrel races more.

Until next time...

God Bless,

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