Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wow, it's been awhile...

I guess I just really haven't been in a blogging mood lately.  Sorry everybody!  

First, I must tell you about the Clinton Anderson clinic because I think that is basically where I left off in my blog.  It was so awesome!  I would highly recommend going to one if he is coming to your area.  If for nothing else, the liberty demonstration that he does at the beginning.  It was amazing.  I now understand why his horse Mindy has her own cult following, what a nice horse.  There were also ample opportunities to go meet Clinton, have your picture taken and get an autograph.  All of which I did!  Really, how was I supposed to resist that?  Here is the photographic proof.

I hope my friend Sheila doesn't mind me posting her image on here.  She graciously allowed me to put my arm around Clinton.  Hey, us married folk gotta have a little fun! The first day of the clinic I took my little point and shoot digital but I didn't like the way the pictures turned out so the next day I decided to take my digital SLR to see if I could get any better pictures. Happily, I was able to.

Here is one of Clinton on Mindy bareback. He was demonstrating some of the tricks that he had recently started teaching to her.

Probably the demonstration that sticks out most in my mind was the trailer loading one. It could be that it sticks out because it was the last one that I saw but I don't think so. I think it sticks out because of the horse that they used. This horse was huge! He was big, dark bay and ornery. And of course the little blond thing that he drug into the ring with him was wanting to use him for barrel racing. Is there some requirement that I haven't read that every barrel horse must be batshit crazy in order to be a good barrel horse? I mean really people. Sorry, I'm not trying to bag on the barrel people but I have just seen so many that have no manners whatsoever but that is "okay" because he runs barrels. Anyways, moving on from my rant, this horse had a habit of rearing up and striking out when faced with getting into the trailer. His owner, who had just recently purchased this horse said that their method of loading him consisted of building a chute with panels and running this horse into the trailer. Needless to say, he made for an interesting demonstration. And yes, he got in the trailer willingly after Clinton worked with him.

I was also pleasantly surprised at the kind of people who came to this clinic. I figured it would be mostly middle aged women but it wasn't. The ratio was about 40/60 men to women which really surprised me. And the next thing was that there were all ages there from teenagers up to people who were retirement age.

Okay, that was February, now onto March. The excitement for March was the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo! Even when I lived here before I hadn't made it to horse expo. I made sure this time that I was able to attend. The first day which was a Friday, I took my daughter down so that she could see the horses. We wandered around the trade floor for awhile before heading over to the Events Center where the horse demonstrations and stalls were. We watched Craig Cameron for about a half hour. He is really good! I had watched the Extreme Cowboy Race before and a couple of his shows on RFD-TV before but I really liked him in person. He has a great sense of humor and explained everything he was doing. You have to really pay attention though, because he knows what he is doing and he does it quickly. After lunch we wandered down into the barn area to check out the horses stalled there. We saw some of the Norwegian Fjord horses, some Arabians and then we found Appaloosa Alley. They had some gorgeous horses (none of which I have pictures of, I didn't want to scare anyone with the flash and get yelled at) and they had, are ready for this? CORGI PUPPIES! They were so cute and my daughter loved petting them! There were ten when Expo started and by Sunday I only counted three. I'm guessing the others found new homes. Personally, I could have tucked one under each arm and gone home happy. Over the next two days my friend and I were able to catch clinics given by Craig Cameron, Jason Patrick, a trainer out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Debbie Bibb from Florissant, Colorado and Art Kiger from Nebraska. They were all great and I wouldn't hesitate to see any of them or go to one of their clinics again.

One other person who I was able to see speak was Temple Grandin. If you have never heard of her she is a really neat woman. She is a professor at Colorado State University and teaches livestock behavior and facilities design. She is also autistic. I really wanted to see Dr. Grandin speak as I have a cousin who has Asperger's which is a high functioning form of autism. It is very encouraging to me to see someone with autism go to such high levels in life. I mean really, most of us "normal" people don't get achieve a doctorate degree let alone someone with a disability that can be socially crippling. Here is the link to Dr. Grandin's webpage.  I was also able to catch up with her at Blue Ribbons Books and get to sign a couple copies of her latest book for me!  I will sending one to my aunt for her birthday.  Even though my aunt isn't a big livestock person she knows who Temple Grandin is.

One last person I got to meet was Kim Starling who wrote "Get Out of the Ring" a wonderful book on the horseback riding trails in and around Rocky Mountain National Park.  She was very nice to talk to and signed my book for me.  I would have liked to have stayed and talked to her longer but we were late for our Craig Cameron clinic so we had to go.  Thanks to Brighton Saddlery for having her at Horse Expo!

Okay, well, I had better wrap this up, it has become quite long.  I will try to be better about writing in the future, I promise!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

(Almost) Silent Sunday

We tried a little ground driving today so this was my view...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Horsey Questionnaire

I saw this horse questionnaire on Once Upon on Equine's site and decided it looked like fun.  Feel free to join in!  

1. How old were you when you first started riding?  I started riding a real horse at about the age of 12 but I rode the hell out of my rocking horse as soon as I could get on him by myself.
2. First horse ridden:  I believe it was probably a rental horse in Alabama.

3. First horse trotted on:  My best friends pony, Starlite.

4. First horse cantered on: That would also probably be Starlite.
5. First Horse fallen off of:  Star wins again!  I was riding double behind my best friend, Alysha, when she urged him into a trot.  Well, I started to lean sideways and took Alysha with me.  We always did like to do things together.

6. Most recent horse fallen off of:  Gosh, it has been awhile, probably my old mare Angel.
7. Most terrifying fall:  Falling onto the pavement when a dog rushed out and scared my pony while we were cantering along the side of the road.  

8. First horse jumped with: Probably Star.

9. First horse who ran away with you: Either Star or Applejack.
10. First horse that scared the crap out of you: Applejack

11. First horse shown :!)  Shiloh, a big bay Appy with a blanket.  We got fifth place.  I was in love!  With Shiloh and with showing.

12. First horse to win a class with:  Either Duke or Angel.

13. Do you/have you taken lessons: Yes, sporadically.

14. First horse you ever rode bareback:  Starlite, again.

15. First horse trail ridden with:  Either Star or Applejack.

16. Current Barn name:  I don't really feel comfortable putting the name of my barn out there for the world to see on the internet.

17. Do you ride English or western?: Both
18. First Horse to place at a show with: Shiloh
19. Ever been to horse camp?:  Yes, 4-H.  I was fun!

20. Ever been to a riding clinic?  Not one that I have participated in but I have watched before.

21. Ridden sidesaddle?  Not with a real side saddle, however I have hooked my leg over the horn of my western saddle many times.
22. First horse leased:  Applejack
23. Last Horse Leased:  Applejack

24. Highest ribbon in a show: 1st

25. Ever been to an 'A' rated show?:  I guess not an 'A' rated show as I don't do the hunter jumper thing but I have shown at a Paint Horse breed show before.

26. Ever competed in pony games/relay races?:  Yes.

27. Ever fallen off at a show?  Sadly, yes, twice.
28. Do you ride Hunter/Jumpers?: No
29. Have you ever barrel raced?  Only at local play-day gymkhana type things.

30. Ever done pole bending?:  Again, only at local play days

31. Favorite gait:  A nice comfortable trot.

32. Ever cantered bareback?:  Many times.  I didn't own a saddle for the first year that we had my pony.  Just couldn't afford one.

33. Have you ever done dressage?:  Just played with some of the test before, nothing serious.
34. Have you ever evented?:  No.

35. Have you ever mucked a stall?:  Many a time.

36. Ever been bucked off?:  Yeah, who hasn't?

37. Ever been on a horse that reared:   Yes, thanks, Applejack.

38. Horses or ponies.  Probably horses.

39. Do you wear a helmet?:  Mostly.  I am a mom now, no good reason not to.

40. What's the highest you've jumped:  I don't often stop to measure the logs in the woods but probably about three feet.
41. Have you ever ridden at night?:  Yes, moonlit snowy nights are awesome!

42. Do you watch horsey television shows?:  Every chance I get.
43. Have you ever been seriously hurt/injured from a fall?:  Thankfully, other than my pride, no.

44. Most falls in one lesson:  I don't think I ever fell off during a lesson.  Come close but never actually came off.

45. Do you ride in an arena/ring?:  When it suits me.
46. Have you ever been trampled by a horse?:  Again, come close, but thankfully no.
47. Have you ever been bitten?:  Been nipped but never a full on bite.

48. Ever had your foot stepped on by a horse?:  Yes, many times.  One time in particular my mare was wearing rolled toe shoes.  I think she broke my toe, it felt floppy for a few days but I didn't bother with the doctor.

49: Favorite riding moment:  There are so many, I can't pick just one.
50. Most fun horse you've ridden:  Either my mare Angel or my friends horse Buck.  Although, Dandy and Grit were really awesome too.  Except for that time that Dandy took me through the apple tree, gave me cut under my eye and people gave my mother dirty looks for days about it.

The picture below is me at about age 15 with my mare Angel and my pony Applejack.  Good times!