Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nothing new this weekend. No parade, but my dad is taking me to his Alma Mater-Texas A&M University so I can watch my first live college football game. Hope A&M wins, I am really eager to watch the Aggie Band march. My dad was a member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Band and the stories he tells about the half-time shows are something else. I will let you know how it goes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thought this was a pretty setting with the American flag in the background. Kirstin is having so much fun exposing Taz to so many new sights and sounds. It is so amazing to watch him as he processes everything around him. It is almost like seeing things through a child's eyes. He notices the smallest of details and you can see it on his face. He is so trusting of Kirstin though. He knows that she want mislead him and that things will be ok. Sometimes, it takes a couple of tries for him to accept things, but in the end he always does. What an incredible bond these two have formed.

Taz & Kirstin after the parade

Kirstin & Taz had a couple of important visitors. Here talking to Kirstin about Taz is Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney. He had heard about Kirstin(her grandpa likes to brag) so he came over and introduced himself. As you can see Taz is behaving himself-maybe he knows that's the Judge there(haha)!

Here is the Constable from Precinct 3. He talked to Kirstin for quite a long time. He was really impressed with how well the two were doing.
Kirstin & Taz are taking in some of the post-parade activities. There is a band playing just on the other side of the fence. Some people roaming through different booths that were set up and then the brightly, colored flapping streamers that Taz had to check out. Luckily he didn't try eating any.

Taz likes to drink out of bottles. We learned this at his first parade. Makes it easy to keep him hydrated. So now we always make sure we have some extra water for him. This was really the sight for a lot of people-a horse drinking out of a bottle.

Taz & Kirstin at their 3rd parade

These loaded in reverse order, but I guess that's okay. This is a picture of Kirstin & Taz watching the reminder of the parade. They were entrant # 12 so they were done early on. We told her to pull off right here close to the announcing stand so that she could watch the rest of the parade. It was so cool, as the announcer was reading the blurb about Taz, Kirstin was sidepassing him for the crowd. This was a local parade, so a lot of the people had already read about Kirstin & Taz. Kirstin even had some people yelling from the sidelines: "Good job Taz!"-Cool, right? They recognized them from the newspaper. A couple of weeks ago they were in the paper with a headline of "Taz makes Debut" It was a picture of Kirstin & Taz from their first parade. Pictured with Kirstin is her dad and her grandma.

While waiting for the parade to start, Kirstin was doing some riding around. More to get Taz accustomed to different sights and sounds than anything else. We came upon some rodeo clowns from the San Antonion Livestock Show float and they were nice enough to pose for a pic with Kirstin & Taz. Taz wasn't bothered in the least bit by the bright colors or the hankerchiefs flapping around.

This reminded both Kirstin & me of the Cuero parade and the Lion statue. You have to look at the picture underneath to see Taz's initial reaction. Kirstin had to ride him by this trailer several times before he decided to get close enough to check it out. This was a Kodak moment for several people. They all got a kick out of the horse checking out the pig. Taz wouldn't get any closer to the calf that is in the bed of the truck.
There's a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes of parades where the floats, bands, cars are all lined up. It is full of sound and comotion that could rile even the calmest of horses. I have been so impressed with Taz's ability to absorp all that is going on without getting too nervous. He has always taken everything in stride. It was so awesome for Kirstin to be at a local parade where people knew her and had read about Taz. They got to see firsthand, Kirstin's dedication to this amazing horse.
Getting by these floats the first time around, Kirstin had to dismount and lead Taz through. Not sure if it was the floats to the left of him or the people with umbrellas to the right of him(his left/right). Kirstin eventually got him to walk by without any problem. Just a matter of showing him that he wasn't going to get eaten by the pretty girls with shiny dresses on.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Taz meets Kirstin's drill team

Same night as the parade, so Taz was really busy Saturday. Kirstin was so excited to be going to drill team because she has been dying to get Taz into an arena. It didn't take her long before she opened him up. They were captivating out there. Everyone was watching them, asking who's the new pony? We filled them all in on Taz's history. Everyone commented on how nicely he moved. She had the biggest smile on her face all evening long.

Kirstin just couldn't stop riding him, she loves the way he moves. She says that he is so smooth. She was so funny because her dad made her get off so that he could take him for a spin and she looked at me and said I want my horse back. She stood in the middle of the arena until her dad was done. Of course, Kirstin looks better on him than her dad(lol).

It's getting late here, but they are playing horse games now. This was Simon Says. Kirstin and Taz were doing great and were one of only 4 players left. The leader had them line up and then told them to do a 180 degree spin. Well Taz spun so fast that Kirstin couldn't stop him at 180, but he did a fantastic 360 degree spin.

Here's the group at the end, Kirstin & Taz are the dark ones between the two lighter colored horses. Kirstin was really concerned about Taz wanting to ride right next to another horse & rider but it didnt faze him at all. The only thing he didn't like was when they were doing a relay race and the horse & rider were running full speed straight at him. All he did then was move out of their way. He had no problem holding his own at there with all of them.

Taz's 2nd parade

Taz & Kirstin looking beautiful for their 2nd parade. Taz did wonderful of course. Not one single freak out moment. He was a perfect gentleman. Tons of people came up to the two of them. They make such an attractive pair, they are irresistable. The Girl Scouts loved him, they kept feeding him hay from their trailer(of course Taz loved the Girl Scouts also)

Taz wasn't real sure about getting too close to these guys, I guess their size is a little overwhelming for him, but he got close enough for a picture.

This was the one thing that Taz did not like. He had to pass this to get to the clydesdales. He froze in his tracks when he saw it. He stared at it for a little while and then said to himself no way am I going by this thing. He slowly backed out of the area and we went a different way to get to the Clydesdales. It was just sooooo funny to watch him.

I finally got to sit down and watch the parade. Usually I stay with Kirstin, but this time her dad & I were so comfortable with Taz that we said see ya later and we went downtown and found a prime seat to watch the parade. It was awesome!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kirstin took Taz out to the back part of our place. We have about 110 acres with the back 65 being very natural and heavily wooded with trails cut through the woods. Taz did really well. He was exposed to this new area and Kirstin's dad was working on a fence back there, banging on post and moving wire around. Taz had a curious look on his face, with his head held high, but he did fantastic. Kirstin even took him down to the edge of the tank(pond for some). He wouldn't go in the water but he got close. I think Taz enjoyed the change of scenery.
These two make such a wonderful pair. Kirstin has never met a horse that doesn't like her or that she doesn't like. She just has a magical way with horses, she is so confident and exhibits no fear around them(even when I'm freaking out about their behavior). I hear "relax mom" so many times.
When Kirstin made the decision to put her yearlings up for adoption in hopes of being able to adopt one of the older mustangs, I'm sure she never dreamed of one like Taz. That decision was one of the hardest decisions she has ever made. At the time she made that decision, there was no guarantee that she would be bringing home a horse. When we won the bid on Taz, Kirstin couldn't quit smiling. She has been able to ride him since shortly after bringing him home and we've had no reservations about her working with him or riding him without our supervision. I am so happy that we were able to get him for Kirstin.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Taz is going to his second parade this weekend. Kirstin's parade coordinator called me to find out if Kirstin was riding him in the parade because she wants to send the annoucement that I did about Taz to this parade. Pics will be posted next week.
Kirstin is just too funny. She had spent the entire summer training the 3 yearlings and then we bring home Taz. She has to work with Taz everyday also, after all he is still in training. He is wonderfully trained and we would hate to see him take a step backwards because he isn't worked with. Every once in awhile when Kirstin is really tired she does the typical teenage whine, I cave and say ok round pen work and saddle him, tie him for a little while and then you can have the rest of the evening off. She no sooner starts the round pen work and then you see a transformation take place. I suspect it is because Taz is so accomadating. Before you know it, Kirstin is up in the saddle and riding him all over the place and putting him through all of his paces-the spins, sidepasses, backing, stopping, etc... She is expanding her course and travelling further and further away from the house and even starting to lope him more. He has such a smooth trot, that she actually enjoys trotting him. Her dad rode him last night and couldn't believe how smooth his trot was-definitely the kind of horse a man likes to ride(haha). Taz is such a wonderful addition. Kirstin has another parade this weekend-not sure if we are taking Taz, but Saturday evening Kirstin will be taking Taz to her drill team meeting. They will be participating in fun activities and this will be the first time that she will get to see how he is with other horses in a drill team setting. Untimately, Kirstin will be using both Taz and Trigger for the drill team. Yes, all of our geldings names begin with"T" nothing we planned but they do. We had a Tex(RIP), Trigger, Traveller and now Taz. Completely coincidental but I sense a trend has been started. Even funnier-our 2 mares begin with "S"-Sakari & Summer.
Kirstin has started working with Sakari(her untrained 4year old mustang). We had sent Sakari off to be trained only to get her back almost 3 months later worse than when she left. That was the most expensive mistake I ever made. Now Kirstin is starting over with her and unfortunately, Sakari is much bigger, stronger & smarter. She has her work cut out for her.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Taz's 1st Parade

We did it. Taz's 1st parade. Kirstin had the time of her life. After 1 brief freak out moment-the Calvary from Ft Sam Houston came trotting by and Taz wanted to join them, Taz was a perfect gentleman. Kirstin had people coming up to them all morning long. Of course she recounted his story and they were all amazed.

Taz makes a beautiful ambassador for the Mustangs and for the EMM.

He seems to be in his element here. He didn't even break a sweat and it was 90+degrees.

Kirstin loved every minute of this parade. She is so cool and confident when she is riding and it shows on her face and reflected in the way Taz behaved(he was just as cool & confident). So many people came up to Kirstin & Taz and remarked about how beautiful he is. They were floored when Kirstin told them that just a few short months ago he was a wild Mustang. They were in awe. Parents would bring there little kids up to him and take there pictures with him. It was just too cool for words.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pictures of Taz & Kirstin

Got to love this one. Just look at the expression on both of their faces. They are truly enjoying one another.

Surprised her with this one. This was right after her dad said, Ok take him out of the round pen and have some fun.

This is one I think of her spinning Taz. At least that's what it looks like. She used him yesterday to hold some cows back while her dad tried to seperate a young heifer from the pack. Taz held his ground and did a really good job.