Monday, November 24, 2008

Kirstin riding Taz bridleless

We all knew this was bound to happen sooner or later. Kirstin has been working up to this day for a while now. She has always been amazed at Taz's response to leg pressure and has been practicing no hands riding for a while now. Today she slowly worked up the nerve to completely remove the bridle. Taz did great and Kirstin was blown away. For obvious reason, she did this work in the round pen. It will be a while before Kirstin is ready to try this outside the pen.

Riding Bridleless

Here Kirstin is riding completely bridleless, halterless, reinless & no neck rope. Taz did really well. Stopping was a little on the slow side, but he stopped just the same. Kirstin just has to work on getting her seat right to make the stop without the reins.

She was even able to get him to turn.

Taz at a trot-no bridle

Kirstin proving that there is nothing in her hands. She had to work up to no bridle slowly. Here she is with the halter on, but no reins.

riding bridleless

Taz's stops were a little on the slow side. This was the first time Kirstin tried stopping him, he went from a trot, to a walk, to the stop.

Kirstin is still working up the nerve to remove the halter. She made Taz walk & trot with just the halter on until she finally got brave enough to...

remove his halter and go completely bridleless.

Kirstin really enjoyed riding him bridleless, she was truly amazed at his responsiveness without the use of a bridle. Now she just has to practice getting him to stop immediately without the use of reins.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kirstin's other passion

For those wondering where Kirstin has been, she has another passion(I can hear the gasps):) Basketball. She is a freshman this year so she is playing on the junior varsity team and she is a starter. She loves basketball. She is the girl in purple on the lower portion of the picture, she is defending #20 in white. She has to go to basketball practice everyday after school and it usually lasts until 5:15/5:30ish which puts us home just before dark. Gives her just enough time to feed her horses before it gets too dark. Kirstin now only has the weekends to work with her horses. We were a little concerned about Taz having so many days off, but he takes it in stride, probably enjoying the break. He does wonderfully even though Kirstin no longer gets to work with him daily-this past weekend was perfect proof of that.

This is a picture of the 2 champs(horses)-Christian is the Legend's champion and Taz is the Idol's champion. It was such an awesome experience for Kirstin to get to ride with everyone that was there. In usual Mustang Makeover fashion, everyone was so friendly and helpful. Mark has a wonderful sense of humor and was able to convey his message no matter what level the person or their horse was at. Kirstin learned so much from this clinic as did I.

This was right after Kirstin finished her calf work. Mark had made a comment early on that they were here as a training clinic. During training you always put your horse first. During competition is when you put the calf first. At the end of Kirstin's run, Mark made a comment about Kirstin's good horsemanship because during her run she put the horse first just like he said. She was beaming ear to ear. Nothing makes a teenagers day like a compliment especially from someone who she looks up to.

Here is Kirstin waiting her turn to do the calf exercise. You might recognize the 2 people to the right of Kirstin-That is Careen Hammock and Lorrie Grover. Kirstin being able to participate with and learn from these trainers was just an extraordinary experience for her. She was like a sponge all day, soaking in all of the information.

Here is Careen on Taz and Kirstin on Scarlet. Scarlet is in training, Careen had brought her up to the clinic. Scarlet's owners were there and should be impressed with Scarlet's training, Careen has done another fantastic job. Kirstin was so excited to be able to visit with Careen again.

This was one of the many excercises that the clinic participants did. Before working with the calf, they worked in pairs so that they could get the idea of what to do. Here they are mirroring one another-they would go down to one end of the arena and pivot chase each other down to the other end. I'm sure that I'm not explaining it correctly, but hopefully, you get the jest of what they were doing.
This was as you can tell an unbelievable experience for Kirstin. Getting to reunite with so many EMM trainers was wonderful. During the reunion luncheon each one of the trainers got to introduce themselves and recount their memories of their training experience. It is really amazing to be with so many people who share your passion. We heard the good and the bad-there's not always a happy ending, but everyone was so open and honest about their experience. We have come to find that Mustang Makeover Trainers are the nicest people around-for them it's not about the competition-it's about the horse and that is what sets them apart from so many others.

Mark Lyon clinic

Kirstin says that I am becoming very technology smart, but I guess I will never figure out the order in which these pictures download, they aren't in the order that I wanted them but oh well. This is a picture of Kirstin working one of the calves that were at the clinic. Mark is on the other side. The object is to keep the calf between the two of them. Kirstin & Taz did a really good job considering Kirstin has never worked cattle on horseback(but plenty on foot).

Here Kirstin & Taz are tracking a calf. This is suppose to teach the horse that he is suppose to be watching & following this calf. Kirstin had done this before while playing around with some of our calves at home.

Here Mark is doing part of his final's preformance for us. This is called the pole dance. It is so awesome to see this.

This was one of the high points of the day-a reunion with Taz & his trainer, Careen. Here Careen is riding Taz and Kirstin is riding Careen's horse Scarlet. Careen is training Scarlet for someone and she wanted to see how well Scarlet moved. The owners were at the clinic and I think they liked the idea of seeing a 14 year old ride their horse, says a lot for the horse's training.

This was a pre-clinic warm up. They were working on their stops at different speeds.

Monday, November 3, 2008

EMM clinic

No new pics to post, Kirstin forgot to bring the camera to drill team practice. She took Taz to drill team yesterday. I wasn't able to attend because of work and husband/dad thinks I take way to many pictures so I left the camera detail to Kirstin. Well as usual they were running late and she forgot to pick up the camera before they left. Things went well with the drill team. Kirstin was actually able to run a large portion of the drill, Taz still doesn't like horses running directly at him and isn't 100% sure about riding knee to knee so Kirstin has to work on that. She also has to work on flag carrying if she wants to participate in the flag drill. Luckily this is the practice season, so there is plenty of time for her to work on it. Drill won't actually begin until after the new year.

On a more exciting note: Kirstin is going to go to the Mark Lyon clinic that he is hosting in Bertram and she is taking Taz. We live about 2-3 hours away and we figured this would be a great opportunity for Kirstin & Taz. I haven't told Kirstin yet that I have her signed up, my husband & I were in the talking about it stage, but I bit the bullet and called this morning to sign her up. I know that she will be so excited and I'm going to hear I can't wait til the 15th or I wished it was the 15th for the next 2 weeks. Just found out the Careen(Taz's trainer) is going to be there, so now Kirstin is going to be really excited. She was hoping that Careen could make it. She was thinking out loud yesterday, saying something to the effect about how cool it would be if Careen could come and they got to ride together. So now she will get to do that. Of course you all know me, plenty of pics to come