Monday, March 30, 2009

Taz gets a refresher course in picking up his hooves

Kirstin didn't feel much like riding after spending 2 hours at drill practice Friday evening and all day Saturday on horseback(we left the house at 10:30am and didn't unload until 11:00pm) so I told her that was ok but she needed to give Taz a workout in the roundpen and then work on picking up his hooves. If you remember a few weeks ago when we tried to get Taz's hooves done, he was having nothing to do with getting his right rear hoof done-the farrier couldn't even touch it. So Kirstin needed to do some refresher training. It didn't take Taz long before he started remembering everything-he is such a smart horse. The best of all is that if you look no one is holding him-he is ground tied!

Taz gets a refresher, cont'd

Taz has always been a little sensitive to things flapping on his right side. So while working with Taz on picking up his hooves, Kirstin used the rope to desensitize both sides. At first he wasn't too sure about having the rope thrown over him, he would flinch a little each time it hit him, but he settled down and started accepting the rope being thrown over him.

This maneuver he wasn't too sure about, he took off the first time Kirstin attempted looping the rope around his belly. After he adjusted to that she started swinging it, seesawing it up and down the entire length of his body.

Kirstin eventually worked the rope down the length of his rump and down to his legs-again seesawing it back & forth. Again notice he is ground tied and staying put. Such a good boy.

She finally gets the rear hoof up with no problem. She rubbed him all over his hind leg and he was very accepting of everything. But, he is accepting of just about anything Kirstin asks of him. Had it been me or her father, it might have been a different story.

Taz could do all of this at the competition. He only became leery of it because we didn't continue to pick up his hooves like we should have. Now that Kirstin knows that she can do this she will have to continue until he is completely comfortable with not just her handling his hooves but others as well. He makes work fun-doesn't seem much like work.

Daniel's first horse ride

Kirstin takes her nephew; Daniel, for his first horse ride. Daniel loves horses-whenever he sees one he starts making all kinds of noise and starts clapping his hands. He's a cowboy in training. I can already see him riding Trigger when he gets older.

Trigger & Kirstin

Kirstin had her first playday of the season. She performed with her drill team and then later that evening, her & Trigger entered the barrel race. Trig isn't a trained barrel horse, but he loves the barrels. Their time was a little off because Trig tried going around the first barrel the wrong way and when Kirstin pulled him back around, she lost her stirrup and almost slipped off the saddle. Their final time was 19.931 seconds-good enough for 3rd place. She also got 3rd place on straight away barrels.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Taz gives us a scare

Nothing new to add, but that's TAZ's fault. Saturday morning started out as a perfectly normal day. Kirstin got up fed all of the horses and calves. Everything was perfect. She had some Rodeo Queen activities to go to in the morning and was suppose to have a softball game. The softball game got cancelled due to rain-yes you heard me right. We finally got some much needed rain-a little over an inch. The afternoon started clearing out so I sent Kirstin outside to work the horses. She came running in, mom, mom Taz is hurt. My heart sunk to my stomach. What could he possibly have done-he was still in the round pen from earlier. I went out to see what was going on and he could barely put any weight one of his rear hooves and he wouldn't let us anywhere near his hindquarter. The round pen has nothing in it that could have hurt him-no rocks, no sharp points or corners. The only thing we could figure is that because of the rain maybe he slipped while cutting up, but there was no sign of slippage on the ground. We looked to see if maybe he got his leg caught up in one of the rails, but couldn't find any sign of that either. We were baffled to say the least. I gave him a dose of Bute and told Kirstin to keep a close eye on him and if things weren't better come morning time, we would call the vet out. I think I called in all of my favors with God that day because I was praying all day and all night that he was OK-I was that worried. I woke up early the next morning I wanted to get out there before Kirstin but she must of heard me, so we went out there together. We were expecting the worse, but when we got there we found Taz trotting around like nothing happened. I think both of us shouted "Thank-you God" in unison. So to this day, we have no idea what was wrong but he is his usual self again. I'm starting to think that Taz just wanted to get out of working that day.

Monday, March 9, 2009


We have just sent in the application for Kirstin for the 2009 Extreme Mustang Makeover Western Mission: 008 Yearling Edition. They are selecting approximately 25(that's right only 25) youth to compete in the Makeover again this year. Please send in your prayers, keep your fingers & toes crossed or whatever lucky charms that you have that Kirstin gets selected again this year. She is soooooooo excited about the possibility of training another yearling. We all know that the Mustang is where her heart is.

Taz has a spa day.

This is the first time that we have had a farrier out. Both of our horses were in bad need of a trim. We really should have done it sooner, but time just seems to slip by. Fortunately, living out in the sandy soil that we live in helps to keep their hooves filed, but they were in need of shaping & Taz has a crack in one of his front hooves that we wanted the farrier to look at. The crack is looking good and almost grown out.

Taz surprised us and behaved really well while his front hooves were being done.

His rear hooves were a different story. He just didn't want those done. The farrier was extremely patient & gentle(even after Taz kicked out at him) and he worked with Taz for a quite a long time. He was able to get this side trimmed, but Taz would have nothing to do with the file. The other side, his sensitive side; Taz would not stand still. Instead of getting Taz into a tizzy trying to get that one done, he advised waiting a little while, gave Kirstin some tips on getting him used to handling his rear legs again and we will reschedule his visit. We blame ourselves on this one because we didn't handle his legs like we should have. Kirstin continued his training as far as in the saddle was concerned, but... that's OK, it gives Kirstin something new to work with.

Taz also had a bath the day before, so it was a spa weekend for him. He wasn't sure about the bath at first, but by the time Kirstin was done, he was loving every minute of it.

Kirstin start flag training with Taz

Kirstin is hoping to use Taz for her Drill team, but he is still unsure about the flags they carry, so she starts desensitizing him to flags. She starts out with a very small American flag. As you can see he isn't crazy about the idea of the flag getting anywhere near him.

Patience pays off. Kirstin held the flag over Taz's eyes for about a minute and he didn't budge.

Now it's time it desensitize the rest of this body. Taz has issues with anything on this side of him. Kirstin always has to take things a little slower on this side.

Flag over the top of the head no problem.

Carrying the flag on top of him. This was a different prospective for him. He wasn't too sure about Kirstin carrying the flag while riding him, but he got used to it and she was even able to move it around. Next week, we increase the size of flag.
Double click on this photo and look at the expression on Kirstin's face. That smile says it all!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Kirstin riding Taz Bridleless!

Again, I am new at this video thing so please bear with me. I hollered out the back door to see if Kirstin needed any help with Taz and she said no, I'm keeping him in the round pen because I'm going to ride him bridleless. So of course I hollered back, Wait! I want to video that. Taz is such an amazing horse and He & Kirstin just seem to click. I know that with time I will eventually look out & see Kirstin riding him in the middle of the pasture without anything, but for now this is only done inside of the round pen. But even still, it is an amazing thing to watch.

Kirstin riding Taz Bridleless

I stopped videoing just when Kirstin & Taz started making some tight turns. Looked really cool, so here's a sampling of what I am talking about. You can see Taz turning his head almost as if Kirstin was pulling him around, but she's not. Stops are the hardest when riding without a bridle, but the last stop looks really good. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, this horse never ceases to amaze us. WOW! is the best word for it.