Tuesday, June 30, 2009

6/29/09 day 16

At the start of every training session, Kirstin reviews what Tuff has learned. He is getting really good about standing still to have his hooves pickedup. Kirstin is holding his hooves up for longer periods of time and has started pounding on them to get him used to having work done on them.
She has also started lungeing Tuff on a lunge line. Tuff has mastered directional changes, stopping and facing up to Kirstin when she asks for a stop. He is even starting to recognize verbal cues. He did show his yearling side a couple of times when he decided he wanted to lope and kick up his heels. Kirstin just simply kept him going at a lope until she decided he needed to slow down. By the time they were through, Tuff decided that Kirstin should decide his speed and not him because he had to work harder when he chose the speed.
Tuff's not too sure about this. Look at the expression-the curve of his neck, the ears pointing straight at her boots, but he stood still even though he wasn't sure what was going on. What the heck is she doing? Kirstin had gotten dirt in her boots and had to clean them out.

After their training session, Kirstin decides that it is time to get Tuff used to water. This is the first time that Tuff has shown any kind of disagreement with what Kirstin has asked of him. He just isn't too sure about the wet stuff coming out of the green thing.

By the time they were through, Tuff decided that the green thing wasn't going to hurt him and that the wet stuff actually felt really good considering the past 2 weeks have been 100+ degrees.

Saturday, 6/27/09 CCSP Playday

Kirstin is a member of the Comal County Sheriffs Posse Wrangler youth drill team. She rides our Palomino Trigger for the playdays. Trigs as he is known is a show off-loves to perform in front of people. Kirstin was selected to post the colors for this performance and Trig seems to know when he is carrying the American Flag-he behaves so much better.

Later that evening, Kirstin & Trigger participated in the Playday by taking part of the cloverleaf barrels & straight away barrels. She posted one of her best times in the cloverleaf, walking away with first place, and got 2nd place in straight aways. Trigger was probably the smallest horse in their division, has absolutely no training in running barrels as a matter of fact he is completely neck reined-when a boot touches his side to him that means run faster, but he has the biggest heart I have ever seen in a horse. And it shows every time he runs barrels.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Kirstin has never taught a horse to bow. She didn't know how to until someone showed her at last year's makeover. Tuff has been so great about picking up his hooves without any problem, so Kirstin asked if she could try making him bow. I also thought he was ready to try this, but warned her not to frustrate him. No frustration on his part, he went straight down into the bow.

Tuff likes to jump!

Training day 12

Tuff is getting real good about picking up his hooves for Kirstin. He stands perfectly still for her.
The rear hooves were a problem in the beginning. He would let Kirstin pick them up, but he would try to pull them away. He is much more trusting of her now and doesn't mind her picking up his rear hooves.

Her newest training is teaching him to yeild his hindquarters. He picked up on this very quickly and is a pro at yeilding his hindquarters.
But yeilding his fore quarters wasn't as easy. He hasn't completely grasped the idea. Kirstin can get one cross over but he starts walking forward after that one cross over.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tuff & Trigger

Kirstin thought it would be fun to try & pony Tuff. Last year she used her trusty old horse, Trigger to pony the 3 yearlings and it worked great. This year Trigger doesn't seem to like Tuff to well, he kept trying to bite him which is usually unheard out of Trigger.

Tuff gets a little love for being such a good boy!

Tuff wasn't sure about getting on the trailer with Trigger in front of him, he's used to having the trailer all to himself. Kirstin will have to work on this a little more before Friday evening. This could be the 1 thing that keeps Tuff home this week. We got all excited about him loading so easily, that we forgot to consider him loading with another horse and him standing tied in the trailer calmly and patiently-might be a road block. But, we're not going to rush into anything, would hate to see all that Kirstin has accomplished go down the drain because we rushed something.


Just so all of you know, TAZ is not forgotten about, but he is living the life of a horse now. We no longer feel that Kirstin needs to ride him everyday. He has a brand new very large turn out where he gets to spend his days with tons of shade trees and wonderful dirt to roll around in. He is loving his new home. But he hasn't forgotten any of us. If we come up to the fence, he heads straight for us, if we are doing any work out in his pen, he is right besides us-he loves us! He is the sweetest horse ever.

Just look at those eyes. He has the most beautiful and the sweetest eyes I have ever seen in a horse!

Taz posing for the camera, isn't he gorgeous!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Tuff learning to respect Kirstin's space and also to stand still until Kirstin cues him to come to her. He mastered this in 2 training sessions. He amazes us-he is so smart and catches on so quickly.
Kirstin trying to desensitize Tuff to a rope swinging all around his body, but it's hard to desensitize a horse who just isn't bothered by it. Even when the rope wrapped completely around one of his hind hooves, he didn't do anything.
Ok, now Kirstin found something new to work with. Here she is trotting Tuff at a lead for the very first time. As you can see, he's throwing his shoulder in towards her. Her huge roan last year did that all of the time and it is not a good thing. So now she will teach him to keep his shoulder off of her.
Kirstin works Tuff twice a day-once in the morning and once in the evening. The morning training is done inside of the roundpen because her father & I are at work, but evening time she now gets to venture outside of the roundpen. Tuff was a little nervous about his first trip outside of the roundpen-so much new stuff.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tuff's first time out of the pen

Tuff's first time out of the pen and he doesn't seem to be phased by being out in the open. This tarp was laying on the ground, so Kirstin decided to see if Tuff would walk across it. At first he wasn't to sure, but once Kirstin stepped on it, he figured that if she could do it, then he could do it, too.Next, came time to start trailer training. Kirstin wants to take Tuff to her drill team practice this Friday evening, but he needs to know how to load in a trailer. This was Tuff's first try, and I think he was more curious than anything else, because he went straight on even with Kirstin staying on the ground.

Oh, what a good boy! Tuff went straight on and then enjoyed his reward-a nice scratching on the neck.

Although, Tuff hasn't been taught a back up cue yet, he backs off the trailer each time. Kirstin actually loaded Tuff 4 different times, each time with him going on easier & easier. Later that evening she loaded him again 4 different times.
Looks like Tuff will be going with us this Friday night.

Kirstin's reign as Rodeo Queen comes to an end):

Friday was a very bittersweet day for all of us especially Kirstin. For the past year, Kirstin has been the Rodeo Queen for our small town; Stockdale, TX. Kirstin tried so hard to change the way the city thought of their rodeo queen. There is no requirement that the rodeo queen have any horse background what so ever, but Kirstin felt very strongly that a rodeo queen should be a horse person. Unfortunately her efforts fell on deaf ear, this year's rodeo queen doesn't even like horses, pretty sad isn't it?
Friday evening, Kirstin used Trigger for the rodeo, for 2 reasons: Taz is still recovering from a small injury right about his hoof and we didn't want her running him in the arena but most importantly Kirstin was doing an exhibition barrel race and Trigger is the one who loves to run the barrels.
Saturday morning was TAZ's time. Even though he still has a small sore right above his hoof we figured him walking the parade route wouldn't hurt him. He did great of course- he really loves being in parades-he's a big show off! This brings to an end Kirstin's reign and last parade as rodeo queen. The fact that we don't have to worry about getting horses ready for a parade is the sweet part-no more early, early Saturday mornings, but the fact that Kirstin is no longer queen is the bitter part she did such a fantastic job.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 3

Kirstin was a little at a loss for what to do with Tuff. He seems to accept everything that she tries with him. So she decided to see what he would do if she attempted lifting up one of his hooves. She lifted his front hoof up 4 times, each time Tuff giving it to her without any hesitation. So she moved on to the other side and then...
To his rear hooves. She was able to pick up all 4 hooves without any problem. Tuff didn't even move away from her.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Later that day!

Kirstin breaks her training sessons into short, multiple sessions each usually lasting 20-30 minutes. It doesn't take long for the babies to get bored and lose interest so she stops before it gets to that point. Right now she will be training in the morning, afternoon and late evening. Nothing seems to spook Tuff which is good but can also be bad. In this picture she is using a cotton rope to desensitize Tuff, but he appears to not need much desensitizing. He wasn't bothered in the least bit by the rope-she started at his neck and worked her away down to his hocks.
Tuff still has a lot of his winter coat esp on his belly. Kirstin was really surprised when he let her brush him, he loves to be brushed and stands perfectly still with his head lowered. He has a lot of "that feels oh so good" spots. Like I said earlier, Kirstin has already been able to touch him all over & I mean all over, so brushing this low on his legs was no problem.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Meet Tuff-E-Nuff!!!

Here's Kirstin 2009 Extreme Mustang Makeover Yearling. His name is Tuff-E-Nuff(Tuff for short). Kirstin picked his name in memory of her Grandmother who died of breast cancer and hopes that Tuff will help bring a little more awareness to breast cancer. And yes, he will be Tuff-E-Nuff to wear pink!

This picture was taken first thing this morning before she did any kind of work with him. He is very curious and people friendly and extremely smart. Kirstin has already touched him all over, she has begun his round pen training and has him changing directions very nicely. BLM has Tuff listed as a black, but we aren't sure that he is going to be black, we'll have to see what is behind his winter coat. Kirstin was even able to brush him, he loves to be brushed. Amazing, considering he's only been here for a day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This weekend Kirstin begins a new chapter in her life. We are leaving Friday morning to travel up to Pauls Valley OK to pick up her yearling. We plan to be in line very early Saturday morning. She is so excited and can hardly wait, as a matter of fact she tried to convince me to change her pick up date to Friday, but I have to work all day Thursday so that wasn't possible. She is sooo ready to begin this journey, picking out names(Tuff E Nuff for a gelding and Arabella for a filly), planning how she wants to start training, arranging to take the yearling to as many places as possible. She has learned so much since last year and she is eager to put that knowledge to use. I only wished I had a fraction of her talent, the way she interacts with her horses is amazing. I grew up riding horses, but training them is a different story, the unpredictablity scares me, but Kirstin seems to thrive off of it. I am quite happy being her cheerleader and historian and letting her shine. You can count on numerous pictures and updates not only on the new Mustang, but also with TAZ.