Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuff gets a haircut

One more thing to add to the list of things that Tuff can do. He didn't mind the clippers one bit, not even the first time he felt the buzz of them on his neck. It actually felt good to him, he was trying to groom Kirstin while she was trimming his hair.

Look at the difference. The front part is already trimmed and look at that shine. He eats Strategy by Purina and we can finally see what it is doing for his coat, he shines like a new penny.

Tuff and his new "do" His paperwork says that he is black, but once all of the old hair is removed, he is a brownish color. He did a great job standing still so that we could get both sides done and now he will be much more comfortable with all of the extra hair gone.

TAZ-Kirstin's other Mustang

TAZ's cut is finally heeled to the point that Kirstin is riding him more. He hasn't been riden a whole bunch since the injury. Hasn't done spins or sidepasses since before June, but today Kirstin asked and he delivered. Some of the prettiest spins that we have seen him do.

He's an amazing horse!

Monday, July 27, 2009


This motorcade is taking a 20 year old Marine on his final ride home. Brandon Lara was killed in action in Iraq last week. Our kids of the Comal County Mounted Sheriffs Posse were there to show their support and love to the family of this fallen hero. The kids in this photo range from about 9 to 15 years of age and they did us of all very proud.

Kirstin was very honored to be carrying the American Flag on this particular day. She was chosen because her father is active duty Air Force. Today hit her & her sister unusually hard. It brought to reality what their father does for a living. Trigger is normally a very dancy, prancy type of horse who hates to stand still, but not today he stood perfectly still with so much pride showing on his face-he knew what he was tasked to do.

Later that evening Kirstin does a little work with Tuff. She was circle driving him and had him jumping the barrells.

Just look at that form. Tuff loves to jump barrells.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Round & round we go.

Kirstin is doing what she calls circle driving. She does mini circles with Tuff and she continues to walk to different areas while he is circling her. It looks pretty cool.

After a short time of lungeing at liberty Tuff follows Kirstin around the round pen like a little puppy dog. Even when she sped up he sped up along with her.

You want me to do what?????

Yes, I am asking you to step up on this little square box. I know that you aren't too sure about this, but you trust me and know that I would never ask you to do something that would hurt you. You test it out by pawing it a couple of times and then figure why not?

You did it. Look at how proud you are! Not only did you climb on top of that box once but you did it several times each time with more confidence & pride in your accomplishment. You are such a good boy! (You need to click on this photo to see the expression on both of their faces-it is priceless!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 14, 2009

Tuff finally figures out that Kirstin wants all 4 hooves on the little bridge. These guys are incredible once they figure out what you are asking for, they want to do it over and over again. Kirstin would head for the bridge and Tuff would go right on.

Taking a little break. These 2 make a wonderful pair. Tuff trust Kirstin and she can do just about anything with him.

This just proves how much Tuff trusts Kirstin. She was actually picking his front hoof when Tuff spotted a blade of grass and wanted it very badly. Kirstin wasn't giving the hoof up and Tuff was determined to get that 1 blade of grass, so he knelt down on both knees, ate his grass as Kirstin continued to pick his hoof. She finished and stood up to go to the other side, so he decided that he also should stand up.
Tuff gets to spend some quality time in the trailer. Kirstin tied him in the trailer for about 20 minutes. This guy likes to face backward, that's the same position he travelled when we picked him up in Pauls Valley.

Out he goes. He has become a pro at backing out of the trailer. That is something that Kirstin never accomplished with the 3 yearlings that she trained last year.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Obstacle course

While I was at work, Kirstin set up an obstacle course using some of her dad's fence post(hope he doesn't need them anytime soon). She showed me what Tuff can do. She has him backing through this "L" and pivoting outside the small opening.

"Now you have to go this way."

He is swinging his hip a little bit too far, but this was only his first day to do this, so I am sure he will get better with practice. By the time Kirstin was done, Tuff was backing through without hardly any cueing. He gets a good boy scratching.
Next onto the small bridge. I think we will have to make this bigger, he just doesn't fit very well.

Almost all four on, but this is as close as he would get.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Over the weekend...

This past weekend, Tuff experienced some new firsts. First first was the picking of his hooves, he seemed to really enjoy this after he got used to the idea.

Another venture out of the safe zone. He did really well. Kirstin uses the flag stick to control his speed, if he tries to walk ahead of her, she just puts it up in front of him and he backs off, if he gets to close she waves close to his side and he backs away, etc.

Trailer was in a completely new place. We had used it the night before, so we just left it parked in front of our house, instead of next to the horse pen where it usually is. Tuff hesitated a little, but after a very short time, he followed Kirstin on. She backed him off and reloaded several different times.

On down the road we go. Kirstin rode on the trailer with Tuff while we traveled down our driveway. He did a pretty good job, he sat back once which kind of scared me, but not Kirstin.

Tuff got his first offical bath. In the past, Kirstin had just sprayed him off, but this time he got a full bath. He has some itchy spots, so Kirstin used a medicated shampoo on him. She just wanted to make sure she could rinse him completely before putting soap on him. He did great, and looks nice & shiny now. Still has some of the winter coat, wished we had clippers would try to clip him if we did.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tuff is really starting to figure this lungeing thing out. He is starting to understand that Kirstin is the one who sets the speed and that if he just listens to her, he has to do a lot less work. His head carriage is beautiful.

It's been a couple of weeks since Kirstin has tried loading Tuff. No problem, he follows right on behind her.

Tuff gets tied for just a few minutes. He wasn't too sure about being tied in the trailer, but Kirstin goes in to reassure him that he is alright.

Kirstin takes Tuff outside the pen and leads him around. He did alright, something new so he was a little bit on the anxious side, but he calmed down.

Because of the intense heat, Kirstin has to train pretty late so the picure is kind of dark, but you can see just how relaxed Tuff is on his outing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kirstin, TAZ & Tuff

TAZ has been banned back to his smaller pen until his hoof heals completely. Last week when we had about 20 drops of rain, TAZ thought he was suppose to run around and cut up. He was running all around, straight up to the fence line and then doing a sliding stop, spin around and go to the opposite side and do the same. It was really neat to watch, but when we saw him pick up his hoof, we knew he did something to re-injure the cut that was healing. Sure enough, we go out there and he had punctured the healing wound, so now he is back in the smaller pen where he can't get so worked up. But now everytime Kirstin goes out there to train Tuff, TAZ looks at her as if to say "hey what about me???" So while Tuff was practicing being tied and learning some patience, she jumped on TAZ's back just a halter, no reins and off they go. Kirstin hasn't ridden TAZ very much since the initial injury, but TAZ is his usual self-perfect. He turns when asked, stops when asked. TAZ will never cease to amaze us. We were the luckiest people on earth the day we adopted him, he has been the perfect partner for Kirstin. Now on to Tuff....

Curious little boy that he is, Tuff starts to play with TAZ's feed pan.

Kirstin working on stops with Tuff. By the time she was finished, he was stopping when ever she stopped.
Tuff does something new-trotting at a lead. First time around he got a little excited and started kicking up his heels. So Kirstin asked 1 more time for a trot, and he did pretty good. She stopped him just before he thought about kicking up his heels again. A good note to stop the evening on.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What happens when you have a bored teenager & a very compliant yearling?

Tuff is working on ground tieing. He stood perfectly still while Kirstin went outside the pen to get a feed pan. She returned with the feed bucket so that she could do this:

She just wanted to see what Tuff would do if she put pressure on his back. He didn't seem to mind having her lean across his back.

Until she dangled her arms on the other side of him, then he took one small step.

Next she decided that she would try crawling underneath him. Even when her back rubbed up against his belly, he didn't budge.

Click on the picture and look at the smile on Kirstin's face. She was soooo excited that she was able to do this. She actually went underneath Tuff 4 different times-2 times on each side.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sweet, sweet Tuff!

What a sweet little guy Tuff is. He won't be ready for a rider for quite a long time, but if this is any indication, he won't have any problem accepting a saddle or rider.