Monday, August 31, 2009

Another trip to the arena

Things didn't go a good as expected. Took Tuff to the arena, arranged to have a PA System there so that Kirstin could practice some stuff for a possible finals and Tuff decided that he was going to be difficult to say the least. He was acting full of himself and would not listen to anything Kirstin asked. She would ask for a trot and he would start trotting and then turn to kicking up his heels and rearing. So uncharacteristic of him and I'm not sure what to do about that. So any suggestions would be great. How do you train a yearling not to start kicking up their heels when you try to lead them at a trot??? He's a baby, they love to play, right? Then she would just try to walk him and he would try to run off with her. All this time and he has been so well behaved and 3 weeks before the show, he starts to act like a little toot! Should Kirstin do more lunging work before trying to work him in an open arena? Any tips would be great.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More desenitizaton

Kirstin's sister & her friend were batting a volleyball around in the round pen while we were attempting to get pictures of Kirstin & Tuff with the magazine. When Kirstin lead Tuff back to the round pen the girls were going to leave, but Kirstin told them to stay and see how Tuff would react to them playing volleyball around him. No big deal, he even pretended to be the net for a little while.

Then she decided to do a little more training while the two girls continued to play volleyball. Nothing seems to phase him.
Just a really nice picture of the Tuff & Kirstin Tuff wearing Kirstin's hat.

And Tuff & Kirstin reading Western Horseman.

It's hard to get a picture of a yearling, girl and magazine. Tuff kept trying to eat the magazine.

Ain't She Beautiful!!!!

Just wanted everyone to know that Kirstin does occassionally get gussied up. We were needing a head shot to send in for the Makeover and here it is. Like I said in my last post, Kirstin is growing into a beautiful young lady!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kirstin & Tuff are in the final stretch going into the last few weeks before the show. She is getting so excited and I can tell that she has so much more confidence this year than she did last year. Tuff is an amazing horse and I hope & pray that his cool, calm demeanor follows him to the show. I do regret that I didn't do the 1 thing I said I would do differently this year and that was to take Tuff to many different places. He has only been off our place twice and I'm to blame-I'm the overprotective mom who freaked out the times that Tuff set back in the trailer & said "not this time." I only hope that I didn't jeopardize all that Kirstin has done. She has put soooo much into Tuff-so much time, love, patience, understanding-both of them really deserve to do great at the show. I couldn't be more proud of Kirstin right now. And Kirstin I'm sure that sooner or later you will read this and I just want you to know how proud your dad & I are of you and all that you have accomplished these past couple of years. You are growing into a beautiful young lady with the drive & determination to accomplish whatever you want, you aren't afraid to stand up for what you believe in, KEEP IT UP, we need more teens like you-someone with a purpose in life, knows what she wants and isn't afraid work for it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kirstin is hoping to incorporate the podium in a possible finals performance, just in case. Tuff has decided that he is not fond of the podium, but it is still early. It might be a little too tall for him, so on my way to work I thought of something new for Kirstin to do, she will have to give it a try tonight. But, on this particular day, Kirstin jumped up on top of the podium and stood in one place while Tuff circled around her. Pretty cool looking, but very hard to do because if she applied the least amount of pressure, Tuff would turn & face her so she has to figure out the right distance so that she can get the rope over her head without pulling out the slack.-after all Tuff is only doing what he was taught.

Tuff had a very bad case of warts on his nose, we are elated to announce that the warts are disappearing at a fast rate. We feel that a lot has to do with the fact that he is becoming healthier, we can see the change in him every day. His coat is as shiny as a new penny, he has more energy, looks more healthy.

Kirstin went back to school this morning. 5:30a.m. came very early for her today. Luckily her older sister is currently at home, so she has agreed to take on Kirstin's morning chores otherwise Kirstin would have been waking up at 5:00a.m. Training will now go to just once a day and couple that with homework, Kirstin is taking pre A.P. courses this year so she will have her plate full. As a matter of fact, she was up late last night finishing her summer homework for pre A.P. English. That's what she gets for procrastinating. She read the book early this summer but I think the project was larger than she expected. But, as usual Kirstin got her work completed and will turn in a well thought out project.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Toooo Cute!!!!!!!!!!

Kirstin's nephew, Daniel, is at the stage where he wants to hug everything and he loves Tuff. So he gave Tuff a hug. Tuff didn't mind having a toddler hanging onto his leg. Too bad Tuff wasn't one of the older riding horses, because I think he would have been really easy to train to ride. He is so accepting of everything and is so smart and willing to work.

Tuff even stood still to have both of his ears examined by Kirstin's brother. He was shaking his head a little and we just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything crawling around in there, just a really dirty ear from all of the dust around here. He didn't mind having his ears examined at all, I know of some horses that wouldn't even let you touch the ears much less look around inside of them.
Notice the new pink halter that Kirstin's sister bought for Tuff. We did say that he is "Tuff-E-Nuff" to wear pink in memory of people like Kirstin's grandmother who died of breast cancer and in honor of all who are fighting the fight. Tuff is proud to wear pink.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuff tries out his new podium

The finished podium is higher than we thought it would be so we were afraid that it would be too tall for Tuff. Kirstin takes him to the podium and he sniffs it, walks around it...

Then Kirstin jumps up on it and starts jumping up and down, making lots of noise on it....

Then Tuff starts pawing at the top making the same noise that Kirstin did...

Then the light bulb clicks on and he's says, So, this is what you want me to do, no problem.

TAZ was watching from his pen, looking a little bored, so Kirstin jumped on his back and took him for a spin. He has grown so much since we brought him home last year. Almost a year has gone by it is sooo hard to believe. Kirstin is soo excited, she will be getting her Title to TAZ before too long. And he is her horse through & through. The two have such a wonderful connection, unbelievable bond and they have learned so much from each other. TAZ has been a blessing to the entire family, but especially to Kirstin.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tuff goes to the arena

First time for Tuff to be in an open arena. Plenty of room to run around, but he stays with Kirstin and really behaves himself nicely. I think Kirstin was a little surprised by how well he bahaved.

This arena is on the top of a hill and right off of I35 so there was quite a bit of wind and a lot of traffic noise but that didn't seem to phase Tuff.

We forgot to bring the props that Kirstin uses when she trains Tuff, so we had to improvise and find things at the arena that would work. Gave Tuff something new to go through.

Trotting at a lead is still something that Kirstin & Tuff are having a hard time with. There for a while Tuff was trotting nicely along side of Kirstin, but recently he has decided that he doesn't want to trot. So, Kirstin has resorted back to using the flag stick and he seems to be improving. He did get a little excited and started kicking up his heels while being trotted, but I guess that has a lot to do with his age-I hope.

He even stood great for picking up his hooves. He was watching the people behind the arena pen up some calves.

This was a really great weekend for both Kirstin & Tuff. I feel that Kirstin now has more confidence.

Tuff gives a pony ride

Kirstin's nephew takes a spin on the saddle we bought for Tuff. Don't they look cute. Tuff has grown considerably since we brought him home.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuff & the leather saddle

We are thinking about buying this old leather saddle from Kirstin's drill team coach. Our grandson who is only 14 months old loves horses and loves to ride them. The saddle is a little bigger than I wanted but it is a good quality saddle and Kirstin says that it is very comfortable even though it is to small for her. Fits Tuff really well, now we need to get a smaller saddle pad. Tuff didn't mind all of the noise this saddle made. The first saddle Kirstin used on him was an Albetta and they don't make any noise and they are light as a feather where as this leather has a little bit more weight to it. Tuff didn't mind at all.

Kirstin's dad helping out. Kirstin wanted to see how Tuff would react to a rope. Obviously, he doesn't mind the rope.

He didn't even mind it being swung around him or at him, in front of him or...

behind him. I do believe cow work is in his future.
The only thing now that Kirstin is still having problems with is the back. Sometimes he does it really well, but most of the time he is still giving her problems. He tends to turn while she is backing him and resists wanting to back. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
You can email Kirstin at

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tuff learns to carry a saddle

The horse chasing the object at first seems to really work, Tuff accepted the saddle blanket without hesitation.

and then he takes the saddle with very little movement.

And he gets his reward for being such a good boy.

Saddle on and cinched as tight as Kirstin could get it. We need to get a smaller cinch, but it was tight enough to hold the saddle in place. Tuff took this new think as usual-in stride. Kirstin asks and he delivers.


Look what Kirstin & her dad built yesterday. Kirstin & her sister, Jamie are painting it pink and will add a breast cancer ribbon on it soon.

Tarp Training

Tuff gets to chase the tarp for a little while which makes him realize that the tarp isn't going to eat him

Next add a little movement.

Then across the back.

Then spread it out.

And finally, a horse completely covered by a tarp. And he didn't mind any part of this exercise.
Amazing, isn't he!

Spoiled TAZ!

TAZ has to be the most spoiled horse in the world. Steve has planted vegetables all over our place, anywhere there is a water source, there is a plant of kind or other. Here he is checking a squash plant which is in TAZ's pen and TAZ follows him around like a puppy dog.

And, TAZ gets to sample some of the squash.

Nobody will ever be able to say that this horse isn't loved or spoiled!!!

Tuff's 1st trip!

Tuff did great! The trailer ride there and back home was uneventfull. He even loaded in the dark without any problems. Now I am much more confident about taking him places, so we will be on the road quite often.

Here Tuff is in a pen at the arena watching all of the horses and flags go by. Kirstin didnt get to work with him there, but he did great while he was there.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tuff's first trip

Here I sit at the computer keyboard while Kirstin & her dad take Tuff for his first outing since bringing him home. Tuff went to Kirstin's drill team practice. He is trailered with Trigger-Mr. Reliable. I am a nervous wreck. Last week Kirstin & I tried to trailer him and he freaked a little bit in the trailer which made me freak and cancel our outing, but tonight the plan was for Kirstin & her dad to drive the truck & trailer and I was going to follow behind them in my car to make sure Tuff was doing OK. Yes, I'm overprotective like that. I am normally the one who takes Kirstin to drill team practice, but tonight her dad is and he thought that instead of me following that I should just take the evening off and relax. Not happening! at least not until they come home which won't be until 11:00p.m.ish I called them every so often to check on how everything is going and Tuff is behaving nicely. Last I heard they made it to the arena and Tuff was in one of the pens there. There was no problems on the trip up there and now I have to wait for the trip home-my stomach is tied up in knots. I sent my camera with Kirstin so that maybe her dad might take some pictures, but he's not as camera happy as I am so I don't expect much. Will post any pics that he takes when I get them.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tuff's wild side

Tuff was a wild bronc last night. I can honestly say that I have never witnessed such antics from him before. I could overhear Kirstin say to him, "ok, you want to run and act crazy, you will run" He wanted to stop after a few circles at a full lope, but Kirstin kept him going until she was ready for him to stop and he was behaving like he should. She asks for the stop and then for him to change directions....

and Tuff decided that it was soooo much easier if he didnt act like a toddler and throw a fit. A lot less work when he behaves.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kirstin trying to pony Tuff. Trigger doesn't like Tuff to much. He's a little jealous of him, Kirstin spends more time with Tuff than him. He kept turning his hip into Tuff and Tuff didn't help because he kept trying to chew on Trigger's saddle pad which made Trigger think he was trying to bite him. The two finally figured that they should behave because Kirstin wasn't giving up that easily.

Another form of yielding to pressure.

Trotting over obstacles. Tuff is getting really good at trotting at a lead. He's a little slow to start, but once he gets going, he doesn't stop until Kirstin stops.

Backing through obstacles. Backing is still slow, but progressively moving right along. He used to not turn when backing but now he will.

Still working on the bow. He is still really rough on the bow, but slow and steady progress.