Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Kirstin is detemined to carry the flag on a Mustang. She has to post the Colors at a playday in November and would love to do so on either Kriptonite or Dynamite. As you can see Kriptonite has no problem what so ever with the flag. It was a little unsure at first and took just a couple of steps back, but Kirstin kept talking to him, reassuring him that he was alright and look at him now. She let him chase the flag around for a little bit before waiving it around his head. "Chasing" a scary object is less scary than the object chasing him, so horses seem to accept it faster.
No problem going over the rump.
Anyone who has read Kirstin's blog knows that her nephew who is only 15 months old can not pass by a horse without riding him. He loves horses and calls all horses KiKi which is his name for Kirstin. We took him out to meet the new horses and of course we heard him throw a fit until he got to ride. Kriptonite was a perfect gentleman keeping his pace slow while Kirstin took Daniel for a ride.
Daniel gives Kriptonite a hug for the ride. Isn't he cute!!!
Introducing our two newest additons to our growing Mustang family. We brought home from the Extreme Mustang Makeover Fist Full of Dynamite(Dyno). He was trained by Joe Weitekamp and placed very high in the Idols prelimanary and competed in the Idols finals where they place 10th overall. Kriptonite was trained my Matt Replogle. Anyone who knows Matt, knows that he rode his horse both last year and this year from Las Vegas, so he really has a lot of miles on him. Kriptonite placed 11th. Both are so laid back and the girls are really enjoying them.
Kirstin riding Dyno who is very easy going.
Kirstin riding Kriptonite, who is also very easy going. We gave both horses most to the week off, they were exhausted from the show, the girls are riding them daily now.
Kirstin's sister, Jamie, riding Kriptonite. Kriptonite reminds Jamie of her favorite horse that we had to put to sleep several years ago.
Monday, September 28, 2009
No real rhyme or reason to these pictures, but here are some more from the Makeover. The first one is a picture of Kirstin riding Careen Hammock's horse Surplus. Kirstin was so excited when Careen asked her to take Surplus for a ride. I'm thinking that Kirstin was probably the only 15 year old at the Makeover riding one of the newly trained horses. But, Surplus is so much like TAZ that both Careen & I felt confident that Kirstin & Surplus could handle it.
The dreaded trailer. I have pictures of Tuff loading in a trailer since the second week after we brought him home. Kirstin practiced trailer loading week in and week out. What does he do at the contest? He wouldn't step up onto the trailer. Go figure. The trailer is quite a bit higher than the stock trailer that we use and it had shavings in it which was something Tuff wasn't used to . Something to keep in mind if you are taking a horse to Tennessee. They got points for effort but he never got up into that trailer.
The only other problem spot was the backing through an "L" Tuff just wasn't wanting to back. Kirstin remained patient and tried 3 different times. On that last time, she told Tuff, "Just one more try" You could she her talking to him and then he decided that he would do one of the best looking backs ever. She got a roaring applause from the audience for her patience and perserverance which paid off.
The rest of the course was spot on. Tuff trotted around the cones like a pro, stop and stood for his hooves to be picked up, did the walking while she texted, and the release and catch was a piece of cake. We knew that she was on the fence as far as making the finals would be concerned. She was so excited when they called her hip number. She place 10th in the prelims, barely making it into the finals. But she made it, and that was all that mattered to Kirstin.
Sunday, saying goodbye to Tuff was hard on all of us. I know that Kirstin misses him terribly, but we know that he went to a great home and we can't wait to see how he develops over the years to come. He is going to make a great horse and Kirstin knows that she has done some good work with him, and that he is probably the most bombproof horse any of us have ever seen.
Kirstin with Tuff getting ready to go into the arena for the adoption process. Tuff was getting a little tired of the whole process, he no longer wanted to stand still like he had all weekend long, he was on his best behavior when it mattered most! He looks good in green doesn't he.
Tuff and Kirstin entering the arena for the finals. She had Tuff saddled, tarp over the saddle and blindfolded. Shortly after entering, she removed the tarp. She didn't remove the blindfold until after she turned him both directions and lead him onto a bridge. As she entered the arena, you could hear a collective gasp from the audience, it's not often that you see a yearling being willingly lead around blindfolded. The finals performance was something that Kirstin put together the evening before, she just showcased exactly how bombproof this little guy is. They didn't get to finish(ran out of time) but it was a great performance anyway. They both did a fantastic job. I am so proud of both of them.
This one is of Kirstin speaking to Robbie Daughtery. We have met so many wonderful people through this venture, it is great to be able to speak to them in person. Robbie, you & Element did great and it was great finally getting to meet you and your family.
This one is of Kirstin, Tuff, Careen Hammock & Surplus. You all might remember Careen from last year. She is the trainer of our TAZ from last year's makeover. She won last year's Idols Division with TAZ and she also won this year's Idols Division with Surplus. He is a great horse and his new owners are extremely lucky to have a Careen Hammock original.
This last one is Kirstin's stall kind of towards the end of the show. The first day we put the stall decorations up, Tuff didn't bother them at all so we didn't do anything to them when we left. We came back the next morning to find a portion of the curtains chewed on. We should have known better, he puts everything in his mouth-has to taste everything. So we had to cut off the chewed up portion of the curtains, but she still received 3rd place for her stall. It was decorated in Pink Ribbon material and we had made pink ribbon pins, people left Kirstin notes of well wishes. The large basket on the left is the basket full of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans that Kirstin won as most dedicated youth trainer. Pretty cool.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I have to make a correction to the last post. The Jelly Belly basket was given to Kirstin by NFR Champion Michael Jones. It really meant a lot to Kirstin to be presented with that award and she loves the jelly beans. I still haven't found out how Kirstin was selected, but hopefully will know more soon.
Monday, September 21, 2009
What an amazing trip. Kirstin & Tuff were awesome. They placed 10th in the preliminaries and went on to the finals where they came away with 6th place. Not bad for someone who really didn't have anything planned for finals. Kirstin just showcased how bombproof Tuff is and it worked out great. Even better Kirstin won a prize for being the most dedicated trainer. This was a basket full of Jelly Belly Jelly beans presented by Jelly Belly. Pretty cool! Asked the Mustang Heritage Folks how she was selected and they couldn't tell me. It was not a planned award which makes it that much sweeter, pun intended. They are trying to get me more details on it. I will post pictures and hopefully videos from this weekend very soon. Tuff was adopted by some great people who work with for the BLM and is going back to their ranch in Oklahoma not to far from where he came. We didn't come home with an empty trailer though. We brought back with us Fist Full of Dynamite trained by Joe Weitekamp. Dynamite placed 10th in the Idols division and we also brought home Kryptonite trained by Matt Replogle. Kyptonite placed 11th in the Legends division. Both are resting comfortably in their new pens. I am sure they are glad to be away from all of the commotion. Lots more to come later.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Tuff & Kirstin are finals bound! The competition was a little tough, Tuff didn't want to get in the trailer and at first didn't want to back through the L but Kirstin was patient and worked him through it perfectly after a couple of tries. Never trailered him, but the rest was spot on. Tuff trotted on the spot which was Kirstin's biggest concern. More to come later.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
What a difference in this little guy. It's amazing what some good quality food and plain, old fashioned TLC can do for anyone or anything. Tuff was a rough looking guy when Kirstin first got him. Now he is a beautiful horse with great potential. He is going to make someone a great working horse. For the past couple of days, I have left Kirstin & Tuff to themselves to spend some quality alone time before the competition. She is no longer worried about training him, she goes through their paces, practices different things that Tuff can do but it is a very laid back session. More fun time than anything else.
We leave tomorrow morning. We are taking J-Dub on his offer to spend a day at his place. Something new and exciting for both Tuff & Kirstin. Hopefully, it will help to get some of the jitters of travel so far out of both of them. That will put in Ft Worth first thing Thursday morning and Kirstin will have all day to get Tuff acclimated to his new surroundings. Can't wait to see all of the trainers and their horses, everyone has done a wonderful job as always. Be careful on your trip to Ft Worth, See everyone soon!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I have been reading about all these people getting a much needed rain only to look out at our very dry grass wondering where our rain was. We finally are getting the much needed rain, just a week away from the competition. I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth though, so I am not complaining. Sure it will cut down on training time that Kirstin has with Tuff, but I guess if he doesn't know it by now...I looked outside yesterday at the rain coming down only to see Kirstin working with Tuff in the round pen. I stepped outside and hollered the obvious at her, "hey, Kirstin it's raining" (duh) and she just replied back, "it's only a little bit of rain." What determination she has! I wished that at 15, I had just half of her drive & determination. That will really take her far in today's world. As her parent, I am definitely blessed and couldn't be more proud of her than I am right now.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Tuff went back to the arena this morning and he was the complete opposite from last weekend. He was so well behaved even trotted when asked. He only kicked up his heels a couple of times, but Kirstin quickly put him in his place and he decided that it was much easier to behave because he had to do extra work when he misbehaved. Last week, Kirstin went back to the basics working only on leading and watching her cue and release. Kirstin has become more aware of her cues and release and Tuff has begun to listen better. I think taking that step back is going to pay off in the long run. They both did an excellent job this weekend.
Saturday, Tuff has a spa day. He starts out with a shampoo and later that day he gets his first hoof trim. A very special Thank you goes out to Sara Harborth who did a wonderful job on his first trim. Tuff was a champion as always and he stood pretty still for the whole procedure. He moved a little but didn't put up too much of a fight, and Sara was very patient and talked to Tuff the whole time reassuring him that he was going to be OK.