Thursday, July 30, 2009


Sorry it has been so long. My summer is flying by. I had to get through our state drill competition. My lovely drill pony, Surprise (MissFire's partner in crime), had been put on the back burner during the EMM and it sure showed. Every time I would saddle up and head to practice or a competition I would get a nice bronc ride! I don't mind a little bucking but this was full out bucking! Of course with some extra time under saddle she came right around and gave it up (at least I hope).

Well now that state is over I decided it was time to start working with MissFire again. It had been over 30 days since my little girl had seen a saddle and she sure acted like she had never seen one! Well I saddled her and took her out to the arena to lunge her and surprisingly there wasn't any bucking. There was some hopping but no bucking. I did this for a couple days. She was acting pretty "cinchy" and I didn't want to get caught in the middle of a mess.

Well last Sunday my drill team went for trail ride. I was a little nervous to get back on after the break. I played it over and over in my head and couldn't figure out why I didn't want to get back on. She has never given me any reason to be afraid of her even from the first ride on. She has always been great. So anyways I wanted for everyone to get one and head towards the trail head. I waited until I was off the road before climbing on. She felt solid! Not a care in the world. She seemed really happy to have me back on her back and heading down the trail. We rode for a couple hours and she was great the entire trip. Of course when I got home and went to unsaddle and hose her down she completely fell apart. She's such a drama queen!

Well on Tuesday I had her shoes pulled and her toes trimmed. She didn't know what to think of the farrier. He was goofy and when she would try to run away he would go with her. When she would sit on a single leg so he couldn't pick it up he would touch a different leg. He completely fried her little brain. It was so fun to watch. He was never mean or angry but he would call her bluff. He read her from the beginning as chicken and a chicken she is!

All in all she is doing great! She is a little (ok a lot) on the porky side. She really needs to get back to work but with all this heat there isn't much going on. I try to get out to the barn every night and brush the girls (yes I only have the two girls and the mini donk left) and Jr. MissFire pretends she doesn't like to be pampered as its tons of drama to be brushed, but I think deep down she does.

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Pics!

So we are mostly recovered from the trip. We pulled in super late last Monday night. I gave her most of the week off but took her for a trail ride on Saturday. She was super thrilled to be out and about and not an arena.

Here are some pictures I got from the professional photographer Charles Brooks.

photo credit © Charles E. BrooksBROOKS Photography2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Home....Well Almost!

Saturday was unbelievable! My morning started early so I could get MissFire warmed up and ready to ride before my "Horse Course" class. MissFire appeared to be on edge from the second I said good morning. After our trainers meeting I waited patiently for our turn. We were 4th out so it didn't take long. MissFire walked in and waited like a champ. She went over the bridge without hesitation and trotted through the serpentine right into the box. Surprisingly her 360's both right and left weren't bad and the back through was rushed but clean. We loped out of the chute on our right lead (yes right we didn't have it before Friday!) and spooked in the center. That was a bummer because she had a solid simple lead change right to left, oh well. We then started our "At Best" part of the course. We did a series of circles, side passing, front hand turns, and some backing. She was great for this. I felt it was a clean ride but not great. I was very pleased with MissFire and her progress. We ended up 14th in the class. The good news is this was high enough to get us a spot in the top 10 (well 11 this time)!

That night I was so nervous. I went out to warm up and had a slight problem/change of plans. MissFire decided she only had one gear and that was stop and back. I wasn't sure how I was to preform my final performance stopping and backing the whole time. While I waited nervously at the gate I was able to have a short conversation with an all time favorite of mine, John Lyons. When I left his side to go in I ran backwards away from the gate. I had to have two horses and a person hand walk me in. Once in she walked hesitantly but quickly and easily picked up the lope. This is the first time I had really loped her with a flag and we still don't really neck rein. All was well then I went into this really weird bucking/kicking thing. I couldn't get it. I tried to lope a couple circles to calm her down but it didn't work. I finally pitched the flag and got two hands on the reins thinking maybe the flag was bothering her. Nope...Went back to the bucking thing. Well now what? I went to the center and did my required maneuvers quickly and loped/trotted some more circles. She didn't seem to be settling. I stopped in the middle and tried to calm her down. No luck... Well I heard one minute remaining over the loud speaker so I nodded for my cow to come out. Yes MissFire loves cows but she has only sorted them never tracked or followed especially in a large arena. Well she forgot about bucking and went right to chasing. I doubt it was very pretty but she sure picked up the speed after him and forgot she was afraid of the crowd and the far end of the arena.
Lets just say this was a very upsetting ride. I had never had MissFire act in such a way. I couldn't get it. Well they announced over the microphone and let me know that my number had come unpinned and was poking her in the flank the entire ride. Well that makes more sense (I didn't think it was all nerves). John Lyons was giving quick interviews with each contestant prior to riding over to the judges to get their feedback and scores. Well by this time I was teary eyed. Mostly embarrassed that I finally was meeting John Lyons and I rode like what? They announced it was my birthday. Then the entire crowed said happy birthday to me and then announced that John Lyons was my all time idol (or something along those lines) all while John is shaking my hand and giving me a hug (Charlie gave MissFire a sniff too)! Thanks Juliane for the great birthday present!! We had a short interview before we walked together to get my scores. On our walk he reached out and grabbed my hand. It was funny MissFire trusted me (or Charlie) and walked straight to the judges side by side with them. It was great. The judges had very positive feedback and my scores could have been way worse.

And so I sit alone in Salem, Or. at a hotel. MissFire is sleeping in the trailer in the parking lot (yes I pulled dividers and bedded it deep) and my truck is sitting down at the GM dealer waiting for the service department to open in the morning. We stopped for our last fill up before getting home and the service attendant (Oregon won't let you pump your own gas) put gas in my diesel truck. I caught it after there were 25.008 gallows of gas in my tank. Out of precaution I decided to play it safe and have a certified GM mechanic work on it as too not void my warranties. So my poor truck is all along, has a tummy ache, and I miss her very much. She is very special to me as we came on in January with only 400 miles and now we are over 13,000 (thanks to the mustang stuff)! I hope she feels better in the morning because I am lonely and want to go home as so does MissFire. Oh did I forget to mention I bought her and she is coming home.... Well someday when we get there....
One more thing as its past 12:30 and I'm exhausted...Would I do it again? Definitely! The people are so nice, the judges are nice, and the people at the expo are nice too. I always felt welcome no matter who I was talking too. They always kept everything positive. Besides these mustangs are way better than my other domestic horses.

Friday, June 12, 2009


What a day...We arrived at the barns really late this morning. I barely had enough time to try to clean MissFire up and get changed to my show clothes before we had to report to a trainers meeting. During our meeting we went through the course with the three judges and were able to ask questions. After the meeting I went straight back and get MissFire since we were third out. As we entered the arena MissFire felt confident. She stood patiently for the judges to acknowledge and walked great into the shoot and we backed around the corner. It wasn't great but alright. She did step out and hit the poles before finishing the obstacle. She immediately started trotting with me and trotted around the cones great. She hopped right into the trailer, stood great, and backed out. We walked over the poles without hitting one (first time ever!) and picked up the bag and carried it to the next barrel. Then came the not so pretty 360 and picking up our feet. MissFire let me pick up the first one just fine but decided it was time to wiggle and would not allow me to pick up any other feet. When she finally decided it was time she was great! We headed over for the body conditioning where she stood great too! It was asking alot of her to allow 3 people walk around her at the same time but she did it. Overall it felt like a good go. I was very happy with her, it was way better than expected!

Our places overall we great. We tied for 4th in Body Conditioning and tied for 10th in the in hand competition. A very good day!

This evening I pulled the poor thing out of her stall and went out to ride. She was pretty good for the most part. She felt pretty fresh but handled herself. We worked on our leads and stretched our legs. She was thrilled to be out.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We Here!

It was a long drive yesterday. We rolled out of Buckley at 3:01 am on our way to Sacramento. The trip was uneventful and I drove the entire way. We slept in Arbuckle with some friends so we could have a nice stress-free morning.

The day has been busy. Between bathing and working the girls. MissFire is completely attached to Sangria and won't quit screaming for her. There is a ton of commotion and people everywhere! I think MissFire will do alright for the competition. She still doesn't have her right lead but her left lead is great! Sorry for the short update its already 11:30 and I'm heading to bed!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


So we had a very productive week. We hit the trails, went to drill practice, sorted cows, ventured down the road alone. We worked hard and played hard. She loved all of it. I think the cows were her favorite. Saturday we went to drill and loped with the team. It was so fun and she was great! That evening we hit the trails again and went for a very low key ride. On the way back in I notice she seemed a bit "off" but I figured she was tired. Sunday I took her for another ride but noticed her leg was sore and very swollen. When I tacked her up for practice Saturday morning it appeared her bell boot had removed the hair and a small sored the skin a little but nothing to worry about so I put some stuff on it and left her boot off. Well Sunday this seemed to be a little infected but her knee seemed to be bothering her. The swelling around her pastern and the swelling above her knee seem to be two separate injuries so I made an appointment for the vet. After leaving the vet it was determined she has scratches. She said by tomorrow night I should see huge improvement so lets cross our fingers she gets better quickly.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Lovely Weekend!

I have to start out first by letting MissFire know she is a smart pony for deciding to take a nap before the weekend. We are both exhausted now but it was great!
We headed down to Vancouver, WA. to the Quicksilver Drill Competition. It was a super long day as the alarm went off at 3:30. We hit the road around 5:45 and started the drive down. Both the Rowdies and Cowgirl Spirit rode very well. One of our quads took first! Juliane and I decided to take our Mustangs into a quad (four man drill) so we did a mostly walk and a bit of jog. There was a small crowd, music, and a super scary arena! The first pictures are from us warming up. The next few were from the drill. It was so fun! MissFire was great! She was unsure of the judges sitting in the back of the truck. She seemed very happy to be away from the trailer. We arrived back in Buckley just before 11 that night. Super long day. Hubby and I quickly unloaded and got the trailer ready for the next day and crawled into bed around midnight.

Saturday morning the alarm went off a little later at 4am. We needed to be on the road by 4:30 to head to Ellensburg. We were going to work cattle all day. Juliane and I ended up giving apx. 75 cows shots. It was interesting. They were ran into a squeeze shoot that would shut their heads in so you could give them shots. A few of them got out too far and I had to give them shots in the neck when they were only stuck by their hips. It was fun! I miss playing with cows. I used to show cows in high school.
When we were done Juliane and her family headed home. We went for a ride in the hills. The views were so pretty! We saw a herd of elk, a few deer, and a wild turkey that flew over our heads. Very cool. The wind was howling (surprise, its Ellensburg!) so I was worried MissFire would be on edge. She wasn't from the beginning. My hat went to fly off and I caught it with both hands and she didn't care. She was so tired by the end. The hills were huge! I was even able to take pictures off her back. This little mare is great! So solid! We all crawled back to Buckley around 11 again. Super tired!

We had plans on Monday to go to the ocean. After our two early mornings and getting home late again we decided we would rather stay home than go fight traffic. We played around the house for a while then hit the trails. Another great day. We cantered and played. We crossed our first bridge. We walked up to it, pawed it a couple times, then just walked over it. I let her play in the river for a while. She just ran into it. Then soaked me! She was considering rolling but luckily she didn't. I love her! She is always great! I am so glad I stuck with her and didn't give up on her back in the beginning. I would have never guessed she would have turned into such a great girl!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First Shoes!

So I had to bite the bullet and put front shoes on MissFire. Her feet are really hard but with all the extra trail riding she has been doing they are getting sore and chipped up. I was afraid if I waited any longer I would end up with a sore lame horse. My farrier wouldn't do it, he is afraid of getting hurt so I used Juliane's farrier, Greer. She was great! Quiet and patient. I couldn't ask for a better first set of shoes. MissFire was perfect for the filing and nailing but when it came time to pull her leg forward she wouldn't leave it forward. It was a challenge to her. Greer was quick and quiet. Every time MissFire would pull her leg back she would catch it before it hit the ground. If MissFire tried to dance away she kept with her.

So now we have new shoes and we are ready to go out and play some more! I briefly rode last night after practice. She didn't take any sore steps and was ready to walk out and go to work. Tonight we are going back to Fall City for quad practice so we will see how that goes. She sure loves being a horse and getting out and going places!

Monday, May 18, 2009

What A Great Weekend!

Friday as soon as I got off work I headed out to saddle MissFire and hit the trails. This was the first trailer ride in quite some time she was by herself. She was great, not a care in the world. When we arrived at the dump in Enumclaw there were trailers everywhere! We pulled off on a corner and unloaded. While I was waiting for Nora and friend I went to the gravel area and hopped on. She was ready to go. Standing is not her favorite thing although she is getting better. Anyhow this lady came over to see her so I hopped off. Good move on my part. I explained to the lady that she doesn't like her nose touched so this obnoxious lady goes straight for her nose. Ticked me off! I have been ignoring the nose issue and it has become less of an issue. Then she was roughly patting her up by her ears. I just love rude obnoxious people! Well my little girl took it all in stride and handled it all well.

Nora and friend finally hopped on and we headed down the trail. MissFire was solid! We lead the entire first half of the trail and would have continued to lead but Nora wanted her younger buy to lead part of the way. On the way back we trotted some and I kicked up into our first lope! Well you know how a nice easy lope gets when your on an open stretch...yep your right we went faster and faster and made it to a slow gallop! She loved it but when I asked her to slow down she went right into a walk.

When we were finished I was feeling so good I took down to the South Prairie arena for cow sorting. The cattle were fresh and they were very large (MissFire's size!) Holstein heifers and bulls. Nora rode her in and played with her for a while but we tied her up when it was time to sort. I used Mufasa mostly but on my last go I took MissFire in. I just lead her in the pen and hopped on. She worked the gate (to the best of her ability and was great in the pen. After we sorted all of our cows I went back in and moved some of the cows alone. She is very "cowy". At one point she hopped up to get the cow.

Saturday morning she went to Cowgirl Spirits drill practice. We did walking warm ups and some pair work. She loved all of it and was great. After practice we decided to use our mustangs in a quad so Juliane and Sangria joined us (with the help of two seasoned drill horses) and we walked our quad. Both girls were really good. Another successful day!

Sunday was another great day. I took her the Rowdies drill practice. I rode her around with a couple solid horses in the outdoor arena but the ground was so hard out there we went and hit the little trail around the property. When we got back there were horses everywhere loping but we went in anyways. She didn't care. She wasn't worried about loping horses or anything. After practice I hopped back on and went to the indoor arena. There were only a couple horses in there but we walk/trotted around both directions. Then we rode out to the trailer before I remembered we forgot our lead rope in the arena so back in we went. She was so good for everything. What a great weekend for us!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Last Night...

I took MissFire up to the local arena. I brought her inside and worked on her ground work. I was picking up her feet and came across a nail embedded about 1/2" into the bulb of her heel. Well the vets were closed and she seemed to be fine. She was sound prior to finding the nail so I pulled it and went back to work.

She was great tonight. We were able to walk and trot all over the arena. We even went around the barrels and over the pole. She was really good. Once on she is ready to go. She stands quiet while mounting and for her bending exercises but as soon as you ask her to walk shes ready to go.

When I got home I unloaded and took her into the barn. I gave her a tetanus shot and soaked her foot into Epsom salt. She was surprisingly good. She stood quiet for about 15 minutes with her foot in the water. Well thats about it for last night.

Monday, May 11, 2009

First Trail Ride!

What a weekend! The weather was beautiful, the sun shining, who could ask for more! We went to a drill competition in Ellensburg. MissFire is very accustomed to traveling but this will be her first overnight stay in a stall (except at home). I was able to ride her quickly Friday night at dusk in a scary little arena. I was a little hesitant to get on since I didn't have my flag or tarp to check for problems. The next day she spent most of the day in her stall. I did snatch her up late afternoon to pass her off on my little sister to walk around with. She was thrilled to get out to see what was going on.

On Sunday I woke up with the itch to go for a ride. I had planned on riding Grace and pony MissFire and if everything went well I would ride MissFire. Well my hubby said "no just ride her, she's fine" so I took her. I knew Mud Mountain is a very safe place for young horses. The ground is very soft and there is plenty of room if you have an issue. You can put the horses to work if needed. Its a great place!

Once we arrived I unloaded MissFire and got on. I didn't do any warm up before getting on and she was great! At first we stayed in the middle of the pack while heading down the gravel road. Once we hit the soft clay/sand footing she took 0ff at a brisk walk. She passed all the horses and went out into the lead. Once we hit the trees I asked her to slow down and move back to the middle of the pack. She went down a hill across a creek and back up the other side. Solid through all of this. We went through some really nasty brushy places. Nothing but logs and brush for 50 feet. At one point the lead horse wouldn't go and she listened and went up and around all by herself. She is such a trooper! So another success story and successful weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another Ride

I hauled up to the Tacoma Unit last night. I took MissFire to the small covered arena to work with her. I quickly went through all of her ground work. She is getting really good about it. She seemed a little distracted with all the commotion in the parking lot with unloading horses and cars driving by. I mounted up and did some bending to the left and right. I walked around a bit but didn't feel secure. She wasn't focused on me at all but she felt good at the same time. Well I let the nerves get the best of me so I dismounted and took MissFire back to the trailer and unsaddled. I rode another horse quickly and told myself to quit being a weenie and to get back on. So I saddled her back up and took her back to the small arena. This time Juliane and Sangria were there and so was her daughter on another rescue. I briefly addressed the ground exercises and climbed on. She felt great so I rode off. It wasn't a long ride but it was short and sweet. Oh and I took off the lead rope and rode with just a bit no halter! She's getting there, by next week we will be loping and doing flies (hahaha)!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


So last night I hauled up to a covered arena to get away from the lovely Washington weather! I wasn't sure what to expect since I have only been on MissFire in a round pen. She was pretty wet from the rain so I rode Surprise first. She was a total snot and actually tried bucking. When I finished with her I saddle MissFire up and started doing ground work with her. She is going through all the steps pretty quick these days. She wasn't sure of the tarp tonight. She decided it was scary!

Once I finished my ground work I decided to hop on. She was solid like normal. We just walked around tonight but I used mostly the bit for turning and stopping. She was a champ! I am hoping to take her to the unit to ride her tonight. Hopefully shes good!

Here is the only picture that turned out tonight....