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....

Friday, May 1, 2009

We Trot!

Yesterday was a great day! I feel really good about my progress with MissFire. I got off work and headed straight to Juliane's so we could have a Mustang play party. It was a great idea. I couldn't feel better about my day with MissFire. I was able to clean all four feet including her back feet. She wore front SMB's for the first time. She was great with both of these things. Next was saddling which went smoothly and then to the bridling. Well long story short (remember I can't touch her nose), with a little patience it was done.

Once at the round pen I grabbed a jug of rocks and played with them. MissFire was less than pleased with it. Whenever I would throw it next to her back left she would kick at it. Not firing or trying to kill. It just irritated her and it was more like shaking her foot at it. Next I tied it onto the saddle horn to drag it. That was fun. She didn't like it much but tolerated it. When I tied it shorted so it would bounce off her side she showed her displeasure. At one point she was kicking out (mad) with her left hind. Very comical! Sorry we couldn't get the camera out fast enough...The ball was funny too. She just really doesn't want to be bothered by it. She would let it bounce all over her but when it would bump her from the back she would kick out at it. Mostly light kicks but sometimes she would nail it too! What a brat, it was fear just plain attitude! When I climbed up on the rail to do exercises over her head she was pretty good. Not really sure about all the commotion above her head but got over it. I was throwing the tarp all over her, out in front of her, and behind her.

Next was getting on! I had been taking pictures of Juliane knowing I had to get on when she was done. I started getting nervous when I thought she was getting close to being done. When I finally got ready to get on she felt solid. There was no hesitation on my part at all. When I asked her to bend she did it easily to the right and decent to the left. I asked her to walk off and she was great. She felt solid in all ways. When I asked her to trot for the first time she was solid as well. A few times I let my nerves get the best of me and a couple strides into it I would pull her up. She was great! I had a great night! After the pics there is a video (thanks Juliane!!).