Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hell for Horses: Take Two

A couple weeks ago we got the privilege of having our grand-daughters over for most of the week.  Yay, for horse-crazy grand-daughters who give us an excuse to ride our horses!

On Saturday of that week, we were wondering what to do. I looked up the local calendar and to my surprise, the Despooking Clinic was happening again.  (I wrote about it last year--Hell for Horses).

You may recall, I decided not to subject Cowboy to anymore of those clinics since, at his age, we've kind of got things down and I think it only makes him more insecure to tinker with the relationship.

But I did want to take my 11 year old grand-daughter again.

I decided to compromise by taking Cowboy, but only walking and riding along the outside of the arena with my grand-daughter, as she navigated the obstacles with the help of the volunteers.

I was the official photographer...with Cowboy in hand.











In between the ground work and riding sections, we took a trail ride.




It worked out pretty sweet for Cowboy.  He was a happy camper having only been moderately exposed to the scary things.  It did make it harder for Sophie and Penny though, since Cowboy and Penny kept calling back and forth to each other.  On the other hand, they would have done that even if I had been participating.

After the clinic was over, we took another trail ride to get them relaxed.  It was an absolutely fantastic day on horseback, and I've concluded that taking a horse to a clinic as a spectator is highly underrated!

(Last photo--you can see me observing on Cowboy.)


18 comments:

  1. I love the title of the clinic. I discovered today that the only thing that is hell for Rock is getting wormed. He kept evading me in the stall and then figured out that I hadn't latched the gate, so he made a run for it. I couldn't help but laugh the whole time, because he had his head higher than I've ever seen it. I said, "It's just like food. You like food, don't you?" and then he let me worm him.

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    1. That was actually my name for the clinic. hehe. They didn't have a worming obstacle, but that would be a good addition to just top it all off.

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  2. I think that Carmen would have a stroke! But this is probably just what she needs. I can't wait to have grandchildren that I can take to these sorts of things. :)

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    1. Well, Cowboy only went around the outside, and it was much easier that way. I would recommend auditing one, even though it's probably unusual. ;)

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  3. Looks like there's a lot for the horses to deal with. They seemed to take it all in stride. My granddaughter is also eleven and I had her and her sister (7) for two days last week. Wish we had something like that around here to do. We just fed carrots and not much else. And I love being a spectator at shows and the official photographer. Unfortunately, nobody shows anymore so it's been a while.

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    1. Yes, it was actually much funner for Cowboy and ME to be on the outside looking in. I think he felt tougher and appreciated that I didn't force him through it. Eleven year old granddaughters are GREAT!

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  4. OMG - you are SO lucky Linda to have a granddaughter who is also horse-crazy (my absolute dream!) From the pics I can see she did an excellent job on the obstacles, you must be so proud of her!
    There has been an agility demo done at liberty near here with a lot of those same obstacles. 2 ladies took the course at the same time (2 lanes) one with a horse & the other with her dog. THAT was really something because they were running(!) the course just like you see them do at dog agility handling classes & competition.

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    1. Yes, I'm a lucky woman and I was very proud of her. It took a lot for her to do both sessions and the trail rides, and she was so tired by the end.

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  5. That looks like so much fun! We've got to get ours out to things like this - it'll help all of us.

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    1. There were some horses there that just ate it all up--loved it. Most of those were previous ranch horses. I was envious. It is a good thing to do, but hours in the saddle might be even better.

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  6. Nothing so rewarding as seeing kids out having fun on one of your horses.

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    1. Yeah, it's a fun thing to do once a year. I will say, though, it was also a lot of work. Definitely more fun to watch, I think.

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  7. What a great clinic, fun to participate or observe!!

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    1. Yep, it's a great thing to do once or twice a year. It's nice to be in a community of horse people like that who are all pitching in to help you and your horse. They were really good people. There were moments Sophie got frustrated, but the volunteers really tried to step up and help them find success.

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  8. Your granddaughter is just adorable!!! And she looks like she and her horse did very well judging from your pictures. How fun! And for you and Cowboy too, just taking it easy and enjoying it all from the sidelines. :) I think anytime we can spend time with our ponies, on or off their backs, is valuable and time well spent. Thank you so much for your comments on my posts lately. I really appreciate them, more than you know. We've been working hard, and I finally feel like I'm making a bit of progress. Not that I'm fully equipped to handle anything he could throw my way mind you, but progress nonetheless! And I am really looking forward to riding in the clinic next week with Joe Wolter. I'm sure my nerves will show up, but I will work through those and as always, remember to pray and ask for protection, courage and guidance. Thank you my friend.

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    1. I'm dying to know how the clinic went--if it was last weekend!! Updates!! I hope it went well. These relationships with our horses are like human relationships in the amount of time they take to forge, but so worth it when we get to the other side. It's just getting to the other side!

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  9. It is super fun when your grandkids get enjoyment out of your horses, too. Some of our fondest memories have been taking them on riding expeditions into RMNP. What's even better is when you look at them and don't know who's happier - the kid or the horse! Kids and horses are such a great combination.

    That clinic looks like a huge amount of fun. Kudos to your granddaughter for hanging in there for the whole thing; she looked great.
    Bionic Cowgirl

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    1. Ah, thank you. She deserves a lot of credit. There were a few tough obstacles where Miss Penny gave her some guff. I guess that's where the horse people get weeded out. My grand-daughter keeps coming back for more.

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.