Sunday, July 26, 2020

Getting Started Again With Tumbleweed

I hope everyone is surviving okay during the pandemic.  Crazy, crazy times.  I haven't really mentioned it in the blog because it is so sensive / painful / chaotic / emotional / fill in the blank.  Depending on which day you talk to me, I have been alternately sad, mad, depressed, resigned, or in denial.

I keep my sanity by getting outside into nature and really practicing gratitude--especially on the hardest days. While the world has gone wonky, nature has remained the same, and I'm very thankful for that.

There have been good things about Covid. Because of the many extracuricullar cancellations, my grandkids have had more time to come over this summer and play with horses.  They've also helped us with projects around the ranch.  Covid has restricted our gatherings of friends, and concentrated our emotional/social time much more toward family--where it has always mostly been, but now even more so. Our adult kids are over more, too, and we've been playing more games.  I suppose, it has simplified life.

We just finished up a wild and crazy week jam-packed with kids, a new grandbaby, our brothers and sisters and families, and yesterday, my granddaughters for a very busy horse playday.

The playday was planned around a practictioner for the Masterson Method coming here and working on Cowboy.  It was his second session with Sarah Krahn. I have been watching the videos on his site and following along with his book, but it's always better to see it done in person. Some of what I've learned, I passed onto friends and family--including my grands.  I wanted them to come watch Sarah in action, especially my oldest granddaughter, who is going to attend a weekend workshop this fall.

So, we did all of that--and it was wonderful to watch--Cowboy is very expressive with his releases--and then we spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the arena.

It was the first day back to work for Tumbleweed, who had fallen through the cracks because of all the family gatherings.  I had hoped to ride him a week after he got home, but I didn't have a bridle and bit or saddle set up for him.  I had to go shopping, and then test out a smaller, used saddle that would fit his short back.



I didn't know what to expect on the first day working him, but I tied him to the trailer and threw on the blanket and saddle.  He flinched, but stood still.  He continued to stand still while I dinked around with the cinches trying to get them fitted properly. That was impressive.

After he was saddled and walked around, I lunged him. He was quite bucky going left on the line, and then a dust devil hit us, and scared the bejeezers out of him.  Let's just say, we had a lot to work through. Besides the dust devil, it seemed like his pissiness was due to the other horses being loped around him, and Foxy being led out of the arena.  (They've rebonded.)

This video was towards the end.



Needless to say, there was no way I was going to ride him in that frame of mind.  So, we finished up and he practiced standing tied while I threw the new saddle onto Cowboy to try it out.  It wasn't bad.  The seat feels hard, compared to mine, but the fenders hang nice and are thin enough to put your leg in a natural position around him.  It is a Pioneer Big Horn, and it seems like it's in great shape.  I'm going to take it to our local saddle shop tomorrow and have him inspect it.  If my saddle guy likes it, I'll put some money into updating it for what I need.


(The gap between the fender and the seat skirt closed when I adjusted the fenders shorter, but the little bulge was still uncomfortable. I'm going to ask my saddle guy what he can do about that.  And, it needs D rings, a new Latigo--and an overall leather & tree inspection. It doesn't appear to pinch him anywhere.  It's a litle saddle, which is what he needed, but the seat fits me, and the stirrups are rigged to go pretty long, too--well past the length I need.)

This week is going to be super hot, so any work we do will have to be in the morning or evening.  But I have to find a way to get out there everyday with him and get him back to where his trainer left off. Until the saddle is inspected, I won't ride him in it, but I'll let him pack it around while he gets his working brain back.  I had been giving him a little grain, but I'm going to cut that out, too.  The number one thing my trainer asked me to do was SEPARATE him from the herd A LOT.  If I do nothing else all year, that is her number one request.

So, let the adventure begin.  I will take it day by day, and never do anything that will be too risky.  I will also make a date with my trainer up here.  The sooner I start lessons with her and Tweed, the better.

9 comments:

  1. Drifter does the same thing- starts out the session just full of himself and then settles in to the working frame of mind. I am still not prepared to ride him, especially with only one arm that works at 100%. However, Shayla will be here for a few days soon and will be riding him. Hope to get some videos for his sale ad.
    T'weed sure has grown! I'm so glad we get to follow his journey with you.

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    1. Tweed is starting to fill out more, now that he's home and back to eating non-stop. Lol. He built a lot of muscle at training. Yeah, he is definitely full of himself when left alone for a couple of weeks and getting restarted. He has been much better all the following days. Today, he had a little bit of an attitude, but not much. I think he just wanted to be out grazing and not working. Young ones are bi-polar! I look forward to seeing what Shayla accomplishes! I'm sure your video will turn out wonderful. He's so handsome!

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  2. Yes, the looming pandemic...sigh. Those I've talked to are also going through a range of emotions, me too. One can only hope when the spinning wheel stops (if it stops) it finds us all in a better place. I have also spent more time with my kids & grands, some days more then I would like lol. Sadly seeing much less of my beloved mom tho. Hard to communicate distantly with those that are hard of hearing. Nothing short of fantastic that you are passing your passionate horse knowledge onto your family!! Also, it is SO great your trainer comes to your place for lessons. We have talked about doing the same, eventually. Tumbleweed is a smart cookie, he will quickly remember what he learned (and more). Keep us posted, when you get a chance. Loving his updates.

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    1. I haven't seen as much of my parents either, but we do see them here and there, and we always sit outside. They're babysitting my nieces and nephews though, when they're not at daycare, so their risk is already high. They made that decision for themselves. IF school don't open, they'll be babysiting a lot more.

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  3. Doing the same thing here during the pandemic. My grandsons came up to the farm yesterday to celebrate my birthday. They love the horses and fed them lots of treats. It's been sooooo hot and humid nobody feels like riding and the horses probably thank us for that! They're miserable too.

    Tumbleweed looks great. It's nice that your trainer will come up to your place for lessons. In the meantime any work you do with him will be a plus. He's a handsome boy and smart. Hope you get the saddle sorted out to your specifications.

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    1. It's triple digits here this week!! I haven to get out there early to get any work done. It's like someone turns up the heat in an oven! My trainer doesn't actually come here. I will have to go to her, I think. That is, if the barn is open because of Covid. If not, I think she does travel. I took the saddle in yesterday and my saddle guy thought it was solid enough. (He never sings the praises of any saddles--man of few words--but he can spot a flaw a mile away.) I went ahead and purchased it since it is the exact right size for Tweed. I left it there for him to upgrade it so no leather snaps on me. That would be a nightmare.

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  4. He’ll figure it out - that he works at home as well as away. I like how quickly you were able to get his focus back.

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    1. He had too much time off. Babies keep you honest!

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  5. I'm glad you're holding up during the pandemic. Tumbleweed looks great, or at least looks like he feels great ;)

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