Friday, February 26, 2010

Good Days, Challenging Days & Beautiful Awards

You never know with horses--sometimes you have good days, sometimes you have, rather than bad, let's say, challenging days. Today was challenging. It was definitely the type of day that inspires me to go out and invest in another round pen.

Let me start from the beginning, and I wish I had video of 99 percent of my time out there, but that would have been impossible to do unless I was shooting footage of a runaway Mustang. It took both of my hands to keep her in check. But the beginning of the day was grooming, so let me start there.

When I groom, I tie her to a ring in the aisle of the barn. Today she was antsy, but I kept grooming and brought her back to where I asked her to stand when she got too far off the spot.

When that was over, I worked with her in her turnout to get her attention, then took her out for a walk. Right off the bat she was distracted by the construction work on the house at the end of our property. There was music going, I assume from a boom box, and guys talking loudly and hammering.

So, I worked her in a circle, but she didn't want to go, she wanted to run and kept bracing her head and neck. When I'd bend her in, she'd face me and go up. It didn't take too much of that for me to figure out the walk wasn't going to happen today. Back we went into the turnout and worked on moving out and bending. By the time we were done, she was moving easily both directions (I didn't run her at all because of the slippery conditions in the turn out).

At that point, I took her back out into the open again, then back into the turnout, then back in the open, and on and on until she calmed down, walked nicely, and stayed out of my space. There I ended it.

I made sure NOT to talk baby talk to her after hearing the video yesterday and then seeing her behavior today.

It was challenging, and I'm tired, but I know, and I've said this a million times and you're probably all sick of hearing it, but it's true, every day's a new day for a horse. Her memory of today will be in generalities, 1) The outside isn't so bad, 2) It doesn't pay to misbehave with mom, and 3) Stay out of mom's space. My memory of today, as a human, will be 1) Beautiful's spoiled, 2) Beautiful likes to rear up and run away, 3) Beautiful needs to work on respect. A little more personal, as you can see.

Now, for the fifteen blogs I'm going to pass this Beautiful award along to (And, I could have added more, but some of you already have the award.) I want to add, I think this award process is very valuable from time to time because it allows us to introduce blogs people may not have heard about before. I've been going to sites that I've seen introduced so far, I hope you'll check out some of these:

1. Andrea, at Mustang Saga Andrea encouraged me to start the Mustang blog when she found out I'd adopted Beautiful. She's been here for me since the start and I've learned a lot from her own Mustang gentling. I use one of her hand-made halters on Beautiful--it's my favorite.

2. Lea at Lea and her Mustangs Past 70 years old now, Lea is a bit of a hero to all of us Mustang lovers. Mustangs are her life (Well, and her family). She heads up the local Mustang group, mentors new owners, volunteers at the adoptions and trains Mustangs for potential adopters. I could say much more, because she does much, much more, but you can find all that out at her blog. She just returned from the Colorfest Adoption in Oregon, so she'll have lots of pictures to share.

3. My mom at The Serenity Gate Her blog has changed to book reviews, but she still does the occasional personal post. Some of you have already met my mom through her blog, but those of you who haven't, you may want to stop by and say hi.

4. Joanne, at Whole Latte Life Joanne doesn't have horses, and her blog is one of the few in this list that isn't about that subject, but I have received so much encouragement from her comments as she's followed along with Beautiful's story, and also, inspiration from her blog about following our passions, she's high on my list of recommendations. I look forward to every one of her new posts. I always come away from Whole Latte Life feeling good about life and wanting to do something productive!

5. Tracey, at Mustang Diaries Again, many of you already know Tracey--she's an amazingly active Mustang mentor. She works tirelessly with the breed, training, finding homes, helping with adoptions, riding her own. Her photography is also amazing. Her posts are always funny, entertaining and well-informed.

6. Pony Girl, at Pony Girl Rides Again Pony Girl is always on some adventure, her latest being lessons in side seat. She has also started her own shop at Zazzle where you can buy some of her gorgeous equine photos! Though I love the equine-themed photos, I thought this one would make an excellent Christmas card! (Hope it's okay to post this picture from your Zazzle site).

7. Paint Girl, at Adventures of Painted Creek Farm. Paint Girl is Pony Girl's sister! She has recently adopted a Mustang baby named Chance. She also, recently, got a job in a high-end Arabian barn and just got back from the big show at Scottsdale. Tune in to see lots of great pictures of that adventure.

8. Jennifer McNeill-Traylor, at Gypsy Mare Studios. Jennifer is an equine and all-things-Halloween and whimsy, artist. I also love to see her photographs because she has an eye for capturing the essence of everyday things--especially flowers--when they're blooming. She and I have both planted lots and lots of bulbs and I'm almost looking as forward to hers coming up as I am my own! She promotes other equine artists as well--Check out the Whoa Team--Equine Artists on Etsy for all things equestrian!! (BTW, I love the big-eared bunny--check that out and her horse-themed welcome signs!)

Whew! I'm tired, but I still have seven more to go, so it will be continued. Upcoming award nominees with bios to follow: Leslie from Hoofbeats and Pawprints, Nikki, at Spidersweb, The Heart of a Horse blog, Kara, at Must Love Mustangs, Jessie and Remington, who just came back from hiatus, Arlene, of My Mustangs, Wildairo and Echo, Kritter Keeper, from Farm Tails, and Froglander from Mustang Dressage.

Here's the 1 percent of our lesson today I could video. The end. As you can see, she's tired and her eye is gentle, though it's not as willing as it probably should be. Then again, when you're tired, you're not very willing. She and I are going to have quite a Spring. It's time for Beautiful to move up from mama's baby to horse with a job. Hmmm....


  1. I find myself doing the same things, wanting to spoil Chance, then realizing that I really need to focus on manners and I really need to start some round pen work. It has been hard since I have been gone for 3 weeks, but now I am home and I can get the ball rolling.
    Thank you for the award!! I appreciate it :)

  2. First, thanks so much for the Award and for your kind words. Really, I must say that your blog is one of the most heartfelt that I read. Yes, it makes me feel as though I know you, AND Beautiful, personally. That being the case, I feel comfortable saying, that okay, we all know that Beautiful will always be Mama's Baby on some, deep level :)

    Now I'm off to say Hi to your Mom!

  3. Thank you for the wonderfully kind words. And for the award. Its very hard not to spoil them isn't it.


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