Friday, January 26, 2018

If I Can Do It, You Can Do It!

I'm just bumbling along, doing my best with what I know.  For example: riding bareback.  It has become my favorite way of riding.  You don't have to haul a saddle.  You stay warm.  Win. Win.  And, if I can do it--a 50 year old woman, YOU can do it!  (By that I mean those who are wanting to ride bareback already and don't have physical conditions that make this more dangerous.)



Here is a 15 second clip of what it looks like to lope Cowboy bareback.

My tips for riding bareback:

Practice on a rock solid horse.

Grip with your thighs.

Move with your horse.

Don't steady yourself with the reins.

Keep your head up and look where you're riding!! (More important than ever)

Loping is easier than trotting.


Driving your horse in a circle.

For years, I didn't want to drive my horses because it looked so complicated watching the trainers do it.  I'd help out here and there, but I never trusted myself to take the reins.  That all changed when my trainer, Rebecca, taught me to drive a horse in halter.  The fear I had, that I'd create a bad accident, vanished, and that made ALL the difference.

So, say it with me....

If I can do it, YOU can do it!

Here is some video of me driving Bee today.  SPOILER: She was not at her best--which is GREAT, because you get to see the the good, bad and ugly of driving.  And, that's OKAY.

The end of Part 1 was a bit dicey.  Thankfully, we ALWAYS start in halter! You'll have to watch Part 2 if you want to see how we resolved it. (Starts out a bit windy and loud, but gets better a couple minutes into it.  I'll have to make another tape when the weather is calmer. But that's all part of getting out there every day!)

Where'd she go?  Find out in Part 2.

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Week In Snow

The really deep snow, the really slick ice, all coincided with a really sore tailbone.  You could say the fates conspired against me, and my training program, last week.  In fact, as I sat here this morning, I had a hard time remembering what I'd done this week, so I consulted my phone for photos.

Monday, January 8, 2018: Worked Leah and Bee, cleaned the barn, wrote a blog post.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018: Sore tailbone, lots of ice outside, stayed in and cleaned the house, then went to work.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018: Had coffee with my cowgirl friends, then went to work.

Thursday, January 11, 2018: Was supposed to fly out to Omaha, but a storm here, and a storm there, caused us to cancel our flight and stay put, to take care of the horses.  We ended up getting over 6" of snow that day, and we went no where.

Friday, January 12, 2018: The temps started to warm up, and melt everything, and we started digging out of the snow.

(Pictures of the day it started snowing)

Friday afternoon, we went shopping and ended up buying a Nespresso machine.  It makes much richer coffee than Keurig.  The pods are a bit spendy, but the quality of java makes it worth it.

Friday night, my husband and I walked our property in the dark--through the snow--with the dogs at our heels.  The snow makes it bright enough to navigate easily.  After our walk, we had a date in my Cowgirl Cave--scotch, cigars, and the Echo Dot playing a steady stream of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.
"Save your love through loneliness, save your love through sorrow. I gave you my loneliness, give me your tomorrow."

Saturday, January 13, 2018--Colt Starting Clinic with Beautiful Girl.

(Bee getting ready to walk over with all the gear.  I have her wear the bridle at all times, to get her used to it. She's really not as thin as she looks in this photo.)

Bee got to stand around a lot while we watched the others work in the round pen.  The snow was coming off the roof, in a loud fashion, and it caused her to pull back several times, but she adjusted.  It was good for her.

What I learned at the clinic was really fine-tuning what I already know:

*When round penning, and she's nervous and not listening, find ways to get her to tune into me--snapping my fingers, waving a hand, lots of transition--whatever works.

*I already do a lot of driving from behind Bee, but we worked on driving her in the circle.  It was good for her because the outside line was on her butt and legs a lot--causing her to kick out and buck a little bit until she got used to it.  It was good desensitizing.  Another participant at the clinic didn't feel comfortable driving her own horse, so I asked if she wanted to practice with Bee.  She did, and they did great together.

Sunday, January 14, 2018:  Ride Cowboy

I remember, not long ago, when I was riding three horses a day.  My tailbone injury, and the ice, has slowed me down.  But I was feeling well enough Sunday to ride Cowboy bareback.

I took it easy and stopped a lot to give him neck massages.  When we were done, I slipped off and gave him a nose to tail T-touch session.  He melted and followed me all over, with his head on my hands, as I tried to gather everything up and leave.  It was so sweet, I couldn't leave him.  So, I sat on my overturned trough and just spent the  most wonderful time being with him.  He was like a puppy.

I was thinking about it last night, as I was trying to fall asleep (a problem I have--thinking too much at bedtime)--I was trying to find a way to describe how my love for Cowboy feels.  First, he has been with me for almost 30% of my life!  That is a lot of wrapping around one another.  And, my journey with him has been so bumpy--times I thought I would lose him, times he surprised me and recovered, scary situations we got ourselves into--fights, makeups, growing old together, sharing pain together.  When I think of love for him, I think of these words:

joy, fragility, hope, sorrow, pride, comfort, awe, vulnerability, heart-bumps, heaven, laughter, miracles, friendship, gratitude.

That was my week in snow, and today the sun is shining super bright--I have the day off--and I'm heading to the barn.  Here's another word--GLORIOUS!