My Partner is Delight

My Partner is Delight
Heading into the great unknown

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spinner's 2nd show ever!

This is me and Spinner waiting to get into his second show. My nerves were stretched, but I was really excited.

First entering the arena!!! My head is turned because i was looking for the judge, that is what the gate person I pointing at.

This was at the beginning of the show. I had to throw a smile at mom, that's why I look so dorky =P.

This is in the middle of the show. Spinner was being pretty good, only he kept on stopping in front of the grand stands because he wanted to say hi to the little kids that were right up to the fence.

This is at the end of the show. Spinner was doing fabulous.

This is the shot after the show. I may not look very enthusiastic, but i was soooooo tired, so was Spinner in that case. I was really jumping up and down mentally. I was also slightly surprised too. There was a girl next to me in line in front of the ring steward that also did very well (I don't know who she was), and I thought that I had gotten marked down for getting my reins mixed up when I was backing up. the girl next to me ended up getting 2nd.

On my way to the Shadow Butte Both (about 20 minutes after my show), I heard my name being called from the announcer's both saying I needed to come get my award. Thinking that it was some kind of mistake, I went ahead and bought my Mt. Dew before I went to go clear things up. When I came under the announcers booth, the horse 4-H Super Intendant made me sign a "thank you" note and said that my award was coming (she didn't say what though). Kind of confused, I went back to the trailer and started to drowse in a camping chair. About an hour later, a tall, skinny guy came up and asked "Are you Cherish Armstrong?"
I said yes and he led me under the announcer's booth for my reward. I figured it was going to be a hay bag or water bucket, but then he grabbed up a really nice head stall and said, "Here you go!" Over whelmed, I thanked him fervently and ran to go show it off to mom. You can probably guess how that went.
The bridle is made out of buffalo skin and has no Chicago Screws, so it will last longer. I Also got split reins to match the brow band design. At the end of the day I switched out the bit of my old bridle to my new one and used it in the games after ward.

At Spinner's very first show, this is what he got me. As mom says, he's a Wonder Pony.
And this is what I got at the fair this year all together (I also got a silver meddle for my 4-H record book, but I get a meddle every year so I don't have a picture of it).

Fair Part IV: Katrina and Tawshi Make Great Strides

This morning Tawshi was feeling really good! Seems like she has gotten stronger every day, rather than more tired like the rest of us!

The very first class was right after the flag ceremony, so there wasn't much time for warming up. Tawshi was feeling the best she has felt for 2 weeks and decided to really be "peppy". Her first lope was really a canter, almost a gallop and went diagonally across the arena. Poor Katy!

Last minute pep talk and bridle adjustment from Mom:

It was an equitation class so after the runaway flat work there was individual work.

Getting ready to start the pattern:

Loping to the right:

In spite of the trouble she had, Katrina didn't place but she was awarded a red ribbon. In addition to the top 6 placings, each kid gets a Blue, red or white ribbon which represents what the judge thought of their individual effort. She was expecting a white for sure... but left the ring with red and a big smile.

Her next class was Bareback Equitation. Katrina decided to go ahead and enter inspite of Tawshi's near run away in the first class. She wasn't going to lope and just figured that she would "take" a white ribbon.

A big part of 4H is being brave an trying new things. This was her very first bareback class ever, and she has never cantered bareback before. I was pretty proud of her for going for it.

Tawshi was doing so well, when it was time to lope, Katy really went for it! She loped on her!!! Actually, it was a canter because she was riding English. The other direction Tawshi didn't pick up the correct lead, so she had to bring her down twice and correct it. Remember, this is her first time to lope bareback!

At the end of the class she was rewarded with FIFTH place and a BLUE ribbon!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fair 08 Part III Spinner takes a Spin in the Arena

Waiting to head in to the show pen for the first time together as a team:

Going through the "In" gate. This is about as excited as he has gotten during the whole show so far:

Each of the horse 4H kids has to set goals at the beginning of the year. Cherish's goals were: #1 "To ride my horse " and #2 (to be filled in... I can't remember...) Then they must have a One On One interview with a judge and demonstrate what they have learned.

Here Cherish is having her One On One. Spinner was a Wonderpony. He was calm cool and collected. He walked into the arena like he has been doing it all of his life.

The judge was really impressed with how far Cherish has gotten with her horse in such a short period of time. She was also familiar with the Blazer breed and was very encouraging.

A beautiful smile on a beautiful girl:

Fair 08 Part II : Speedy Gets Dolled Up

Here Katy is helping Cody and Speedy get ready for their showmanship class. This is the first year that Cody has had to do a pattern.

"Always, always turn your horse away from you. "

Speedy wasn't sure about wearing "makeup". He thought it was pretty funny!

Here is what he really thinks about baby oil.... isn't he coooooote? Is that a smile, or a smirk?

Speedy says, "I get no respect, I tell ya!"

Fair 08 Part I

Fair week is in full swing! I thought I would share some snapshots of the horse show. We still have another day to go, but there are so many pictures!

Here's a picture of the whole crew. We took 4 horses and 4 kids. One of the kiddos isn't in 4H but she should get a ribbon for how helpful she is being! (More on her later...)

Don't worry, all of that stuff on the ground is well away from the horses. There were times when the kids had their stuff strewn every where.... just like at home.

I'll start with Katy and Tawshi. Tawshi has been feeling under the weather lately. She was a real champ though and did her best for her girl. Here they are in their showmanship class.

All smiles waiting for their very first English class together as a team. Tawshi isn't the most photogenic of horses. The ears are floppy when the eyes are open and the eyes are closed when her ears are forward. I don't know why. It's a family joke. She will never be a model!

In the class....

Waiting in the lineup....

And lovies for a job well done:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another "Speedy" Update

After I finished the last Speedy update I was looking through my other blog entries and I realized I hadn't shared about another important milestone - Speedy's first trail ride!

One of the things our family loves to do... errr I guess I should say- I love to do with my family, and they usually enjoy once I drag them out there is trail riding.

It happened last weekend, on my birthday. Tom went out on his new horse Foxy and I went out on my Delight. It was also Foxy's first time out with us.

OH - it was Cody's first trail ride ever too! So, lots of firsts that day.

I was a little bit nervous as we have never just thrown a saddle on Speedy and ridden. We always have done some round pen work first. Once Cody was aboard his mount he did some hips over and some suppling exercises. Then we were off!

Here Cody is cleaning Speedy's feet. Not a confo shot I know, but you can see the improvement in his body condition. Speedy has a very thick mane that falls on both sides. That's my Delight in the background.

We rode near the area where I took Spinner for his first "spin" (ha ha couldn't resist). It is BLM land. Mostly desert and rolling hills. Not much for a greenie horse to get too excited about.

That's Tom on Foxy up ahead.

We usually take time to stop and allow the horses to graze on the trail while we drink water and have a snack ourselves - usually beef jerky or a power bar. It was really hot on this day, in the 90's.

Dontcha just love those comfy looking jeans?

Speedy acted like trail riding was old hat. He wasn't spooky at all and was a pretty willing partner for his boy. He needs more fine tuning in his "giving" in general, but for where he is at in his training, he was fabulous!

This isn't the greatest picture, but I really like how lightly my son is holding the reins and how Speedy is bending in response. Cody was asking him to stop grazing.

Here is my steady mount Delight with Speedy and his boy in the background:

Foxy did well too! Tom had a great time riding his well trained horse!

It was a great ride. Speedy sailed through it. Cody had a great time trotting him and keeping up with the "big" horses. He even got the chance to lope a little. What a great little horse!

A "Speedy" Update

Speed Devil (Aka Shining Asset) got his very first bath with soap today! He also got his very first first show trim too.

First lets remember what he looked like at the auction lot (you can click on any of the pictures to see them bigger):

Here he is his first day at home:


Here is is today!

Can I have some of that alfalfa please??

...And here he is with his favorite boy...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Welcome Foxy!

We were recently blessed by finding a great horse for Tom!

Even since Ted went to live in California, Tom has really been missing having his own horse. And I have been missing having a trail riding buddy!

Foxy is a dear sweet Palomino BS Paint mare. She has the kind of training that Ted didn't have and that Tom needs. She also loves to GO! She is one step closer for Tom realizing his dream of doing Cowboy Mounted Shooting some day.

Here they are on their first trail ride last weekend:

Tom's dreamhorse color is a Palomino... I don't know how she could be any more perfect for him!

Here she is being enjoyed by one of the kids. One of the girls wants to "Queen" on her. I sure hope her dream comes true too!

One of my favorite sayings is a twist on a famous quote- "Horses are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

I think it's true.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

How to Catch A "Wild" Horse

This is "Perfecta". She isn't really wild, but she has a a Series of Unfortunate Events in which she became basically unhandled. She learned how to outfox her owners and subsequently got the reputation of being wild, spooky and dangerous.

Perfecta is a Polish Arabian. When you meet her, you know right away why she was named "Perfect". I can imagine that her breeder took a look at her conformation and her sweet personality and said... "She's just Perfect!!"

After Perfecta was sold by her breeder, somewhere down the line she wound up in the hands of people who had 15 or so horses and starved them all. Then she was given to her next owner, "If you buy Elizabeth, I will throw in Perfecta for free." When they tried to load Perfecta into a 2 horse straight load she resisted and was hurt badly. Later, another person was able to get her loaded in a 3 horse.

Her new owner was a novice, but she did a great job of putting Perfecta out on pasture and feeding her in the winter so that today she is a plump little mare.

But, Perfecta learned that she could avoid being caught. People tried to force her to do things and soon she had a reputation of being "wild".

The truth about this little mare is that she is one of the most willing to please horses I have ever met!

Lyn was called to help catch her for her owner. She spent some time with her and was able to catch and halter her within 10 minutes on the first day.

The owner gave Perfecta to a friend who hired a "Cowboy Trainer" to help her catch and load her new horse. That night her owner called Lyn in near hysterics. The "Cowboy" (yes, I am using that term v e r y loosely) had locked his arms around the horse's neck and thrown her to the ground, injuring himself in the process. Now he was chasing her around and Perfecta was frantic.

Lyn had the presence of mind to tell the gal to tell the "Cowboy" to "Stop, we will be over tomorrow to help load the horse". It was a long night for Lyn. She didn't know what she would find the next day.

By the next morning the friend who was to be the new owner backed out of the deal, and Lyn had decided that she wanted to give Perfecta the chance she deserves.

So I went over with Lyn that afternoon, along with another friend and my daughter to see about picking up Perfecta and bringing her home.

It took Lyn over a half an hour to catch and halter Perfecta. But she didn't chase her or really even get her really excited. She just worked her magic, quietly an effectively. Perfecta tried so hard, never taking her ears and eyes off of Lyn. This horse wanted to be caught and to be connected with a human. I have never seen a horse try so hard to overcome it's fear.

Eventually, Lyn had her haltered. She did a little bit of groundwork with her, and then led her right out the gate and right into the trailer without a single hesitation.

She's not a wild horse at all. She has training. She has just been misunderstood.

Welcome to your new life Perfecta!