Monday, August 24, 2009

We survived!

Boy, what a weekend. It was a good Redwood 2 Ride, though I barely was able to pull it off due to a lack of enough and capable volunteers...But I survived! Only have the rest of the ride results to send in and turn in reciepts and such to the club treasurer....FINALLY! What a weekend.
Soo since I was running around most the weekend like a chicken with its head cut off, poor Storm spent most of Friday and Saturday penned up or tied up...but Sunday he got to go on a trail ride!
So here is the report.
A: he is SUCH a good boy! NO SCREAMING! That is the number one concern in taking a stallion to an endurance ride (well, beyond him just being a nutcase...but Storm isn't the type for that)...
As a rider who HAS at varying times been kept up all frigging night by a screaming stud or two in camp, I was desperately hoping he'd be one of the quiet ones. He is! He only would talk when he wanted to be fed, "real" rides, where he will be working, he'll have hay 24/7 if he wants. So that will shut up his tummy talk, LOL. Course I had him in a "less stimulating" part of camp, rather than smack in the middle of chaos...but for a first trip, we started easy.
B: he is very respectful of his confinement systems... we parked next to the back of the arena fencing (forgot to get pics of "camp" :(....) and used that (bout 7ft high I would guess and totally solid to block the view) as one side of the boys' "corral". Then swung a handy corral panel that was on the corner of the arena, and covered by plywood and about 5ft high, around as the 2nd wall of his corral. then the truck's body was the third side (the trailer acted as Oli's third side). The fourth side was the "iffy" part as such. We set up a double line of hot fence with a 3 ft or so "corrider" between the boys, so each had their own "pen"...and another hotfence gate on Oli's other open side... pretty secure and Storm sure respects hot tape...if I even wiggled the fence he'd back up snorting, really have to open the 'gate' wide when leading him through, or he thinks he'll get zapped. So he went nowhere near it all weekend. But just in case, since he IS a stud and would be by himself on Saturday while Oli was on the trail and I was running around at the out Vet Check, I set him up a tether line (kinda a high line, but at chest level) from one post of the arena fence to the other...he could "zip" along it the length of his corral and that way not have to be tied in one spot all day and reach food and water. Left hte pen/hot fence up as a second barrier as well. Better safe than sorry, LOL. But he really is not a buddy sour horse...doesn't even scream when Oli leaves...just nickers when he comes back. GREAT! My mare and gelding put up WAY more fuss than that, LOL... they run around their pens screaming their heads off half the day, if left in camp... So he gets HUGE points in the camping department...WHOO HOO!
C: he is fairly good around horses/ppl in hand. I finally had a chance for a breather for about an hour on Sat after I got awards set up, ride results tabulated, etc...before dinner. I then took him out for a "walk" to see how he'd be around camp. And of course to show off the handsome hunk (and he got LOTS of adoring comments, even from "Ay-rab" ppl, LOL...wait til he shows he can do the sport as WELL as look good!). He did really distracted and "talked" a few times, at which point he had to do lots of circles or some other exercise to get his mind back on ME, not the other horses... but he never got real pushy, or dropped, or dumb. So that was GREAT! More brownie points there!
D: He got to practice a few "trot outs"...well, ok, gait outs in his case! A few ppl wanted to see him move and it was good to see if he'd move out in hand (needed for the vet checking, not all horses will do it without training...some just do fine without)..he picked up a gait right away when I asked him to run with me. And I could rate him in a faster or slower gait according to my run and he stayed right with me. GREAT! One less thing I have to work on with him... I forgot to practice "vetting" checking his gums and listening to his heart rate and guts, etc...but that will be done later...
All in all, he passed his first ridecamp weekend test with flying colors! He DOES have to learn patience though...when he is tied or if he is standing in the trailer, he PAWS...but that can be fixed with some time standing tied every day... and like Oli, he paws at his food his "dinnerplates" will have to be flat backed buckets that can be tied to something, so he doesn't spill mush all over the place....
Now...on to the trail ride. I spent most of Sunday cleaning and organizing camp. help there from anyone in the club either...sigghhh... Terri helped a little, but had a big project organizing our rig, as we are leaving for the 5-day Bryce Canyon XP on Saturday and it was chaos in there from the last few trips. Round early afternoon we both needed a break and figured it would be a good time to take the boys out for a ride... We tacked up (and Storm got to practice standing at the trailer tied fairly close to a second horse...he was GREAT with Oli and behaved himself well, though I was ready with a crop should he need it...never did :)!) and I led him down the levi along the river that heads for the trail. After 5 mins of walking I felt him relax and hopped on. Terri started out leading on Oli and Storm walked out like crazy, trying to constantly get on Oli's but for "protection" ....but he never tried to bite him or anything. I kept having to back him off though, so finally I stuck him in which point his HUGE 5mph walk dropped down to a 3mph crawl,'s a BIG SCARY FORREST....EEK! LOL....Behind Oli later, back to fast and front, slow and crawling...but it was good for him to have to go in both positions and learn to LISTEN to me... we also tried gaiting out a little. I was real hesitant at first in case he'd then try his supposed bucking, but after a few tries and no buck, we did it more often...he even cantered a little (seems to prefer that to a real fast gait...fine by me, he has a nice rocking chair canter....). We rode up to the big, burned out, hollow tree that is an icon on this trail and that EVERY horse gets its picture taken in, turned around, and rode back. 1/2 hr at most, but a PERFECT first ride. He still needs lots of work (likes to rush, needs lots of "wet saddle blanket" exposure to trail situations, and of course CONDITIONING...though he did well up the hill for not having done much really), but I think he will turn out to be PERFECT for endurance/trail...
I got some pics at the trailer and backing into/in the tree, but my camera phone is now so scratched it looks like a blurry filter was set on it on purpose. My camera turned up finally, but it is toast. I was SO mad that these pics did not turn out and the camera is dead, I promptly went and got another one today. So from now on, GOOD pics and video will be happening!
OH! and I totally almost forgot! Also on Sunday, we took the boys in the arena to roll. Terri said to just turn em loose and let them run together, I was really worried though. As good as Storm is, he IS still a stud and I didn't want Oli hurt...esp not a week before Bryce! Terri kept insisting though, and since she's the one without a backup horse, I let her decide. They were FUN together... Storm did try to climb on Oli once (just a dominance thing, not a breeding thing) but I was there ready with lead rope and broke it up right away. Other than that, they rolled, ran, snorted, and had fun! Later that day we had them in the stock corrals (I was originally planning on keeping Storm in one all weekend, but other ppl beat me to it...thus the other fencing we did...). The two boys were caught grooming each other and "play nipping" over the fence a few times...too cute...I think they could work out well together, which is GREAT, as that is the combo we'd have going to e-rides...Oli and Storm. They must be telling Canadian stories to each other or something, LOL... ;) They are not too far apart in age either...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Going Camping....

Storm is going to the Redwood Ride tomorrow to learn how to camp and to show off his pretty self to all the people there :) If all goes well and I am not too toasted from ride managing, then I will take him for a spin on the trails on Sunday. News and pics will be posted Monday I hope :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pictures from the last session

Here they are...He stands really nicely now for grooming and tacking without being ties. He is such a nice boy :)
Boy, I am trying out this new the design (minus fenders if I buy one though)...but this is one of those instances of "does this saddle make my butt look too big?" LOL! Holy cow! I don't weigh but 145 at most right now, but this saddle makes me look HUGE! LOL. I do like the feel of it and Hoanna (the horse I am saddle searching for right now) seems to like we shall see!
Videos to follow once I figure out how to compress them...

I LOVE this pic...he has such a nice expression...this is really what he is like, too!

"Come on, SOMETHING yummy must be in those pockets!"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Still no Buck

Will add pics and vid once I get them off my mom's camera. But rode Storm in the RP some more and yesterday we upgraded to gait and trying a canter. He has a hard time balancing in the RP so the gait is very lateral and canter is not happening much either. He seemed almost afraid to go into a canter too...would drop to a halt if I barely shifted my weight (and it did not have that "trained to stop" feel) and had a hard time getting even a few strides, which he then was praised LOTS for. We will work on it. But other than that, he did really well. Though we are going to have to bump up to a crop or spur as he is VERY much ignoring my legs and prefers to just walk, keep him in gait I was constantly bumping him with my heels and tossing the reins on his neck....and that will just make him all the more dull...
Next time I will progress to going outside the RP (I think he is bored stiff with it too, and that might be part of the lack of energy I am getting) onto the pasture area. He is being SO good. I might get him out on trail by the Redwood Ride where I'll let him camp while I manage the ride and maybe take him for a spin to pull ribbons the following day :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First Ride in a While

So it has been a while since a post. But I have been busy with making and marking trail and then riding the Redwood 1 ride last weekend. Still worked with Storm on and off in the Roundpen, but not as much as had liked. This week I was able to work with him some more.
My mother arrived from Germany for a vacation this last Weds as well, so we have and will be busy. But she is as much in love with this boy as everyone else that meets him for the first time. He sure has that effect on us! Here are some pics of him getting tacked up and lounged for the first time since I got him here. The saddle is way not wide enough for him, so will have to find something else, but it was handy today so got tossed up. He stood untied for saddling with no issues and after lounging him a while, I decided to be brave and hop up (wasn't going to do it initially cause no one was around to pull my butt out of the fire if anything went wrong, but he was being SOOO good!). He was fine. No issues at all! Not sure what the heck they did to him (besides overfeeding and locking him in a dungeon) in Kentucky to make him a "bucking horse that is too old to learn anything new", but he sure was fine for me. In fact, instead of bucking, that boy was so lazy I couldn;t hardly get him to go! :) I wish I had pics (another reason I was going to hold off til someone was around), but will get some in the next few days maybe. Am taking my mom horsecamping for a few days with Terri and Vanessa and her mom, so he'll get to think about the new situation in that time. Then I will start riding him around the RP and the property since he seems fine.