Tuesday, September 30, 2008

He Finally Bucked!

Yes, you heard right - Nine bucked me off. And not the wimpy bucks he was showing me with the sand bags - real, actual, head-between-the-front-legs bronc bucks. I shouldn't feel so proud of him, but a sign of spirit is healthy; he was so calm and laid back, especially after Fort Worth, I was starting to wonder if he would be useful as any sort of competition horse...

Anyways, I saddled Nine and worked him a little bit with some sacking out, then tried to get on. He didn't want to stand still, but I eventually got the nerve to just get on! He was fine, no big deal. He was too close to the fence for me to get my right leg in the stirrup, though, so I clucked and squeezed with my thighs. He walked off just right, and even turned and stopped right when I asked him to. I was feeling really good about by now, so I went ahead and reached down and got my right foot in the stirrup. I think it was my leg coming against his side that did it, but next thing I knew I was above the saddle, reprimanding myself for not wearing my helmet. When i started down head first, I was really worried! But then Nine spun, and as I was still holding the reins my knee hit the ground before my head. Better it that my brain-case!

So, damage report: My right knee is stiff and red and swollen. Ouch! And I have to lead a class of third graders out to the playground and teach a lesson outside on Thursday! My left lower leg has a scrape and is also a little swollen. I have a rope burn/cut on my right hand ring finger, but that doesn't even hurt anymore. And the left side of my jaw hurts a bit. I think I did hit my head a bit, but on the side instead of the top (better on the neck this way) and it shoved my jaw to the side. BUT - all in all I am okay.

No, I didn't get back on. I know, I know, I should have! But it was already time to feed them when I got on in the first place, and my legs were just barely holding me up from the shaking as it was. So, I stood on the mounting block and leaned on the saddle, and even got my foot back in the stirrup, but I was really too shaky to actually try to get back on... So, we'll try again, maybe tomorrow. And I'll try to get pictures of something pleasant!

And, for what it's worth, Nine only bucked twice or so after I was off, and came right back to me. Even when he's being bad he is a good horse!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I rode him, I rode him!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I finally rode Nine. And I have proof!

Pardon the Mother-in-Law arm, she was trying to get him to perk his ears...
Anyways, I got on Nine bareback today. I had to use the cow's water trough as a mounting block, because it was empty anyways and I needed something taller than Nine's feeder, which I had been trying to use. I know, I'm a wimp! I can't just hop up on there... But I will soon, now that we're rolling. Anyways, I'll spare the boring details and just give you pictures. I got on twice, and he was much more relaxed then.

And one last head shot:

Oh yes, I think I should note that Nine did not buck or bolt or even spook the whole time! He didn't want to move forward, either... But I got several steps from him in a nearly strait line before we were done completely. Nine did excellently; I am so proud of him!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Starting Back Up

So I gave Nine a couple days to just sit in the round pen and let his legs recover from 15 solid hours in the horse trailer. This morning after he ate I haltered him and tried a trick I saw in Fort Worth; Mark Lyon, who ended up winning the whole deal, was working with a horse in the practice arena. He put a rope around the horse's belly to encourage the horse to move forward. I thought this was so obviously brilliant, and I felt so stupid for not thinking of it! Then yesterday I saw the same idea in an article somewhere. Anyways, I tried that with Nine, but not much surprise - he barely even noticed it was there! I think I might have sacked him out too well in that area... But no worries, he will be a kids horse anyways, most likely, and kids horses have to be cool with that sort of thing.

So after giving up on that I got the mounting block next to Nine and worked on leaning on his back. He was doing super good, and my daughter was busying herself chasing goats, so I decided to put a leg over Nine's back. First I rubbed his side with my knee, then got my thigh up on his back, and before I knew it, my whole leg was on the other side! I still a toe on the mounting block, but Nine had most of my weight and was doing fine with me hopping a bit and moving my leg all over the place. I did a little work from his other side (leaned over his back but didn't put a leg over) then gave him a break for the day. Tomorrow Mom ought to be here so I think I will go ahead and get on him, perhaps bareback to start.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Recap and Results

Well readers, it's been about a week, hasn't it? And what a week it has been...

We left around 9 AM Tuesday morning (a later start than anticipated) and decided to truck on through to Amarillo. We stopped at a rest stop in New Mexico for a good half hour or so because they had two solid corrals set up with water. Nine really appreciated that! In Amarillo he stayed at Happy Trails Horse Motel, which is a great place, I recommend it. The stalls were layered liberally in sawdust and the run outs were well groomed with a thick layer of sand. And, it only cost $25! Then, for us humans, we splurged at a Comfort Inn. I don't even want to tell you how much that was! Suffice it to say, we really couldn't afford it; we had to borrow money...

Wednesday we got to Fort Worth. The trainer meeting was to start at 5 PM and we arrived about 4:30 PM. So, it was really rushed and Mother in Law had to move all my tack and things to the stall area while I sat in the freezing cold meeting. I sat in the very front, so I was basically two feet from everyone while they were speaking. The judges and sponsors and everyone of importance was also in the front row; I was 4 seats from Guy Woods, who won last year's Extreme Mustang Makeover with his horse Max (who was also there, and he is GORGEOUS!). Also only feet from me were Cris Cox, Ken McNabb, John Lyons, and a medley of other famous horse people! I was a bit star struck, and I would have been more so if I wasn't freezing to death (why does such a large room need so much air conditioning?) After the talks we got in line to receive our shirts and freebies. In line I was right behind Matt Replogle, who rode his horse Johnny Landers all the way from Las Vegas to Fort Worth to raise breast cancer awareness. Matt is such a sweet guy; during the Legends finals on Saturday he caught a stuffed animal and gave it to my daughter. After all of that I met back up with Mother in Law and the woman who's truck and trailer we took to haul Nine. We got a cheaper room at a Days Inn, then they left in the the morning. We weren't hardly expecting to be able to afford a horse, so didn't bother keeping a trailer behind. Fiance and Daughter were on their way in the car by then, so I stayed at the Will Rogers Memorial Center all day. Fiance and Daughter arrived that evening.

Thursday morning were the first classes! Stars went first, and that is the division Nine and I competed in, so we had to get to the stalls early. Nine didn't get a chance to eat all of his breakfast, but he came along willingly enough. First was the conditioning class, where two judges determine the health of the horse. Nine got 59 out of 60; he missed one point on hair coat. That is completely understandable because he had some spots that were rubbed out from the leg rope the week before, and his mane is rubbed out in spots. But, even so, we tied for 2nd place! Then was the in hand course... We did horribly, I have to admit! Nine hasn't been trotting along with me and rather than just do the whole course at a walk, I went out of my way (and lost more points) to lunge him until he trotted then ran along behind him. Well, he did the course all right, but we ran out of time. He didn't stand very well to let me pick up his feet, either, but I learned a lot and that's what counts. We got 8th place in the in hand course. This surprised me at first because there were 15 horses competing in the Stars division and I by no means did better that 7 of them! When the scores were posted I saw that only 8 horses and trainers even bothered to go to the show ring! So, 8 out of 8.... I wasn't feeling too hot that night.

Luckily I managed to come into the next day feeling brighter. So, we arrive at Friday morning, when we were supposed to ride the horses in the horse course. Well, at this point I had completely given up trying to ride Nine in time for the competition, so I was pretty darned nervous! Again, Stars went first. I decided to just go in there and do what we did at home. After our "walk through" (more of a pep talk from the judges) we returned to our horses (I hadn't realized we would do a walk through so last minute I had to ask the wife of another trainer to hold Nine as well as her husband's horse, Hercules). As we walked towards the waiting area Reno, one of the Stars horses, spooked from something and started bucking. He knocked down the woman holding him but no one got hurt and Reno calmed down pretty quickly. As soon as Reno was caught I went around him to get Nine. I was worried that I would find the woman holding Nine and Hercules laying on the ground with a dislocated shoulder or something! I expected Nine and Hercules to run in opposite directions. or something. But no, when I got there she was just picking up Nine's lead rope; apparently when Reno spooked she just let go of Nine to focus on Hercules, who was spooked pretty bad. She said Nine was excellent; he backed into the corner and just stood and watched, and didn't run away or cause any more trouble! The woman said he is a heck of a horse. I was very touched by this, and even more proud of Nine. So, when our time came I lead Nine into the center of the round pen they had set up with my head held high and just banged around on his saddle for a bit; I threw the stirrups over the saddle and let them bang his side, wiggled the saddle and jumped up and down next to him. Then I repeated it on the other side. A 360 degree turn in both directions was also required, and I tried my best to give Nine the same cues from the ground that he would receive from a rider in the saddle. He did beautifully with that. He didn't back as well; I tried to back him with the reins while standing next to him, but he wouldn't do it so I had to get in front of Nine and back him with a hand on his chest. After that I unclipped the lead rope and pointed to my left. Nine immediately started off like a charm! He walked, trotted, then cantered that direction, and as soon as I asked for a direction change he did it. He was so responsive and light my hopes started to rise again. He didn't walk in the other direction but just jumped strait into a trot. I was running out of time so I let him do that. The he cantered well for me, and when the announcer called time and I asked Nine to stop, he stopped on a dime and stood and faced me perfectly. I ended up in 6th place over all! I was so very proud of Nine! When we were in line waiting for our awards ceremony Nine was one of the only horses who stood quietly the whole time. The announcer had to go through a ridiculously long list of sponsors before he announced the awards, so most of the horses got fidgety and restless.

Saturday were the finals for the Idols division, then the horse course for the Legends division. I watched some of these, and got to see my friend Joslyn get 5th place on Darwin, another horse from the same herd management area as Nine. That same night the Legends performed their top ten finals. What a show that was! Every single horse was phenomenal! Two riders competed bridleless, and a couple also took the saddles off during the final and rode around bareback. One girl had a broken hand and competed in a cast. One man had his horse jump through a ring of fire (without a bridle!) and another had his horse walk over a seesaw through another ring of fire. It was amazing! If you get a chance to see it, DO! It will blow your mind! It will probably be on YouTube in a few hours, so do a search, it will be worth it, I promise you!

Sunday was the adoption. They decided to put the Idols horses up for auction first, then Stars second ans Legends last. When I was on my way to get Nine to take him to the auction ring I met up with a woman who's daughter had trained three yearlings. They were in the market to get the yearlings adopted and adopt a riding horse in turn. They ended up adopting Taz, the winner from the Idols division! She showed me the prices she had been keeping track of; most horses seemed be going for only $400 or so! The winners were bringing more money of course, but I figured then that I would be lucky to get Nine to fetch $200! I figured that if my daughter was on Nine when I walked into the auction ring he might even get up to $300, and since Nine had carried Miss Toddler before I had Fiance just walk next to Nine holding Toddler's leg. He had her waving to the crowd and being very cute, but as soon as I stepped into the ring I started crying! I didn't want Nine to go, and I was so ashamed that I hadn't ridden him yet. I was terrified that no one would bid on him and he would sit in another holding facility until someone came along to rescue him. Patti, the head honcho of the Mustang Heritage Foundation, asked if I would be bidding on Nine, but I told her through my tears that I couldn't afford him. She told some "sop story" - as Fiance put it - to the crowd, and before I knew it some guy ran down from the stands to the edge of the ring and asked if I anted the horse. I replied that I couldn't afford him. The guy insisted; do I want the horse? I said of course I do, but I'm broke! Next thing, I hear the auctioneer reach $700! Then, the guy in the stands was saying that they had bought the horse for me, and that I can take him home and make him a great riding horse for my daughter. That was the last straw; I lost it to tears...

A few signatures later, and now I am the proud official adopter of a BLM Mustang for the first time in my life.

Getting a ride home was difficult (remember, the truck and trailer left early Thursday morning and all we had was a car!). But, we found someone who was going to California through Flagstaff, and they hauled Nine for us for $400 that I had to ask my grandmother for. My other grandma paid for a 5th night at the hotel because the trailer wasn't leaving until Monday afternoon. Int eh mean time we visited the Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, and drove up to the Stockyards Station to see the longhorns. We missed the "cattle drive" around the block, but we still saw the longhorns and talked to some of the cowboys around the place. We also let Nine stretch his legs in one of the smaller practice arenas before we loaded him up. Loading was a challenge as it was a slant load trailer and the only available spot was the very back of the trailer. This meant that I had to into the trailer with Nine, tie him to one of the rings, then slide past him (really tight space right next to his kickers) to get out. The driver tied Nine while I tried to get out. When I tried to slide past him my hat bumped his neck and he spooked. He tried to back out but he was tied and ended up with one leg under the trailer! The tie rings, naturally, are coated in rubber, so the "slip" knot did not slip. Nine jumped back in the trailer and I got out safely, but I was nervous for him the whole way home. We drove strait through for about 15 hours to arrive at Winona, AZ, at 3:30 AM for the switch into our trailer. We were home by 4 AM, and boy was Nine happy to be there! He nearly ran me over trying to get back into his round pen!

I think we will take a couple days off to recover, then this weekend we start where we left off. So from this point forward this blog is no longer about the Extreme Mustang Makeover, but rather out journey as Mustang and adopter, and after a year as Mustang and owner.

I found the people who bought Nine for me: Randy and Marsha Olson of Mustangs Forever Inc. I thanked them in person, but I also want to thank them here. Please visit www.mustangs4ever.org and check out their non-profit organization. They really are the most selfless and generous people I can ever dream of!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

LAST day!

Okay, change of plans; we decided to leave earlier this (Tuesday) morning. We are planning to make Tucumcari, NM but tonight, and truck into Fort Worth Sometime Wednesday. I am thinking now, though, that we should try to make Amarillo; the "horse hotel" in Tucumcari is just an RV park with a corral and we have to stay to keep an eye on Nine. If we can make Amarillo, we can board Nine overnight in a real barn, and get a motel for ourselves while we're at it. But that is a decision that will have to be made on the road.

I am going to miss Nine so much; I will be sure to post back here in a week and a half or so with pictures and posts and all that stuff. I can't wait to meet the lucky person who will take Nine home! That round pen out there will look mighty empty without him...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Last Day?

After many stressful days of not knowing if I have a way to get me and Nine to Fort Worth for the Mustang Makeover competition, I think I have a ride. There, but not back, so I cannot possibly adopt Nine. But, I can live with that, and I am just grateful that I at least get the opportunity to meet the other trainers.

Today I was originally planning to ride Nine. I saddle my ol' boy Hammar up with my Aussie saddle so I can get back into the feel of riding - get my muscles loosened up and all that. My mom wanted to take a ride too, so Ashley got saddled up as well. We had a nice ride, only about 1 1/2 miles or so. That got me calmed down, and we decided to just play with Nine and do some ground work; say goodbye and have a good day with him.

We ponied Nine around a bit from Ashley and worked on getting him to trot, then I lead him from the ground while my mom followed with Ashley. He got pretty good, but he still needs extra persuasion to get out of that plodding walk! After a while we got pretty hot and sweaty, so Nine got a bath. I even soaped up his mane and got deep down. He did really well! He LOVES it when I spray between his legs for some reason! I even got his hind end, and sprayed his butt crack, ha ha. He didn't mind that. After the bath he was feeling frisky, and when I asked for a trot again he took off and rolled. But, once he was leading decently again we put him away and brushed him down. My mom had some alone time with him to say goodbye, then we left.

Tomorrow morning, we're out of here.I will get pictures at the competition, but this is the last we see of Nine here at home.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Lied :(

I didn't ride Nine today. I tried; oh, how I tried! But I just wimped out. My mom and my dad were both there, which made it crowded by Nine's standards, and they weren't helping me, either, whatever they were trying to do! I was just getting more and more scared. Fiance worked with Nine, but for the first time I wish he hadn't... Nine ended up more scared than ever, and Fiance swearing at him saying he wouldn't pay for me to take Nine to Texas to compete if I wasn't going to ride him.

Well, we all cooled down eventually. I unsaddled Nine and Fiance said he was sorry and I can still take Nine to Fort Worth (assuming I can find a ride - but that's a whole different story). I am still having butterflies, and I am absolutely emotionally exhausted. But Nine doesn't seem to even remember anything out of the ordinary, so I will try again tomorrow. Until then I am just hoping bedtime comes quickly, and that I can get some sleep tonight.

Oh, I almost forgot! Before the nerve-wracking of the century, my mom took me shopping for a new outfit. I got two pairs of Wranglers, a new pair of boots, and a new shirt. So now I have the whole get-up for Fort Worth and being on TV and all that.

Rossco Morgan

Rossco, our farrier and family friend, came out yesterday to donate Nine's trim. I told Rossco that Nine hadn't had much done with his back feet, and that he didn't need to worry about those; they were a little chipped, but not too badly. The farrier work could wait for those, I said. But, no, Rossco wanted to help! Nine stood patiently while he got those front feet, and it went without a hitch. But, when Rossco went for the back feet, Nine did his usual leg swing - not quite a kick, but a warning. So, Rossco sent Nine around the pen a few times, then tried again. Nine was a bit better, but still worried about this strange guy messing with his sensitive back feet.

Long story short, Rossco had to hobble Nine and tie his hind foot to a rope around his neck. Nine didn't like that one bit, but eventually got the idea. Then he stood quietly while Rossco trimmed and filed Nine's left hind. But, when Rossco tried the other side, Nine's "bad side", the side he kicked me with, Nine struck out again. Rossco hadn't tied the leg rope tight enough, and Nine got him, right on his brace! Rossco broke his foot a couple weeks ago, and that's where Nine's foot connected; luckily the kick got Rossco's ankle and not the actual broken foot, but I still feel bad about it. Rossco assures me he's fine...

After some readjustments Nine stood for that foot to be trimmed, too. Then, Nine stood without the leg rope for some final finishings on each leg, then Rossco rubbed him down and told he's a good boy - no matter what he had called him earlier (among those things, my new favorite, "a Sir Richard head"). I certainly do appreciate Rossco for all of this. Nine came out of it a rubbed fro the ropes, but none the worse for wear, Rossco's foot is as well as can be expected, and now I can pick up all four of Nine's feet without getting kicked at. Rossco, it seems, did the dirty work for me concerning those back feet. Nine is an angel now! And I am glad to say that, although Rossco did things a little rougher than Nine is accustomed too, he was no rougher than necessary, and did not hurt Nine.

On the agenda for today: Mom is coming up to watch while I ride Nine for the first time! And I WILL do it today, and I'm not letting anything stop me! Not wind, nor bucking, nor a bruised foot (see last blog post)!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Aussie Saddle

Fiance decided to skip his last class tonight (don't tell!) to come home and help me work with Nine for an hour or so. It was windy and the clouds were coming in, threatening to pour on us, but I think Nine did pretty well!

We got my Aussie saddle on him, which is awesome because I feel much much more secure in my own saddle that in that huge Western seat! It took a few tries, but Nine eventually stood still. Then we tried to get me over his back, but he was not wanting to stand still! I let him go once he let me put some weight in the stirrup, then I rubbed and patted the saddle. Once he stood still for that - it took several tries - I let him move around. Then we put an old pair of jeans with the legs filled with sand over the saddle. Nine bucked and ran for a bit, but the jeans stayed in the saddle, so we let him wear that for a couple hours while we went to pick up our daughter and rent a movie (which is starting now, so I must be brief).

When we got back, I went strait out to the corral to take the sand and saddle off Nine. The stirrup bumped his side, and he spooked. He stepped on my foot, and because I was wearing my "town" shoes, the hoof made direct contact with my foot. It HURT. I yelled to Fiance that I needed help, and boy did he run to me! I am so lucky to have him. By then blood was running into my shoe, but we got the sand bags off Nine, then he stood still while I unbuckled the girth and removed the saddle. After that Fiance worked with Nine quite a bit on respect! He had Nine backing extremely well, and leading better (Nine is still sometimes reluctant to start, but once he's moving he usually goes along pretty well), and also picking up his hind feet! Nine was picking up AND holding up his hind feet for Fiance! I was so proud - I didn't know who to be happier at, Nine or my fiance.

Anyways, my foot is swollen and still bleeding a little, but Nine ended on a good note, progress was made, and the ibuprofen is kicking in! Tomorrow we start with the serious work - trying to mount properly and ride! Wish me luck; now I must get to the movie!

Monday, September 8, 2008


So I raced the storm clouds home today, but unfortunately they were too quick for me! So today was windy and thundery and almost rainy. Once it seemed to settle down a bit I went out and saddled Ashley so I could pony Nine around. My idea was that if I can get Nine to trot next to Ashley, I might be able to get him to trot next to me!

Well, it didn't work. The horses were too frisky. Nine frolicked about for a few seconds, which jerked the lead rope out of my hands. Once Nine realized this, he started running. Unfortunately he happened to be heading strait for the open gate! I heeled Ashley on, and she was brilliant. She jumped to the occasion and sprinted tot he gate, headed Nine off so he turned back towards the corrals, then stopped and waiting calmly while I shut the gate. The she even stood still for me to mount back up (a rarity for her in that sort of weather) and return to nine. Then he stood well while I dismounted and got the rope and remounted. Once the two settled down, Nine tried to eat as we went, so I ended up dallying the lead rope around the saddle horn. I didn't want to risk trying to trot, because Ashley gets frisky and kicks on occasion. So, I contented myself with with ponying Nine around the property so he could see the fence line, then I turned them loose.

Later, UPS finally decided to deliver my new Aussie saddle pad! I used Hammar as my guinea pig to try it out for the first time, but he was being bitter about being left behind while Ashley and Nine got to be free. So I let him go with just a few turns and a couple steps backwards. It was feed time by then anyways.

So maybe not the most productive training day, but it turned out okay. No one got hurt, Ashley got some decent practice for her possible future career as a college Rodeo Team horse, and somewhere in there my goat got her elf-shoe feet trimmed as well.

Friday, September 5, 2008

We Have the Health Certificate!

Nine went to the vet to get his updated health certificate today. The vet, having looked at Nine a couple weeks ago in great detail, just looked into the trailer and decided that was good enough. Once we determined the Coggins test is still up to date, the vet signed the new certificate and off we went! $46 later...

Well, we can now trailer Nine to Texas, and that's what counts. The best thing to be said is that Nine loaded, trailered and unloaded really well. He even had three bales of hay behind him on the other side of the divider on the way home, and didn't fuss or fidget much! Then he stood patiently while we unloaded the hay. After a few nibbles of loose hay he followed me around a bit, backed through the "L" shape of tires, and went back into his round pen nicely.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Trailering continued

This might be a long post, because I have loads of pictures.

Well, I only had one class today and got home around 10:30 AM. Fiance had dropped the baby off at the baby sitter's house for the day so we could work with Nine. We saddled Nine and introduced him to a new thing on his head, the "bitless bridle". It's basically a stiff leather ring attached to a headstall that sits around his nose. The English version of a bosal, I call it! We did some bending with that, and he was doing well, so we tightened his cinch again and I prepared to get on. However, I random got very angry and decided that the demons of my menstruation were going to get in the way. (I am sorry if that is too much information, but it's true.) I didn't want to loose my temper for no reason while atop a wild horse and get hurt! So, we took a walk. (I forgot to take off my helmet and was too lazy to take the saddle off Nine, so that's why it may seem like I am ready to hop on.)

I found a scary old flower pot and kicked it around in front of Nine until he stopped spooking. I thought that was a good experience, and he handled it well. Now when we get to Fort Worth and all the distractions, Nine might just be a bit more prepared.

After that Fiance made me a nice obstacle of tires shaped in an "L" like we will probably see in Fort Worth. I set some teeny poles along the tops of some of the tires so the shape was better defined. I know it isn't the prettiest little set up, but it served us well!

After about two tries Nine had it figured out and was backing through it almost by himself.

Then I worked with his feet a bit. He is much better about his hind feet!

And also about having his feet held between the knees, in what I call "farrier position".

It started getting ridiculously hot about this time, and Fiance was bored. I managed to talk him into taking pictures of Nine loading, though. So, I present to, in multiple picture sequence, Nine loading like a dream:

Yay! And here we are.

And now unloading:

How great is that? Thanks for reading, readers! And remember kids, safety first!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Trailer Time

Today I finished my Physics lab an hour early! Yay! So I went home and decided to try loading Nine in the trailer. Might I remind you; Nine has only loaded three times - once when we picked him up back in June, once to go to the vet, and once to return home from the vet.

I put a flake of alfalfa in the trailer first. Nine was willing to go to the edge on the trailer, and even picked his feet up like he was thinking about stepping right in, but didn't. I had to dally the end of his lead rope around a post at the front of the trailer so he couldn't come part way in then change his mind. He obviously didn't like this! He pulled back twice, but soon decided it would be easier to just give to the pressure. He got both front feet in, so I undallied his lead rope and let him think about everything and unload. Then, when we tried again, he only pulled back once, and then came all the way in the trailer! He went right to eating like he was out in an open pasture. He stood calm and still while I went behind him to close the gate, then come back in the side door to remover his halter.

I left Nine in the trailer for about and hour and a half while I dealt with unruly goats, then went to pick up my daughter from the babysitter. I had my dad watch Daughter while I unloaded the horse. Nine was strangely reluctant! At first I thought it was cute that he liked the trailer so much he didn't want to leave. But, then reality struck and I realized that the sun was in Nine's eyes, and he probably couldn't see the drop, so he couldn't tell how far it was. That would make me scared, why not him? I ended up yelling and whooping while hitting the front of the trailer with the lunge whip to get him out, but then he came to me and let me lead him into the round pen again without problems.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A few minutes here and there

With the busy Labor Day weekend, and then school, I haven't had a ton of time with Nine. Saturday we went on a trail ride; I wanted to bring Nine, but we decided against it. Turns out that was for the best, as we had our hands full with our two tame horses! It would have been a mess with a third horse with us. Anyways, we rode at least 20 miles, and I have the sunburns to prove it!

Sunday we planned to go to the local county fair, but it was really rainy, so we just picked up some groceries while we were in town and called it a day. Monday my mom came up, but it was windy and threatening to start raining again. We did a tiny bit of work. I have been working with Nine for a minute or so before I feed him, so I am now able to stand on a mounting block next to him on either side, and rub him all over. I can also lean against him and put quite a bit of weight on his back. So, I showed my mom all of this, even though it took a little extra bit of time because I was suddenly wearing a scary noisy vest!

Today after classes me and Fiance saddled Nine up and I put my weight in the saddle, again belly down. My daughter woke up (she fell asleep on the way home, so we just parked the car next to the round pen and let her nap), so I had to cut that session short. But it was feed time anyways, so it all worked out. Nine has also been doing okay with his feet. I can pretty much pick up his rear left foot, though he is still a bit "kicky" with his right hind. We are working on it, though.