I took Ace down to the RLEC Thursday and Friday prior to our classes on Saturday to get him used to the grounds, as well as to provide exposure. He did excellent both days and attracted a lot of interest. Never once did he call to mares, drop or act studish. He made me so proud! Unfortunately Friday when I was finishing up riding him I asked him to stop, and as is typical he gave it his all and stopped hard. Apparently their was some loose ground in the Main indoor arena because he dropped his hip and stumbled. He was sore for the first time ever, in his stifle. I hosed him down several times Friday and Saturday morning but he still showed some soreness. I then had to make the difficult decision to scratch him from Saturday's classes. I could have pushed him and shown him on Saturday, but in no way was it worth it to me to risk future soundness for a show.
So I ended up showing Hope in two classes.
He was fine Sunday with just a little stiffness, and since then he has been riding and working excellently.
I hadn't worked Ace in almost two months because a two year old busted up my hip pretty good back in May. So this last week I started working him on the ground and under saddle and he's done really well. I've riding him the last few days and it's amazing how much he remembers. He's still doing simple lead changes and moving off leg freely. We'll be at the Fallon Ranch Hands Rodeo this weekend =]
I rode Ace yesterday, he had a week off since the clinic because of the horrible weather and my trip to CA to pick up Junior.
I worked mainly on getting him more responsive to leg pressure, side passing, disengaging hind quarters and picking up leads. Once I really started pushing him he started picking up the correct lead and even doing simple lead changes on a figure eight. He's one smart cookie.
I purchased an American Miniature Horse as a driving prospect today, and started a blog to follow his progress from first day home to in cart and beyond. If you are interested visit. www.juniorbht.blogspot.com
Today we attended the WHBS's Training Clinic held in Carson City, NV at the Silver Saddle Ranch (A BLM owned property.) I met many local mustang owners and just had some fun with our mustangs. Ace and I participated in the Trail, Rail, & Showmanship portions of the clinic and had a blast. We both learned a lot, and picked up a few new techniques. As I always say, NO ONE it too experienced to learn something new or improve their horsemanship. Our biggest challenge of the day was the trail course as he has never done a complete one. We have worked on walk overs and some obsticals here at the BHT, but he is familiar with them. The bridge was the most challenging, it is just like a raised pallet somewhere between 10-15" and about 12 ft long. We don't have one at home so it was a completely new experience. After a few tries he figured out he was supposed to walk over it, and down the entire length. After that it was history, he easily completed it. One thing I love about him is once he tries something it sticks with him. He remembers it and completes it easily. There is no need to repeat something 200 times for him to do it calmly and smoothly. (Although repetition never hurts.) There were a few burros and mares in heat there too, and he handled it perfectly. Many people there were shocked to find out that he was an intact stallion, which is just the way I want it. He has to earn the right to keep those nuts and so far he is doing an excellent job =]
Way to go Ace!
Also, he is doing excellent in the trailer, this was one of our longer rides about 1.5 hours each way. I didn't feel him move at all. Another bonus is that he stands quietly tied to the trailed and sleeps. All that time at the "Post of Knowledge" is really paying off!
Hope everyone else is having a blast with their ponies! Happy Trails!
P.S. I want to organize a few people to go with me to Lahontan, a lake in Fallon, NV soon so if you would like to go email me!
Today I took Ace to Bartley Ranch here in Reno, NV. We had been here once before but only stayed in the arena. The trails around the ranch are rather advanced for such a green horse, as they include three full sized bridges complete with rails and running water underneath, steep challenging terrain that tends to be strewn with rocks, brush, and other natural obsticals, curbs, bikers, dogs, joggers and more. The first part of our journey was over the first bridge. He walked up to it willingly and sniffed it before walking cautiously across. You can imagine my suprise since he had never been on anything like it before. We went over it a few times just to reinforce that it was safe before continueing on. Along the first part of the trail there is old farm equipment about every 2oft that is enclosed in a small fence. Many of the pieces are very large and scary looking, but he did really well. He stopped and looked at them, looked at them some more. He seemed to be trying to be figuring out if it was a threat or not. I just had to laugh quietly to my self. Most young horses in my experience tend to react not thing when confronted with new scary objects. But he acted like an old broke horse. He just sighed and walked past, although he still watched. After a few he decided he wanted to sniff one, so I encouraged him. It didn't take long before he was satisfied and moved on. I love riding mustangs for the simple fact of how trail smart they are. We got into a couple of sticky situations where on a domestic horse I would have probably gotten off and lead them through some tricky parts of the trail. But he just shifted his weight to his hind quarters and stepped gingerly over the slick shale like rocks. It's so nice riding a horse that pays attention to where his feet are. It was one of the most enjoyable trails rides I have ever had. He is so fun to ride, and he really thinks about his job. I could tell he was ecstatic to go on a 'field trip.' Good boy!
On April 10, 2010 I took Ace to his first show in Lemmon Valley, NV. At Diamonds in the Rough he did excellent. When he first arrived he whinnied a few times but settled down after a few minutes and munched on some hay. He stood perfectly to be groomed and saddled like the good boy that he is. He warmed up nicely and soon figured out that the horses passing him in the warm up arena and all around him were not there to hurt him. He was really cautious at first to stay away from the other horses, but after a few minutes he relaxed and started really getting soft and supple. When waiting for our classes he stood quietly and patiently until we were ready to go in. In our first class Western Equitation we got a 2nd out of 10, Western Pleasure 4th out of 12, W/T Poles 3rd out of 10, and W/T Single Stake 3rd out of 10. Overall, he did amazing for his first show. He handled the commotion great along with all the new sights and smells. I wasn't even expecting to place at all since he's only had 30 days on him. The winter weather and arena conditions made it really hard to make much head way, but against all odds he was progressed wonderfully. I am so proud of him. It just goes to show what consistency, concentrated training, wet saddle blankets, and long rides can do for a young horse, even a young stallion. There were several mares in heat that I noticed there, and he did not whinny, grunt, call, drop or do anything towards them. One girl was even showing for him just 5 ft in front of him, and he behaved just like the gentleman I expect him to be. He has really gotten past his shyness of other horses and stands quietly next to them without being so on guard anymore. What a good boy!