Well tomorrow is the big day when we take over the barn. I have been here a few days a head to setup house in the living space above the barn.
I have already gotten a call from some folks that have rescued a horse and are looking for someone to train the horse so they can find it a home. I'm going to talk to the folks more today about that. So, pretty excited that things are, already, starting to happen.
Lots of folks, I have found, think of their horses more like they are pets and not the large farm animals they are. I see things that they are not seeing or are turning a blind eye to, that, to my way of thinking, are very dangerous. I'm going to have to work with these horses everyday, but have no control over their training. Wish me luck.
Some folks that Kathy and I met this pasted winter have pulled their trailer in here at the barn and are going to give me a hand around here, as they can. They are very excited to be around horses again and are looking forward to learning to train and ride. I'm pretty excited for them too..
Just a quick note to let you all know that I'm in the barn. We don't take over for a couple more days so is giving me time to meet some of the boarder and answer question.
Folks don't like change. Who does. But I think that folks are going to give us a chance to show what we can do and how we will take care of their horses. I don't blame them. I want to make sure my horses are cared for too.
I will take a few pictures so you can see the barn and, if some of the boarders are ok with it, take their pictures and introduce you to them. They seem like a nice bunch of folks that love their horses, as I do..
A little late for coffee.
Kathy and I have been busy making the move to our new barn in Tucson Az. We are excited about the future of the barn and our training program. I'm still going to write this blog as I have in the past, but I'm not sure how regular it will be in the next week to come. Please check back and I invite you to come along with us on this adventure.
I took the GRAY back to his owner last Friday and had a chance to work with the horse and Clint his owner. Clint called me to tell me he was very happy with the result of his time spent here with me. Clint says he ain't much at typing so he gave me permission to express his thoughts.
I have Car and Soros, my horses, moved to the new barn and will bring a couple more in time.
If you are ever in that neck of the woods I hope you will stop by and say HEY. If you know of anyone in that area looking for help with their horses, I hope you will pass our name along..
Took a couple horses in to the vet yesterday to get health certificates for the trip to AZ. They both did just fine.
It rained most of the day yesterday, which is good, but did not get a chance to ride the Gray. He goes home today. I'm going to take him to his owner this morning and we are going to ride a little while we are there. Clint, the owner, is also a farmer and it way busy this time of year. But, he is going to make time so I can show him a few things to help him keep the Gray on track.
We, are going to take Bonita with us to Arizona. She and one of the other horses are pretty attached and it just wouldn't be right to leave her behind. Will be fun to have her around the barn.
We are getting closer and closer to the time we take over the barn. Kathy and I know that folks don't like change. And I'm sure that the folks their at the barn feel that way. I'm pretty sure that most of them don't read my blog. Mostly cause I think they don't know about it yet. And it's hard to convince folks that you really do have their best interest and the interest of their horses at heart. A little time will show them.
I'm excited about what lay ahead for Harmony Boarding Stables, and Kathy and I. As I've said before we will be coming back to NM to work with students, but if any of you are ever in Tucson I hope that you will stop by and see the new barn and meet the boarders and horses.
Had a better day with the Gray yesterday. Took him out for a ride and he did fine. He is a little jumpy but I think that's just who he is and it will just take time and experience for him to get pass that.
Got my stock trailer back yesterday. We are getting down to the wire of taking over Harmony Boarding Stables in Aug. I have a lot to do to get ready. Will take two of the horses to town this morning to get health certificates for the trip across state lines. The living space, at the new barn, is still not empty so still have that to do and get moved into. Just lots to do.
The Gray goes home tomorrow. His owner is excited to get him back. One thing I'm worried a bit about is, when he gets home will they have time to ride him? The last thing I want to see is the horse standing around for a week or so and then they go out and the horse is fresh. I have talked to the owner about this and he is confident that he will have time or will make time, to give the horse the attention he needs.
The Mighty Gray!
Yesterday was a pretty good day, well sort of. Let me explain.
My buddy Mark stopped by the barn when he was out on a ride. I was waiting for the boys to finish their breakfast so we could get started on training. Ask Mark if I could tag along with the Gray and he said of course. So, saddled him up and off we went. We got to the end of the pens when he came in to. Started bucking. I was able to say in the saddle for probably 8 seconds. Good rodeo ride. Then, he started to come over backward. I slipped my feet from the stirrups and hit the ground. Not hard, not hurt. The Gray just walked a few feet away and stopped. He just stood there waiting for me to come get him.
I'm not sure what set him off. I think it could be I was asking him to back up and a mesquite bush got him in the hind legs. Could have scared him. Don't know for sure. It was sure a surprise to me.
When you are starting young horses, stuff can, and usually does happen. It's not for everyone and am fortunate that nothing really bad happened. After I caught him we went on our ride. He did fine after that without any issues.
When we got back to the barn I put him in my " no bucking" program. Chances are good it will never happen again but, horses, all of em, have the ability to buck. We do all we can as trainers to never let a horse buck, but there are times when you have to let a horse buck so the horse will know it's not that great a thing. That's what my bucking program is designed to do. Some of the best horses I have ever owned I got, because they were bucking their owners off. Those same horses were on their way to the killers. If I didn't get them fixed they had no future.
I don't blame the horse for bucking, it's not his fault. But now I know. We, the horse and I, will ride out again today. I will let you know how it all goes.
Front of the barn.
Kathy and I have been waiting till we got a little closer to Aug 1st, to let all of you know about our big adventure. But first you should probably hear the story about how this all came about.
This pasted January, while we were in Tucson Az at the rodeo, where Kathy was selling her art and the Cowboy Man Bar, One of my students, who live there, took us around to a few barns in the area to see if we could drum up any training business. This barn, Harmony Boarding Stables, was a barn that Jan, my student, use to be in. She introduced us to Leslie, the owner of the barn, and we talked about coming back in the summer and putting on some sort of demonstration for the barn. Well time when by and I was just about to call Leslie to set something up when, Leslie calls me. She wanted to know if we would be interested in moving our training program to Tucson, and wanted to know if we would be interested in leasing her barn?
We have made a few trips to Tucson to see the barn and meet with some of the boarders. We love the area and the barn, so we decided it would be good for our program and would put both me, and Kathy, in front of a lot of people, and we hope that we will be able to help them with their horses.
Looking thru the barn.
The barn it self will hold 20 horses and we are hoping that we can get another 10 horses outside. It has a couple of round pens for training as well as a nice arena and turnout area. We will be living above the barn, which I think is very cool.
Some folks have been asking if I will be coming back to this area to work with horses and do clinics. The answer is yes. I already have a horse scheduled to come to Tucson from Silver City New Mexico for training. It's only about a 4 hour drive from here to Tucson, so not really that far. We want to invite all of you to come see us in Tucson. We take control of the barn Aug 1st.
Kathy and I are very excited about the future with the barn. I will continue to write my blog on the adventures there and what we are doing and learning.
If you come to my website to read this blog, www.mackieredd.com you will notice that as of today, I am putting up information on the barn..
Last Friday my buddy Mark and I, finally made it to some of the burn area of the Silver fire up above Kingston New Mexico. We have been trying for almost a month and this time, we finally made it. We trailered to the top of Emery Pass and unloaded the horses there. We took the trail that goes to Swayer Peak. There was a rope across the trail that said, "trail closed due to fire damage". Well, we had been trying for so long to get to see this that we just went around the rope and sign. I'm not usually the kind of guy that disregards warning signs, but I did this time. The pictures here will give you and idea of the damage the fire did, but can't do it justice.
Anyway, we had just gotten started up the trail when we had to go around a fallen tree. As I was going around the tree I noticed, and so did the Gray, that the ground was very soft. I made it around ok. Then came Mark. His horse, Pete, found the ground to be very soft. The horse sunk to his front knees and was having a hard time getting up. Mark tried to encourage him to move forward but it wasn't happening. Mark stepped off his horse and led him back up to the trail. When I say led him back up, I mean UP! It was way steep.
Mark and Pete!
We continued on for a few more miles till we got to the first saddle on the trail and both decided that we had seen enough. We tought that if it came a rain, it could get really ugly fast. We made it back to the truck with out any trouble but it was a slippery ride.
My advice? If you see a trail in the National Forest that says closed? Do your self a favor and stay in the truck. Those folks that put those signs up know what there're talking about.
It will take time for the forest to come back, but when it does it will be magnificent. I just got an email this morning while I am typing this, that they will be flying planes to reseed the forest the next few days. That's good news.
The Gray horse goes home the end of this week and I will be making the big move to Arizona after that. I will talk more about that tomorrow.
But now Coffee.
After posting the blog yesterday on hobbles, a friend of mine posted to the blog and asked this question: morning Mackie! can you dwell a little bit on the purpose of getting a horse used to hobbles, and why you use them at specific times, like after a ride...
You all need to know and meet Patty Clayton. She is a wonderful musician, who I have know for years and have had the honor to pick with her. http://www.pattyclayton.com/Home.html Check out her website and by her records. I promise you will love em.
On to answering her question. Hobbles are a great training tool to teach horses to stand still and wait for you. They typically used when a person is out in the back country and you want to give your horse a chance to graze a bit, but don't what to have to stand there while they do it. Hobbles allow a horse to move, if something was to try to come after them, but makes that process hard enough that they are easy to catch when you go to get them.
Another reason I teach all my horses and horses that come here for training is probably easier to explain if I tell you a story. I was working with a horse back in Kansas and was working with that horse at the owners house. I was going over everyday. The horse would see me up at the barn and would usually come running. He was thinking that there was food in it for him. This particular day when I got to the barn I noticed that the horse did not come up to the barn. I looked and could see, that he was standing in the far corner of the pasture he was in. Just standing there. He would look up toward the barn but would not move. We had been working on hobbling for the past couple of days. Anyway, I started out to see what was going on. When I reached the horse I could see why he had not come to the barn. His front feet were wrapped in wire that someone had left in that corner. I had no wire cutters so I had to go back to the truck and get them. When I got back he was still standing, waiting. I was able to cut the wire off his feet and we walked back to the barn together.
I have seen horses that have gotten caught in wire who fought. It's not a pretty sight, and some, you can never use again. It was his hobble training that taught him, if your feet ever get caught. just stand still. In his mind someone had snuck up on him and slipped them on. He knew to just stand and wait.
Hobbles teach a horse a lot of things, but this story taught me how important it is that all horses know, and understand this skill.
Another part of Patty's question was why I do it "after a ride". The reason I use them after a ride, in the beginning , when teaching this skill, is, after a ride the horse is wanting to stand still. They have been working on that ride and they are looking forward to the chance to just rest. When I apply the hobbles after a ride or a work out, they are more willing to stand in the hobbles without fighting them much. If they do fight the hobbles, and all of them will sooner or later, he figures standing still sounds like a good deal and it just makes it a little easier for them to accept the hobbles.
Great question. Keep em coming.
I tell ya, we don't see fog around here very much at all. This time of year the humidity is in the teens and in the winter it's in single digits. But, this morning we are covered up in fog. Reminds me of when I was a kid and lived in Northern California. Was foggy a lot of the time. Temp here this morning is 55. Pretty nice for summer.
Well the Gray will be heading home next week and I wanted to get a few more things done with him like hobbles. So, yesterday was his first day in hobbles. He stumbled when he tried to walk off but quickly realized that was not going to work. I watched him for about four hours and he did not move a step in that time. We will continue this after each ride for the rest of the time he is here. We did a little work in the arena before we put on the hobbles. Circles at a walk, trot and canter as well as following the rail, and his stop. His stop is really coming along. When I put my feet forward and take a deep seat he slams on the breaks. If you are sitting up at all you could end up over his neck, he is stopping so hard. That's a good thing.
Mark, my buddy and I, are planning to take the Gray to the mountains to check out the Silver Fire burn area on Friday. Guess that's tomorrow. As you know Mark and I have made a couple of attempts to get to the burn area but were not able to for a couple reasons. But, tomorrow looks like it could be the day.
Plans are still moving ahead for the Tucson migration. We are waiting for the hand that lives in the barn to get the rest of his belongings out so I can get in and paint and get it ready for me. Excited? Yes, but am sure going to miss the solitude here in the mornings.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.