Baily Bonita and Kathy
Our Fridays are pretty busy around the barn. All the horses get turnout today. That means constantly watching the clock to insure they all get a chance to get out and kick up their heels if they like. They rarely do but, if they want they can.
Weekends here are busy with boarders coming to ride and visit. Is fun to see these folks with their horses. They all have difference circumstances. Some still have real jobs and are not able to get out to see their horse as much as they like, but will stop by after work on the way home. Others are retired and have more time to spend.
At home, Kathy will let Bonita out of her pen to wander the day around the house. She really seems to like that, and with the rain, there is lots of stuff to munch on.
I will be picking up a horse from Deming NM next week to bring back here to the barn. Will use him to teach Starr and Jeep my process of starting a colt. The horse I'm bringing has been ridden, a lot, so that's really not the problem, but he has never been in my program either. Jeep and Starr are both excited. I hope to use the horse as a student horse if he works out.
I have written about this subject before, but yesterday a situation came up that reminded me of it again, so lucky you, you get to hear it again.
Here at the barn we work with lots of horses. Right now we have about 23. We feed them, we make sure they have clean water and, we turn them out so they can kick around if they choose too. What that means is, we have 23 different personalities that we must contend with each day. The mistake that I think a lot of people make is, they think that they are all the same. It's true that they will act or react, pretty much the same way with the method that I use to train, but they are all different. Some are shy, some are nervous, some are easily scared. So when you turn out a horse catching them is not much of a problem. They are in a stall, our stalls are big compared to most, but it's still a stall and they don't have anywhere to get away. It's when it's time to bring them back to the stall that can be a problem. Our turnouts are pretty good size and a horse, if it what's to, can avoid being caught.
As I was saying early, we had a situation where a horse, when being turned out, pulled the lead rope away from the handler, Starr is her name, the handler that is. Not once but twice, and that was Starr trying to turn the horse loose in the turnout. Starr got a good rope burn on her hand, one of many to come I'm afraid, but she is ok. She was not sure what to do and asked me to help. I caught the horse, but it took a few minutes to get the horse to settle down so I could take the halter off of her without her bolting. We did and left the horse with her herd mates.
Later that day we had to catch the horse. Starr was determined to redeem herself. With a little coaching, by me, from the sidelines she was able to catch the horse and halter her. It took a little while to get that done because the horse was afraid, nervous, but Starr got it done.
Catching a horse is a skill that every horseman should know and every horse should be taught. It can be a hard lesson for the human to learn, the horse figures it out pretty quick.
You and I, as horse people, or if it's our goal, horseman, need to learn to listen to the horse. If we can learn to listen the horse will teach us more then we ever thought we could learn. It's learning how to listen that makes one a horseman.
Here is a picture of our donkey Bonita. She was given to us as a gift from Ted and Heidi. I want to bring her to the barn here in Tucson but not sure if I will be able to keep her in here. Right now she is very happy at home with the other boys, so we are in no hurry.
Things are still pretty warm around here and most of the afternoon is spent inside trying to avoid it. Mornings are cool and the evenings are starting to cool down when it's time to feed and clean. All of which is a good thing.
Have a few things to get done today. Have a light out in the barn that needs to get taken care of. I have a couple of the boarders who are here any where between 5 and 5:30 in the morning to ride their horses. When they get here it's still dark. They have not complained about it but I'm sure they would appreciate a little light at their end of the barn.
Starting to think about getting my horses in a program here at the barn. They have been standing around eating sense they got here and they could use the work. Need to make some plans to get that done as well.
But now coffee.
My little Girl!
Well, she went and did it. Our little girl, Natty, is now a married woman. I was blessed with the opportunity to walk my little girl down the trail to meet her husband.
Natty did all the planning for her wedding and it was wonderful. Sure she had lots of helping making it all come together but, she planned and made it all happen.
It gave Kathy and I a chance to meet Todd's, that's his name, Todd, family and get to know them.
I had the chance to spend just about a week with them, thanks in large part, to Jeep and Starr helping out here at the barn, and I can't thank them enough.
More pictures to come.
We had a nice rain last night. I was pickin with Jeep up here in the hut and the rain played on the tin roof of the hut. But, now it's time to get back to work. Have little things to do around the barn. I have a couple lights out in the barn and need to do some more cleaning. We should have hay delivered this Friday so, need to plan for that. Jeep says that it has started to cool down a bit and doing the chores in the morning and evening has been a bit more tolerable. So, that's good.
Sorry I have been away from the blog for a bit, but I had other pressing matters to attend to.
It's pretty quiet around here at 5 am. It's 82 degrees and suppose to get to 105 today. Got to 107 in the barn yesterday afternoon. Not much going on, even with the horses in this weather. Locals say we only have about another month of this, with some good days in there somewhere.
We have a couple of horses that have issues with sugar that occures naturally in the hay so, I have to soak their hay to leach off some of the sugar. Requires that I get up about an hour earlier then I would normally have to, so it can soak for an hour. I've never had to do that with any horses I have ever known in the past but I guess you need to in some cases.
The horse you see in the picture is a rescue horse. Her name is Zana. She looks pretty good here and is getting better and better as the days go on. She is being trained by a local trainer named Carol. They are trying to find a good home for her. She seems sweet and Carol is making good progress with her. She is an Egyptian Arab. If you think you may be interested in giving her a home or would be willing to share this with those you know, perhaps we can find her a place to live.
It's just been to hot to do anything with the ponies yet. The mornings start out ok, but by the time the sun peaks over the mountains you can feel the humidity climbing and it's time to find the shade.
Saturdays and Sundays are pretty busy around here with folks who have had to work all week and finally get a chance to be with their horses. Is fun to watch.
Picture Kathy took years ago!
Going to be another hot one here today. Not much you can do in this kind of heat with a horse. I don't like it, they don't like it. We spend most of the day shaded up. They say it's really nice here in the winter lol.
Had some folks stop by to check out the barn. They live just up the road from here and it would be a lot closer for the wife. Hope that happens. Then we would have the barn full.
Still doing a little cleaning up here and it's really starting to look nice. Will be able to do a lot more once the weather lets up and it cools down a bit..
Yesterday was 104 degrees here, and it's suppose to get at least that hot today.
Starr and I did get a chance to work with Sorros yesterday while we had a little cloud cover. Starr is learning where to be in relation to the horse while she is working with him. As you can see in the picture her body position is perfect in this shot.
It takes time to learn and understand why we do what we do, and why horses do what they do, all in an order to communicate with them. It does take time. But, the effort is way worth it when you see the horse respond to your body language just as he would if you were in his herd. Our load is lighter today so we are going to try and do a little work while it is sort of cool.
Things here at the barn are progressing. Got a little more paint on the walls in the HUT and will try to get that finished in the heat of the day today. I have some more panels to change out and we may try and get that done this morning as well, we'll see.
But first: you guessed it: Coffee
Jeep and I just finish moving some panels around to make a little more room for turnouts. We have 22 horses and some of them get turned out 5 days a week. That means we needed a little more room to get them out in the cool of the day. The picture above show the results from yesterdays work.
Off now to get some parts to fix a few things around the place. Then, get back here for more turnouts and do a little painting her on the Hut, my apartment.
Has been pretty hot here everyday so far, 103-105 temp. A little too hot to be doing much work in. I know why they have a siesta in this part of the world.
Round Pen Up!
Busy morning for me and Jeep. We put up the round pen and divided one of our turnouts to make two.
As most of you know, it gets pretty hot here by 10 am so I wanted to get it done before it got really, really hot. So that project is done. Have more pens to work on but that can happen in time.
Things here at the barn are going well. Boarders seem to be happy about the care that we are providing. I have forgotten a few things, but the boarders were kind and just gave me a reminder.
These folks really love their horses and love being around them. I have two boarders who are here every morning between 5 and 5:30 am to, either ride, or take their horse for a walk. Many of the boarder still have real jobs and just can't spend the time at the barn that they would like, and still others, battle health issues that make it tough to be here. It's nice to be around folks who are committed to their animals.
I have had two calls from NM, looking for me to help them with their horses. So, am hoping that they will be willing to bring them to me. I think that if folks get the chance to see me work and see the changes in the horses, they will feel more comfortable with me working for them. Time will tell.
To late for coffee.
Starr checking out her horse.
Well, it's almost been 2 week after taking over the barn here at Harmony Boarding Stables. I think that I, and Jeep and Starr, have found a rhythm to the daily work here, and it's working out pretty good.
Jeep and Starr had the chance to take care of the barn on their own the other day, while I went back to NM to get a round pen and some panels, and according to the boarders that I talk with, they did a great job. No surprise to me.
Starr, the girl trying to earn her spurs, wanted to ride this past Sunday but the morning was busy with others in the arena and round pen and then it got to hot in the afternoon. Then, we were both to tired when we finished work in the evening. So, this morning, after we finish chores, we are going to try and ride again.
Have been working on the apartment. Put some new cabinets in yesterday, during the heat of the day and, I have to say, they look pretty good.
It's taken me awhile to get use to this new schedule. Up at 4:30 am to start the day, makes for a very short night. Got to get that beauty rest. Have not had a chance to work with any horses, but did get a call yesterday from Wanda, the woman who brought over the Stallion, not Gary, who wants to bring me another horse. And, one call from T or C NM who wants to bring a horse in Sept. So it won't be long and I will have some horse work to do.
But now coffee.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.