Monday, August 29, 2016

Influencing people

When I showed up at the barn to ride my mare and feed/clean and spend time with the horses the next day, guess who showed up too? Yep, owner/trainer hotshot and his sister/girlfriend/whatever she is. I'm not sure how or if they are related so I'm not passing judgement there. I was tacked up and riding my mare around the barn at this point and I have to say, my mare was doing really, really well. She has a beautiful fluid walk, she was soft in the bridle, bending around my legs when asked, fearless going thru water and mud, and simply all kinds of awesome with her bad self. Hotshot and the girl are sitting on the gator with barn owner. My friend K is also talking to BO and I keep hearing from her, "She rides english too. This is the first time I've seen this mare in western tack."

So fast forward to me completing my ride and untacking my mare. Her white polos brown with mud and hotshot & his friend having washed one mare and now they're going to get the bronc. I had turned both of mine out to roll and relax while I got their stalls & feed ready for them. And. It. All. Starts.


Not judging, but not impressed either, here. Hotshot has a lasso around the mares neck again as well as the halter and lead on her. The rope has been run up thru the washrack and wrapped around the bar several times. Ms. Mare is having ab-so-fricken-lute-ly NO part of the idea of her going in the wash rack. NONE.

The paint mare went to town sitting back on the rope, rearing, striking out, bouncing around each side of the washrack and making it clear to everyone she was NOT going in there again. At this point the girl looks hopeless, the mare is choking with the rope not letting up even when she's close enough for it to go slack and hotshot is quite visibly pissed. The mare has gone up and over the door on the washrack, crashing down on it in various ways with her struggle, as well and trying to go over a poorly placed wheelbarrow and shovel. Yeah because we all want extra stuff in our way when working with an explosive reacting horse, right???

Did I mention there were several other boarders had shown up at this point? Oh yeah. Probably 5-6 of them sitting on the barn porch watching tv and relaxing while their horses grazed in pasture turnout. They've all seen the crazy going on at the washrack and so far just determined the horse is nuts. Yeah that's gotta be it, right? The horse is the one to get blamed. Always.

Me being me, I asked if these two would like some help. The mare was clearly not going in the washrack and their methods weren't working on changing that. The girl looked desperate and she accepted my offer. I walked into the tackroom and got a lunge line. The mare was in such a state of frenzy that when I snapped the line on her halter it set her off again. I will admit that as I was getting out of her way, my rope got the best of me and took my foot out from under me, but luckily I was at a safe distance, the ground was fairly soft and I had no time to brace for the landing so I didn't get hurt. In the process of getting the ropes loose, the mare also went down. Her feet got away from her and she took a dive. Not once but twice.

When the mare calmed down for a minute I stepped up to her and started stroking her head and talking to her. The hotshot helped me get the lasso off her and then he disappeared. He basically tucked tail and ran! To his credit, while I had gone to get my lunge line, he did move the wheelbarrow, so props for that... I stood there talking to the mare, letting her relax and settle down. Once we were acquainted and everything settled down, I led the mare around a little and then headed to the washrack. She got pretty close before planting her feet and not wanting to budge. Fair enough. I rubbed her head and continued to talk to the mare as she relaxed, put her head down and started chewing. A few more tugs on the lead and the mare stepped closer.

With her front feet close to the washrack, the mare was still not sure she wanted to go in. I looped my line over the front rail and stepped around the side of the mare, trying to get behind her. From there I could 'push' her forward and still guide her into the washrack with my line. A little more coaxing and within a few minutes the mare stepped up and walked into the washrack as if she were a pro. The girl was all ready to shut the gate behind her but looked a little shocked when I told her not to. She was even more surprised when after a litle praise I said, now I want to take her out and do it again.

Say what? Yeah that's right, I'm going to take her out and do it again. The next time she was a little resistant but she gave in fairly quickly and walked in again. Again she was praised, backed out and put back in. The next time I backed her out, I walked her around a little and tried again. She walked in like a pro. Now I backed the mare out and told the girl it was her turn. "She'll do it for me, but I'm not her owner and I won't always be here." The girl took the line and walked the mare around, lined her up and walked her right in with no problems. We praised the mare and I had her do it again. She put the mare in and out of the washrack a few times with no issue.

As I was bringing my two in, I noticed hotshot had come out of hiding and came back around to supervise the mare getting a bath. I didn't tie her and she stood calmly and relaxed while the two of them hosed the mare down. The girl thanked me for the help. She appreciated it. That was nice of her. The guy didn't seem to be all that thrilled with me. It's ok. I'm not surprised and really don't care. It turns out he is supposedly a trainer. He rides bulls. Yeah, maybe he should stick with that....

As a side note, this mare has some pretty big rope burns over her poll, on the left side of her neck, swelling on her right shoulder and a puncture wound and swelling on her left leg below the knee. It will all heal, but more importantly, it all could have been avoided to begin with. Seriously.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Winning friends

We all know the saying, How to win friends and influence people..... yeah. Let's just say I'm killing it in that department.

After stepping in to hold the horse for the farrier, helping him get his job done and possibly stepping on some toes by offering, it seems like I have a knack for pissing people off lately. But the thing is, I'm not doing it intentionally. If they are getting butt hurt by this, can you imagine how much more pissed off and butt hurt they might be if I were trying? Yeah Baby! That's what I'm talkin about. lmao

Soooo here's the dish on things. I'm at the barn the other day and there's this paint horse in the wash rack. No big deal right? M'kay, well said horse is tied but then the owner/trainer or whatever we want to call him shows up with feed and apparently wormer. No big deal, right? Meh, so far.

Mr hotshot and his friend unload the feed and proceed over to the washrack to worm the horse. Honestly I have never seen a clusterfuck the likes of what was to come, in all my years with horses. Now in all fairness this guy is fairly young, so I might be kind enough to chalk it up to youth and ignorance. After yesterday I throw a healthy dose of ego into the mix and that explains a whole lot more.

The hotshot and friend go to worm the horse but first somehow and for whatever reason, they put a rope over the horses neck, wrapping it around the rail and tying it off. So the guy steps in and puts the wormer in the mares mouth and All. Hell. Breaks. Loose.

The mare sits back against the ropes, the lasso tightens up, she hits the door behind her, lunges up and forward going over the rail with both front legs. Now she's hung up with two legs on each side of the bar and a whole lotta tension on both ropes, one of them choking her. Her head was tucked up under her like a horse in Rolkur to give everyone the idea of her position. I thought she was going to somersault herself up and over the rail and personally she might have been better off if she had.

With the horse hung up, choking and not exactly 'feeling the love', one of the guys asks the other one if he has a blade to cut one of the ropes. The brilliant 'guest' says, "Give her the rest of the wormer before you worry about that." So the genius steps in and tries again. He shoves the tube in her mouth, gives her the rest of the wormer and we're set for round 2. The mare goes up and back, freeing herself of being halfway over the bar, but still choking because of the rope.

I'd seen enough and went back into the barn to clean my stalls and set out feed for my two. For everyome wondering WHY??? Why didn't you step in and help? Part of it is reading people. Not everyone wants or is open to help. A lot of us let our ego or emotion get in the way, closing our minds off to new ways of doing things. There IS a better way to do things.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Not what I intended

Since moving I have been using a new farrier. I have him do my mare because in all honesty I don't like to. She's a good girl and all that, but when working on her back feet she tends to pull them up under her. It's something she has always done for the past 12 years that I've owned her. When he uses a stand, she relaxes and leaves it up for him. So he's worked on her a few times and she's been a breeze to work on. The last time he was out, there were several horses to do and one of the mares was really giving him shit. She wouldn't hold still and wasn't cooperating very well at all. Her owner isn't exactly clueless, but he also didn't know what to do to straighten his horse out either.

I offered to help. I untied the mare and held her. She still didn't settle down so I grabbed her by the nose and twitched her by hand. That changed her tune in a hurry and she decided to behave like she should. Since I had a hold of her, I could release the pressure when she was good, or increase it as needed when she wasn't. She settled right down and the farrier was able to finish putting her shoes on without issue. He was quite pleased and I told him he does a good job on my horse but if he gets hurt under somebody elses horse, he can't come do mine.

Next up to be done that day was a yearling filly. I had been asked in advance to hold her so I knew this was coming. I love working with the babies. They might get a little freaked out, but a lot of times its just their curiosity getting the best of them. She did well enough being led over but when the farrier started to left a front leg, she got a bit squirrelly. I told the farrier to hold on a moment and I put the filly next to the rail so she had only two options. Forward past me or backwards over him and neither of those were allowed so she would be standing there snd getting her feet trimmed. With the rail on one side and the farrier and I on the other, she stood quietly and was trimmed without issue.

So fast forward to present. Before leaving for the road trip with the kids, I moved the horses to a new barn. Plenty of drama going on that I wasn't involved in, but having issues of my own with the barn owner, I was done with that shit. So we're at the new barn and my friend that lined everything up is getting shoes on her gelding. There's a group of women out there, fairly new to horses and they want this one mare trimmed. They are relatively clueless as one of them could NOT believe the farrier used NAILS to put the shoes on my friends gelding. As in Oh. My. Gawd. Did he just put a NAIL in that horses HOOF??? Um, yeeeaaahhh... that's how its done.

So they had a guy at the barn bring in a pair of mares. The one they wanted trimmed was brought into the round pen and left with the halter and lead on. The other mare the guy couldn't catch, but with a bucket of grain was able to entice her into the round pen too. As the farrier finished up the gelding and was ready to start on the mare I asked if he wanted me to hold her? "Yes, please." As if he was jumping at the chance hoping I would offer so he wouldn't have to ask.

So the guy that brought the mares in, came in the round pen to catch the mare. She didn't exactly know what was up but wasn't sure she wanted to be part of it. I caught her with little issue. The guy was going to hold her until the farrier stepped up and says "She's held horses for me before. She's got this one." I don't know if this bothered the guy or not, but he stepped back and let me have the lead.

Nobody knew much about the horse. Her age, if she'd been handled much before or anything else. The farrier got to work on her and although she gave a little resistance at first, she relaxed enough to let him do the front hoof. When he went for the back leg, she turned up the heat. She picked her foot up at first, then went dirty on him and started kicking. Not cool. I grabbed her nose to twitch her but she started backing up and wasn't letting up. He didn't want to push it so he figured he would do the other front hoof and call it good. I didn't agree but let him work on the front hoof while I sent my friend for a lead rope.

Finished with the front feet, I said, "Now let's get those back feet." I looped the rope around the back pastern and pulled the foot up. The mare resisted a little but soon gave in. I took the rope off and the farrier stepped around to trim the foot. The mare stood there and let him. Three down, one to go and we stepped around to the other side. Again I put the rope around her pastern and pulled to pick the foot up. Again she resisted a little and then gave in. The farrier had said something about Clinton Anderson. The thing is, I was doing this a loooong time ago in the arab show barns with the babies. I remember seeing CA do this on tv once and thinking- "well shit, that's nothing new." If anything it validated that what I was doing was along the right lines. Not that I needed it, but I think everyone understands.

So this group of women and even my friend are all standing there super impressed that the farrier was able to get the mare trimmed, I was able to difuse things and the mare had a good experience. Win!-Win! all the way around. Even the farrier was happy that it ended on a good note and the experience was a good one for the horse, but mostly I think he was glad he wasn't gettimg kicked at! I get it.

There's been plenty of other things my friend has seen and heard of that I've done. All with quick and good results. She's still in a bit of disbelief in some of them. One was changing the bit she's using and the differences it has made. One of these days I'll get her horse back into long lines and a snaffle bit. I think she's going to be surprised at what he can do when he's moving like he should.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Some good

Sometimes there is good to come out of what we generally consider bad things. I spent the last few days, taking my kids to Arizona to to comply with the court order. That is a bad thing. Those in the know of what all is going on have ALL had the same reaction. Da'Fuuuuuuq?????? I won't comment on that any further as there is still a lot of things to be resolved. Again, the ex is likely stalking me online and would try to use anything he can against me. Good for him.

So how can there be any good to come of this? Well there is.

For those of you who remember back to the days of FHotD, know I have always called things like I see them. Sometimes I shoot from the hip. You may also remember that Dena and I became friends. She told me once that to figure me out, she looked at my herd and what it had to say. She said that I always see the hope in things. I would say that is pretty damned accurate. With the horses, if they are no longer suitable for one thing? We'll just shift the focus, do something different and see how it goes. That's why there is some good to come out of this trip.

It's a long drive from Houston to Phoenix so I asked a friend of mine who moved to San Antonio, where he typically stops when they drive back and forth? He told me and it is a good mid-point to break things up. I'm posting from the hotel room on the way back, Yay WiFi! The girls and I stopped for a visit on the way thru and had lunch with him and his family. I will be stopping in on my way back thru as I borrowed some cd's from him because I forgot to pack mine for the miles when there is no radio reception between towns. Yay me!

I got to see my daughter, have lunch with her and hang out for a while. She still lives in AZ, is doing well and it was good to catch up on things.

I spent some time with my best friend and her husband. We don't always get to talk often, but it's all good. We grew up together and know each others' family well. We went for wings, because I was craving them and Houston does not have ANY Native New Yorker restaurants. BUMMER!!! and TNNY is still running their Tuesday night deal- $0.49 wings with the purchase of a drink, dine in only. Y'all are missin' out!!!

I was also able to pick up a load of alfalfa hay to bring back for my mare in getting her weight back up. She dropped weight in the trailer on the trip to Houston. She really hadn't been hauled much or moved around a lot since i bought her, so she didn't eat much and mainly she didn't drink either. Some horses do that and after years of hauling, I know that and watched her for any signs of distress. Then she paced when we got here so more weight came off. Alfalfa prices are crazy in Houston compared to Arizona, and all of the hay advertised comes from AZ anyways, so I filled the bed of the truck with what I could, threw a tarp on it and hit the road. I have hit rain off and on all the way back so far. My mare better apreciate this! lol

I was able to visit with one of the people who took in a horse when the mass exit happened as the kids and I moved out. We've been in touch ever since, but it's always nice getting a chnce to sit and talk about all the things going on in each others lives and hearing how the horses are doing. The biggest rockstar in all of this is Mondo. He's been working on 3 different ranches and competing in various rodeo events with the ranchers kids. The ranch owners sometimes fight over who gets to have him and when, but everyone is in agreement that he is a solid, all around, using horse. He is one horse that will not have any problem finding a home.

I was promised pic's of him soon and also that I will throw a leg over him one of these days too. Adding to that, he will be given back to me at some point as well, because that's the style and class this person has. Homes like that are what we all want for our horses. Although they have been offered a lot of money, by a lot of people, they are "A man of his word". Mondo is just not for sale. My heart is happy for him.