I think it was Monday, a nice over cast day I saddled up a paint horse and we hit the desert.
He was super thrilled about having to go at first but once we got to the desert he did really well. I put it in over drive and he just went. We hit some uncharted desert this time through some gates and almost all the way to the main road the connects my "town" to Apache Junction. We did some gratuitous fence checking for the owners (leasers) and had I actually had tools with me, I would have even stopped to fix a spot which someone had cut.
The weather was gorgeous, he was feeling good and we pretty much loped or trotted the entire ride. We went 12 miles, which I felt was pretty good since we had not been out there. It was an uneventful ride but I did get a few cool pics.
A few days later one of my boarders CW, sent me a text and asked if I wanted to do a trail ride with her. So on Thursday we went out again. This time I took Killian and Sassy. She was on her horse Cody I don't have any pics of this ride but I can tell you that her Walking horse lives up to his name. He really moves out and Killian was doing his best Eyore imitation. Sassy chose this trip to pick random stopping moments, which dang near ripped my arm out of my socket. I finally had CW get behind her and smack her on the butt. After that she kept up just fine.
I really enjoy CW's attitude about riding. She is just a little bit older than me, and her theory is that if her horse says, "I can't" she is bound and determined to show him that he can. Her horse is pretty gosh darn broke. We didn't ride too far because I didn't want to over do Sassy. She is doing pretty well right now, and I want to keep it that way.
However, we have decided that next week we are going to trailer up to Payson and ride the Mogollon rim. I will take Trax for this I think. Trax moves out better so we will be able to keep up.
Today was another big day for us. The place where I bought Melody was having sorting practice and I decided to go. I didn't get to Friday night, and I have really been wanting to try Trax on it. I have not had Melly in a trailer since I brought her home and she banged herself up loading.
Yesterday I loaded Trax, and then asked her to load. It took some doing but she finally went. I wish I could get her to back out. She is so long in the body and insists on trying to turn around, which gets her kind of stuck, so then she vaults herself out of the trailer. I finally removed my rear tack, and collapsed it completely and loading became a dream. Unloading is still like launching a potato out of a canon!
This morning we headed out early and I was pretty nervous. I shouldn't have been it all went fine, but I tend to get nervous on the way to new events.
Once we got there I warmed up Trax first and was a little surprised at how mellow he was. It took very little to get that nice easy lope out of him, and I was really happy with how he felt under me. Then I warmed up Melly who of course just needed to limber up those old bones.
I watched a few rounds of sorting and then gave it a shot. These cows were really fresh, and wicked fast. Melly did great inspite of me and it was nice to have someone shouting out pointers as we worked. I learned a lot about proper gate position and heard a lot of "Drop your hands! Let her do her job" My biggest problem is that I still am a little heavy in the hands, and need to use more leg and less hand. I did get better as we went.
It was a little disheartening to sort with a 9 year old boy who totally out rode me. Of course I did learn later that the horse he was riding was his dad's competition horse, but still the kid was good. I mean really good.
I did about 4 rounds on Mel, and then decided to get Trax. I loped him around a little and then asked if I could do a round really slowly on him. Another gal joined up with me and gave me some guidance while we slowly pulled cows out of the batch. Trax stayed calm and with each cow I asked for just a little bit more from him. By the last cow, he was getting right with it, and doing great.
In the time I have been working with Trax I have been trying to get him to move his feet with a little more "purpose" behind it. However without having cows to work, all he knew was that I was just pushing and pulling him around. Today I gave him a reason to move his feet with quickness and he actually responded.
He cut left and he cut right, keeping his hind end in place and although it was only once, it was progress and I was super happy.
I gave him a break and then we did another round. He did pretty good gave me another nice cutting move and then about half way through he fell apart. He got a little too hot and instead of stopping when I needed he ran through the gate after the cows, and I knew I had lost him. I did get him stopped and asked the gal to wait a minute while I got control of him again, and I did sort of, but it was never as good as it was in the beginning. We finished the run and then I took him back to the arena and loped him back to me mentally and we worked on stopping again. He finally gave me a gorgeous stop so I got off and loosened his cinch. I was pretty happy with my boy.
I did two more rounds on Melly, the first one was good, the last one was horrid, but it was all me. I was hot and feeling a little dizzy and decided to call it a day. Here is me and my "team". I am excited to keep on this path with these two. I think if I take it slow with Trax he will actually be quite good at this, but I can see where teaching him not to leave me mentally just because he is having to work hard is going to be vital. However, I think that if I can accomplish that it will be huge in the bigger picture for Trax.
I got some good advice, and I have things I know I need to work on when ever I have a chance to work the slow cows here close to home.
I have one other thing I want to show you all. Its a saddle that I have been working on. I bought it at a yard sale, I knew when I bought it that it was not a high quality saddle, but I had someone looking for something like it so I went ahead and purchased it. Then I got home to tell her and found out that she had purchased another saddle from someone else.
Here is the before pic
I wish I had a close up of the conchos, they are like silver painted plastic and the whole saddle was sprayed with a clear spray paint.
I spent a good amount of time trying to get that clear coat off so I could oil it, but once I did that I could never get a good even color on it. So I ended up having to add some color, and I also took off all the cheapo bling and added some good stuff.
I am not in love with how it turned out, however, I put it on FB for sale when it was done and have someone who says she loves it and is going to buy it next week. Here are the after pics.
I have one last thing to show you, just because you can never have enough cuteness. We have kittens here now, from the cat who used to live next door but now lives with us. The dark one is a calico her name is Ellie, and she will go to live next door. The solid Orange one is Tank, and I want to keep him. He reminds me of Mason sometimes. The Orange and white one is named Go Go, and he is going to live with BEC. His name is Go Go because he is quite the explorer. He was the first leave the closet where they were born, and the first to climb the barricade. They are so much fun, and I live for early morning kitten play time. They live in the saddle shop now, and I love having them out there. So I leave you with Kitten Cuteness.