By Patty Wilber
Despite the fact that I truly enjoy training horses for the intrinsic rewards, I do like to win stuff when I show.
This past weekend, at the New Mexico Buckskin Horse Association Ranch Horse Show, LT proceeded to get top marks in Boxing (won Open, tied for best score in show), Ranch Cutting, Working Cow and Reining (for the last three: won open and had best score in show).
We got big trophies!
Lori went, too, and she rode Penny. They won the non-pro novice American Stock Horse pleasure pattern!
LT and I had a small issue in trail. My rope flew off my saddle at the lope and LT, being such a great fan of ropes, gave a jump and a big side eye as I pulled her to a stop. So, despite my very game effort to add an increased level of difficulty to the pattern, we did not place.
We also were only 3rd and 4th in Open Ranch Riding and Stock Horse pleasure (out of 6 or so). There is that pesky bit of walking involved in those patterns. LT generally prefers to occupy our walking time by anticipating the next gait and trying to implement that, ASAP, while also checking out everything that may or may not be happening outside the arena. Meanwhile, I am reduced to muttering “easy” and trying to keep her looking straight ahead while attempting to make it appear as though I am doing nothing beyond having a very pleasurable ride on the ranch. Ha! We are good as soon as we can long trot!
It was a really beautiful day and lots of fun!
In other news, the feral mare, Onyx is catchable, leading, picking up her feet (not well enough to be trimmed, yet) and TRAILER LOADING!
I learned from the last mustang, Slim, that I needed to teach her to load into the trailer on her own and not by having her follow me in. Slim would come into the trailer with me (halterless, even), but he also would panic if I tried to exit without him. No very useful if one needs to load up and actually go.
Day 1 of trailer loading, she put one foot in and scared herself so I took her to the bridge and we walked over that (which she found pretty easy) and then practiced standing in front of the trailer.
Day 2 of trailer loading, we worked the bridge first and then came to the trailer. She stood in front of it and with not much urging, jumped in. A little too fast for my liking, but she was very calm in there. On her second try, it was a much more poised entrance.
Day 3 of trailer loading: Watch the video in which Mary Ann loads Onyx. Pretty cool for a horse that just last month could not be touched!
Along with the trailer loading, at feeding times, Onyx has stopped hiding in the corner and is moving all around her pen (which I have to walk though to feed the others), gathering up any scraps I have dropped.
She is pretty shy horse, so it is fun to see her coming out of her shell.
She will go back to Walkin N Circles rescue next weekend, where she will continue to be worked with by the dedicated volunteers! Of course, she is also available for adoption.