Monday, May 31, 2010

The Finale

We were able to accomplish some more of the challenges and with my fearless husband as the photographer (why am I doing this? he asks) and my 4 year old daughter as assistant, Traveler and I were able to scratch a couple more things off our "to-do" list.

Traveler standing square - I have played with the idea of showing him in a halter class for fun - so he knew what to do to get a treat.

The Gate Challenge - opening

Ridin'on Thru -

Shutting it back up -

I had never done this before on Traveler - but he was so happy to be done with his lesson, he had no problem standing for me to open and shut the gate.

Pivot on the hind quarters - we have been working on this for years. Yes, I'm not kidding. It's very hard for Traveler to shift his weight back and pivot. We are getting pretty good at this - althought it's hard to keep those pesky hind legs still. We couldn't do the pivot on the forehand good enough without moving all our legs a little, so we will keep that item on our "to do" list. Perhaps in another 2 years, we will have accomplished it! There's always hope.

Here we are backing up 20 steps. He can do this. (Ha ha, he had better.)

Trotting 3 figure 8s. This was a great exercise and one I will keep doing! Good practice in supporting the rib cage around the corners, trotting straight for a couple of strides and then flexing and going the other way. I will definitely do this for a warm-up.

Self-Loading - Poor Traveler didn't have any idea what I wanted him to do at first. We have such a routine down for everything that this threw him off for a minute.

Pulling a sled - Traveler should be used to the sled. I used to put my 2 year old daughter on the sled during the winter and drag her around with me to feed the horses.

Trot along side at end of lead rope - halt square and back - this is something we occasionally practice in case I ever want to show him in a halter class. When I first got Traveler over 4 years ago, he used to rear-up every time I asked him to trot next to me. We've come a long way.....

(Ground) - Pivot on the hindquarters without touching them. We do this activity on the ground to help Traveler start thinking about working and to yield to me. He doesn't really like to do this at all - he wants to push out ahead of me and not stay behind my lead hand and pivot on his hind end. It's hard work!

Backing on the ground for 30 steps without touching - I worked with Traveler so I could "click" to him, tell him to back and then point my finger and he would back up. (He has to back-up, alot, since he is a stallion and always trying to encroach upon my space. He got really good at this.)

Introducing Traveler to a bicycle - I didn't entirely trust my daughter to pedal and steer right next to Traveler on the open path, so we did it around the round pen. She pedaled on the outside and I led Traveler next to her on the inside - and then she took off for the for destinattions unknown.

Finally - we end our May Challenge gallery with leading over a tarp.

That's it! Our work here is done. (At least for the night - it's 11:30pm, my time, and I am signing off on our May Challenge.)
Here's hoping June brings us some sun!

Curly J -says it's a great morning for a quick dip

Hello Again,

Before we started out on our  trail ride I walked Curly J through our pond (coming from Carolina that's what we'd call it) but since it has been dug out technically (in Texas) it is a tank. 
First, Curly J was a little timid. Can't say that I blame him 'cause the wisemen (our Llamas) were already enjoying the cool water. After a few clucks and a little encouragement we stepped in gingerly. Then the llamas were ready to give up the cool waters for the nice shady willow tree.
After a few more steps into the water Curly J began to really get a kick out of it. Literally, he started to prance in the water and pawed playfully.
This was a great suggestion 'cause you never known when you will need to cross water on a trail ride in Texas.

Angie and wet but happy Curly J

Texas Memorial Day Trail Ride with Curls and Wildflowers

Hello from North East Texas,
Video:  Texas Trail Ride with Curls and Wildflowers
 My friend Levi and I decided to take a trail ride from our ranch to the small community center in our area known as Warsaw. Our neighbor has 100 acres of beautiful forest so we had an awesome adventure with native wildflowers....and what better way to cool off in the Texas heat than a nice walk in through the woods.
On our five mile trail ride and we saw an old wooden structure that we decided was an old pig pen; because it wasn't big enough for livestock larger than a pig to fit in it.  It was strange to see it in what we thought we was the "middle of nowhere" but at one time it must have been somewhere to someone.
After a few more miles we took a break under a nice shady old oak tree. Chester and Curly J welcomed the chance to relax and munch a bit.
As the sun started to go down we realized it was time to head back. I cannot think of a better way to spend Memorial Day than in the saddle with a good horse and a good friend 
Happy Memorial Day to all my RAC friends,
Angie and Curly J

Curly J is learning to neck rein

Hello RAC friends,

Next on our list to learn is how to neck rein. Curly J is a very smart fella and picks it up easily. Once we get our neck reining fine tuned we can canter or lope while holding our flag. Wahoo{:> Angie

Curly J walks across a homemade bridge....Golden Curls Ranch

Hello All,
                                 Curly J walks across a homemade bridge....Golden Curls Ranch
We are learning more things every time we saddle up and Curly J is becoming an awesome trail horse and just to make such we can cross any bridge we come across we practice with our homemade one.... a 3/4" plywood.

American Flag and American Curly - Memorial Day 2010

Hello Curly Friends,

Curly J and I decided today, May 31, 2010, Memorial Day, was a perfect day to ride with our American Flag. Angie