Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Horse Tooth Fairy meets Lakota at the State Fair

Hello All,

While we were at the State Fair of Texas. A really neat horse person who is a equine dentist was out sharing information about the importance of dentistry for horses. 

I asked her if she had ever met a Curly Horse and she had a puzzled look on her face.  In all her 62 years of being around horses she had never heard of Curly Horses and American Curly Horses. So I quickly walked her over to meet Lakota. She was so impressed with his calm personality and of course his beautiful curls. She asked if she could look in his mouth and see his teeth and he was willing. She was very impressed with his conformation. She asked more about their history and I shared the fact that they all have Mustang origins and that we are working with Dr. Gus Cothran on research and genetic mapping. For example, Dr. Mitch Wilkinson explained to me earlier in the week that the blood and hair samples we sent to Dr. Gus showed the Black Rock East Mustangs (Sparky's herd) has no Arabian DNA. This may give more insight into our Curlies being closely related to the Mongolian horses.

Chester watched closely as she interacted with Lakota and I mentioned he was our Curly Stallion. She asked if she could meet him and look at his mouth. Interestingly, she noted he had no wolf teeth. 

I love sharing our Curlies with others, especially someone who is in the horse world. 

Angie and her smiling Lakota

Talking "Curlies!"

It has taken me several days to get this blog post done!! While I am entering this post on the last day of the mini-challenge, it actually took place over last weekend.

Twice a year there is a BIG multi-family yard sale that takes place at the home of one of our friends, whose house is on busy Route 202, a state highway. Well actually it has Rt. 202 out along the backside and then a quiet little road that does a loop off of Rt. 202 called Old Village Rd. is what their house actually sits on. It is the most perfect place to hold a yard sale because of the volume of traffic on Rt. 202! Plus, the people passing see the big sign,and the carefully placed items that catch their attention, and can quickly catch the end of Old Village Rd. to safely park!

I used this as an opportunity to wear my Curly apparel and talk about Curlies to any unsuspecting soul who might ask!! On Saturday I wore one of my RAC T-shirts, and only got to talk to a couple people about my horse briefly. But on Sunday, we weren't as busy. I wore a long sleeved T-shirt that I made for myself in 2008 after Dream won one of the CSI Horse of the Year Awards. Maybe it was because another friend there brought an old western saddle to sell, or maybe it was because the weather was suddenly colder and we weren't as busy, but I was actually approached by two people and asked about my horse, and "what IS a Curly?" One of the women has a horse now, but isn't real happy with it, so we had a long conversation. She will probably actually come to my farm at some point to meet Dream! I, wisely, actually had my camera with me, and got a picture taken for verification!! I'll also attach a close up shot of the shirt that I was wearing, so you will be able to read it.

It was a MOST successful yard sale, in more ways than one!

Golden Red gets a pedicure at Texas Horseshoeing School

Hello All,

We took our Curly Mustang mare, Copper D's Golden Red to our local horse shoeing school The owner John Burgin gives six week instructional classes to prospective Farriers. His programs are very well thought of and folks come from all over to become certified. The students were very impressed with Miss Golden Curly girl.

Golden Red was due for a pedicure. Here are a few photos of her.  

Another Month Gone

How time flies. We've been in the RAC now for a full 9 months. Sure doesn't feel like it!! I'm heading out with my Mom this afternoon so it will be my last September opportunity to sport my RAC gear. Then I need to update my logs! I'm surprisingly not that far behind.
Poor Linus has had a pretty miserable week. We've had SOO much rain. I wish we could export mud! And today we're under a rainfall warning there is so much of it expected. I think I will give him a break and put him in for the day. His feet won't know what to do on firm ground!! Putting him in is similar to puppy-proofing or baby-proofing. If he can reach it, he will get into it. The spot I normally put him is a wide open area with gates on one side of it. The pitchforks etc. usually lean up against those gates. When Linus is in not only does he knock them over, but he somehow manages to pull them in with him. He unplugs the radio, so we had to move that cord. He pulls his halter in with him off the hook, so I hang it somewhere else. And I have even caught him standing with both front feet in the bunk feeder. This one scares the crap out of me because I worry about him hurting himself.
If Saturday is dry enough we are going to hitch him, its been a few weeks. I am still waiting to try him driving with the Bitless! Sunday we are going to our last local Fair of the season. We are going to watch the heavy horse pull, the driving classes and the Minis. I should probably poke my head in on the Angus show too!! Next year we hope to have some there showing and maybe Linus too....we'll see about that one.
I took him out last Sunday and we practiced trotting on the lead. He took some getting used to it because more commonly I am behind him when we are out trotting while ground driving. He was a good boy. Then I hand grazed him just enjoying his company and the peace and quiet!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beautiful Fall Day!

What a beautiful Fall day we had in New Hampshire today! I shot out of work - and hit the trails with my riding buddy today. We went for a 2 1/2 hour ride - made it home just before dark.

I've been out of commission with my computer for a while - so it's been some time since I last posted.

(Not so little) Lakota High Socks was recently gelded - and is doing very well. He's been allowing me to get out riding with mom with little whinnying. We will be doing the real weaning soon (still working out the logistics). He's a confident little man.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Curlies and Family at the State Fair of Texas

My son, Andrew, spent the day with Chester and Lakota at I at the State Fair. Here is a photo of some of my favorite guys - Angie

Lakota and Chester at the State Fair of TEXAS

Hello all,
Here is our boys, Warrior Mead Berndt Lakota and Renegait Chesterfield at the State Fair of Texas. Robert M. Liner, owner of the Spirit of the Horse is introducing Golden Curlies, Lakota and Chester.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Elbe Hills Endurance Ride

So to give Traveler a break from jumping & dressage I decided to do something really fun.... ha ha ha.... as it turns out - and head off to an endurance race. I have done plenty of endurance races in the past and several flat land races on Traveler, so I was sure that we would go out, do some trotting, canter a little and finish up in the middle of the pack.

I paired up the my friend and vet on her Molly mule and we coined ourselves the "odd couple" - me on my Curly stallion and her on the little mule. And off we went - up the side of Mt. Rainer and back down for 25 miles. Literally, we climbed up muddy, goat trails littered with tree roots, rocks and logs and then switched-back our way down the mountain.

38 people started the 25 mile race and 23 people finished. 15 riders were either "unfit" to finish or they pulled themselves out of the race, it was so difficult. I am so proud to say that Traveler was one of the finishers. We came in at 17th and ended up with an "A-" overall score. My poor little Curly had never climbed so much in his life.

As for the 50 milers, 15 people started the race and 3 riders finished - that gives you the idea of how tough the Elbe Hills Challenge ride was, and it was a challenge.

Here we are at the vet check cooling down to get our heartrate down. He is growing his winter coat - so we needed lots and lots of water.

This picture was taken after we finished and passed the final vet check receiving a much better score than I imagined! Good job Traveler. I actually had tears in my eyes I was so proud of my boy. He has the heart to go and go and go and finish strong.

It was a beautiful, scenic ride with breath-taking views of Mt. Rainer. But I tell you, if I had known was lay ahead on the trail........
I told Traveler I wouldn't touch him for a couple of days, but then back in training we go. We are riding on an eventing team and going to do the "Hunter Pace" in two weeks at a new equestrian park in Cle Elum. Now, that will be fun!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Here Comes the Color!

Looking up at the sky from the back of my Curly! What a sight! Fall colors have arrived in Maine.
There is even a smattering of color among the birches at the point we enter the trails. What a beautiful day it is today, an unexpectedly hot day right at the beginning of the fall season. AhD and I meandered around some familiar trails, and my Lab Grace meandered right along with us.
Most of the sumac are already red.I thought this maple along the edge of the power line was especially pretty.
I tried bushwacking to a new trail my nephew made, but I almost got my handsome steed in trouble. We were winding our way about in the woods when we hit a marshy patch, and suddenly AhD was up to his knees in muck that had been hidden by some spongy moss. I could feel my heart racing as I tried to navigate him through this area, but AhD seemed unconcerned. I paused to assess, and he ate some ferns. So, I took a deep breath, and we made our way out of the mess. Once on the trail, I dismounted to tighten the cinch. AhD was so hot that steam was rising off of him like a cloud, and trails of milky sweat lined his front shoulders. We continued on, along the sun dappled trail.
We came to this steep hill.It doesn't look like much from this camera angle, but it is REALLY steep and rocky. It didn't bother AhD a bit. I leaned forward and grabbed a good handful of his short mane just in case, but I tried not to pull on it. You all know what Curly manes are like! Not too secure!
I hope you are all able to get out and enjoy your Curlies this fall, and I am looking forward to your posts.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Saddlebags for Linus!

Linus and I had an absolutely fantastic outing today!! We did our usual grooming start and cleaning out the hooves. All in his pasture. I said to my friend Fred the other day that I should tie him to do this stuff and his reply was along the lines of being lucky enough to do all this without having him tied. I guess as time flies you really take for granted the things you do with your own horse. I sure did. I brought my carrot stick over to show him and tried it on one of his quarter horses...she bolted. All I was doing was standing calmly beside her and started to flick the rope around her. She acted like she had been beaten by a stick or whip before. They have only had her for a month so it's possible. This has nothing to do with our fun day today though.
A friend of mine wanted some dried corn cobs to hang out for her birds but didn't know where to get any. I told her not to worry about it there was plenty around us. Especially up the trail I take Linus down. So, I decided to combine the corn picking with an outing for Linus since it has been longer than usual for us. Why carry the corn back when I have a horse?!?! I put the saddle on Linus and tightened the girth while he stood there like this was an every day event. I couldn't believe that part of it since it has been about 4 or 5 months since it has been on him. I stuffed a couple of feed bags in, rolled up a lunge line and tied it to the saddle and walked him off up the driveway. He was a very good boy. He has come so far with his manners while being led. He walks with his head at or below my shoulder most of the time now. As we turned up the trail though he got more and more excited because he just loves the two big open fields that are at the other end. I swapped the lead for the lunge line and away we went into the fields. He did some bucking and kicking and eventually we got to the second field. I didn't try to stop his play because that was half the reason for getting him out! I was a bit nervous about letting go of the line while I crossed a ditch to get the corn cobs. He ran to play a bit more and I sprinted back to make sure he didn't take off. But he just circled and came back close to where I was. So I hurried back over, got the corn and went back in the field where Linus was enjoying the grass. It was excellent for him since we haven't had the weather for a third cut to be taken off. He thoroughly enjoyed it!! I divided the corn up between 2 feed bags, knotted them and brought them over to show Linus. He was not too sure about them. I set them on the saddle and I'm not sure which part spooked them but off he went bucking and kicking. The corn bags fell off and Linus had a good gallop to the other end of the field. I moved the corn bags close to where we would exit the field and went off to bring Linus back. His head was buried in a big clover patch. I remembered a story I had been told about the importance of being able to run up to your horse without spooking it. I have done it a couple of times, but always in his pasture. I also practice jumping up and down all around him so that doesn't spook him. So I started to jog and kept jogging until I reached him. He didn't care. What a boy!
I picked up his line and we started back to the corn bags. I picked them up and he gave them a good sniff and sighed. I slung the bags over my shoulder and off we went. He kept trying to investigate them while I carried them. He was sniffing and nipping at them. But considering what they had previously contained, they probably smelled wonderful to him!! Finally, he grabbed my sleeve and stopped me. It was hilarious!! It was like he was saying "I'm the man, I'll do the carrying". So, I slowly put the bags on his saddle again and he didn't even blink at them. I swapped back to his lead rope and we headed back up the trail and home. It was the first time he had carried any weight on the saddle. It wasn't much weight, about a dozen or so cobs of corn. I was still nonetheless very impressed with my brave, young boy. He learned a lot and accepted a lot today but it didn't at all feel like a training session. I promised him we would return this weekend on the lunge line to enjoy the trail and fields some more. He loves it so much down there. I told him that one day we'd be riding down there and he could carry me!!

Saddlebags for Linus!

A very blurry picture but it was taken with me jogging towards him.

Acadia National Park Part III: Jordan Pond and Tumbledown

Is this a wicked cute face AhD is putting on, or what? Here is he standing just before we are going to pass between Jordan Pond (beyond him here) and Tumbledown Mountain.

And here is a photo of Tumbledown Mountain taken from the walking path around Jordan Pond, the area that you can see behind AhD in the first photo.
These two photos give you the idea of what it is actually like to pass through this area. On the one side, granite boulders seem as though they could "tumble down" on you at any given moment...

...and on the other side, well, you could always fall off the cliff and go down into Jordan Pond. But, now, of course we can't think about those things when we pass through here!! We have to keep our wits about us and amble along, refecting upon the incredible beauty it contains, and also admiring the skills of Rockefeller's engineers and crews who designed and built this road.
And to move on to the Day Mountain Summit views...
Here I am, loving on my wonderful Curly friend atop Day Mountain. These are evening views just before sunset, so not alot of color evident, but the ledge beside us (and that covers most of the summit) is pink, pink granite.
And, speaking of pink, catch a load of this, Harold! Woo-hoo, we made a color splash on this ride. Also, as you could see from the photos on my other Acadia posts, I wore my RAC shirts and/or hoodie on just about every ride except this one (I had to layer over my tee for warmth).
I hope you all enjoyed spending some time in Acadia National Park vicariously through me and AhD these past few days. I know I will be savoring these memories for a long, long time.

Trainer is getting Trained....

Trainer is getting Trained.... Our Curly Mustang, Sparky, is training me to be more patient and less fast in my movements. Levi, our trainer and excellent horseman is teaching me to read his body language and feel his thoughts. After a few minutes, I begin to feel Sparky's desire to communicate with me. But, first, I am trained to lose my fear and address him as he is a pure, honest being. He has emotions, fear, anger but most important the desire to be loved. Curly Mustangs are intelligent and intuitive horses. AG

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bridges and Views, Acadia Part II

Love the stonework on this bridge located on the Around Mountain trail.
AhD and I are backlit here, so in silouette, but this picture was taken from a friendly biker or hiker who had stopped to admire the view just as we had!
AHA! Evidence of a sweet fern snack. I took off his bridle just after this shot, to allow him easier chewing. The carriage roads are much wider than a typical Maine woods trail, so there was very little opportunity for my buddy to snatch food as he wants to do when we ride. Didn't hurt my feelings a bit not to have to keep an eye out for horse goodies every ten feet.
Taking a break to admire this waterfall.

We are up pretty high now and starting to get some really good views of the lakes and ocean.

The carriage roads wraps back on itself here as we move from Sargent Mountain to Parkman Mountain. I think AhD looks ESPECIALLY handsome in this picture. :) At the stables, a handful of people ACTUALLY RECOGNIZED HIS BREED. They would say to me, "Hey, is that a Curly???!!" They were so excited. Usually their friends would then say, "This is the first time I have ever seen one in person!" AhD was very well behaved and made good impressions with everyone. I was very proud of him. Also, speaking of great things about my Curly...he refused to urinate in his stall. Each morning, I would lead him out on the grounds to do his thing. HOW COOL IS THAT? I was hoping someone at Wildwood Stables would notice, so I could brag, but they didn't, so I am bragging to you. :) I think it's kind of like how proud you are when your toddler finally starts using the potty.

There's nothing like looking out over your horse's ears at God's creation. On the mountain side, the trees are fairly stunted and windblown at this height, and the ground was sparsely covered with moss and scrubby vegetation, and there were large patches of pink granite. But as I looked out over all that open glory on the downhill side...reverent is the word I will use to describe my feelings. These photos just give you an inkling of what it is actually like in person. I wish all of you to find your own beautiful spots like this in your neck of the woods.
In my next post, I will share a few pictures with you from the Tumbledown area on Jordan Pond.

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