Sunday, February 27, 2011

Road to the Horse

It was wonderful to be able to experience the "Road the the Horse" from your own living room. This year they offered a webcast for $29.99. The first day we had a few freezes and audio problems, but they worked them out and the last two days went smoothly. What an amazing opportunity to watch 3 successful trainers, with three distinct methods, with three very different horses. It was fantastic.

Some things that happened along the way. Pat was bucked off on day two. He said "he had green lights the whole time, then it switched to yellow then red really quickly." He wasn't hurt and continued on. For a time, Pat went into teaching mode which riled both the audience there and those watching on the webcast. Many felt he was being disrespectful to the other clinicians. He came out for his finale speaking from the heart and seeming a bit more humble. He did an amazing job on his horse "Partner" and he announced that he would be taking this horse home with him after the show. Pat welcomed people in attendance to follow their journey.

I wasn't sure who was working harder, Clinton or his horse. They both were wringing wet and panting. There was definite tension between Pat and Clinton. At one point Pat offered free passes to his Colt Starting classes to attendees of RTTH, Clinton said "if it good, you don't offer it for free." Later they argued over a rule in the finale that got pretty heated before Tootie Bland calmed them down. I think Clinton struggled with his horse. He just never seemed to get him soft and was fighting his bit hard throughout his finale. Clinton took off his bridle at the end and galloped full speed around the arena...it was a bit exhilarating to watch, but the horse almost jumped out of the arena twice. The crowd went wild for it. It was clear, the majority of people in the arena were rooting for him.

Chris Cox was rock solid the whole weekend. He had a really difficult horse (reminded me of my own!) She was sensitive and escalated quickly if confused. Today on the way into the arena, the horse panicked, and nearly ran over a crowd of people. You could tell Chris was upset by the way the wranglers were bringing horses into round pen, so he had them change tactics and do it as a herd thing. In his finale, Chris shined. He was soft with his hands and did an amazing job with her. He deserved to win, no question. video

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This Looks Good!

Buck,a film about Buck Brannaman, an official 2011 Sundance Film Festival selection. Looks like it is basically a documentary about his life. The trailer give you goose bumps. I love the clip from the trailer, "a horse is a mirror of yourself, and sometimes you don't like what you see in that reflection." It then shows him hugging a frustrated owner. That line always hits me. I remember feeling like such a failure right after buying Maddy. I thought I knew horses, but I had no idea. I left the barn in tears so many times the first couple months. Looking back, I know she felt the same. I pulled her away from the warm desert, asked her to be confined to a stall overnight, and asked her to do things she had never seen or done in her 4 years. Maddy and I were and are a reflection of ourselves, in her I was seeing my own failures, in her I see my own successes. I have heard of Buck, but don't know too much about him. After watching the trailer, he looks like somebody I should know. I am looking forward to seeing this film.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Porta-Grazer

Have you guys seen these? I went to a horse expo up in Washington over the weekend and stopped at the Porta-Grazer booth.
This is a genius idea. It basically is a simple barrel you put hay in then you add a a restrictor pan that has holes for the horse to eat. Why is that cool? It simulates natural grazing. As hay is pulled through the holes, sand and dirt fall to the bottom of the barrel and hay never comes in contact with bedding or manure. The horse stomach is designed to receive a constant supply of forage in a slow, continuous manner. This is perfect for that. If you want to soak your hay...now it is easy.

A couple more things to think about with this simple "barrel". You can take it with when you travel, your horse will be ready to ride at any time, and you eliminate boredom if your horse doesn't get turnout everyday. I just think this is such a brilliant idea, I had to pass it on. My barn owner bought one and she is testing it out. She plans to buy 6 more in Albany at the NW Horse Expo. She thinks she will save money in hay waste, it will keep barn cleaner, and she can fill it a little fuller if she has too work late and horses will have stuff to munch on all day long.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Absorbine Products

I got a really nice surprise in the mail from Absorbine. I was contacted through my blog to see if I wanted to try some of their new products. Yes! So they sent 3 things, the new Hooflex Natural Spray, the Hooflex Natural Dressing, and Flex+Max pellets. The one that I am really excited to try is the Natural Spray. It is a new way to apply hoof dressing, now in spray form. What I like about spray is the ingredients; tea tree, arnica, comfrey, and avocado oil. All things to promote healthy hoof growth and maintain moisture balance. I looked on SmartPak and it sells for $9.95...not too bad.

The Natural Hoof Dressing also has great ingredients and contains no petroleum. Vegetable oils, comfrey, arnica, and tea and avocado oils...all good stuff. It is supposed to naturally enhance hoof color, keep moisture balance, and help with healthy hoof growth. This product is applied the "old fashioned way"...with a brush. But they claim it is fast and easy to apply, so I will check it out. Sells for about $15-$20 on most sites.

The Flex+Max is a pelleted supplement with glucosamine and flax seed. A recent study claims 100% of horses ate 100% of the Flex+Max...so it must be tasty. It sells for about $50 on different sites.

So some good treats! Nice to see a horse household name, Absorbine, altering recipes to make their products better and thinking about application techniques to stay ahead of the market. Cool that I get to try it all out. Thanks Absorbine!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ansur CrossOver

I just finished a little promo video for the new "Ansur CrossOver." What I loved about this shoot...it was out at Forward Stride, the therapeutic riding barn I volunteer at. We used one of our favorite therapy horses, Sindar the Fjord and Amanda Garrison, our volunteer coordinator. Notice the buffalo...yes buffalo! There is a guy behind the facility that has tons of buffalo and believe it or not, his name is "Bill." Buffalo Bill. Ha ha! As you know, I love this hybrid saddle concept. I was told after this shoot, to order up another saddle that I earned it. I am so excited, but don't know what to get this time around, the "CrossOver" or the "Enduro." Hmmmm.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Judges Announced

They just announced the judges for the 2011 Road to the Horse Legends in Murfreesboro, Tennessee February 25-27. I have two friends going. I am so jealous. I am ordering the webcast and watching from home:-(.

Bill Enk
• Director of Judges for the National Reined Cow Horse Association, judging credentials with the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Association, and the American Quarter Horse Association

Cody Lambert
• Long family history with AQHA racehorses, Vice President of the PBR Board of Directors, PBR co-founder and a three time PBR World Finals qualifier, nine NFR qualifications, recipient of the PBR Ring of Honor award, event judge

Marian Buehler
• Board of Directors for the Texas Horse Park in Dallas, over 30 years experience studying natural training techniques and methods among several species, transitioned natural horsemanship techniques into the performance arena

Jack Brainard
• Director on the Board of the Equine Program at Texas A&M University Commerce, original director of the NRHA, a founder of the Stock Horse of Texas (SHOT), active judge and member of the AQHA

Dr. Robert Miller
• Equine veterinarian, world-renowned speaker and author on horse behavior and natural horsemanship, father of the revolutionary foal training technique known as "imprint training"

Bob Moorhouse
• General Manager of Pitchfork Land and Cattle Co. 1986 - 2007, leadership or advisory positions with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, the AQHA, the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, the Working Ranch Cowboys Association and the Ranch Horse of America Association.

"Road to the Horse judges are selected from every facet of the equine industry. While some have experience with ranch, rodeo and performance horses, others have experience with dressage, show jumping and western pleasure. Combined they create the ultimate judging panel to determine who will win the title, prestige and honor of being named the 2011 Road to the Horse Legends Champion!"

Monday, February 7, 2011

English meets Western....The Ansur CrossOver

I love, love, love this concept of an English meets Western. I think this will be the next big thing in tack. I am so fortunate to work with a company that is progressive in designing tack that is good for the horse as well as offer something fresh for the rider.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Diamond in the Rough

You know when you own two horse trailers for one horse, you have crossed over into the realm of "crazy horse person." If you look at the above 4 trailers, two of those happen to be mine. Before you judge, give me a chance to explain. I am trying to sell my slant load. It is a wonderful little trailer, but I have been wanting a straight load for safety reasons. So this weekend, I thought my slant was sold. Long story short, it wasn't. In the meantime I find a straight load that seems like a good fit. I go to look at it and it sits up on this hill surrounded by trees, covered in green slimy moss. It is not pretty, structurally sound. I think a good detail on it will do wonders. The lady sells it to me cheap...she just wants it gone. So I spent today changing the trailer from green to white with every brush and scrubby I own. I know there is a really nice trailer under there somewhere and 3 hours and a hundred trips up and down the ladder, it emerged.

I am taking it in for some restoration on the oxidized hitch and just an overall safety check. Everything looks straight and solid, but I like to be sure. The inside is sooo cool...can't wait to show it to you. It is a straight load with a passage way to the dressing room. It was very well designed, made by Trailers, USA in Florida.