Monday, April 26, 2010

Day trip to Hopkins

Joni, Tammy, and I took the "kids" to Hopkins Demonstration Forest. It is about 15 minutes away, so we thought it would be a good training trip to gear up for summer. I was working on trailering, Tammy worked on keeping her mare responsive, and Joni wanted to hit some water. We did all that and even managed to climb some stairs. Hopkins is a privately owned forest that is open to the public. In years past, lots of the trails were open to equestrians. This trip, we noticed more trails that are off limits to horses. I get bummed when I see these signs.We hit some trails outside of Hopkins and when all was said in done, we were in the saddle for about 3 hours. I was pretty happy with Maddy. She kept her cool in the trailer and came in and out calmly. My two weeks of intense work paid off. Below is a picture of Tammy and Joni enjoying a little break on "Lost Lane."

Friday, April 16, 2010


My friend Joni and I hit the trails for a quick ride on Wednesday. It was nice and sunny. In Oregon you have to take advantage of those types of days. Joni, or as I like to call her "Trailboss," is a human GPS. I am so envious of people that don't get lost out on that BLM land. I lose my bearings quickly, and can only explore on days I don't have to get to work just in case I get lost. Joni took me to a new area that I am trying to map out mentally. It helps to have her connect the dots. As a bonus, we found a pond with a shallow edge that Maddy could go splash in. She loves the water, Skye the big palomino, thinks it is going to swallow him whole.

Some day Skye will have the courage to go in. Joni is working hard on getting him used to water, so maybe by the end of summer he will splash in with Maddy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Walkabout Tour 2010 Redmond

I had a weekend away with the girls down in Redmond, Oregon enjoying the Clinton Anderson tour. This is my third time going to see the Aussie. I headed down Saturday morning, the girls were a day ahead of me, so they enjoyed a day of shopping in the lovely city of Bend followed by a night of wine and hot tubing. As I rolled in Saturday, I met my crew headed out for their lunch break....Joni was grinning ear to ear. She just won the grand prize ($800 value) "Fundamentals" program. High five! Guess who is going to borrow that:-)
I missed the morning session, but arrived in time to watch a ground work session with a beautiful, but pushy, dominant buckskin named "Leroy." I took away from this session that I should strive for a "higher grade" with Maddy. She does most of the things I ask, but does she do them enthusiastically or the speed I want...sometimes, but not always. So I am going to raise the bar. I need to raise my expectations and get my horse out of kindergarten.

After that Clinton rode Diez, his quarter horse gelding. Diez looks like a body builder in the horse world, compact and muscle bound.

We stayed with Jim and Shoshana Buckendorf of Suite Escapes. They have a beautiful, jaw dropping property they rent out. We enjoyed the western themed decor, gorgeous copper accents, and big cozy rooms with fireplaces. It was so nice. I feel inspired to re-decorate after staying there. It was amazing.

We stayed up drinking wine and talking horses. We could have talked horses until dawn, but we had a clinic to get to! Sunday we watched advanced ground work, work under saddle, and trailer loading. When it was over, we went down to get our picture with Clinton. Of course, we had to torture our barn owner Tammy who couldn't come due to a agility dog trial. We got Clinton to sign a calender that says "Tammy, Where were you?" Clinton. He was happy to play along. He is signing her calender in the photo below. We missed you Tammy, but Clinton promised to return to Oregon on his next tour.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Save the Mounted Patrol

Nine horses in Portland may be out of a job. The Portland Police Bureau is looking at $3 million dollars in budget cuts and the Mounted Patrol is on the chopping block. The unit costs a mere $570,000 a year. Not bad in the realm of public safety.

They are responsible for crowd control, public relations, and downtown patrols. They average about 150 arrests a month and they have a huge presence at downtown protests. In Portland, you know we have lots of those! The Mounted Patrol is solely responsible for moving crowds in these big events. It is pretty amazing to watch. The horses even wear face masks so they are not subject to the pepper spray.

I know they do a lot of dressage training and recently had Ken Mcnabb in for some instruction. They really are a great group of people and I think it would be a huge loss to the city of Portland to have their unit dissolved.

The Friends of the Mounted Patrol has a Facebook page...if you would like to join and support them.