2012 Texoma Horse Expo-Breed Alley

Its that time of year again! This past Saturday, October 20th, Pie and I attended the THIRD annual Breed Alley during the Texoma Horse Expo in our “hometown” of Wichita Falls, Texas. This event, if you are a new follower of our blog, is an event that I organize each year thru the area horse committee in conjunction with the expo. The goal of Breed Alley is to introduce folks in our area to the “lesser known” breeds that live in our area, which is traditionaly Paint Horse and American Quarter Horse Country.

Each year we learn abit and improve. This year, breeds represented in the alley included Chincoteague Pony, Gypsy Horses, Tennessee Walking Horse, Arabian, Missouri Foxtrotter, Foxtrotter Pony,Peruvian Paso, and Freisians.

Each breed is alocated booth space, a stall and also gets time in the arena to showcase their breed’s unique attributes.

Pie enjoys going to this venue, but, without fail, each year, by Saturday evening, she is ready to go home. I think it takes every ounce of self control to stay clean and confined to a stall all weekend. 🙂

We arrived Friday afternoon to set up, get Pie settled and work her. She worked well..one thing I can always count on is her not being goofy in new places..that is why I love her so much. After, I got her settled in her stall and got to work on the booth. I think this was our best design yet!

Then outside for some graze time for Pie mental wellness.

We also caught up with our friend, Michele, who runs Underdog Ranch, a new horse rescue in our area. Kate, the worlds first painting border collie, was donating a painting for the rescue to sell. We had photo ops, shopped thru Underdog Ranch’s used tack sale (’cause you never can have to much tack!), fed Pie and headed home.

Saturday went extremly well..everyone’s demos in the arena went well and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Pie did some nice things during her exhibition and , as always, loved getting on her stool. A Professional photographer got some AWESOME pics of us!

 

 

 

 

 

A Video of our demo!

And the expo participants

We then, as last year, got our picture taken with the horse expo banner..Fletcher came with me on Saturday and of course, had to be in the picture. It took about 20 tries to get the perfect picture..trying to get a Border Collie to stay put and Pie to put her ears up proved to be quite the task!!! 🙂

As always, I enjoy tremendously talking with folks about Pie and the Chincoteague Pony breed. Ive said, it is wonderful to see folks walk up, read the info and slowly a smile starts to spread across their face..you can tell they remember the book..THIS is a pony from their childhood, standing before them, real. 🙂 Pie never ceases to amaze me in how adaptable and amicable she is. She is so incrediably special.

Saturday evening, we headed home..and Pie was finally able to get dirty again..:)

Another expo in the books! til next year of course! 🙂 Thank you to everyone who brought their wonderful horses, came out to see the alley, came to the expo, offered support and help..you are appreciated more then you know!

 

Texas-Oklahoma Fair Trail Clinic

Yes, we are still kicking down here in Texas! It has been hot..and DRY..although not as hot as last year..but I have discovered, me personally, I am not “good” with heat anymore. The rides Pie and I have done have been early in the morning!

On September 12th, I trailered both Pie and Beebe up to our big Ag Center to participate in a Competitive Trail Clinic. I organized this clinic, with the help of a friend of mine Irene Sullivan, president of NCTHA (National Competitive Trail Horse Assoc.).

Some will remember we hosted the first NCTHA clinic back in April and had a GREAT time! This clinic, we had some new faces and some old faces..just what we like to see! The added bonus was, AQHA co-sponsered the clinic and sent us all sorts of GOODIES to give out!

Irene had some great new obstacles..outside of the normal slicker, mailbox and backing..we also had a “Cowboy curtain”, a teeter totter and a false gate! Each horse at the clinic made huge strides by the end and I think everyone went home with homework!

I did not ride..a friend of mine, Cryssy, rode Pie. Cryssy is a lifelong horsewoman, who is horseless at the moment. She rode Pie beautifuly and did a great job!

Some pictures!

*Casey & Beebe negotiate the “cowboy curtain”..yes those are pool noodles!

Casey and Beebe over the tarp

Friend of ours, Michele, and her wonderful gelding Charlie going over the “half teeter”

Pie and Cryssy “rocking” the full teeter! Could your horse do this?

Cryssy and Pie going thru the “false gate”..more noodles!!!

Casey and Beebe with their ribbon for being the youngest rider..other awards were given for most difficult horse, most persistant rider, best communication and best flying dismount! Yes, we have a good time!

Interested in learning more about Competitive Trail Riding? Some sites to check out!

NCTHA

Texas Trail Challenge

A Helping Hand-The Chincoteague Pony Rescue

A Chincoteague Pony Rescue you ask? these ponies sometimes need help you say? the answer is, unfortunantly yes. No horse breed is immune from neglect or from becoming a victim if their owner falls on bad times. This is where The Chincoteague Pony Rescue steps in to help.

Debbie Ober is the operator of the relatively new CPR and she has experienced no shortage of ponies who need help. Some have come direct from the feedlot and some have been surrenders. No matter their reason for needing help, CPR steps up.

Two of my favorite ponies at the rescue now, Breeze and Clipper

As a breed that is relatively small in number, its refreshing to see an organization that is out to help them. Debbie and her crew do a great job rehabbing and adopting out the ponies..who range from youngsters to older ponies, and all verifiable, chincoteague ponies, many with their actual registrations papers! They are ready and waiting for their new forever home.

They are always looking for donations and of course, if you have decided to add a chincoteague pony to your family, consider the ponies at CPR! Thank you Debbie for all that you do for the Chincoteague Ponies!

Chincoteague Pony Rescue

Competitive Trail Clinic

WE braved the windy, potentialy stormy day to participate in a Competitive Trail Clinic today, sponsered by National Competitive Trail Horse Assoc, our clinician was Irene Henry, NCTHA President and Supreme Trail Challenge champion in 2009.

Competitive Trail is ridden over marked trail, with various obstacles along the way. Each obstacle is judged too!

Chincoteague Ponies have been long used on the trail..their surefootedness and easy going demenor are extremly desirable.

Both Pie and Beebe really did well..both of their big “shake ups” occured with the log drag..but after some patient encouragment, they both made big improvements. We also worked on some sidepassing obstacles, mailboxes, backing obstacles, tarps and bridges. We all had a great time and this is something Id like to continue to do with Pie. We have lots of “homework”….

Pictures below of us in action (Thanks Cryssy, my photographer today!)

The Chincoteague Pony Drill Team

The chincoteague pony breed had a very big honor recently, where members of the Chincoteague Pony Drill Team were asked to present and perform at the American Youth Horse Symposium (AYHS)..but I am getting ahead of myself..

What is the Chincoteague Pony Drill team?

-A drill team is a group of riders (Ive even seen this done with dogs too!) who perform patterns and manuvers in unisom to music. Despite it looking “easy”, it takes long hours of practice and coordination to acheive a flawless performance.

The Chincoteague Pony Drill team is the only team in the world made entirely of Chincoteague ponies..one of a kind. Kendy Allen, who owned Misty II, created the drill team in 1996 and is still it’s coach. While the ponies and riders have changed thru the years, the concept has not.

The Chincoteague Pony Drill team has made numerous apperances at equine events..locally and nationally, including Equitana, The Washington International Horse Show, and even rode in the parade for the incoming Virginia governor.  While performing in their own right, they are also ambassadors of sorts for the Chincoteague Pony, showcasing the calm trainability this breed is famous for to the many fans who love them.

Most recently, the CPDT received a HUGE honor..as I said above, by being asked to perform at the American Youth Horse Symposium. The members representing the drill team and the chincoteague pony breed were Kerra Johnson with Misty’s Heart of the Storm, Devon Rowan with Teaguer, and Kenneth Allen with Chincoteague Cowboy.

They did the breed proud and the report was, the ponies themselves garnered much attention and praise from the symposium participants. Every person that is shown this breed CAN and WILL do anything that is asked of them, is wonderful press for the whole Chincoteague community..the old saying “the proof is in the pudding” rings true..one can talk or write all they want..its SEEING them actually do it that sticks in people’s minds!

Interested in having the Drill Team perform at an event? contact The Chincoteague Pony Centre.

Fun tid-bit…

Beebe, who lives with Pie at Coyote Creek Ranch, was on the original Chincoteague Pony Drill team at it’s inception..her daughter, Zebie, is now a member..

Zebie, daughter of Beebe, at the 2012 Delaware Horse Expo

Pie gives the chincoteague pony drill time a “high hoof” for the stellar exposure they are giving the breed and big kisses all the way from Texas..WELL DONE Chincoteague Pony Drill Team!

Life on the Ranch…

Lately, we’ve been getting RAIN! Praise the lord for this! After last year’s epic drought, any rain is a welcome sight..even if it makes riding impossible for abit.

I dont know if many of our followers know about the critters that share Coyote Creek Ranch with Pie..Ive touched on them in past posts..

Along with Pie, and fellow chincoteague pony, Beebe, we also have Quarter Horses..I used to ride just Quarter Horses before I got Pie and my husband still does…

We also have our small herd of cattle, our flock of dorper sheep and their guard dogs, the barn kitty and of course, the house dogs and border collies..more then just a horse ranch, we are a “allaround” ranch! leads to never a dull moment!

Wanna learn more? check out the ranch’s website!

www.coyotecreek.weebly.com

til next time!

Happy Fourth Birthday Pie!

Today, March 8th, Pie turns FOUR years old! It is still hard for me to beleive she is “only” 4 years old..and that I’ve had her for about 2 1/2 years now! She has definantly taken on a look of maturity..

I am also blessed daily to be able to share my life with this “hooved guardian angel”. 🙂

Normally, we do something fun for her birthday..today, the day dawned C O L D and windy..so no riding time tonight..Pie was OK with that..she got plenty of work moving our cattle this past weekend..and she got her birthday mash..YUM!

Nom Nom Nom

Drought Resistant cows, sheep and…ponies???

Well, mabey not 100% true..;)

We of course, here in Texas this past summer experienced one of our HOTTEST, DRIEST summers in history. We broke all sorts of records of consecuetive days over 100 degrees..100 days actually to be exact..ugh. The heat and lack of rain turned our pasture to dry crunchy grass and many folk’s hayfields to dirt. Cattle were being liquidated at a record pace..and horses were for sale left and right..”Out of hay” was a common sales pitch. 😦 Hay skyrocketed in price due to it’s scarcity..I myself made four trips east of our ranch to bring in roundbales for our animals on the place..as our hayfield, due to the heat..was not producing as it should.

During this time..I came to appreciate easy keepin’ animals..Our cows all have from Brahma blood in them..this gives them a greater heat tolerance then traditional Angus or Herford..(not to say they liked the heat..it took it’s toll, but I think they weathered better then some cattle).

My sheep are dorper..from South Africa and they shed..one of their notable qualities is they are also more heat tolerant then other breeds of sheep…they also are easy keepers, staying quite fat on very little actual hay and feed

I REALLY came to appreciate my wonderful chincoteague ponies too..they are smaller then our fullsize horses..and seem to get fat on air! There is an old saying “A Chincoteague pony can get fat on a cement slab.” and while not entirely true, it is based abit in a notable quality these ponies seem to have of simply being able to process food very well and maintain their weight well on little..

Beebe definantly hasnt missed a meal!

Obviously with ponies like this..its important to make sure they are getting what they need, vitamin wise. Their hay, the basis of every horse’s diet (or it should be!) is high quality, fertilized coastal hay. They have mineral blocks they have free access too, and they get alittle bit of feed morning and night..to keep them happy while  I am feeding everyone else…Id probably have a riot on my hands if they didnt get their tiny amount of horse pellets.

This winter both Pie and Beebe seem to have gotten abit more “fluffy”…weight wise (Pie moreso then Beebe) and are still on LESS then my quarter horses. It just amazes me how easy to keep these ponies are! Additionaly,  as Ive aged..Ive REALLY come to appreciate animals that are easy to care for! The ponies are just that.

As Pie doesnt seem to offended when someone makes a comment on how round she is..much more comfortable for me to be on bareback!

Practical Application of the Clicker

Many know that Pie has learned all her tricks utilizing the clicker. I’ve really found this method to make trick training FUN and encourage Pie to “think”.

What I come across alot of times though, is many people don’t realize the “practical” application that a clicker can be used for. Im not talking EVERYTHING needs to involve the clicker..but in certain circumstances, with certain horses, it can be benefical.

For example, Beezie Madden, who is an international show jumping competitior and rider of one of my favorite “famous” horses, Judgement, has utilized clicker training in a not so traditional way…by helping her horse overcome a fear of jumping liverpools!

an article mentioning Judgement’s success with the clicker

I always mention Beezie when folks ask about the clicker..if a Olympian can find a use for it, alot of folks probably could too!

Onto Pie and I’s experience! Being the weather is starting to warm up, Pie and I have put ourselves back into work, which means Pie’s slideplates have to go back on. Pie has always been alittle funny about having hind shoes put on..the hammering is the issue with her. I’ve taken some time to try and work with her on this..and while shes gotten better, this past time she was not particularly cooperative. Anytime Todd, our farrier tried to nail her plate on, she tried to jerk her foot away.:(

We got one plate on and then I decided to try utilizing the clicker for her other hoof. Anytime she stood quietly while Todd hammered, I clicked and treated. It worked! Pie stood stark still, did not try to jerk her hoof away and was extremly good. 🙂

This definantly covered something more then just “tricks” or even just “training”..this covered safety too!

You cannot win in a pulling match with a pony..the clicker allowed us to completly bypass the need to do that!

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