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!

 

Blessing of the Animals-2012

October 6th, Pie and I (with Kate!) attended the third annual Blessing of the Animals at Park Place Christian Church. This is the third year for Kate attending and the second time for Pie. Many will remember last year, Pie actually went into the sanctuary, surrounded by people and dogs. She did exceptional! This year, we were asked to do the same. Pie clip clopped over the tile floor onto the sanctuary again this year, stepped on her stool and proceeded to entertain everyone with her exhuberent attitude..:)

I spoke abit about the ponies, the island and Misty..Pie got to perform afew of her tricks too.

The fact Pie can walk into a building, that was not made for such a large animal to get thru, always amazes me…she is such a trusting, easy going pony..I also think she enjoys being the center of attention too..

 

A reminder!

Pie will be, again, representing the Chincoteague Pony breed during the Texoma Horse Expo in Wichita Falls. Make plans to come out and see us! We will have an informational booth and will be doing a riding demo during the Parade of Breeds starting at noon on October 20th. We will be joined by the Gypsy Horse, Frieisans, Arabians, Peruvian Paso, Tennessee Walking Horse, Mo. Foxtrotter (and Foxtrotter pony!).

Please come by and see us!

Come Take a Ride With Pie!

I  made this video the other when I rode Pie, to be able to share how cool it is to ride this fabulous pony..enjoy!

And of course, Pie had a nice roll in the dirt post bath..

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

Trail Ponies

One of the neat things about Chincoteague ponies, pretty much across the breed, is their pleasant, easy going demenor and their surefootedness on the trail.

Lately, we’ve been hitting the trails around our house…

Riding the pastures..

Beebe and Casey next to one of the HUGE piles of grubbed mesquite trees in our pasture.

Checking out the stock pond (which has water in it!!!)

Riding the path along the irrigation ditch

Of course, we can also encorporate competitive trail obstacles into our arena time..this is Pie practicing her “log drag”..an obstacle we may see at competitive trail events or stock horse competitions..she did pretty good!

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!

Pie in the Bosal

One thing I have been aiming for, with training Pie, is taking the “traditional” path that many a reined cowhorse takes in their journey to becoming fully “broke”. Let me say, I have never brought a horse along like this, but I love the tradition behind it and heard such accolades about the process, I figured Pie would be as good as any horse to bring down this traditional path, progressing from snaffle, to bosal, to “two rein” and then to curb bit..

A bosal is not a bitless bridle..nor is it like many of the mechanical hackamores or even a sidepull.

They all function differently….

(above, a bosal and mecate, from Al Dunnings website)

(above a Jim Warner Hackamore..which encorporates a curb chain)

(above, a bitless bridle)

(above, Pie in a sidepull)

The bosal actually can trace it’s roots to the Spanish Moor’s, and was brought to America by Spain. For years, the Bosal was used pretty exclusively west of the Rocky Mountains and therefore was sometimes called the “california” style or “Vaquero”..for the spanish “cowboys” who employed this method of creating “bridle horses”.

The idea behind the progression of snaffle to bosal was

1. the snaffle teaches lateral flexion well..the bosal builds on that and starts teaching vertical flexion.

2. around the time a bosal was used, (3-4 years old), a young horse’s teeth were errupting, therefore carrying a bit could be uncomfortable.

3. the mecate, usually made of prickly horsehair, starts teaching the basics of neckreining.

(above, a bosal, mecate and hanger, made by Steve Guitron)

interestingly, the vaqueros actually started horses in a piece of equipment similar to a rope halter or sidepull, then the bosal..they progressively worked down to a smaller bosal and encorporated the spade bit the horse would evetually be ridden in..(this is where “two rein” comes in…the horse is ridden in a bosal AND a bit). When the english came to America, they brought with them the snaffle bit, and thus, the vaqueros encorporated the snaffle into their program. 🙂

A spade bit, while it looks monsterous to some, is actually only ment to be used on an older, well prepared horse with a FEATHER light touch. Riding a horse in a spade is akin to riding in a cadillac with power steering. Not every horse can “pack” a spade bit either. a traditionaly trained spade horse is the final step in this type of training..not every horse gets to this point..but the ones that do can akin their knowledge to having their PhD.

(above, Les Vogt on a finished bridle horse, complete with rein chains and Romel reins)

I bought a Bosal (bow-sal) and Mecate (Me-Ca-Tay) back in december and Ive been dieing to try it on Pie. This weekend, I finally got the chance..Although I havent gotten a traditional “hanger”, a browband headstall worked fine..and Pie did  really well.

The bosal is ridden abit differently then a snaffle, as you can lightly “bump” the bosal for a different cue, adding pressure to the horse’s nose and also using the knot under their chin(and why its totally different then a bitless, sidepull or hack). Gradually, the pressure is decreased as the horse starts to understand what the bosal means, while the rider continues to encorporate their seat and leg cues.

Pie really seemed relaxed and happy in the bosal..she kept wanting to stretch down into it and was very easy going and quiet..We will continue working on it, the first few rides are simply the horse getting used to the cues..but she is catching on quickly…I am excited to see how she progresses in this and the difference in her when she is moved into a curb bit evetually versus a horse that did not have time in the bosal. This type of training requires patience and time..but the benefits and rewards are great.

Below is a short video of her riding around abit in the bosal..

Robo Cow

Today, Pie and Beebe had a spring break adventure! We were invited by a friend of ours to go out to a local barn that trains cutting horses and introduce them to the “Pro Cutter”..aka Mechanical Cow..aka “Robo Cow”. 🙂

A mechanical cow is a training tool used by cutting and cowhorse trainers. It is a large stuffed cow, on a pulley system of sorts, that  is controled thru a handheld controler. the stuffed cow moves back and forth based on the buttons pushed on the controler. The benefits of working a horse on the pro cutter is that you can work on specific issues the horse may be having, as you control the “cow”..(something you cannot do with a real cow!) sometimes, the stuffed cow is replaced with a “Flag” (a piece of material) too.

the Pro Cutter Website

After the intial shock both Pie and Beebe had over seeing that stuffed cow ZING back and forth, both ponies gradually settled..Beebe was the bravest and thus earned a gold star today. Casey rode her very well..keeping her nose tilted abit into the pro cutter in proper form

Pie put in some good turns for me..watched the cow well (probably making sure it didnt try to eat her!)..it was a great experience for her…she put in a really nice stop at the end too..

It was definantly a unique experience for all of us and will greatly help in the ponies’ training for cattle events. Its always a great day when progress is made!

 

 

Nom Nom Nom

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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