Monday, September 7, 2009

Mouthy Mondays

Hey guys,

I just had an email from a regular. She sent me a story weeks ago and I seem to have lost it. If you think I forgot you or lost one of your stories, well first, I apologise and second, please resend your horse tales, I love these things and would hate to miss one because I'm a rotten "keeper of the tales."

This comes from Sandhills and Mustangs...
http://sandhillermustangs.blogspot.com

Humbling Moments


Woke up early this morning thinking about the people who influenced my life.

I don't particularly know why I woke up that way, but I did.

You see ever since I can remember horses have been a part of my life. I was riding a close family friend’s horse at three years of age, and started lessons a short time after that.

I remember all the people who influenced me, it started with Don, then Cliff, Shannon, Cece, Kathy, my mom, my grandfather, Amy, and of course Brenda.

But who started this whole Mustang thing, who was the one that made me fall in love with the mustangs. I’d have to say Cece was the one who introduced me to mustangs and my grandfather was the one to blame for giving me mustangs.

It’s been eight years since Legend came into my life; he was a scraggly little mustang with knobby knees and a head to big for his body. But he grew, and today he is a state champion, my leading man, the horse I couldn’t live without.

I remember the first time I rode him, the rush of adrenaline and how happy I was to finally have a horse of my own. Over the years he’d teach me a thing or two, and because of him today I have a good head on my shoulders, and I know a thing or two about breaking horses.

From the moment Legend came to the ranch there has been strong criticism of him. I was once told that he’d never make anything. I would always smile at the commentator and listen, knowing that one day I’d prove them wrong, we’d prove them wrong.

You see this is Quarter Horse Country; Mustangs aren’t as easily accepted here. It took me a long time to get accepted; in fact some days I can still feel the tension when I walk into the feed store.

I stood on the hill this evening with my hand in Legend’s mane, the other horses grazing peacefully around me, Legend watched with me the as the blue turned to pink, pink to orange, and orange to black and remembered where I had come from as he snorted and put his head down to graze.

My heart strings tugged as I remembered the ones who started my horse career, and I believe that without these humbling moments we rise to high on our pedestals and forget where we have come from, forget who we are, and forget that often times our ego can get in the way.

I wish for every horse owner in this town, in this state, in the country, to realize that in fact a horse is a horse, papered or not, it doesn’t matter who his daddy was, he’ll be what he’ll be, you can’t force the issue.

I kissed Legend goodnight, walked home and ate, the whole time remembering Don's horse, he was an Arabian, no a Quarter horse, sorrel with a big blaze, sweet as pie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

12 comments:

gtyyup said...

"I wish for every horse owner in this town, in this state, in the country, to realize that in fact a horse is a horse, papered or not, it doesn’t matter who his daddy was, he’ll be what he’ll be, you can’t force the issue."

This is an excellent statement you've made...all horses need to be respected for being horses. I live in the middle of Wild Horse country and most ranchers would prefer to shoot them as to ride them...very frustrating.

Nicely written story~~

Shanster said...

Yes - it's really fun to remember those who have touched us and the horses who we can't live without! Lovely!

Whywudyabreedit said...

Well said! I am getting my rescue of unknown origin started under saddle this summer. Still not sure what direction will be the best for him, maybe trail trials. But I sure do expect him to develop into a well trained and decent looking animal.

Thanks for taking the time to write!

Sandhills' Mustangs said...

AH thanks for posting it! I was reading it when I realized gee I wrote that, I forogt I even submitted it. Thanks!

gtyyup: it is sad that they would rather shoot the wild horses then ride them. Ive been riding mine for a few years now and hes the smartest horse Ive ever seen, he goes out of his way to keep me out of trouble, even if there isnt trouble! Like the judge standing in the middle of the ring, he swears they are out to get him!

Jayke said...

Lovely story, short and sweet!
If only more people were like you, into the horse business for the sake of the horse, not the money or the titles.
But then. if that were true, I'd never have my little gelding that I got for cheap because he 'would never amount to anything', little do they know that he's accomplished the Houdini level of escape artists, every horse is good at something!

Looking forward to the next entry.

Ponyice said...

A friend of mine is competing in the Extreme Mustang Makeover this year and I went to the BLM with her to pick up her mustang. I have grown so fond of him, he is just awesome. He was a sight at pick up but has turned into a nice looking boy with his training and his personality. Men love him and oogle over him, he is so strong and powerful looking.

Candy'sGirl said...

I have a friend with a colt in the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge too. The colt he's got turned out to be the kindest, gentlest horse I've met in some time.

I don't understand why people are so stuck on *a* breed as being the best thing since sliced bread. Yes, I love Arabs, but I also see the merits in other breeds. However, I have an Arab in QH country and constantly am asked why on earth I have him. Occasionally I lose my temper and respond with, "My horse can complete a 50mi endurance ride, a dressage test, jump a course or hold his own in every speed class you've got. What does yours do?"

Sandhills' Mustangs said...

Ive had a couple diffrent breeds of horses, but the mustang will always hold a special place in my heart. When I went to school at the university I worked at a major Arab barn, I brought along my mustnag and boarded him there. The snobby show girls would always laugh at my mustang horse with the percheron head and the quarter horse body, but one day a lady who does endurance rides with her arab invited me out to ride 20 miles with her and was pleasntly surprised that my horse could keep up with her $10,000 horse, a few months later after her other horse passed away she brought home a three year old mustang, she absolutely loves him! Anyway what im getting to is that all it took for me was one experiance with the mustangs and I was hooked, its just to bad more people dont just try mustangs.
I have been thinking about entering the mustang makeover, maybe next year, right now Im looking for a mini so I can do nursing home visits, I think that would be just awesome!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I'm off topic here, but I wanted to update on the colt I asked for assistance with, theone with the respect problem.

Thanks mugs for confirming what I thought I should do, but was unsure about. I took your advice and made him really work. I had to result to the plastic bag at the end of the longing whip to get him going. I didn't want to do that, but there was no other way than to beat the beejeezes out of him and I didn't want to beat him. The plastic bag worked. We longed left and right and over three poles on the ground, got him working in the walk and trot and if he got snotty or ignored or tried to eat grass he thought he was going to die with my response :). I also turned him loads. I worked him until he stopped trying to put his head down all the time and would just stand there and I would stare at his hindquarters until he turned to look at me.

I walked up then with the whip with bag behind me, eyes adverted and would stroke his forehead or his neck. Asked him to move out again with the hand and voice command, and when he didn't move, he thought he was going to die again with my response. I didn't have to touch him with the whip. The bag was enough.

After doing this a while, and he would stand still, I then started to sack him out with the plastic bag/whip as you suggested, so he knows its me doing it and not the bag. It went well, and I'm pleased so far with the progress we made. I had to wait due to the weather, but finally was able to work him yesterday and we have a stretch of good weather now so can do this daily.

About treats and that debate, my trainer brought me up never to use treats, especially with stallions. Always feed apples and carrots to them in their bucket or by throwing it on the ground, and NEVER let them crowd you. I have problems that the damn neighbors are always going to the pastures and feeding by hand, I have to keep the stallions close to the house in order that I can monitor that and keep them off. And, there's one mare all the kids think is beautiful and they buy those apple treats and secretly feed her them. I hate it, and this mare is high-strung a bit and forgetful of her training, you have to constantly watch out with her. I've tried signs and so on, and we are surrounded by little country houses, no way to stop this.

In my experience, as we have had outside mares here to breed to our stallions and have to handle them, horses given treats are generally spoiled rotten and expect a treat for every little thing they do. I had a lady try to pick up her mare after breeding, the mare was a psycological mess and couldn't settle down for the breeding. When the lady came she couldn't get the mare into the trailer and so I took over, as soon as I got the mare in that silly woman ran into the trailer and stuffed a ton of treats into the horses mouth, we weren't even finished with the loading, the mare bolted out backwards, got hung under the bar in the back and was pulling on the lead line I'd just tied, thank goodness I tie saftey knots and got her released, but we still had to work with the horse and the bar.

Point being, the mare figures, she'll bolt backwards out of the trailer and be a pain in the ass to get loaded again so she can get a treat!

Nightmare. I hate treats, horses don't need them to be trained properly, and probably very few people know how to use treats appropriately. IMHO!

Anyway, thanks Mugs for the advice, I'm sure with this colt I'll have more questions and need advice along the way, this one will take a while but I'm sure he'll be a good horse if I can just keep at it and work on it right.

HorseOfCourse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HorseOfCourse said...

You know to me (and I am sure to many others outside US) mustangs has a kind of magical ring to their name. In a way they represent the essence of large herds of horses, roaming wild over open country side.
A heritage from the wild west.
A romantic view, I am sure, but still.

It makes me sad when other people look down on a horse owner because the horse is of a specific breed.
What is important is that the horse and the owner enjoy each other's company.
I was touched today because it is the 7th year anniversary of a horse owner I know. She started out with a difficult mare straight from riding school as a 14 yo. She has persisted through the difficulties and they have kept the horse even if money has not been abundant. They are now competing successfully and her horse looks so good.
I am so happy for her. It is so nice to see that all work finally pays off.

Anonymous said...

Oh the shots thing - pressure/pain reponse works really well. Rather then tapping just put hard constant pressure on the spot for 10-15 seconds, then slide the needle in under the point where your thumb is. The pressure recptors have all fired off and it basically deadens the spot - a lot more effectively than the tap tap method. I'm also a fan of blocking the horses view if the horse is known to be needle shy.
My main experience in working with needle shy horses has been with OTTB's that had a thing against men... and all our vets were male... oh and she was 17hh... she would move away until she got to the wall/fence then stand a shake if she saw the needle/syringe coming. If we could keep it out of sight she would do the standard "strange male alert" and flinch slightly when it went in... Her treat was to go back out into the paddock away from the scary vet man with the pokey things.

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