Monday, September 14, 2009

Mouthy Mondays

I owe an apology to fyyahchild. She sent me this post many, many moons ago and I even remember reading it. I somehow didn't post it. Please, please, if I did this to anybody else resend your story with a reminder.

I have some kick butt news. I found a stable 2 blocks from my job. It has good sized pens and sheds, the place was clean, the water tubs full and scrubbed and the food program was great.
There is a gorgeous, huge outdoor arena, a good sized indoor and access to lots of trails. The city park has another good public arena and is across the street.

I had no idea how much I was missing a well disked professional level arena. I almost started to cry. I am not a cryer either. The BO must think I'm a bozo.

I'm glad I've been forced to ride the trails for the last year, but I also know I'm not happy unless I'm training on something. Now I'm in a position to get back to it. I think I've learned the value of hitting the trails though, trail riding will definitely stay in my program.

I move on the first. My boss is fine with me taking a long lunch, so I'll be riding every day. Yip!

So I think my life is starting to progress in a positive direction. Little by little I'm sorting this out. You guys on the blog are an incredible help.

Hear's fyyahchild -

It was late in the evening after a week of rainy weather. I was trying to get Tax to relax, relax, relax. He was hot after being stalled through the worst parts of the rain. I wanted to burn off the worst of his attitude and Tax just wanted to run and buck.

As the light began to dim I abandoned the arena and took him out to the field next to our barn to see if I could get a nice trot before we ended the day.

As we came up along the fence line for the first time the neighbor tossed a bag of empty soda cans right out their front door. Talk about timing.

Tax of course decided that was as good of an excuse as he was going to get and took off. He got a couple of strides sideways before I stopped him. Mad about stopping he shot backwards and threatened to start bucking when I pushed him forward. I gave him a big smack across the back of his neck. He finally stopped and we both sat there frustrated while he craned his neck to stare at the house and whirled his ears waiting for the roar of the horse eating soda cans once more.

I got him going around again and of course the next time we came close to the fence I could feel him starting to tense. I knew another blow up was coming, but I remembered something Mugs had discussed in a post. She talked about distracting a horse to keep their attention off the scary thing just beyond the fence. Ha ha…I was going to try an experiment.

I wrapped my hand around the saddle horn (did I mention I love my western saddle for after rainy weeks) and started shaking it, shifting my weight back and forth. Suddenly Tax’s ears flipped back around. He was trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. Maybe this would work!

The second I felt his attention start to shift away again I decided to sing. I’d been listening to Hank Williams, Jr. in the truck on the way out to the barn. So shaking and belting out Family Tradition at the top of my lungs around the turn along the fence line we went. And Tax focused on me and didn’t throw the tantrum I’d felt brewing. When he relaxed I stopped moving and rode as quiet as a mouse. His stride lengthened. His head dropped and I felt his steps lighten as his back rounded. This was what I’d been waiting for since I’d hopped in the saddle.

Pushing my luck I went around the field again. Any time I felt him tense up and get ready to spook I’d start shaking and singing as loudly as I could.

“I have loved some ladies, and I have loved Jim Beam. And they both tried to kill me in 1973.” He seemed slightly disconcerted by the singing shaking thing on his back, but it sure did get his mind off acting up. Then we’d go back to a nice, quiet working trot.

I must have gone around that field 4 times alternating between sitting quietly when Tax was good and spontaneously bursting into to shaking fits of song.

“Don’t ask me, Hank, why do you drink, and why do you roll smoke? Why must you live out them songs that you wrote?”

Then I looked up to see the neighbor standing on her porch shaking herself with a fit of laughter. I smiled my biggest smile and waved like a crazy person and slunk back to my own barn.


  1. Six Texas Rangers (Hi-ho, hi-ho) rode in the sun (Hi-ho, hi-ho); Six men of justice rode into an ambush, and dead were all but one.
    One lone survivor (Hi-yo, hi-yo) lay on the trail (Hi-yo, hi-yo); Found there by Tonto, the brave Injun Tonto, he lived to tell the tale.

    (Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away! Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away!)

    His wounds quickly mended (Hi-yo, hi-yo) and then in the night (Hi-yo, hi-yo), Six graves were put there to hide from the outlaws that one had lived to fight.

    He chose silver bullets (Hi-yo, hi-yo) the sign of his name (Hi-yo, hi-yo); A mask to disguise him, a great silver stallion, and thus began his fame.

    (Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away! Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away! THE LONE RANGER IS HIS NAME!)

    LOL....this is my song of choice when I'm riding. I also use it when I am plowing snow in the winter on my *hi-hos* get progressively louder....

    *Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast*....ROF.....
    Good story

  2. I re-emailed you.. I sent mine around May.. but maybe its not Mugwump worthy?

    great story... My song of choice is "cowgirls dont cry", because I am bound to hit the dirt sometime, so I gotta keep that song in my mind.. lol

  3. OMG! I am laughing outloud at work right now visualizing this!

  4. badges- I print them all. If you took the time to share then it's worth putting up.

  5. but my grammer sucks, spelling sucks etc... lol.. Did I spell grammer right? omg

  6. This one's hysterical! Love it!

    Glad you found a good barn, Mugs :)

  7. Yo-ho, Yo-ho, a pirate's life for me.....

    There is no way to be completely nervous when singing this song. Anytime I'm riding and I think things are going to go sideways, I either sing or hum this song. I stay calm, the horse stays calms, and everyone's a lot happier. :)

  8. fyyachild... good for you! Success is so sweet.

    I like to have the radio on when I am riding in the arena with the super scary horse eating cutting dummy (stuffed cow on a pulley system). Everytime the boy starts to tense and get stupid, I look way out ahead and just sing along with the radio... hopefully some day he will get over his irrational fear of that stupid stuffed animal!

  9. Mugs that's awesome news. Wish I could ride during lunchtime.

    I also sing when my horse gets nervous. Apart from distracting the horse it also forces you to breathe which is always a good thing. Most of my repertoire is in Afrikaans so I can't share but I do on occasion do a Cat Stevens rendition!

  10. What do you do with a drunken sailor
    What do you do with a drunken sailor
    What do you do with a drunken sailor
    Ear-lie in the morning?

    Shave his belly with a rusty razor...

    and so on.

    This song is guaranteed to induce rhymic trot and good behavior, and it can last for MILES! (you can substitute "naughty pony" for "drunken sailor" if it seems appropriate...)

    Great post, fyyahchild!

  11. Cool, cool, cool! Great idea! I can picture you realizing the neighbor was laughing at you ;}

  12. Loved this post, fyyahchild! I'm partial to nursery rhymes myself, the louder, the better!

    Mugs--fantastic!! You've had a great attitude about training on trails and making where you are work....but good footing? Yummy.

  13. How awesome for you, Mugs! I am so happy in the new place we've just moved to - I have been seriously tempted to write a thank-you card to the barn owner because she feeds lots of nice hay to my horses.

    I LOVED that story! Hilarious.

    I sing to calm the horse down more than to distract her - helps us find a rhythm. My songs of choice are old camp songs. Very rhythmical, often very silly.

  14. HAHAHAHAHA! Loved this! :) I haven't been caught singing (yet) er... tortoring my poor boy but I could so see myself doing this. Great story!

  15. er tortoring = torturing that is...

    I forgot to say congrats on the new place mugs! That sounds fantastic for you. Sometimes things have a funny way of working out. :)

  16. Yay for new barns! I move on Saturday. My favorite parts being the lighted covered arena (with amazing footing) and access to the jumping arena and H/J trainer who manages the place.

    Anyone experienced with cubes or pellets instead of hay as a full time feed? They just switched from pellets to a high quality cubed feed. All of the horses look very healthy and happy but I have no experience with this kind of feed.

    Thanks for the compliments on the story everyone. Much appreciated.

  17. "I like to have the radio on when I am riding in the arena"

    kel, thats what I do too! I hook up my ipod and my horse gets subjected to my VERY ecclectic (sp??) taste in music. From Classical, to jazz, to oldies, to 80's to rap etc etc. I try not to sing to loud as I would be mortified if any of the nieghbours heard my off key
    My THEME songs for riding my horse are #1. Cowgirls dont cry and #2. the eye of the tiger. lol

  18. Congrats mugs on your new barn!! Lunchtime just got a whole lot better!

    I'm looking for that perfect new stable too. Think I found it and hope it works out as well as yours!

    Loved the story by the way, I don't want to think about how many embarrassing moments I have on my horses....let alone who witnessed them!!!!

  19. I love it, that was an awesome story.

    Glad you found a new barn sounds like your going to have lots and lots of fun. Sounds like a new batch of stories are headed our way!!!

  20. Love it! What a great story - I could totally see it in my mind!

  21. mugs, Great news!!! I wondered how long it would take to get the training bug again. Are you going back to working cow? I know we all need a break sometime, and once we get away from what we love, then we find out how much we really love what we used to do. Then we start missing it. Glad to see that you found it again! I'm almost there myself. good for you and can't wait to hear what you'll be training on. How is your young one doing? Brenda

  22. brenda- I left the training business because my body was breaking down. I have never considered myself as having quit working cowhorse,just horse training.Economics have dictated every move since.

    Here's my favorite song to sing to my horses....
    "Dang me,
    Dang me,
    oughtta get a rop and hang me,
    high from the highest treeeeee....
    Woman won't you weep for me!
    Doo doo de doo de doo do do.

  23. Yipee for the new barn mugs!

    Great story! Whenever I was introducing Oliver to something new, be it the saddle, a rider, or trails, I would unintentionally start humming as a way to calm both him and myself, usually it was some form of old country song, but I did spend a whole day once plodding down the trails just belting out Sharon, Louis, and Bram tunes.

    Glad I was in the middle of nowhere!

  24. Your new barn sounds great Mugs...glad to hear that it's feeling like things are smoothing out for you.

    Wonderful story fyyachild! Ya just do whatcha gotta do...even if everyone else thinks you're nuts!

  25. For reasons utterly unknown to me, the song that immediately comes out of my mouth while riding is Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols. It's got a really simple rhythm and it's the right speed, I guess.
    Cuz I, I want to beeeeee anarchy!
    Silly, huh?

  26. Mugs, I have some questions about two stallions I'm working. They've been in very slow going training (ie. very dragged out, ie. a bit each year) for a long time. I've now got more time on my hands and more motivation and have been starting to work them daily again. They know voice commands, have sloppy stops, can turn left and right a bit, and cannot go straight for the life of them. They are easy to work with and are fun, however they often have a problem with moving out, one will trot out just fine the other really has to be encouraged too much. The one too lazy to trot, I've taken to working with someone in the roundpen that drives him from the ground at the same time I give the voice command and lay the legs on. He's terribly unresponsive, and neither of them go forward well or fluidly. They are very green, but know their ground work well. Enjoy working and smile the whole damn time when they get a chance to, they enjoy it, however they are insecure with moving forward with a rider and I'm concerned about deadening them with overdoing leg cues and over driving them from the ground. I'd be thankful for your opinion or any advice you might have for this kind of situation. They should have been finished years ago.

    Another question I have, when do you start a horse with spurs?

  27. Love it! Will smile all day with that song in my head. :-)

  28. Anon - There are endless posts in my archives about getting your horse to move out. I start my horses on spurs when I forget to take them off. I'm serious.

  29. Wonderful story, fyyachild - I can just imagine your neighbour, LOL!

    And congratulations Mugs, sounds real super - both the place and having the possibility to ride during lunch. Luxurious!
    I had ice on the front screen on my car this morning...a very tangible sign that the summer is over *sigh*
    Can you send an indoor arena and some lunch riding over here, please?