Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Training Begins

Last night, on February fifth, 2013, I was sitting watching TV with my parents and I wanted to go outside and mess with the horses.  So I got up and asked if I could go down to the barn and start training with our mini ponies, Elvis Presley and Jonny Cash. Mom said I could but she decided to come and help. 

This is Jonny (red) and Elvis (black).
This is Elvis Presley just after we brought him home.  He is so cute!

When we got to the barn we got the ponies out and lunged them for about five minutes.  Then we tied them up and brushed their whole body to get them used to all the different bushes... They liked THAT part!  Then, Mom and I went out into the barnyard and started the real training with me just leaning over their backs.  Once they were used to that, I started swinging my leg over and resting it on their backs.  Now came the scary part! Mom held Elvis first and I got up (down really) and sat on his back only getting off if he stopped moving.  Surprisingly he was very good, so we decided to take it to the next level.  WALKING!!  I was really scared!! At first he didn't want to go but then he took a few steps and decided to stop, so I got off to reward him for the good behavior.  Once I was back on, mom led him several steps, then turned around and he went into a little buck.  I rode it and then slipped to one side, but I landed on my feet. Eventually, Mom was able to lead Elvis in a circle or two without any bad behavior, so we moved on to Jonny.

This is Jonny Cash!  Like the names!?

Jonny has always been a little on the rambunctious side so I was a little afraid of what he might do.  But to my great pleasure, he is a little smaller than Elvis so he was not able to buck or rear!  The only thing he could do to try and get me off was when ever we turned he would speed up and do a sharper turn, but none of these could get me off.  Then, when he realized he couldn't get me off, he decided to try and get Mom! When ever we walked off he would try to bite Mom's hand and/or the lead rope. Silly pony! Eventually both ponies gave up and were obedient.

Elvis and Jonny in their pen.

 The next step in their training was the saddle blanket and saddle. First we took both ponies, one with Mom and one with me, and desensitized  them with the blanket. Then, they had to walk around with it on their back, on their head, and, since they were so little, from their ears to their hindquarters.  Next came the saddle. Neither of them cared, since it only weighs a couple pounds.  Once they could walk around with the cinch slightly tied around their bellies we stopped and let them go back into their pen.  We are definitely going to continue training with the ponies. Soon we will be letting little kids ride them around at our petting zoos!

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Wooly Suprise!

About a month ago my dad told me that we were going to get some new sheep, and that he and mom would be going to look at them that Saturday.  I was super exited about the sheep, and couldn't wait to get them home.  That Saturday mom and dad drove two hours to look at the sheep. They picked out two, already bred, adult sheep and one lamb.  While they were there, they saw the Maremma guardian dog puppies that the people had and brought one home. Two weeks later mom, dad, and I all drove up again and picked up our new sheep, Freckles, Anna Lee, and Clarisse.

This is all three of the new Katahdin hair sheep in their new pen just after picking them up.  On the left is Anna Lee, in the middle is Clarisse, and on the right is Freckles.
 This is Clarisse, the youngest of the three. She will be my show lamb in the 2013 Pope County Fair.

This is Anna Lee.  She is my favorite ewe because of her sweet and trusting attitude toward people

And this is Freckles and she is the biggest one.  Freckles weighs 205 pounds! Adult Katahdin sheep weigh from 150 lbs to 280 lbs!                                        
  Now we have had them for a few weeks and they are starting to understand that they only get grain from us,and that scratches feel pretty good.
They are finally willing to eat grain out of our hands and sneak a pet every once in a while!

Anna Lee is warming up to me and she got a good long  pet yesterday.

Eventually, we hope to have them so friendly that anyone can walk up and pet them all over. Once that happens, I will start training Clarisse to walk on a lead for the show next year.  One of the coolest things about Katahdin sheep is that every year, after winter, they shed their wool, so no shearing for us!  I can't wait till the mama sheep have their babies in a few months.  The lambs will be so cute running around with the baby goats!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My First Buck!

The other day my mom and I decided to go down to the barn and try on all of Grinch`s blue tack that I got for Christmas.  Once I started riding him that day I got comfortable enough to lope some. The first few times it went well but then he tripped and... he went with the flow and did a little buck!  SCARY!!!!  And my mom got the buck on VIDEO!!!!
This is Grinch in his new gear, doesn`t he look soooo handsome!!

Well it wasn`t to bad but it was my first buck and it scared me but he is only three (almost four) and that is normal for a young horse.  Even though it scared me I know that he wasn`t trying to be naughty he was just being three, so...  no hard feelings Grinch!!!

A Very Exciting Day!

Almost six years ago we sent my mare, Cindy, away to breed to a stallion named Smart Stinger.  Once we got her back we had to wait a long time but sadly she had the baby to early and it was born dead... Again we sent Cindy to Stinger, and again we had to wait a long time for her to have her baby and this time it was born perfectly fine.

This is Grinch`s beautiful mama...Cindy.

The is Grinch`s dad, Smart Stinger, when we were dropping Cindy off.

This is Grinch and me just after he was born.

Two years before the Grinch was born we decided to name him the Grinch, and when he was born my
sister, Kate, looked at his fore head and said...

Is that a Grinch on his head?!

If you flip the cartoon around it is a perfect match to Grinch`s face, at the very top is the hat flopping over, below that his face, and the lump on his back is the sack of toys.  But my mother disagrees, she thinks that the "face" is part of the hat and the "sack of toys" is the Grinch`s face...I don`t see it!

This is what my mom sees.....nope still don`t see it!

Three years later and I`m riding him all over the place!!!!!

This is me riding Grinch for the first time in his new blue tack
that I got for Christmas. 

Grinch has made a lot of progress since I`ve started riding him and I am so proud that I can ride him without worrying about him doing anything to naughty...

                                                                     LOVE YOU GRINCH!!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

My Champ!!

In the Pope County Fair dog show there are four different categories:  Rally, Long sit, Long down, and Recall.  You aren`t judged against other people, just how you do in each of the categories.  Since 2006 my dog, Lucky, and I have won four blue ribbons every year and showmanship five out of six years.   I am so proud of Lucky for listening to me for six whole years at the fair and I can`t wait to see what happens in 2012!!!!

2006 Lucky and my first blue ribbons.  Our first year in 4 - H.

2007 Dog show... We won four blue ribbons this year too!
2008 Dog show
2009 Four blue ribbons and Pewe showmanship!
Go  Lucky!!!!!!!

2010 Show four blue ribbons... again!

2011 Dog show, 2 blues, Jr showmanship and high point Jr!!
(They eliminated the recall and 1 stay this year so there were only
2 ribbons possible.)