Allen Saddle Shop Is First Rate

July 26, 2012

Stanley Allen has been in the saddle making business since 1985 and comes from a ranch and rodeo background. Stanley knows saddles, how to fit them to you, and also how to fit your horse. We done business with him for years and always  been treated fairly. He stands behind what he sells and keeps his promises.  The quality of the leather and the workmanship are excellent.

Allen Saddle Shop carries good quality tack and equipment at a reasonable price. The staff knows and understands what you need and  are willing to help you find it. Whether you are looking for a rebuilt used saddle or a new custom one, you might check with Stanley before you buy to see what he has available. We sure like doing business with a live person who knows what he’s doing rather than those online companies that sell you junk.

OETRA Labor Day Trail Ride Details

July 24, 2012

Here are a few more details of the Labor Day Weekend trail ride. Friday night starts with a ” Meet and Greet ”  social. Saturday night  is a covered dish dinner. OETRA provides the meat, beverages and paper products. You  are asked to bring a side dish or desert to share. Event Fee: $10 per person or $40 per family. Camping fees  are extra. You can contact  Eva Lambert, 405-912-4696; Cell (405) 317-9376 for more information.

OETRA according to its website  ”  is a 501(c) 6 not-for-profit organization formed in 1974 for the purpose of promoting trail riding and trail advocacy which includes saving, maintaining and blazing new trails across Oklahoma. OETRA’s code stresses courtesy to fellow trail riders, safety and care of the horse on the trail. In addition to sponsoring rides, the OETRA is involved in related trail activities such as trail clinics, trail work/clean ups and promoting state trails. “

Robbers Cave Trail Ride 2012

July 22, 2012

Oklahoma Horse Online reports the Robbers Cave Trail Ride sponsored by the Oklahoma Equestrian Trail Riders Association ( OETRA ) is scheduled for August 31 to September 2, 2012, Labor Day Weekend.  Events like this one can be obtained from Oklahoma Horse Online by checking the calendar. A really nice resource for Oklahoma trail riders. Ads are really reasonable for the internet exposure you can gain.


Intern Program Has Been A Success

July 20, 2012

The internship program this Summer has worked out well. Of course, we started with a great intern, a key ingredient. But it’s nice to see the progress of a young person and see the skills and confidence develop.

Our ranch only takes enrolled students in an equine program or recent graduates from an equine college or school. We want the students that come here to be people with the desire to develop horse skills that will be used in their career. It is the mentoring everyone in the horse industry owes to the next generation.

We don’t offer lessons in shoveling manure or cleaning stalls, but lots of riding and first hand training with a professional trainer. The results are fabulous. The students grow and learn techniques and skills that we hope will last a lifetime.

Watching this Summer’s intern has been a real joy and we already know she is going to make a superb veterinarian!!!

Pete Neck Reins The Way You Want

July 18, 2012

PeteAlthough Pete is only halfway finished with our two-year program, he neck reins better than a lot of horses. Pete will go any direction including reverse with two inches of movement. Much like a kid with a joy stick, you can rest your wrist on the saddle horn and ride along. You never have to move your hand off the horn to change directions. You just move your wrist a little and turn. Although we expect all our horses at graduation to handle in a similar fashion, Pete is head of his class for now. 

Training in neck reining starts  the first week  at this ranch by making small little lessons that fit with the other training that  builds to the point that most of our horses understand  the concept of neck reining in the first 60 to 90  days. By not cramming these important lessons into a fixed or rigid schedule, it  allows them to complete the neck reining part of the program slowly and at a their own pace. This slow, steady repetition  produces a horse that wants to respond to small movements voluntarily  and gives you a flexible, soft neck that  makes the horse easy to ride.

No doubt some horses, just like Pete, take to it faster than others. Pete has the cutting horse and reining horse blood that makes him a natural. He likes to work the livestock and enjoys the task of moving and herding them. For me personally, I just like to ride along with my hand resting on the saddle horn like a kid with a joy stick and look at the beautiful scenery as we go by. Ahhhhhhhhh the lazy way to trail ride!


Training Logs Track The Horses’ Progress

July 16, 2012


Training logs are part of the  daily program we use in training  our horses  for several reasons. The obvious purpose is so we can see what the horse has done over time and chart the progress. Just like in school, the teacher sends home report cards so the parents can see the advancement. We periodically look at the horse and the development of his skills to make sure  the desired development is taking place.

We also keep logs to show people what the horse has been doing during the two years of our trail horse program  and the activities of the training by hours spent. If you want to know how many hours any of our  horses were ridden with someone in the saddle, you can find out. We don’t view training as 30 days, 60 days, or even months.

Training is logged  by hours in various activities including leading, tied standing, working on leads, trail training, etc.  Simply saying a horse has 30 days training doesn’t tell you a lot.  With some trainers it  could mean as little as 2 or 3 hours of actual time with someone sitting in the saddle and riding the horse. In our opinion, trail horses need ”  lots of   wet blankets ” meaning a lot of time being ridden under all kinds of conditions.  We keep logs to show the activities of the training and the progress for our own use and yours.

Unlike some ranches with horses for sale, we want our customers to be able to see the training provided and understand the commitment we make to develop sound, reliable trail horses. Our belief is the logs help a person interested in buying a horse to know what they are getting. Guess it is kinda like going in for heart surgery, sorta like to know how many procedures Doc did last year and how many made it before he starts ” cuttin “.

Red, Blue, and Green Horses

July 14, 2012

Horses come in all sorts of colors, shades,  and combinations. There are blue roans, red roans, blacks, paints,  polka dot , and even yellow horses. But when you  hear about  ” green ”  horses, it has nothing to do with the color.  So what’s a green horse. Well, that’s one of those questions that if you ask 10 different people, you’ll get 10 different answers. You see a ” green ” horse is one of those words that does have a meaning, it just isn’t used the same way by people in  the horse industry. Sort of like the term ” vehicle ” can be anything from a moped to a dump truck. 

For some ” green ” means the horse is ” broke ”  and most likely can be ridden by a lot of people including new riders provided nothing unexpected happens. The horse will behave and ride nicely, but occasionally spook or jump at something. Others say a horse is ” green ”  just as soon as someone steps down from the first ride without the horse bucking. If you  hear some guy say,  ”  Oh, he’s a little green “, make sure you know how to ride before you climb aboard. It generally means the horse isn’t suited for a novice rider and probably not ready for a lot of experienced ones.

We have seen some pretty bad wrecks over the years when inexperienced riders end up on ” green ” horses.  Something like a rabbit jumps out of the brush and everything gets exciting.  The situation escalates from what could be a great training scenario  for the horse into a hospital trip for the rider.  Identical circumstances  with a skilled  rider  end up with the horse learning from the experience and no harm to anyone.

So when you hear someone say a horse is green, find out how they are using the term and make sure you don’t wind up learning it the hard way!

Gas Taxes Build Horse Trails

July 13, 2012

The American Quarter Horse Association ” AQHA ” website reports, ” Last week, Congress passed MAP-21, the multi-year national highway bill. The new law reauthorizes the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program and allocates $85 million in annual funding for the program. RTP is important to recreational riders all over the country and the American Horse Council is pleased Congress preserved this program in the highway bill. ”

These trails are used by Americans all over the country and the benefits to the horse industry are significant.  Now we don’t like taxes anymore than most folks, but sure rather see it spent on horse trails than some of that stuff they call art. Besides no one can  call it ” pork ” when it’s for horses!


Cow Horse Blood Lines Make For Great Trail Horses

July 12, 2012

We like cow horse and working horse blood lines for trail horses. So we applaud the efforts of Oklahoma Foundation Quarter Horse Registry .  It says ” The purpose of the Foundation Quarter Horse Registry is to preserve, protect, and perpetuate the working cow horse blood lines of the Foundation Quarter Horse by the individuals that the FQHR deems as Foundation bred. ” These are the blood lines are historic and produced countless champions. More important, these same blood lines have generated untold numbers of quiet and calm trail horses.

One of our primary objectives is a trail horse that can go all day with plenty of  ” get up and go ” but able to tackle the unexpected without getting overly excited. Cow horses by nature have to go from a slow walk to working cows out of the brush at a dead run in seconds. They are expected to go right back to a walk once the cow work is finished. This innate ability to change gears from full speed to slow speed in just a few steps is perfect for a trail horse.

When the unexpected happens, the horse can react to the situation  and return  to  a relaxed state using  its own natural tendencies and characteristics.  Coupled with the right training, these horses learn to go right back where they were quickly. For a lot of us, this is really important. Sure things happen on the trail and no amount of training will cover every possible contingency. So we want horses that recover from the excitement and return to everyday normal fast.

Put in everyday terms, we all know people who become upset over something and take days, if not weeks, to get over it. Others take things in stride and move on about life accepting life as it comes. Horses are just like people and some are better at overcoming the challenges thrown at them.  We want our horses settled down pronto, not several hours down the trail.

Thanks again to the Oklahoma Foundation Quarter Horse Registry for helping preserve the genetics for trail riders ( and cowboys too )!!!

Moonlight Ride July 28th

July 11, 2012

A moonlight trail ride is scheduled July 28th starting at 6:00p.m. with the Trinity Trail Preservation Association. (TTPA) was established in 1996 as a non-profit all-volunteer trail preservation organization to care for and  maintain the 25.5 mile long trail on Corps of Engineers land on Lake Lavon and encourage hikers, joggers, nature lovers, photographers, and trail riders to use the scenic trail.

The association says, ” In addition to maintaining the 25.5 mile long trail, the TTPA holds trail rides, cookouts, work days, educational events and fund-raising activities. The organization also works with area environmental groups, schools, scout troops and individuals to educate the public about parks, trails and recreational facilities in the north Texas area. ”

The added benefits of joining the group according to its members is,  ” Membership in the TTPA gets you involved with a group of wonderful people. Our primary focus is trail riding, and once you become a member you will receive a monthly news letter that will inform you of all the news and upcoming events. There are approximately 200 members at this time, and there is a wealth of knowledge and friendship among us. Most of us ride other trails as well, so typically you will see other TTPA members at any time on trails somewhere in Texas or Oklahoma. TTPA sponsors trail rides, barbecues, seminars, and fundraisers. No matter which events you attend, you’re sure to have fun!

Oklahoma Horse Online Improved Its Website

July 10, 2012

Oklahoma Horse Online has recently revised and improved its web page. The new design makes it easier to navigate and offers a lot of information. For instance you can download a trail map of the Oklahoma Equestrian Trails. It offers free links to every horse club in Oklahoma – a great way to connect with people who enjoy the same thing you do. Oklahoma Horse Online will list your equine events on their calendar free of charge and help promote your events. Check it out! Oklahoma Horse Online

30 Days and I’ll Make Em’ A Trail Horse!

July 8, 2012

We met a horse trainer a few years ago that still  stands out in my mind. He had a horse for sale that we went to see, but it wasn’t what we needed. Unable to convince us  to buy the horse, he went to work selling us on letting him train a horse for us. Full of great promises, I vividly recall his committment to break, train, and have any horse we wanted to bring him  ready for the trail in 30 days.

His self-confidence and bold assurances, would have been convincing if I hadn’t already owned a number of horses over the years.  At 30 days, a horse is green broke, I don’t care who trained him. Training takes time and anyone who tells you otherwise is giving you stuff that makes the grass grow green! And I don’t mean brown sugar!

A few months later, we saw the man’s name surface in a blog a woman wrote. She was angry having almost been injured when her well-trained in 30 days trail horse apparently forgot some of what he learned. The wreck almost got her badly hurt and left her scared. 

I ran across the guy again recently and he is still training horses. Sad because he still has big promises than can’t be kept. The charm and charisma let him sell folks on the idea that 30 days is all it takes.

Use your common sense when you go to buy a horse and listen to those little warnings in the back of your mind. If something doesn’t make sense, there is probably a reason. Good horses are the product of lots of wet blankets and hard work! It doesn’t come in 30 days! I will guarantee it!