Trial Rides Everywhere in Oklahoma

September 30, 2012

We have discussed Oklahoma Horse Online and really like the site. If you are trying to find a trail ride, there is a calendar of events that has a lot of upcoming Oklahoma trail rides across the state. It is a really convenient way for you to locate rides that fit your schedule.

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Dog Tired On The Trail

September 28, 2012

Pete

At the end of a long day, it’s hard to tell who is more tired; the dog or the horse. Long days and wet blankets make well broke horses. These guys had a good day, but they’ ll  sleep well tonight!


Washington, D.C. Trail Rides, Who Would’ve Guessed?

September 27, 2012

Yep there’s are trail rides in Washington, D.C. according to David A. Turner. He says, ” This fall, there are three organized trail rides near D.C. offered by Maryland’s Trail Riders of Today. (To sign up for the rides, you must join TROT for $20; go to www.trot-md.org.) All levels of trail riders participate. Call ahead to reserve a spot.This fall, there are three organized trail rides near D.C. offered by Maryland’s Trail Riders of Today. (To sign up for the rides, you must join TROT for $20; go to www.trot-md.org.) All levels of trail riders participate. ”

If you are politically active, you could drape a banner over the side of your horse as you ride along the trail. Okay, maybe that’s a little over the top, but the trail rides aren’t!


Special Horses For Special People

September 26, 2012

Pete

We aren’t ” tune up ” specialists. Here at the ranch, we develop special horses for those special folks that appreciate what we do and more importantly what we don’t. We aren’t in the business of trading horses. We don’t pick up horses at the sale, ” tune them up ” and put them on the market. The horses at our ranch just south of Tulsa, Oklahoma enter a two-year rigorous education that makes them ready for all kinds of activities. These horses have seen lots of wet blankets and been exposed to hard work. In the horse world you usually get what you pay for. If you want one of those ” tune up specials ” you will definitely pay a little less for the purchase price, but will probably pay for it later. Pete shown above is approximately 14 months thru his schooling. The training logs show everything he has done and what he has accomplished so far. Quarter horses like Pete are hard to find. Sound, gentle, easy to catch, ready to ride, Pete is willing to try almost anything and quick enough to make a competitive amateur reining horse. The athletic ability combined with his good mind plus the two-years of training at the end of the program will make Pete a hit anywhere. Keep your eye on Pete as he finishes his education.


AQHA Makes New Rules For Shows

September 26, 2012

The American Quarter Horse Journal reports, ” Beginning with the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show in November, the following training equipment, in addition to that listed in the AQHA rulebook, will not be allowed at any AQHA shows:

1. Prohibited training equipment at all AQHA shows include riding in a curb bit without a curb strap, wire or solid metal curb straps no matter how padded; wire cavessons; wire or cable tie-downs; bumper bitsmetal bosals, no matter how padded; chambons; headstalls made of metal (even if encased in a protective material); twisted rawhide or rope (3/8-inch rope may be used with a slip (gag) bit with a smooth mouth piece only); running martingales with curb bits; or draw reins attached between or around the front legs.

2. No one is allowed to ride a horse with a curb bit without a properly adjusted, approved curb strap or curb chain.

3. A running martingale may be used with a snaffle bit only.

4. Draw reins may be used on the show grounds as a training device so long as they are attached no lower than the elbow of the horse.

We aren’t show people and don’t really claim to be, but the rules make a whole lot of sense. If you have a well-trained horse, you shouldn’t need a lot of these things. A properly trained horse will present without having to use harsh mechanical gear or unnecessary force. The new rules appear to help level the playing field so good trainers can do their job and not have to compete with those who want to take short cuts rather than spend the time required to do the job right.


Small Fears Build Confidence and Trust

September 22, 2012

Sometimes a horse with a few quickly identified fears makes you the best trail horse. It sounds a little strange to some people, but a horse whose fears you overcome will gain trust and confidence in his rider. Since we have horses for sale in Oklahoma that are intended for serious trail riders, we like for our customers to understand a few  of the things we have learned over the years. Experience has taught us a  new horse with some small fears often turns into an excellent trail horse.

You may say that  goes against common sense, don’t you want a horse that is always calm and unafraid?  Not us! As we have said and will continue to repeat, every horse is afraid of something. The horse that is never concerned about anything will be the horse that one day blows up over an oak leaf falling on his neck or some other equally silly event. We believe in horses that have learned to handle their fears and deal with unexpected situations. 

Each to his own, but riding a horse that knows what to do when scared is far safer than a horse who just hasn’t been exposed to what is going to set him off. Give it a little thought and see if you agree.


The Right Fit Makes All The Difference

September 20, 2012
Dr. Chris Skelly of the University of Michigan says ” As a young “horse crazy” kid, I dreamed of owning my own horse.   Guided by my 4-H leader, I was fortunate when my family purchased Bluebonnet, a 7 year old grade mare that was previously owned and shown by a 4-H family. ‘ Blue ‘  taught me the ropes of horse ownership and provided years of learning and enjoyment . . . [a]fter working with horse enthusiasts and university students for over 15 years, I have a much better appreciation for buying the right horse that suites a prospective owner’s needs, and the pitfalls and heartaches that can take place when a mismatch occurs.
 
New horse  riders don’t always  see how the right horse for their own needs  makes all the difference.  Not just size, but temperament, personality, athletic ability, and intended use. A horse suited for you and what you want to do will go along way to your enjoyment and success.
 
When folks contact us about our horses for sale, we ask them to ride several times and try out different horses. Every horse has a slightly different way of moving, thinking, reacting, and learning. These differences can be really important. Sort of like a pair of boots, some fit better than others. When it comes to boots, spouses, and our jobs, most people don’t have any difficulty recognizing  the right fit is critical. If you are out looking at horses for sale, take your time and find one suited to  your skills, and your planned use. Like Dr. Skelly points out, it will save you a lot of headaches if you start out with the ” right  horse. “

Grazing Bits Plain and Simple

September 18, 2012

Bits are always a fun source of discussion. Experts abound and everyone has an opinion. The KISS approach seems to apply to bits better than any other principle. YOU KNOW, Keep It Simple Stupid!

Grazing bits are fairly gentle and perfect for a beginning rider who may occassionally jerk a little too hard. These simple bits are all you need for a well broke horse. You train a horse’s mind, not his mouth.  Bits are intended to help you communicate.  Sure bits give you a feeling of being in control, but we promise you it is only the  “feeling of control. ” People who think the problem with their horse is the wrong  bit are simply in error.

A well broke horse can generally be ridden in nearly anything, hackamore, snaffle, grazing, or just a halter. We don’t recommend riding in a halter unless you know what you are doing, but our horses are regularly ridden in a simple rope halter. In fact, the bridle is often slipped off the head and the horse ridden with just the reins to see how they do. Again we don’t recommend this exercise to others, but it lets us evaluate the training level reached.

Bits are merely tools and most folks need a simple tool that lets the rider and the horse communicate  two essential commands; stop and turn. The key to bits  is  good  communication and training, not force. If you have to make your horse stop by sheer strength, something isn’t right.

Ever see these guys with the big arms that reach forward, grab up the reins, and sit way back in the saddle pulling as hard as they can while  yelling ” WHOA! ” You shouldn’t have to do that! Nor should you have draconian bits that look like they’ll  make a hole in the roof of the horse’s mouth.  If your horse won’t do what you need in a grazing bit, then  your horse isn’t well-trained.

The Oklahoma quarter horses for sale here will work all day long in a simple grazing bit and give you an honest day’s work.


Pete Is Great On Trails

September 16, 2012

Pete

Pete is really coming along nice. Notice the loose rein and the way the reins loop down. Any trail horse for sale in our Bixby, Oklahoma operation will ride loose rein.

We often see folks going down the trail pulling back and fighting their horse to maintain control. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Pete will go all day with his head down on a loose rein crossing logs, water, bridges, surrounded by barking dogs, and never flinch.

He neck reins wonderfully and handles well with anyone on him. Here he is ridden by our Summer intern enrolled in Oklahoma State University’s Animal Sciences program. A future young vet in the making along with a great trail horse. That’s a combination tough to beat!


Montana Learning To Neck Rein

September 14, 2012

This is Montana learning to neck rein. She is a young filly we started a few months back. Notice the headstall is a halter, not a bridle. Montana has those natural genetics of a good quarter horse. She is sound and generally doesn’t get excited. There isn’t any concern she is going to take off or act silly.  Her mother, Suzie, is another one of those quiet, easy-going trail horses.

Using the halter instead of a snaffle saves her mouth while she learns to neck rein. Here the rein on the right side is lightly touching her neck while the left rein is being used to gently pull her nose around. Put in a little forward motion and you have a turn.

Riding in halter during training means when she finishes the program and is finally one of our horses for sale that we can offer her to people with the expectation that she will respond well for  customers using a simple bridle.


Speck Practicing A Little Tarp Training

September 12, 2012

Crossing a Tarp

Like a lot of trainers, we give our  future trail horses for sale at the end of our two-year training program  practice going over tarps on the ground. Here Speck is going back and forth over the tarp and doing a few drills with the tarp mixed into the exercises.

The tarp doesn’t have to be real big, just something that makes noise and feels unusual to the horse’s feet. These types of drills are used sporadically along with lots of long rides on the trails to build confidence.


Dragging Logs Is Part of the Training

September 10, 2012

Pulling a log

Dragging logs is part of the training every horse in the program receives. It benefits young horses in a number of ways. Physically the horse develops because he is using muscles differently than just riding. But the increase in muscle size and strength is not the primary reason we drag logs.

The horses learn to work and start to appreciate having a job.  A smart horse can see you doing something. He won’t understand what you are doing, but can sense you are engaged in a task that has a meaning.  Clearing trails is a function regularly done by a lot of trail riding groups and horses are used for the heavy work.

We start the young horses with light logs to develop confidence and get used to the log sticking and catching on rocks, dirt, and other obstacles. It also get the horses used to a rope around their  legs, tail, and even neck when backing. The constantly changing positions of the logs require the horses  to balance and maintain their  feet under their body. They also learn not to fear ” creatures ” running up  from behind.

There are numerous reasons to pull logs, fence posts, and other things for  developing good trail horses. We want all of our trail horses for sale to know how to work. Log dragging is  good for the mind and the body. Besides it sure beats us moving stuff around the ranch by hand!