July 14, 2014
Trail riding at the lake in the Summer is great fun. The horses loved the water and enjoyed the opportunity to cool off in it. We like to get the horses used to water and ready to go where ever might be needed.
Earlier in the day we rode through some areas of the trail covered by water and lots of mud. But, that’s trail riding in Oklahoma, you just never know what to expect. Usually the trails are pretty dry this time of year, but a storm a few days before brought some much-needed rain. It’s also typically really hot in July, but the past weekend was a pleasant 90 degrees Farenheit that made for a wonderful day at the lake.
The horses in the video are Doc and P.J. The mule is Tia. She belongs to a fellow trail rider and friend.
January 10, 2014
It is amazing to see the number of horses that have to be plow reined. Look around and there are horses everywhere that don’t know how to neck rein. We see neck reining as a basic, foundational requirement. The video shows P.J. working on some neck reining exercises to further refine and develop the smooth, effortless turns, stops, and backing a good trail horse should have. P.J. is a registered paint enrolled in our two-year trail horse training program. He has a lot of quarter horse blood in his pedigree and the disposition to make a great trail horse.
October 12, 2013
PJ is shown here going around the barrel with a pole. While not the hardest maneuver to complete, it is just one more event. We seen riders many times who didn’t have enough control over their horse to do something simple like this.
September 30, 2013
PJ had fun flying the flag. Some of the participants in the AHCA trail challenge were asked to pick up the flag and take a lap around the arena. With 13 different obstacles to complete in only 8 minutes, there isn’t a lot of time. PJ is hurrying to make his lap and move to the next obstacle.
September 21, 2013
PJ is shown at his first trail challenge in this photograph. The obstacle challenge was held at Horse Heaven Ranch and hosted by Horsemen of Arkansas. One obstacle required riders to pick the pole and ride to the small circle on the ground. The rider then had to take his horse in a circle around the the pole. Once finished the rider returned the pole to the fence where he got it. One of the reasons we like the trail challenges is there always some obstacles that are simpler than others. PJ is still a relatively young horse and the obstacle allowed him to succeed and gain some confidence.
May 25, 2013
Spring is here and so are the bicycle riders. PJ came across bicycles three times this week and we were pleased at his response. The first bicycle was a mountain bike with a single rider. He went past and PJ just looked at him. It is always interesting to see if a horse has more concern over one rider or a group of bicycles.
Later, about 30 bicycle riders in a group wearing all sorts of bright neon colors and sunglasses came flying past PJ from behind. Again he just turned to look, but never missed a step. A short while later, this same pack of riders apparently turned around and came at PJ from the other direction. He just watched as they sailed past without more than a passing look as to say, there are those pretty colors again. PJ has an eye for fashionable colors for some reason and is always interested in how others are outfitted.
We like to see the bicycles out as it gives training events that are difficult for us to artificially create. As you ride over the top of a hill along the road, a large group clearing the top of the hill from the other direction can create anxiety or scare some some horses until they become acclimated. PJ is coming along well with his training and never showed any fear of the bicycles.
February 1, 2013
Horse training like a lot of jobs comes with some unexpected events. The kind of thing you watch happen and scratch your head wondering how you got there. We had one of those mornings recently. Planning to do some pack string work, five horses were saddled and tied in a row. With every thing in order and each horse tied to the one ahead of it, the little pack string was started out the gate.
We have a couple of miniature horses that aren’t worth much and kept around as pets. We sort of inherited their care and let them stay for some reason. Forgetting that Smokey, a little grey horse, had gotten out earlier that morning, he decided to run towards the string of much bigger horses. All our horses are used to the miniatures and share the paddock with them from time to time. They are used to seeing the little speed demon come charging up to them full tilt. ( He doesn’t run that fast, just likes to think he is speedy! )
He ran straight at P.J. who had been placed as the lead horse and was going to be ridden once outside the gate. Seeing the boldness of the little horse coming at him, he immediately planted both feet in the dirt and started backing up. Well, all the horses in the string have been properly trained and did exactly what they were supposed to do. They backed up. The last horse right into a water hydrant and over the top. Water started to spray.
Sure wish we had been running the video, it would have made a good one. A few hours later, new hydrant installed, the string was headed out the gate and down the road. Didn’ t plan to replace the water hydrant as part of the horse training. But horse training comes with lots of little unexpected moments. If we keep it up, we may have to find a good plumber.
December 15, 2012
A good trail horse needs to load and unload from the trailer without fuss or trouble. Who wants to head out for a trail ride with friends and family and start the trip with a horse that won’t get in the trailer. Not us.
We insist our horses step up and load without discussion and unload in a couple of ways. We teach them to unload by backing out and to turn around and walk out forward. The gelding shown here, P.J., has the trailer stuff down. He loads without blinking an eye and does a good job of backing out.
November 19, 2012
P.J. is a handsome looking APHA registered gelding just starting our two-year training program. He moves nice and has a smooth gait. He has a good mind and really likes people. Some folks would call him a “pocket horse” because he is always in your pocket. We have high hopes for this young gelding. Aside from his striking color, he has cow horse blood lines going way back. While we like a horse that is easy to look at, the bottom line is performance. If a horse doesn’t have the mind, temperament, and athletic ability to get the job done, then good looks are worth much. P.J.’s got it all. We’ll update you on his progress as he continues his education on how to be a great trail horse. Graduation Date: November, 2014. Click here to check out what PJ has been up to!
See PJ’s Bloodlines