August 1, 2014
The Woolaroc Fall trail ride has been set for September 13, 2014. The Woolaroc Ranch is beautiful place established by Oklahoma oilman, Frank Phillips. An avid rider who enjoyed being on the back of a horse, Phillips created a foundation to operate the ranch for decades following his death. Woolaroc is nestled in the rolling hills of Oklahoma’s Green Country and gives trail riders the opportunity to bring their horse to ride across the ranch twice a year.
The ride is approximately 15 miles long and divided into a morning and afternoon ride with lunch provided. They make a tasty buffalo barbeque sandwich that really hits the spot when you finish the first half of the day.
Fall in Oklahoma is a great time to ride. The temperature will usually be lower than our traditionally scorching Summer. The Woolaroc ride will be a great time for anyone interested. For more information, you can contact Woolaroc Ranch 918-336-0307 ext. 10.
July 29, 2014
Here is a simple and inexpensive training tool to use in building confidence in your horse. A child’s wading pool filled with empty water and soda bottles. The sound when the horse steps into the pool is loud and crackly. The feel is strange to the horse as the bottom of the pool gives from the weight and the bottles slide underneath the hoof.
The pools are cheap to purchase, but you can often find them at the end of the Summer in the trash as you drive down the road. Of course, you want to look both ways before you grab one out of the trash. People may wonder what’s wrong with you; stealing a worn out pool from the neighbor. If you really want to get their attention, sort through their garbage to get the empty bottles as well.
Riding your horse through the pool is one more way to teach confidence and leadership. Many horses prefer to just go around the obstacle rather than cross it. As with any new and strange challenge, it may take a couple of attempts before your horse enters the pool. But, once he does, the exercise can be expanded for him to stand quietly in it. You can add water to make the bottles float and move even more. In short, it is an easy way to artificially create an obstacle in your own backyard.
July 24, 2014
We ride every weekend, it goes with the job. Often we ride here at the ranch or the surrounding area. Sometimes it’s nice to break the monotony and find some place new or revisit a trail we’ve ridden in the past. Many of our rides away from the ranch are made at the last-minute. We load the trailer and go. Because these spur of the moment decisions are usually made with little advance notice or warning, folks don’t get invited.
The rest of the week all we hear is, “Man, I wish I’d known you were going there. I wanted to go!” We especially hear it when Shawn rides.
People like to ride with him because they learn a lot. With years of training horses professionally and a lifetime of riding horses, he has the answers. More important, he honestly shares what he knows. But, you have to be ready for complete honesty. If you want to be told you’re a great horseman, then you have to be one. Otherwise, the advice and comments are straight-forward and intended to make you a better rider. Most people appreciate the tips and readily accept the benefits of his experience.
In any event, we decided to pick a date to ride and give everyone some notice. If you want to come ride with us, you are welcome. It’s not a trail riding club. There’s no fees or charges. No rule books or releases to sign. We are just going to tell you where we plan to ride and the date. If you ride with us, there’s only one rule. You ride with respect; respect for the horse and the other riders.
This ride is not an organized trail ride, but the opportunity for all of us to ride together and enjoy some pretty country from horse back. If you want to come, put September 20, 2014 on your calendar for the Will Rogers Centennial trail at Oologah Lake in Oklahoma. We intend to leave the main trail head at 9am. This time we’re telling everyone well in advance the place, the date, and the time. If you want to ride, we’ll see you there!!
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.
July 1, 2014
Pulling logs is a great way to build your horse physically, mentally, and emotionally. The geldings at the ranch are taught to pull all sorts of things; logs, tires, metal barrels, sleds, fence posts and whatever else we need done. Not long ago, someone ran across an old metal table in the woods. A lariat was tied to the table and the young gelding dragged it over half a mile back to the trash at the barn.
It isn’t hard to see how pulling some extra weight helps get your horse in shape. No different from you pulling the little red wagon with the kids around the yard or the sled through the snow. It helps a horse mentally because they learn to think. You don’t make really tight turns around a rock or a tree. The horse has to learn to think just a little more. Of course some never get the hang of it. Emotionally the horse develops from learning to accept a lot of noise and commotion behind him. Our ranch geldings quickly figure out that it isn’t going to do any good to get upset. It doesn’t make it stop following them.
If you haven’t ever pulled or tied off to something, you probably should get someone with experience to help you the first few times. It can occasionally get exciting and you don’t want to learn how to do it the hard way. It hurts too much. We used the term “tied off” but strongly suggest it doesn’t mean really tied. We use the term to mean someone took a couple of dallies or loops around the saddle horn. In a bind, you can let go of the rope and it will just unwind. Safety needs to always be a priority when dragging or pulling. You want to always be able to release the pressure in the event of an emergency or unexpected happening.
June 28, 2014
We see a lot of riders who lack confidence in their horse. You can see it on their face, in their posture, and often hear it in their voice. It doesn’t take long for the story to unfold about how the horse bucked them off or reared up or did something that really scared them. Sure they are back in the saddle, but with considerable apprehension or even downright fear.
If they had more confidence, it’s likely the horse they are riding would probably settle down to an extent. As a general rule, the more confident the rider, the less trouble with the horse. But, confidence is built on trust and without faith in the horse to react properly, the trust level drops. It’s a vicious cycle. The more confidence and leadership the rider demonstrates, the more the horse will accept the rider as the one who is in charge. The more the horse will relax and the better the experience will be. The more times the horse has bucked, reared, or thrown a fit, the less confident the rider feels.
So how do you build the trust in your horse so you can ride confidently? Good question, not always a simple answer. If you are asking the question, the chances are you can’t. If you could overcome the lack of confidence in your horse by riding more, you probably would have already done it. Sometimes the best solution is to start over again with a new horse, but one suited for you and your level of riding. The confidence grows quickly on a horse that has been trained and that you are able to handle. As it grows, your riding pleasure will expand exponentially.
Every case is different, but you must be very honest with yourself. Are you ever really going to trust the horse? Will there always be just a little bit of doubt? If so, we suggest making a change to a horse worthy of your faith and one you can trust.
June 25, 2014
Polly is really a pretty Palomino that is technically a registered solid paint. She has been ridden and used on the ranch a lot. The golden color really makes her especially attractive. She rides and handles well, but she is not a horse for a beginning rider. For someone looking for a young, sound horse that is easy to catch, bridle, saddle, and knows how to neck rein, lead, back, side-pass, and comfortable around livestock and other horses, Polly may be the horse for you. She has seen a lot of trails and wet blankets. If you want to know more about Polly, give Shawn a call 918-849-0004.
June 20, 2014
Once in a while, we give a talk or presentation about horses and horse training. One of our consistent goals is to educate people about horses. The “magic halter” is sometimes part of the discussion. We sometimes bring a “magic halter” with us to demonstrate the magic power contained in the woven strands. The benefit of a “magic halter” is you can use it when you have a horse that won’t lead, won’t load in the trailer, sets back, and a host of other vices and instantly fix the problem. These halters retail for $79.95, pricey for a halter. But, it’s the magic you pay for.
Of course we are always happy to sell one of these grand devices. We want to help people fix their horse problems. Here’s the way it works, a “magic halter” is placed on the problem horse by one of our expert horse trainers and within 5 – 10 minutes the problem horse is leading, loading in the trailer, and “magically cured”. At least cured until the owner takes hold of the end of the rope. Those doggone batteries in a “magic halter” don’t last as long as they used to. Maybe we should sell some extra batteries to go with the “magic halters”?
June 13, 2014
It’s time to make plans for the Horsemen of Arkansas trail challenge scheduled June 28th and 29th, 2014. The challenge is a great way to build rider confidence and work with your horse. The Horsemen of Arkansas are some really nice folks and will make you feel right at home. The competition is friendly and fun with the whole group ready to help you and your horse do your very best. If you haven’t tried a competitive challenge, you ought to give this one a go. For more information or to register go to www.horsemenofarkansas.org.
June 9, 2014
The City Slickers Trail Ride sponsored by the Bad Girls Trail Riding Club this past weekend was a lot of fun and well-attended considering the weather. But, those who attended were rewarded on Saturday by a break in the rain and pleasantly cool weather for June. The rain took the dust out of the air and left everything smelling fresh.
Lunch was a potluck dinner with the club providing pulled pork sandwiches. These ladies can cook! You couldn’t do this type of lunch everyday!
After lunch there were a number of gifts handed out. Drawings were conducted and t-shirts, caps, lunch bags, saddle bags and all kinds of goodies given away. Everyone had a great time! Those of us wanting more riding hit the trails again after lunch and took full advantage of the scenery around the lake. Many thanks to the Bad Girls!!!
June 3, 2014
Horsemen of Arkansas are hosting a trail challenge course June 28 and 29, 2014 in Bismark, Arkansas. The event is an AHCA sanctioned challenge with points towards qualification for the National Finals. There is a 50% payback/awards so you can take the winnings back home. The venue for the challenge is the Bar Fifty Ranch. Judging will be by Nina Adkins Kowalski from Michigan. The challenge is open to everyone regardless of the age or experience. The challenge is divided into suitable divisions so contestants compete against equally matched competitors. The divisions include Wrangler, Novice, Open, Amateur, English, Legends, and Green Horse. Coggins required and health papers if out-of-state. For more information contact Meg Wills 501-940-2259 or Corrie Key 479-567-6454.
May 30, 2014
If you are interested in the City Slickers Trail Ride coming up June 7th, it’s time to register for the ride. Early registration gives you the chance to win saddle bags and other prizes. The flyer with the details and the registration form are available under the link. The Bad Girls Trail Riding Club would love to see you there! City Slickers Flyer