City Slickers Trail Ride at Keystone Lake Was Fun

June 9, 2014

City Slickers TrailKeystone LakeThe 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!!!

City Slicker Trail Ride Early Registration Form

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

City Slickers Trail Ride Just Around The Corner

May 29, 2014

The Bad Girls are hosting their annual City Slickers Trail Ride June 7, 2014. In an effort to support their group, you can win genuine saddle bags if you preregister. There will be a drawing for all the participants that register in advance of the ride. You never know there might just be some other things given out to attendees. The ladies work really hard every year to put on this ride. If you haven’t been, Keystone lake is really pretty this time of year. The ride is an easy one and easily mastered by beginners and new riders.

If you haven’t done trail rides before, here is the prime opportunity for a ride that lets you get your horse out and meet some new friends. The ride is open to everyone and not limited to just members. If you have never done a trail ride before, this would be a great place to start.

There will be a covered dish lunch about 1pm and bring your hot dogs if you want to roast them in the evening. For more information or to preregister, contact Carla Hight or call her at (918)857-2585 .

It Is Impossible To Expose A Horse To Every Potential Situation

November 26, 2013

Confidence Building ClinicA valuable lesson for new horse owners is the understanding that no horse has been exposed to every possible situation. Often, beginning riders have heard the term “bomb proof“. For our definition see the post  June 15, 2012. There is no such thing as a completely “bomb proof” horse the way most new riders want to use the term. All horses have fears and no horse is without something that will scare it. The question is always “What”?

At the confidence building clinic we have been blogging about, emphasis was made to the attendees about our views on desensitizing horses. Our views differ from many in the horse business. While we feel it is important to expose a horse to as many different events, situations, and scenarios you can dream up, the more important task is creating a willingness in the horse to de-escalate from an event.

We use the phrase “back to calm” to describe leaving the state of excitement and returning to a state of calm and quiet. A horse that is taught to go to calm in seconds or moments is far safer and easier to handle than one that takes 30 minutes to an hour. Our horses are taught when the rider drops his hands to the horse’s neck to “go to calm”. It is practiced constantly during training and during trail riding. If something unexpected happens, the rider pulls the reins for whoa and then immediately drops his hands to the neck, i.e., the cue for “go to calm”.  The horse is expected to settle at once into a quiet state, although still possibly tense. He should stand and wait for the rider to make the next decision. In this way, it is not the horse that decides what to do, but the rider. If done properly. it allows the rider to make the decision from the saddle instead of the ground and with a eye towards the safest action to be taken.

Here in the photo, the small swimming pool was filled with empty plastic water and drink bottles. The purpose was to ask the horse to step into the pool with noise and funny feeling underneath. Although the rider was to walk the horse across, the first test of the obstacle was to see if the horse would stand quietly in the situation, one probably never encountered before. It is a creative way to work on teaching a horse to go to calm. If the horse jumps or quickly steps out, you pull the reins, say whoa, and rest the hands on his neck. Once calm, you try again. In our perspective, it’s better than “turn and bolt”!

Car Wash Obstacle Can Be A Challenge

November 16, 2013

Confidence Building ClinicOklahoma trail horses, like trail horses everywhere, don’t typically see a lot of car wash obstacles on the trail. The Bad Girls Confidence Building Clinic posed this new challenge to the attendees and their horses. It’s a fun obstacle and one that teaches the horse to trust the rider. At the clinic, it was used to teach some less experienced riders the importance of riding with purpose, confidence, and towards a point beyond the challenge immediately in front of the horse.

Over and over, the new riders were coached not to look down at the horse’s head if he stopped as he approached the streamers. It is a natural human reaction to look down to see what the horse is going to do when he stops. But, just the opposite of what is needed to make the horse feel comfortable with the new and strange contraption he is being asked to walk under. When the rider looks down, the horse senses indecision and reluctance in the rider that only makes the obstacle seem even more concerning. After all, the rider is now focused on the same concern the horse has.

The participants were taught to look straight ahead and fix their gaze on a point far in advance of the car wash such as the wall at the end of the arena. They were then encouraged to ride forward with a sense of purpose and the belief the horse would walk under without hesitation. Many were pleasantly surprised to learn how much confidence they could inspire in their horse and themselves. The car wash is great team building exercise for you and your horse.

We applaud the Bad Girls for putting on the clinic and working to make their members better horsemen!


Bad Girls Confidence Building Clinic Was A Great Success

November 14, 2013

The Bad Girls Trail Riding Club held a rider confidence clinic to assist members and their spouses in gaining confidence in their horse handling and riding skills  this past Saturday, November 9, 2013. We were invited to observe and offer assistance during the clinic. It was wonderful to see the eyes of some of the new riders as they conquered some of the skill building obstacles set up in the arena. The riders were brought into the arena in groups of five at a time so individual guidance and tips could be offered to them. There was also a question and answer session after the lunch break for those attending to ask follow-up questions for how to improve. It was a wonderful day and we look forward to the next opportunity to attend one of these events. Take a look at some of the video taken during the day.

City Slickers Trail Ride A Success

June 13, 2013

City Slickers Trail Ride 2013

The City Slickers Trail Ride sponsored by the Bad Girls Trail Riding Club (“BGTRC“) was success. The ride was held at Walnut Creek State Park and well attended. The ladies running the trail riding club were really friendly and did a great job of conducting a safe, fun ride. The area has quick sand around Keystone lake and can be dangerous if you aren’t familiar with the area. So the ride was conducted with a guide and everyone stayed on the main trails that are safe and well-maintained.

If it has been a few years since you have gone to Walnut Creek, there have been some changes that make it a lot better. A couple of the park rangers have been working really hard the last two years to clean up the trails and make the area more attractive. The bathroom and shower areas were clean and obvious effort had been made to encourage trail riders to use the facilities and enjoy the trails. Hats off to the rangers for their hard work and dedication.

It was a good time and wonderful to ride with the sun shining, the breeze blowing off the lake, and enjoy the company of some fellow trail riders on a beautiful Spring day. We want to thank BGTRC for letting us come and ride the trails with them!