Wanna Ride The Trail With Us?

July 24, 2014

Polly on the Trail 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!!

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 horsesfortrail.com 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 Cmhight1@peoplepc.com or call her at (918)857-2585 .

Mary Ben Marshall Trail Ride at Bell Cow Lake

April 2, 2014

Julie Cameron reports the Oklahoma Equestrian Trail Riders Association is hosting a weekend of trail riding and camping the weekend of April 11 – 13, 2014. There will be a lot of trails to ride and entertainment in the evenings. Saturday night will have a pot luck dinner to create some new friends and get to know each other. But, the most important and best part of the weekend will be riding the trails in the Oklahoma Springtime. It will be green and alive with all the new growth that always starts this time of year. The cost of attending is very reasonable, $15.00 for non-members and $10.00 for members of OETRA. Children under age 12 may attend free of charge. Julie wants to put the word out that everyone is welcome! If you want more information, send her an e-mail lazyjfarm@sbcglobal.net.

19th Annual City Slickers Trail Ride

March 25, 2014

The 19th annual City Slickers Trail Ride sponsored by the The Bad Girls Trail Riding Club is scheduled for June 7, 2014. The ride will be held at Walnut Creek State Park, Prue, Oklahoma. A family event with camping overnight in the Spring and trail riding near Lake Keystone is an event to write on your calendar. These ladies will undoubtedly make this trail ride and the entire weekend a whole lot of fun. For more information, you can contact Carla Hight by e-mail at cmhight1@peoplepc.com.

Trail Riding Offers Health Benefits

January 23, 2014

According to The Horse Riding Site, horse back riding offers many health benefits. The benefits are more than just physical in nature, but also include emotional and psychological ones as well. Riding horses and especially trail riding lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, and gives you a happier outlook on life. The physical benefits from the calories burned, muscle development, and fresh air provide advantages similar to other forms of exercise. The big difference is many people won’t regularly attend the gym, but trail riding is fun so participation is easy. Weight loss is a natural result and especially since the tendency to eat diminishes when you are active and busy. Undoubtedly, trail riding is good for you!

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”!