Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Only 2 days 'til we head out to Albany. Got some things I'm very pleased with, and things I'd hoped would be better.

Hannah travels outside great, she will go anywhere you point her! She'll cover any kind of terrain... up, down, ditches, water, bridges, tarps, you name it. Different objects don't seem to bother this girl, where another horse might cock it's head, balk or move sideways, Hannah's not too concerned with what's in her path. She is like an old Willy Army Jeep... would climb a tree if she could. She might get a little pushy and she works the bit at times, especially if she gets worked up or I ask a lot out of her. The good thing is that she does "come down" nicely.

When working various maneuvers, Hannah's neck comes up higher than I'd like at times. She does move her feet nicely, however I'd like to be able to smooth and control her steps a little more when I'm asking for different speeds.

Our initial contact each day is much better, but still needs improvement. When I consider how worried she was of being touched in the beginning, Hooper Hannah has actually come a very long way in a very short period of time. She will make someone a nice horse, they will just have to be patient with this aspect.

Hannah is great when it comes to me swinging a rope and touching her with it all over her body and legs. She picks up her leads consistently, and I have worked on flying lead changes, which she hits the majority of the time, but it's a little fast. I'm thinking I should just do simple changes at the competition. I'm sure hoping she can handle all the people and commotion during the Albany Challenge.

The weather has not warmed up enough to work on spraying her down with water to bathe her, so I will give her a rag and sponge bath. We did clip her muzzle, jaw and jowls a couple weeks ago, and she was plumb good with the clippers. I trimmed her feet up a few days ago and as much as I have picked her feet up, she has no trouble with that.

See you in Albany, and we pray for every one's safety.

The schedule for Albany is below

Thurs. Mar. 19 .............. 6:00 PM Mustang Body Conditioning and In Hand Course
Friday Mar. 20 ............... 7:00 PM Mustang Riding Competition
Sat. Mar. 21 ..............10:00 AM Mustang Challenge Finals followed by adoption

Thurs. Mar. 19 ............... 4:00 PM 1st round Craig Cameron Extreme Cowboy Race
Friday Mar. 20 .............. 12:00 PM 2nd round Extreme Cowboy Race ( Keith is # 7 of this rnd )
Sat. Mar. 21 .............. 6:30 PM 3rd round Extreme Cowboy Race
Sun. Mar.22 ............... 9:30 AM Extreme Cowboy Race Finals, winners announced 3:00PM

Friday, March 6, 2009


Friday 6th of Mar... just under 2 weeks 'til we head to Albany. Everyday is an improvement, although the initial contact is still a little worrisome. Hooper Hannah is not tightening up so much when touched on the hind quarters and along her back. I usually tie her up in a saddling stall for about 1/2 the day, and most every colt I ride gets worked up along side her on either side and she gets pet all over. She is very good about all her feet now. I pick them up 2, 3, 4 times a day. Brushing or currying the inside of her hind legs above the hocks is still a little touchy. The girl is good and relaxed with her tail. Having different people walking behind her has vastly improved and she doesn't mind the dogs and cats doing what dogs and cats do. Being touched or petted by someone else, whether I'm in the saddle or not is much easier. The first time I had someone else pet her when I was in the saddle, she spun around and went to bucking away. We've done lots and lots of work with getting her to accept the feel of different pressure on her hind end when I'm in the saddle so she doesn't tense up and grab herself. The first time I drug a tire around the arena was perty good 'til I let the rope hit her butt.... she thought she was got again and scooted out at a fast buck! The weight of the tire made the rope a little heavier with more pressure.

Like I've said, everything has been very gradual. Hannah has never just "let down". Still, from the first week to now is 1000% improvement.

We are jumping in the trailer perty good, and I've hauled her here and there. Hannah and I have gone to a clients place about 20 miles away with other horses to give some lessons and we also helped moves some cows a few miles. She'll go about anywhere, and I feel she's getting a perty nice handle on her.

We are backing straight, in circles and laterally. I want to get her backing where she is bent to the inside and I can have her reach with the inside front and put it behind the outside front leg. Hannah is turning around like a champ! She picks up her leads consistently, although rolling back and picking leads up immediately needs some work.

I need to spend a couple sessions on just "in hand" maneuvers. I'm not sure how we'll do with her body conditioning.... her hair coat looks fairly good, and her manners and handleability are getting better every day. Hannah is a little light weight-wise, but she is narrow in the front end. I finally got her to eat grain and pellets a few weeks ago so I could get some supplements in her. The first time I gave her some pellets from my hand, she bit down and the hard pellets made a big crunching noise. She scared herself to death! Now she is looking for the grain/pellet mix. Guess she decided that crunch is perty good.

That's kinda what we got going on.... we'll see what this next week brings.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Yes..... we are here. I know many have been checking on us. We had kind of a rough start with this little mare we named Hooper Hannah. She had an injury when we got her, but seems to be on the mend.

If I remember correctly the first day I worked with my new little Mustang filly was the 8th or 9th of Dec. A neighbor friend of ours drove us down to Burns Or. where we picked up our new wild four legged project. Fortunately the roads were good with no story line adventures.

I had them put one of my rope halters with about a 15 ft. lead rope on my new draw to make things a little quicker to get her halter broke. I used a saddle horse and within a half hour she gave me her face, but she was very leery of anything behind her eyes. After two days of her dragging the lead rope through the corral and creating a muddy, heavy cable , twice as big around as what we started with, I took the halter off and just roped her each day 'til I could halter her without roping her. Hannah learned to face up to me real quick, but she was extremely mistrusting as far as anything else and very protective, and she fired out with those hind feet quite often! As fearful as she was of me touching her anywhere on her body, a flag waving around on both sides of her wasn't concerning. It took me a month of fairly steady work with a lass rope and the lead rope and also stick, string, as well as flag to get to where I could pick up Hanna's hind feet without her trying to nail me.

When I first got her home and began working with Hooper Hannah, I kept hearing a squishing sorta sound almost every step. It took me about a week and a half to figure out just where and what it was. I started noticing an abscess smell and couldn't tell where it was coming from. Then one day I saw where it was draining high on the inside right leg. I decided I better teach her to lay down so I could get a look at what was going on. When I did lay her down I could see up under the pit area there was an open wound 3"-4" long. GREAT!!! I drew a Mustang with an injury of some sort! I didn't know how much or if I should work with her on the ground or if I was gonna be able to ride her, but I figured, well, she hasn't been lame one step, so I just as well keep doing what I'm doing 'til I get her loading in a horse trailer good, with me being safe in the trailer with her so the Vet can check her out.

About 4 weeks have gone by since I first got Hannah to where I could haul her to our Vets about 35 mi. distance. We had some nasty weather for awhile, so hauling a horse trailer on icy roads was not on the top of my list. When we finally got her up there, we decided that Hannah had run a stick or something up the inside of her leg and it had broken off in there. What we were hoping was that whatever it was that was in there came out when the wound drained. If not, it would not heal and would have to be surgically probed and removed. Tim, our Vet, advised me to just work with her normally, so that was good news. At this point the wound is almost closed and we have 4 weeks 'til Albany, so thankfully it looks like there is nothing else up inside .

Hannah has slowly gained trust in me. She does have a little temper. The initial contact everyday is concerning for her. When touched on her back, neck and hindquarters she still bows up and gets very hard periodically. She ain't a people horse yet..... but someday!

In comparison, I was able to get on Tina Turner, my Sacramento Mustang by the 10th or 12th day. I think I did not get on Hannah 'til probably the 5th week. I'm not going to get on a scared horse and something that's still very kicky. Just not a thrill seeker anymore! I want my first ride to be very uneventful and boring..... to just walk out, bend and flex both directions and build on that each day.

The majority of the first 2 weeks of riding are at a walk and gaining a nice soft bend to head and neck, moving hind end away, and stepping front end across. Then get the horse to start bending around my leg. After this is accomplished, probably after 3 or 4 days, I start getting some lateral movement.

My new stang and I spent a few weeks in my 40'x40' riding area inside my barn. Our first ride outside was when I went to help the neighbor ride through his feedlot, pulling a few foot rots and doctoring. I used another colt first, then I got on Hannah in a small pen and she felt real good. She wasn't worried at all about the calves on the other side of the fence that were coming over to check us out, so I decided to ride Hannah on the back side of the feed lot and along the river. Things were going real good, so I helped put some cattle that had been sorted in sick pens . I'm thinking that she's doing so good, I just as well help ride a couple pens. Hooper Hannah did surprisingly well with the cattle, even those running by us, walking up behind us, snorting and running off. We have helped three more times in the feedlot and Hannah is progressing each time Her main concern is other people.

I need to get her around people a foot and horseback as much as possible. Anyone coming up to her still needs to work at touching her face and petting her...... 4 more weeks!