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.