'Cool Running Creek'

'Cool Running Creek'

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Our training with Doc is still progressing with his last adventure being attendance at the Mustang Adoption in Archdale Friday and Saturday. Though he had already been exposed to the commotion of a ropin pen the crowd and attention he received this weekend was incredible.
On Friday morning we loaded up Reba, Medicine Man, and 4 panels in the trailer and off we went. With the help of a wonderful crew from BLM we had a front row display inside the arena for show and tell. Doc was a total dream through Friday with his patience exceptional as one after another came by to see and rub him. All in all, I bet 300+ folks exchanged touches with Doc. With his vast media coverage many people had already read of him and were excited to finally meet the "Medicine Man". This was another incredible training event for him to continue in our "quest for the gold" in Ft Worth. We left both horses overnight, (his first sleep over since coming to The Bar T) with no issues.
Saturday was again more of the same with news coverage from Fox News 14 doing a small part on him. The adoption went well with 72 of the 73 horses and donkeys finding homes when we left at 3:00. I do want to say, Paige, my niece that I've written about adopted 2 horses during this event and want to wish her the best with this new endeavor for her and her family.
We did uncover one small issue with Doc-after his tolerance level falls, he wants to pen those ears back and nip at people. Not a hard problem to fix, but none the less an issue. I guess after so many rubs on the nose I would also. He did adapt a new taste for carrots from a couple of young girls with little encouragement.
After loading up and returning, Doc was glad to be back and rested well the remainder of the evening. I still continue to be impressed with his attitude in stressful situations and hope this continues.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Friendly Reminder

Just wanted to leave a friendly reminder of the upcoming Wild Horse and Burro Adoption here in NC at the Triad Livestock Arena, 6296 Cedar Square Rd, Archdale, NC. Archdale is located just south of High Point. Preview is Friday, 1 to 5, Adoption Saturday 8-5. Live biding begins at 10:00 on Saturday. Medicine Man and I hope to see you there. For more information the BLM website is www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lets Go Ropin'

As promised last Tuesday we loaded up Doc and off to the roping pen we went. This was his first time tied in a trailer with another horse, Scooter, his sparring partner and Dolly, a 3 year old mule belonging to a good friend Jeff M. (We've worked together for the past few years training mules the horse way and it works). There were no travel issues and upon arrival at the pen Doc was the only horse ore mule that would back completely off a 22' stock trailer. All others had to turn around inside to offload. This in itself impressed a lot of folks. His interest really peaked as we moved around, several other horses, cows, people and excitement. We traveled with all animals saddled so as soon as we unloaded I decided to mount and control his excitement from above. To my expectations (his good behavior doesn't surprise anymore) he was a total pleasure in the crowd. We moved into the arena, loped around a few laps and parked just along the header side of the chute to help direct the steers as they were released. The first couple of turn-outs did gain Doc's attention but soon became old hat as we just sat and talked with other ropers. After 30 mins and a couple of different riders, Helena's (a friend I've spoken of earlier) older daughter Cody took this opportunity to ride him around and was really impressed by his softness. Cody spends her time in the summer giving riding lessons to young children. Helena decided she would put him in the box and score a few steers to check his reaction. Well, again he acted as if he'd done this before so off she goes running a couple down the pen. Doc handled this with a lot of interest, head down, ears back and tracked with little direction after the first couple of steers. I always thought his build and agility would make a ropin' horse, now we've discovered his mind also fits the mold! Our time was cut short due to a thunder storm but the mission was accomplished! Another successful adventure.....

Monday, July 16, 2007

New Riders?

I got back home Thursday evening after giving Medicine Man four days of R&R. I’d moved him in with a couple of other horses on Sunday and had hoped they would eventually set the pecking order. At first Doc wanted to be the boss and acted quite aggressive towards Scooter, a 13 yo horse Chapin uses for roping. Well, seems as if Doc just wouldn’t learn; he acquired a couple of battle bites during my absence. Seemed he’d get new ones each day so I just had to make the move. During the day he’s on pasture and night he’s up. Eventually he’d learn, but I don’t need the marks right now.

Emily and I took a trail ride on Friday evening and Chapin and I on Saturday morning. Doc is really adjusting well to the outside world having little or no issue with any obstacles found. Emily did ride him on Friday and was just thrilled with the comfort of his gates. Seems she’s been riding QH’s to long.

We had planned to take Doc to the roping pen on Saturday evening but time just ran away with us so we only took Scooter. I really missed an opportunity; there were only 6-7 other horses there and the commotion was at a minimum. (I will take him on Wednesday)

Sunday gave him another opportunity to expand his horizons; we visited another mustang owner at her place. Dean and Helena have a very nice horse complex with 7 or 8 horses. We trailered over; this was his first tied experience in a moving trailer and he was the perfect gentleman. Doc was very interested in his new surrounding with the noises, horses etc but remained calm. We each took turns riding him in the ring through his gates with no issues. His response to new riders, first Cody and then Helena, was very impressive. There were no issues except when Helena could not reach the stirrups and used her feet to hold on with by his flank. Not a drastic reaction but he did do a little crow hop with the new feel. This prompted a different saddle, one with a flank and breast strap and saddle bags. All new things. Not knowing what to expect, we lunged him a couple of laps with no reaction so back on with Helena and she carried him through his paces, walk, trot, and lope. His direction change and stops are very impressive with little bit pressure. His on board backing was worked on for the first time with good results. I think everyone was impressed with him and his ability to adjust to the new surroundings. With things going so well, along came Eileen, Helena’s sister-in-law visiting from Ireland. Not being the horse person Doc has been accustomed to, I was a bit concerned but he was quite the trainer as he carried her around the pen several times with no issues. His last rider for the day was Cassie, Helena’s 8 year old daughter, who is really a good rider. No stirrups, just a good leg grip and off she went from walk to trot. With her leg squeeze not being that of an adult, she had to result to a little rein tap to get movement with Doc just moving right along. I think Doc has a new found friend with Cassie. (Pictures on the way) That finished up the evening for him so back home for feed and rest.

Another reminder for “Meet Medicine Man” . The event will be this Sunday, the 22nd from 2-6 at our place. The address is 730 Pete Thomas Rd, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Phone # is 919-542-4613. Were located 10 miles north of Pittsboro off hwy 87. Email for directions!

Monday, July 9, 2007

We're Mobile Now

Sunday afternoon here in NC was verrrrrry HOT! Late that evening Medicine Man and I had planned on another trail ride, but the weather was just not in support of the idea. We instead just saddled up ( for some reason he was a little shy today with the saddle so we spent some time working that out on both sides) and practiced a lot of lateral bending around trees, stumps, rocks or anything that could create a tight turn in improve his bending. This is not to say he's not being the perfect companion, but instead his turns, bends and flexing are coming with just the slightest bit of bit pressure and leg squeeze. Vertical flexing at the pole is slow but coming along. Seems he's gotten so responsive he just wants to back up. That surely isn't something to complain about now is it? After about 20 minutes of this, I’ve wanted to work on trailer loading, so we moved on to new challenges. Our practice trailer is a 14' stock tag along with about a 14" step-up. This is the same trailer we hauled him back from SC on day 1, so he has some familiarization with it. Well, you wouldn't think that when he saw it. A new beast, again! I wonder how there mama explains all the things they need to be afraid of because he has no short list. It took 5 minutes of walking around, left and right, back and forth for him to stop and relax within 1-2 feet of the back door. This time it was all under saddle with rider, so at least I didn't have to move as much. As we stood by the door, a storm came up. I took the opportunity to step inside to stay dry and lo' and behold, who in pops his head?! No encouragement just surprise! After a quick shower I backed him away and walked back up, back and forth to just when I thought he might lock down and repeat the step. On the third attempt to step up, he made the effort, not in but at least bumped his leg on the step-up. This didn't startle him but instead he tested the step-up for the height. One leg up and I backed him back up. Return, 2 up and rest. Back up and move forward and 1-2-3-4 feet all in the trailer. He made no attempt to back out on his own, ( I would have let him if he tried) so we just rested inside for a while before repeating the process 5-6 more times. I do want to say the first couple of attempts I used a long dead stick to tap him on the hip for forward movement, but was able to drop it after the 2nd trip in. Again guys! What a HORSE!
I'll be out of town until the weekend, so Chapin and Emily will continue to work on lessons learned and give "Doc" a little more time with other folks. This weekend, we plan to take him to a roping pen (not to rope) to expose him to more folks, horses, cows, noise and the like. We'll see how that goes!

"Let me see what this trailer is all about..."

"I don't see any Mountain Lions..."

"Hellllooooooooooo out there!"

Friday, July 6, 2007


Many inquiries have come our way with folks wanting to meet "Medicine Man" so we have finally set the date. We would like to invite any and all horse enthusiasts to our 'Meet "Medicine Man" day' on the 22nd of July here at the BarT. Time is from 2:00 to 6:00. We set this date 1 week prior to the BLM Mustang Adoption in Archdale in hopes of creating more interest in the Adoption. So, if you'd like to meet the horse that is quite the celebrity or "Reba" my 4 yo last year adoption come on out! Email us for directions @ TheBarTranch@gmail.com

Ridin', Rollin', 'n' Swimmin'

As we finished up week 4, many things have happened. After the day of bonding last Sunday it seems as if Doc and I have become a team. Late Sunday evening my 15 year old niece, Paige, was down from VA for a little horse time. She actually climbed on Doc bareback (Her first time ever on a horse bareback). This went well resulting in another Doc admirer.

In the pasture, lot, or stall he’ll attach himself to me as I approach him. He gives me a welcome as I come around each morning or evening. He’s still sharing a lot with Misty, a 2yo here for training. Monday we had our feet cleaned and rasped, both front and back, not that they were in bad shape, but he needed it for training. This was also his first tying experience. It went well; itgave him no choice as I moved from left to right and around his hind quarters. We only had a couple of pull-backs that resolved themselves in a matter of minutes. Lunging is still progressing with his circles being constrained from an 8’ circle to the entire round pen. His turns are getting some fire in ‘em with a few actual roll-backs thrown in He still gets confused sometimes on the turn verses stops but he’s picking it up.

Tuesday was light with a ride around the pasture, then I walked him up to the highway for a little car reaction. I guess the 1700 miles along the interstate mellowed him to traffic. His first truck resulted in raising his head up, ears forward, ½ circle, but that was it. He gave #2 only slight attention, #3 he never lifted his head up from eating grass. (We were within 20’ of the highway itself) Then it was time to go back down for a bath and feed.

Wednesday, the 4th, gave Doc a day of rest. His only excitement was the fireworks and motorcycles that afternoon and evening. His lot is right beside one of the trails we ride dirt bikes on, so he really became accustomed to the noise, dust and activity. The bottle rockets that night really had his attention up; I think he would had rather missed that part.

Friday morning came with a breeze and cooler temperatures. A day for new adventures! Yes, Doc and I couldn’t wait for the weekend for the trail ride, so our plans moved up. We started with a little ground work with the bridle in the pen. Flexing, lunging, patience, and respect. I tried a new bit today, a full cheek snaffle for a little better response with less strength. This worked well during flexing so I think this is what I’ll stay with from now on. I hope to never move to a shanked bit, curb or snaffle. I like the soft touch with easy responses up front. We moved out into the back pasture with a few obstacles, dirt jumps for the motorcycles, creek banks, and real open areas. He was wonderful, lots of interest in the new territory. I had asked Emily to come along for moral support, both for me and Doc. She finally arrived around 9 so off we went. Through the woods, under the hanging tree, and up on the dog highway. Every new sight resulted in a 10-20 second pause for him to check things out. Even with Scarlett, Emily’s Quarter Horse mare, leading he wanted to assure himself nothing bites! On several occasions, Doc would take the lead for his own support. A blue tarp over a car (a blue horse eater) was his strongest hurdle. A few circles around it, advance, retreat, stop and smell and we’re through it. Next, let’s walk along the highway. The lines on the highway were the same as cracks on concrete to kids (Step on a crack, break your mama’s back). He surely didn’t want to step on any of the painted lines. Our next obstacle was a small water hazard, mud and a little water but still a hole to China to him. After 45 seconds and we were through that. A dry creek bed crossing with lots of rocks resulted with no stopping, just a sniff as he worked his way through it without jumping. On through the trails and into an open field. This was the humor of the day. I had held up for Emily to move to the far edge of the field so we could get a couple of pictures with him loping. Well, what do ya know. This freshly plowed field was too tempting for him. Sniff the ground, down on his knees and for a good roll with me on him…The picture below shows the second time). This young man went down with both my feet flat on the ground before I knew what had happened. The only thing that kept him from going over were my legs stopping him! What a hoot! We let himdo it again for the camera and sure enough, he obliged…What a clown! He easily stood back up with a slight up on the reins. No fuss. On to more adventures. A couple of hills, another highway, up and down banks and thru a corn field. Our next obstacle was a camo elephant, a deer stand mounted on a trailer, was a frightful sight. Within a few minutes, we had decided it did not eat flesh. Next, a creek and cool water. Another opportunity to lie down, this time I was prepared but the camera was not. (Batteries gone) Of course he gave me all the signs before but I wanted to go the distance. Down we went, again my legs held us upright and I brought him right back up. It’s really neat today but that’s something we must work out. No laying down with riders…Back around the field, and a long straight stretch for a run. We went from squeeze, cluck and then a trot, squeeze again and a lope. Every thing was going well until he heard Emily coming up on Scarlett and the male ego kicked in and he was determined not to be passed. We kept things in control for the next 300 yards, and by using the one rein we came back down to a walk. Back to the highway, and we trotted along the remainder of the time to home. Total ride: 1 ½ hours. Experience for him: immeasurable. Enjoyment for me? The same!
Folks, what a pleasure of a horse.

Reminder: NBC 17, The TV station that came out last Thursday, will air their segment on “Medicine Man” tonight at 7:00 PM. It will be available on the website, NCB17.com afterward under ‘Your Pet’ section. Also, don’t forget the BLM Adoption in Archdale, (by High Point) on 27-29 July. Preview on the 27th, Adoption on the 28th and late adoptions on the 29th. We still plan to attend pending approval of BLM.

Also, Meet Medicine Man Day is planned for July 22 from 2 until 6. If you’d like to attend (and we encourage you to!) please email us for directions at thebartranch@gmail.com. Come out to meet such a great animal!
The "Hanging Tree"
"Please don't eat me, please don't eat me..."
"Oh, if I could just roll around for a bit
in this newly-plowed dirt..."

Medicine Man pawing pre-roll attempt...

This big scary "elephant" isn't so scary...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Mellow Man

I just had to get on today and share this mornings experience. I went into Medicine Man's stall and wanted to bring him out and about without the lead. I gave him a couple of minutes to hook on and lo' and behold out we went, no contact, no lead. Around the round pen and into the pasture with just his desire to stay by me. Man, was I proud. When I would stand around a few minutes he might eat grass or loose attention but all I had to do to regain the attachment was move back along his side, step to his rear and again we were 1. Chapin came over with a hand full of cherries so we offered him one. No way, nothing he'd ever tasted or wanted. I actually put one in his mouth and he chewed and spit it out. Not a taste for today. I also wanted to try out bridling. We went back to the on again, off again with the halter 10-15 times along the way really giving his face a rub each time. Then the bridle, right arm through the ears lifting as I offered the bit. He never bolted but he just didn't want anything in his mouth. So, lets slow down, put things in smaller steps. First, the bridle up across the ears with the bit below his chin. No problem, next a finger in the side of his mouth, He really had a tight lip for this but did give in with a little coxing. After maybe 5 minutes of this he finally did open up and accept the bit. I use a copper snaffle for the saliva effect.. I think it causes them to relax a bit. I repeated this several times and just let him stand by me as he adjusted to the new dental fixtures. I pulled up a chair and sat in front of him to build on our connection. Below, the pictures should tell the story of our results. (Disreguard my inapproiate dress; it's kinda hot here) Right now, I'm on the Internet looking for some growing pills for horses. If this young man was 16 hands I can assure you he would not leave the Bar T. I do have 1 question to ask the readers. I've had my view point on aging via teeth. His 7 year tooth is about 3/8 on an inch long. The BLM had him aged at 4. Please respond if you have any input on this. I'm kinda thinking he's 6 or 7.

Medicine Man following me around...

Medicine Man donning a bridle for the first time

He's starting to take to me...