'Cool Running Creek'

'Cool Running Creek'

Friday, July 6, 2007

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...

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