'Cool Running Creek'

'Cool Running Creek'

Monday, August 25, 2008


I do want to invite any and all to our Mustang Makeover Fundraiser for Pardon, Rasin' Cain, and Holly-Go-Lightly before our Fort Worth trip. With the idea and hard work of our friends Jill and Connor Blankney, we will be showing our soon to be famous horses at the Southern States Feed store in Pittsboro, NC on Saturday,13 Sep from 8:30 to 12:00. All horses will be there and each trainer will have an opportunity to share with the public a few of the skills we use in working with horses. Their will also be several door prizes and drawings throughout the morning. We will be serving both breakfast sandwiches and burgers for lunch! Please mark it on your calender and plan on attending! More to come........

Update on Pardon

OK folks, its been 3 weeks since my last update and Pardon is coming around, slowly but with reverence. Each day we go thru almost all skills to keep working on his confidence. From leading, yielding fore and hind, picking up feet, roundpening, lounging, sacking out, tarp treatment, whips, and any other loud noises I can muster to bring out the fears. Our next long ride was 1 week later and his flight desire has decreased. I think our only real scare was a plastic water bottle in my rear pocket and a St Bernard all at the same time. A quick hop, side jump and he's back to himself. My friend Helena rode along with me this time and we went thru all his gates with no problem. This past weekend was spend on an overnighter at Uhwarrie. A great place for overnighters and lots of riding, more horses, 4 wheelers, loud noises, people, jeeps and just plain commotion around the campground. His first couple of hours had him a total bundle of nerves but did settle to a slack rein either in the front, middle, or rear of the pack. He would ride off on his own when asked with little effort. I was really proud of this little fellow. He remained tied on a highline overnight with no problems. He was the only horse that didn't get loose that weekend.
For those that have kept up with the blog from last year you will understand a scare we did have. During the night on Friday, Medicine Man, who belongs to Dean and Helena decided to take a little trip on his own. On Saturday morning he came up missing. However, we did find him about 1/4 mile from camp just walking along the road eating grass. Now tell me, how many horses will leave the heard on their own! This fellow cares only for his own preservation. What a horse. They still love him and he is making a great trail horse for Cassidy.
I'm still trying to get as many different riders on Pardon as possible to continue his trust of the human. So far he's had 5 different riders with no problem. You just have to relax on him to assure him of safety. We have started to add a few moves with him that should help out at Fort Worth. His back is great, softness is excellent and we are working on a little side pass and lead changes. His stop from a lope is 2 steps in the arena and he is gaining a good collection. Now it's just up to me to improve these things and continue to build his trust!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Emily's blogg!

I just wanted to share with you my daughter's blog for her EMM yearling. Emily also is involved in the competition this year as a yearling trainer. Dubbed, "Mission 007" opens up the opportunity for trainers wanting to participate with yearlings in the competition. Emily's mustang, "Holly Go Lightly" is a yearling mare, bay, with the courage of the mountain lion. She is constantly into everything and afraid of nothing. If you have a chance follow her at www.thebartfilly.blogspot.com/

Out of the roundpen?

Yes, things have made the turn-around for Pardon. Saturday brought 2 more opportunities for Pardon and me to work on our under saddle skills. Round and round we went, left and right inside and outside turns, moving off the front and rear have improved with slight leg cues. His gas pedal still has some issues beyond a trot. Seems his lopes are very uncomfortable for him. He has an issue with his rear feet hitting each other in the roundpen during a lope, don't know why but quite evident.

This morning, Sunday I invited over a couple of friends for a trail ride to bring Pardon out of the roundpen and pasture. I first introduced Scooter, Chapin's roping horse to him inside the roundpen for a little socialization and follow the leader. This went well so out of the pen and into the pasture for several laps of both walking and trotting with Pardon both following and leading the way. I have several obstacles in the pasture, logs, a wood bridge, traffic cones, cross ties and a four wheeler. We accomplished all these tasks with no problems so I guess the trail was next. With 4 horses total, we left out with Pardon 3rd in line. Into the drive, up a short woods trail, down by the highway, first car, barking dogs, 2 ditches and we're into the main trail. Pardon handled all this exceptionally well as we went along. In the first 20 min's the only issue I had to address was him trying to follow to closely to the lead horse. We fixed this with that rider holding a short limb over the rear of the horse and swatting at Pardon each time he got within range. Pardon picked this up quickly, (20 swats) and found his place. Across 2 fields, into more woods and then his first water. I must say I've never introduced a horse to water for the first time with no refusal until today. Not just a small stream but 3 feet of water as we moved up the creek. I think he actually enjoyed it! So, back around and backtrack to the last field.
We stop for a short talk and suddenly all (*&#$(#*&$# breaks loose with Pardon. Don't know what caused it but for the first time today he really sets up for the big one. I guess for some reason I was prepared and we really had a bucking fit for 5-10 seconds. Yielding him around to the left we got things back under control and he stops with this very uncomfortable feeling. (Maybe for his first trail ride I should have shortened the time). Back on the trail, through the woods, into the next field with no problem. About half way of the second field Pardon moves along Reba, my personal horse and I rein him back and here we go again. Bucking and rearing this time and I'm without the right stirrup, Now this was the big one and I really thought I was a goner until a good lunge and rear gets me back in the seat giving me a chance to really hunker down. I felt like this episode lasted 44 min's 'til he relented to the one rein shut down. Now I have the shakes. Before we make it back to the house he tried 6 more times with each one being less and less severe. The last few were quickly dispersed within 1/2 second by shutting him down with 1 rein. (Thank goodness for the one rein stop). His softness is not nearly as good as I'd like but time should fix that. I did ride in a full cheek snaffle today so it was very difficult for him to resist the pressure when applied.

All in all I am very excited and pleased with Pardon's performance for the last 5 days. He is quickly meeting new people and that's making a difference in his acceptance of new things. He received his first full bath yesterday with shampoo and conditioner. He accepted this with only a line laid over the rail. No moving or pulling during the whole soaping and enjoyed the whole experience to include drinking out of the hose. Tomorrow, into the arena (a flat part in the pasture) for a little improvement in his responsiveness and handling.
We're heading to Ft Worth in 45 days!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Whewww, A saddle and rider, Finally

I know, I know, no word from the Bar T in over 20 days. Well, I must admit I didn't have much positive to write about. 10 days ago I saddled Pardon for the 3rd or 4th time with little problem. Each time saddled though I would get on and off both sides and he would stand for all this activity and then suddenly burst with fear as if he'd just awoken from a nap sending his rider reaching for the ejector switch. This happened several times with myself and nephew Daniel finding ourselves on the ground in odd shapes. The last ride left Pardon with a saddle totally upside down and slid back! Well let me give you a story to tell; as Pardon rounded the pen in total dis-array Daniel began to slide towards the outside with saddle. His grip on the night-latch was relentless and never gave up 'til he was completely left sided of Pardon. Off he comes and the saddle slips under creating a fright for the young horse. Round and round he went really recking havoc on the round pen. Now, this round pen is 6+ feet tall, 2x8 White Oak boards nailed with 20 penny barn nails. Well, in a matter of 1-2 mins he had brought down 5 boards and didn't seem as if he was giving up. I'd try to step in front of him several times to bring him back to this earth but Pardon was having no part of it. Next thought was open the gate in front of him as he comes around, ok, it worked. He slams on the breaks, hard right, around the gate and out into the pasture before I could cut him off. Now what have I done?....Round the pasture he goes with this nasty saddle moving farther back each time he bucks. Well, he's not having any of that so right thru a 4 wire high tensile fence to the back pasture. This one is much bigger so he has about 4 acres to outrun this saddle. After over 10 min's of this malay he finally stops at the far back corner. I'm finally able to walk up to this poor fellow and give him some relief. Well, as soon as I touched that cinch to loosen it off he goes again. The monster is back! 3-4 more min's, thru 1 more fence and he's in a paddock attached to the round pen with 2 more mustangs. Whew, friends to comfort him but nope, this just scared them all so we're back now in the round pen running, now 3 horses. After a couple of min's we cut the other horses away from Pardon and now he's back where it began. Exhausted from this ordeal Pardon stops and gives me the opportunity to use a razor and cut the cinch strap dropping the saddle under him. Folks, I think this is the ultimate de-sensitivity tool ever. Though, he totally destroyed my best and oldest ranch saddle, a Hermon Hiezer made in Denver, Co around 1900 it did serve its purpose. Inspection showes no cuts, a few abrasions and a totally exhausted horse. Pardon was back to himself later that evening so I wanted to take advantage of this exhausted state for some more exposure. Well, it worked. His first jumps accross logs on the lunge line, sending exercises, cross the bridge, and loading in the trailer. Though we didn't get very far under saddle today we made tremendous advancements in these other tasks. Final analyst. Much more ground work to soften the nerves of this nice horse.

So, for the next 15 days we ground drove, lunged, sent, worked feet, introduced to a bridle, lots of saddling, baths, trimmed feet again, exposed to the outside world beyond the roundpen and pasture. With lots of on and off without saddle and I just could not get him to remove that guard and fear of someone on his back moving around. OK, I'm at a point of giving up or moving to the last ditch effort of causing him to submit himself to the human. I've only had to lay down one other horse in my training career and really didn't want to so I consulted with a super friend of mine, another trainer and excellent finisher on cow horses. Suggestion from Reggie was lets pony Pardon with a rider using his big head horse, Goose. OK, let's give it a try. So we set the date and made it happen. Results, not-to-good! Pardon just could not get the concept of leading along close enough to Goose without a rider for a rider to sit him without being in jeopardy. Several times Pardon who is 14 hands would rear up over Goose, 16.2 hands refusing the pull. Pardon leads super so this was a big fear thing that Reggie working over 2 hrs with Goose and Pardon could not overcome. Our last recourse was to lay him down. Trying to be as calm as possible, with the least amount of stress it took over one hour to finally put Pardon on the ground. If there is another horse in this world with a stronger will I, nor Reggie have yet to meet him. With little force, lots of patience, and a exhausted horse he finally relents and lays down. I began first by putting a blanket over his eyes and completely worked over his entire body with my hands. Removed the blanket and repeated the process. Folks, this was one tired horse and we were concerned if he could get back up on his own. I must say you could watch the fear leave his body as this process continued. After maybe 10-15 min's Reggie and I helped him back up and gave him a short rest and water. So, now lets see how this may have helped. Saddled and with a long lead Daniel mounts Pardon with no issues. We lead him off, left and right, forward and backwards, lunge in a small circle, direction changes, walk and trot and no issues. OK, is this because he's totally exhausted, calmed from laying him down, or did we find his easy button? I can't answer. I'll wait until the next day and see. So, a bath and a lot of just walking around the pasture so Pardon can destress and work out those (I'm sure) tired muscles before supper.

Next morning Pardon did show a more relaxed sense when I entered the stall to get him. His normal snorts and nervous actions were barely noticeable.I saddled Pardon up, a little lunge work, flexing and finally Daniel again mounts up. Pardon showed little concern with this so we move off, first leading, next sending left and right with Daniel giving cues from the saddle and me following up from the ground. As things progressed I was able to remove the lunge line and drive Pardon around the roundpen with left and right turns, stops, starts, walk, trot and lopes. By sessions end Pardon is moving at the request of Daniel as he is beginning to understanding the cues being given without my encouragement. I think we have crossed over and should have plenty of time to make him a competitive prospect for the competition. Pictures will be posted this weekend.