Saturday, August 24, 2013

Too Many Horses? How do you keep them exercised?

I have 5 horses and find it a challenge to keep them all in trail shape.  I ride more then most but have determined that when I go on the trail it is best if I always take 3 horses with me.  One in the saddle and two following along.  I have been doing this for some time and I find it makes the trail ride more fun and interesting and it is nice to give 3 horses a good work out.  The horses seem to enjoy being on the trail together and getting out to see new things.  I find it keeps their barefoot feet tougher.  I had  great rides this week with Cisco, Tiger Lilly and Lakota.  We did 4 rides 5-8 miles each 2 in North Fork (Liberty Utah) and 2 rides in Snow basin.    Cisco is wonderful as always.  She will even lead the ride on her own without anyone on her back.  She is really a gem.  Tiger Lilly is still a touch conservative and would rather have a horse in front of her on the trail unless I ask her lead.  Lakota is so young it is fun to see her encounter things on the trail for the 1st time.  Moose, Deer, Turkeys, Bikes, Hikers, bridges, streams.  She is learning fast.   Going to be a great horse.

Horse Advice:  Keep your horses out on the trail.   If you have horses that aren't being ridden, take them along and teach them to follow you without a lead rope.

Life Advice:  Date your spouse regularly.  It is a great deal of fun.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Horse Crazy Girls and Birthday number 92

A few days ago I had a call from a work associate of one of my boys explaining to me that he had daughters who were horse crazy and wondered if I might take them on a horseback ride.  I thought that was a great idea since I never want to pass up an opportunity to go for a ride and get my horses exercised at the same time.

I called my friend King to see if he wanted to come as well and learned it was his birthday and that he was turning 92.  I don't know about you but to be 92 years old and still riding the mountains on horseback is simply down right Awesome.  Happy birthday King! My hope is that I can follow your example and be riding when I am 92 and be healthy enough to enjoy it.

It was great to get out!  So King and I rode the Bountiful hills with 3 very pretty horse crazy girls.  Tacy, Julia and Elise.  Everyone seemed to have fun!  The horses did great and the girls did great.  Those girls better make darn sure then when it comes time to get hitched that they find themselves a cowboy so they can enjoy the magical world of horses their whole lives.

Life Advice for Today:  Every day you ride a horse you get and extra 20 days of life.  This is true as you can see the evidence in King's life.  

Horse Advice:  Keep your Pregnant mares ridden.  It will keep them from getting too fat and also help them to bounce back quicker after foaling.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Great Western (Utah Fox Trotter Show)

Thursday, Friday and Saturday this past week there was a fun Fox Trotter Show at the Spanish Fork Utah Fair grounds.  My friend Alma Demille called me and asked me if I intended to enter my horse "Tiger Lilly" in the Futurity competition as she was eligible to participate because of who her sire was.  I told him I wasn't planning on it so he asked if he could enter her in the Futurity Western Pleasure Class.  I told him that would be great and would love to have him ride her and work with her as Alma always improves a horse when he rides them.  My schedule cleared up so I was able to attend the show and see the beautiful horses competing in different classes.  I learned a great deal about what happens at a show and what the National club has outlined for what a show gait should look like.  It was interesting indeed.  It was fun to see horses perform the "Show Foxtrot" and also see other Fox Trotters perform a much less dramatic but extremely smooth old time foxtrot and various other smooth gaits.  It is wonderful to see the same breed performing such different ways of moving.   I love this breed of horses and love to see them move.  At the very bottom of this post is a short video of one of the most famous Fox Trotter Stallions in the breed a stallion named Zane Grey.  He is held up as one of the great ones and was known to have a very smooth and ground covering fox trot.  This will not make my friends that are in love with the Show Foxtrot overly happy but the truth is Zane Grey is not doing a show Foxtrot he is doing a very smooth old time foxtrot.  He won the World Championship not doing the modern day show foxtrot.  For me the difference in the smoothness in the gait between the show foxtrot and the original old time foxtrot is quite significant.  I am a fan of the old time Foxtrot not the show foxtrot personally.  As you can see from the Video of Zane Grey it is a wonderful gait indeed.

I was excited that Tiger Lilly won 1st place in the Futurity Western Pleasure class for 4 years and older horses.  She also took 2nd place in another trail class focused on the Flat Walk and the Foxtrot.  A big Thank you to Alma and his daughter Amy for taking the time to enter Tiger Lilly and ride her in the competition.  They both did a wonderful job.  By the way she does the old style foxtrot beautifully.  A few pictures below.

Live Advice:  It is always good to try new things to shake things in life up a bit.  It makes life more interesting and adds character and color to your life.

Horse Advice:  Consider entering your horse in a show.  Horses that can perform well on the trail many times will feel challenged in the arena.  It is good for them and will stretch them to be a better horse.