Friday, October 30, 2009

My Newest Goal...and Scholarships?

Firstly, my newest personal riding goal this winter is to regain my bareback seat. I rode my friend's horse Major today bareback and wasnt half bad, but I would like to get my seat back again, primarily on my horse.

Also, I would like to share some insight to my future educational goals. Firstly, I want to get certified from New Horizons Equine Courses for basic equine sciences, followed my certification in Equine Nutrition, and finally, as an Equine Sports Massage Therapist.

So here's my question for you: any ideas as to how and where I can obtain horse related scholarships or grants to help me in pursuing these equine dreams? Google is overwhelming and yields few results that pertain to me or my educational needs. Any ideas?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Its amazing how horses create peace

Not a huge post to say today, but I rode Milo tonight after work and it really just washed everything away today; stress at work, being tired, and missing wes while hes out hunting. I decided I wanted to ride bareback, not only cause I didnt really want to tack up, but to have a quite relaxing ride (and work on my bareback seat more!) and also since Milo got a good workout yesterday.

I only rode about twenty minutes, but it sure was a good ride. Ive always loved the closeness you get when riding without a saddle. It did remind me that my seat has disappeared in just the last few years. I remember being a kid and running fearlessly through fields and jumping fallen trees, all bareback on my good old quarter horse Koalt. I was always stuck to him like glue. Now I wiggle around and clench my thighs when I ride bare.

But Milo was such a good sport, and I think he actually enjoyed it more too. We still worked on a few things and held some collection, but he showed a lot less tail swishing. I jogged him around a bit working on some good circles, and finally asked for a lope. I could feel my thighs clench instantly but I really didnt feel too unbalanced which was nice :). Milo I think could feel that I wasnt sitting the same as I do in my saddle, and he was a gentleman and did a nice collected lope for me - what a good boy! We went both directions, than worked on some turnarounds and let me tell you, he did some amazing spins! Now net necessarily fast, but the footwork was correct and cadenced and the best part was I barely had to give him much cueing. I first asked for him to set himself and turn but after that he just kept going round and round, even on his bad side! :) He even did some nice suck-backs from stopping - up to about 5 or 6 steps on his own!!

So we finished there. And the cool thing too was when I looked at his bit after I got off, he was lathering pretty well and I could tell he was holding the bit well during the ride. So I groomed him and rubbed him, gave him two cookies and put him away. I think he came away from that ride about as well as I did.

And I also wanted to mention how I love love love the soft sound of his hooves hitting the dirt in the arena when we are jogging. It is just the most simple and pleasing sound in the world. Like how I can watch him eating in a pasture for hours and not realize it. Its one of those simple beauties that horses give freely to us if we just relax and pay attention.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Treating Tails

So now that its my day off I have a bit more time to update. I was having some problems with Milo and that fact that he seems afraid of the dark, so I called Cathy and she gave me a great suggestion. I've only tried it once now but I will keep working on it and see if goos results come from it.

But i do have a question if anyone is out there to read it or comment on it; I'm wondering how is the best way to deal with Milo's tail this approaching winter? Lots of people at my barn use tail bags and I have one, but I just dont know if I necessarily need to use it. Last year all I did was keep it in a braid, and it worked in keeping his tail in, but didn't promote growth. I don't really need to be keeping it in show worthy care, but he does have a thin tail so I wanted to know if anyone knows of a good way to keep the tail during the winter that will promote some growth.

A friend of mine used to use a twist in the tail, but I dont think it actually created any growth. I dont want to have to buy a bunch of products, but maybe one good one I can do. So, any suggestions? What works for you?

I just added this picture cause I like it =] I took it about 3 weeks ago can see some fuzz is starting to come in on his neck.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Back From Twisp...

This post is a bit off topic for this blog, but I got some nice pictures and it sure was a blast!

Wes and I got back from Twisp on Monday, where he hunted for Mule deer here in Washington. Wes ended up shooting a nice 4x4 Muley with a 22"x18"rack, and about 250 lbs on the hoof! Lots of meat to last us! He shot it from his tree stand off Thomspon Ridge with his 300 Weatherby. And let me tell you, it was a hike up that mountain to get to his spot! I helped pack in his gear on Friday, and pack out his gear and gun after he shot it. Lucky for him, he shot the buck on the first morning of the opening day for the season, only about 4 or 5 hours into his hunt. And what an amazing buck! Many only see a buck like him after hunting years in that area. This buck has some nice mass in his antlers, and a chocolate color indicating he came from high country.

So heres a nice picture of Wes and I with his new trophy for the wall (this will make deer head number 4 on the wall - among some other critters).

And I snapped a few nice shots of a pretty Mule doe on the side of the road...such big ears!! But what a sweet little face!
She was so cute standing on the side of the road, literally like 2 feet away from me!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Good ride on Milo today. Especially since there were so many distractions going on the the arena; us plus two other riders (one being a lesson), the tractor going by a bunch to the manure pile, and just plain noise happening. But Milo did well - I think he prefers being ridden during the day rather than at night with all the scary shadows, but he will have to get over it because Mom can't make it out during most days. Milo was very happy today though cause he got a nice long turnout while I cleaned pastures and cleaned water buckets.

Tomorrow Wes and I are leaving to Twisp for four days. Wes is going out hunting for Mule Deer. So I will miss Milo for sure, but I asked a good friend of mine to keep her eye on him while Im gone and give him some turnouts when she is there. =] I'll talk to you all in a couple of days (and hopefully with some cool pics of Wes' deer!).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Milo is a Goofball

So I discovered today that while Mom isnt at th barn and Milo is bored (like his salt lick and jolly ball isnt enough to cease the boredom!), he grabs the front of his lightweight blanket and pulls it up so high it doesnt cover his rump anymore. Than he can proceed to turn it around or underneath him. Apparently he just wants to make sure the barn staff and anyone else around has something to do in constantly fixing his blanket! Or retrieving his jolly ball from another horse's paddock. What a silly guy.

I rode him today and unfortunately, most times I get to ride is after work when its dark therefore using the arena lights. Apparently, Milo doesnt like all the shadows that the twelve or so lights cast and decided it would be highly important to spook at them every time they are casted against the ground or walls (which of course, is all the time). Not to mention the scary openings of the arena where he can see out into the darkness (its a coverall arena so only the front and back is open to outside). Oh boy Milo what am I going to do with you?

But on a good note, our ride went alright and he seems to finally stop being to stiff on the right side him his turnarounds or spins to the left. Which makes for a nicer smooth and straight turn. :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009


So my boyfriend Wes came out and rode Milo this evening and did a good job =] Milo packed him around pretty good once Wes showed him that he wasn't just a supplier of cookies.

But on another note, I've had some confusion as to why Milo has been getting stocked up the past few days. He has a stall and paddock and gets out about 5 times a week for a ride or turnout. At first I thought he was stocking up because of not moving around enough. Than I heard sometimes they will stock up if they are too warm, so I've been removing his lightweight blanket during the day and keeping it on at night. So last night and all of today (about 55 degrees today) his blanket was off, but when I arrived tonight to ride he was still stocked in the back. Any ideas as to why this might be happening and what I can do about it?

Friday, October 9, 2009

I suppose a picture would be nice...

Here are some current photos of Milo, taken about two or three weeks ago. He was obviously happy to be turned out in a nice big field while Mom cleaned the pastures....

One of the last few weeks before fall set in...won't see that nice sleek shiny coat for a while now! Sad! He's getting his little fuzzies now, and the lightweight blanket went on.

The Beginning

Well, this will be the start of my new (and pretty much first) blog. The purpose is to express those feelings that just overwhelm me - ones that are created because of my horse Milo. Those days that remind me why I love horses so much, or the days that make me want to quit, and all the important days in between.

I suppose I should start at the beginning...wherever that may be. Lets name is Nina, I've been involved with horses for the past 11 years, and I truly could not see my life without them. I am not a trainer, but I have worked with a handful of horses and consider each experience with them successful (whatever that means), rewarding, and educating.

I currently own a gelding named Milo (Justa Cool Milo). He is five years old and a paint. I purchased him at the age of two with about ten rides or so on him, so he was considered "green". My intentions with him were to train towards Western Pleasure, and eventually show in my state's (WA) Pinto shows. Long story short, thats not what he or I want to do anymore. In 2008 we joined the Thunderbird Cowgirls Drill Team ( more more info) and are loving it! We are also starting to train towards reined cowhorse, but are having difficulty with access to cows, so moreover just reining. I have had one lesson with a well known local trainer named Max, but take more regular lessons with one of this "students" Cathy. Milo and I are really loving this new kind of work that we are doing!

So I guess for my first entry I'll mention where we are in our training. Milo knows how to be soft and supple in the face, and for the most part in his body, are working on the basics of the "spin" or "turnaround", along with some other minor (but important!!) elements of reining. I have to say though; last week produced some phenomenal rides and milestones in Milo's (and my) training! He finally seemed to get the concept of staying round, supple, and balanced in a nice cadenced lope. I cant hardly even express how amazing it was (and is!)!

So I found myself riding him today, and am still so amazed, pleased, and proud of my little Milo, loping along like the wonderful horse he is. And I suppose here I can elaborate more about just who Milo is.

Milo is what I could call the "childlike" horse. He is so much a goofball it is really entertaining to anyone who spends any time with him. He actively plays with his giant purple jollyball in his stall and paddock, and is the type of horse that never tires from toys (and I doubt we will ever outgrow that - its just who he is and I wouldnt change it for anything). He also thinks that he knows best (but Mom, those barrels in the corner ARE going to eat me!!), but usually comes around and still pays attention and TRIES. Oh he tries so hard for me everyday. Milo has not ever really been a difficult baby or I suppose more of an adolescent. At just four years old, we participated in large parade with tons of noises and excitement, and he took it in stride. This past year we rode in the grand entry for the Thunderbird Rodeo and while he displayed some herdboundness to his girlfriend Margie before going into the arena, he payed perfect attention to me while we performed our pattern.

Hmm what else to say about him? I suppose more will surface as this blog progresses...but more now, I will finish this entry.