There's just no time to talk about New Year's resolutions for 2018!!! We have work to do! Besides, that's just talk. What are most interested in? Action! And, that's precisely what we're doing here at the ranch. We're kicking off the year with a clinic on January 13th. Some great people already confirmed and looks like it's going to fill up. I'm not sure if I'm more excited about seeing everyone or learning from our clinician Diego Gaona. Hmmm.. We're not stopping there, though. I'm in the process of developing a system, to do virtual coaching for folks who need a little help but can't or can't find the time to haul a horse in to the ranch. Even more exciting is an announcement that we'll be hosting shows here at the ranch starting in March. So many of my friends compete in cow-horse sports (I'm talking about horse-sports that involve working a cow (notice I did not say 'roping a cow' or just reined cow horse). Anyway, super excited to get these underway. We'll have a flag class (you're judged on how you and your horse work a flag, a spin class, a sliding stop class and few others that will be equally fun! I'll keep ya posted on when these will be coming up! Hopefully you can join us!
In the fall of 2015, I made a trip to the Downunder Horsemanship Ranch to meet with Clinton about two performance prospects. One in particular, Lil Chicken Fry, who was showcased during The 2015 Ranch Rally as a weanling demo horse. From the moment I saw her, I had a little twinkle in my eye. I envisioned then how she would move and what she would end up looking like. A real hottie, I thought. Boy, did that turn out to be true. Now she's pretty well grown up and is for sale. She was started March 7th, has roughly a year of training and is doing exceptional. If you are interested in a Method trained horse with bonus training, check this girl out! She's ready to pleasure ride, but if you want to show, you'll want to keep her with a trainer. She is eligible to show NRHA Futurity and on track for a great performance. Isn't she a beauty! Check out this link for more information.
Message or call me if you have any questions.
Congratulations to Lori on her purchase of Athena (Hicks Boonsmart). This is a really nice filly that Lori has secretly had her eye on since she rode her after she was first started. This Filly has been trained by me, with the Method and has advanced as a junior show horse. There will be a NWC DVD maybe later this year or next on introducing a horse to cows. Athena was one of the horses and you'll see her when the DVD arrives.
This filly is coming along nicely in trail, ranch pleasure, cow work and ranch reining, but still needs a few more months of practice before she's ready to show. Stay tuned for videos as they get more used to each other. If all goes well, Lori will ride her in clinics and show her later next year in Stock Horse of Texas in Junior horse.
Its always a humbling reminder of how many hours, days, years it takes to teach a horse everything they need to learn to perform in a show pen! So happy for Lori and Athena!
Her Pedigree and Info - http://www.sundancehorses.com/hicks-boonsmart-athena.html
Yesterday as I bent over to pick up small pieces of splintered wood from the ground where the arena sand would ultimately be spread, a mental lightening bolt hit me! It sparked a realization of how committed people can be to others, horses included! I looked out in amazement at the 20,000 square feet of ground that would be raked, swept and hand-picked over to make sure no stone or sliver of wood remained that could cause harm to hooves. It was the equivalent of scanning your lawn inch-by-inch to remove stickers so your children would be safe. The clearing act itself felt good mostly because my confidence increased with each step knowing that spot would be safe when a 4 inch hoof supporting a 1,200 pound animal stepped there. As I picked up each hazard, I also considered the amount of time and money that went into choosing footing, having a clay pad built to support the footing and the methodical way in which the footing would be spread. Ironically, footing in horse talk is the type of sandy foundation a horse works on. And, its quite complicated. Not too coarse, not too fine. Just enough clay and the precise depth for the discipline. It’s literally a chemistry experiment and a measurement of inches.
As precise as this process was, it reminded me that building a foundation for success isn’t just building any foundation. It’s carefully planned and even more carefully executed. Future success, safety and wellbeing for all depend on this work. It’s not just an arena, you see, it’s a representation of building something of intricate value which others (people and horses) will use to build their own foundation of value for even more people or animals in their sphere of community.
What are you currently building that’s taking every ounce of your analytical mind, and maybe your pocketbook, that will ultimately benefit others? Please share! I love hearing how others are contributing to the lives of others!
Yep, we all love horses! The barely audible nicker when we approach. The soft nose-breathing against our hands. The thrill of riding in step with their strides. All super wonderful, but one of my favorite aspects of these magnificent creatures is how they bring people together. This past weekend, Lori and I enjoyed spending time with Jody and David David. Both are avid Downunder Horsemanship fans and Jody is entering the reining world with her horse Sable who is in training with Diego Gaona. I just loved watching Lori and Jody 'put some tracks down'.. Lots of laughing and of course, big smiles at the end of the day! Do you have any awesome memories of horses bringing people together?
An amazing surprise from the NCHA earlier this year. So incredibly proud to have this in my living room. It reminds me that anything is possible. I started back into horses in 2013 after a 20 year break and after a year treatment for breast cancer. Now, five years later its almost unfathomable the transformation my life has undergone. I am very grateful to Clinton Anderson for his help in teaching me great horsemanship, training fundamentals for horses, horse psychology and helping me to meet so many awesome friends. There are hundreds of lessons Clinton has taught me, but there is one compliment that means the most to me. In 2016, the Colt Starting Clinic was filled with 45 people eager to start their colts. On the day the colts were to get there first ride, Clinton gathered everyone to give them the very serious safety lecture. Its one that's meant to get peoples attention on how dangerous starting colts is for both horse and human. He told everyone they are like a stick of dynamite. You just never know when they might explode. Remembering his words during the talk he said, "No one except for two people in this clinic will be given the opportunity to put the first ride on their colt. It is just too dangerous for almost all of you." He then pointed to me and another participant and said we were the only two who could put the first ride on our colts. I will never forget that day. If you know Clinton, you know he has quite the sense of humor. Retrospectively, I'm not sure if he just wanted to see a good show with the two of us or if he was SURE we wouldn't fall off! I'm voting that he thought we could ride safely.
I am also grateful and so appreciative of Hall of Fame Cutting Horse Rider/Trainer, Kathy Daughn for taking me on as my cutting coach! Riding a performance horse, not to mention a cutting horse, is an awesome experience. Thrilling in fact, but also very hard. It's taken a long time to even get to be decent at the sport. I am eternally appreciative of the life, horse and horsemanship lessons she has taught me. One day I was complaining about not having enough experience and needing more practice to get better. I told her that I didn't have 4 Million dollars of earning experience to fall back on - that I needed more practice. What she said to me was eternal. Her reply was, "Yes, that's right. But, you have my 4 Millions dollars worth of knowledge that I'm sharing with you. You can do it."
That's the cool thing about awards, they represent a journey and an evolution in knowledge, beliefs and skills. Most importantly, though, the represent relationships between people, and in my case people and horses. Those relationships, struggles and whatever successes being ultimately so very delicious.
Many people have met Tippy throughout the years. She has been my constant companion and friend as my personal horse. We have done a lot together including winning the Downunder Horsemanship Challenge in 2016, Stock Horse of Texas 4th all-around junior horse placing in Dripping Springs, Texas and placing 50th all round 2016 year end in Stock Horse of Texas in Intermediate non-pro. Earlier this year while hosting a clinic at our facility, my good friend Debbie Bartek brought a horse to ride that just wasn't a good fit for her. To be honest, she was just dangerous for Debbie and anyone else riding around her. Just a grump who wanted to run off with you and protested just about everything. Did I mention she is an Appaloosa? At noon on the first day, I asked Debbie if would ride Tippy for the rest of the clinic. Mostly because I wanted her to have a good time and because I knew the two of them would get along fabulously with Tippy taking care of her. Debbie is just too good of a person and a rider to have a bad minded horse. After a couple of days of watching them together, I let myself think about what it would be like for me if I let Tippy go home with Debbie. Oh MY, it was such an emotional consideration. I just cried thinking about the possibility since Tippy was my personal horse. The one that would galloping to me from the pasture. Just an incredible bond. After much consideration, my friend's happiness and health were more powerful motivators than my selfish affection and love for Tippy. BUT, this wasn't just my decision. Tippy picked Debbie too. She gravitated to Debbie, honored her requests and took care of her when needed. After some discussion and tears, Debbie took Tippy home. Debbie and I joke that we're co-parents. In fact, we'll be breeding Tippy next year and then let the Appaloosa carry the foal so Debbie can keep showing. The lesson in this story is sometimes we need to let go of things that will be of help and service to others. Tippy and I both agree it was good decision and I'm so proud to watch the two of them grow and enjoy life together!
This is a message/testimonial from Debbie