Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just For Laughs

What a hoot!



Also, on a more serious note - one of the greatest dressage horses to ever grace the face of the earth. I feel compelled to do a model of this fellow too. What an athlete! I love the theme music to his routine - King Arthur! One of my favorites. Totilas reputedly has trekhaner blood in his background - (a breed which was developed from akhal teke root stock.) I'm glad to see that other types of warmbloods besides hannoverians are making a splash in the dressage world.


Although purebred tekes don't have as much lift in the limbs, they are very light and have a lot of "floating" air time in their dressage movements. Grom is a good example.



More Spanish Videos

Some more videos that I thought were really interesting. I posted two videos of Merlin earlier on the blog, and I'm working on a model of him in the studio. This morning I went back onto Youtube to look at some more spanish videos, and I found these. They are unique and fascinating:


The garrochas started out by pushing bulls and sorting them with the lance, but this has moved into more of an art form of horsemanship in present times. A well schooled horse requires no rein aids, and has to remain controlled only by the riders feet. There are some dressage moves that they preform on the end of the lance: flying lead changes, piroettes, and sidepassing. Even at a dead run the horse has to remain in control.


A different approach to equitation classes! A combination of gaming, trail, and hunter over fences. It kind of reminded me of a tamer arena version of the extreme cowboy race...


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Home On The Range 2010

The first endurance race of the season kicked off yesterday, on March 27th. What a great day it was! Nice and sunny with just a hint of wind. Not too bad at all... =:)

I'm so very happy to see this ride come back. Last year a few problems occured with the state park where the ride was originally held, so it was cancelled. This year the ride was moved onto some private land near Washtucna that had breathtaking views of the mountain ranges. The land owner was a really great fellow, and the hospitality was wonderful. Washtucna is a remote place and most of the local folks seemed happy to invite new people to explore their area.

A view from our trailer of one of the rows at camp. There was another row of trailers to the right. It was a very good turnout for the first ride of the northwestern endurance season.
Warming up for the LD 25. Since Octopelle is only four, we are prohibited by AERC rules to compete in any longer races yet - (but that will change by the time Renegade rolls around). Ox did exceptionally well for his first endurance race ever. Good recoveries, great gut sounds, good forward impulsion, and most importantly - he learned to be patient when people passed us and when we had to pass them out on the trail. Since this was a barefoot friendly ride, we went shoeless too! (I want to avoid using them until absolutely neccessary.) Overall, I was proud as punch of my young fellow!

Getting ready for the start of our ride.

Heading out!

This is a picture that my husband took of Kerri-Jo Stewart (in the middle, blue coat). I was really disappointed that he didn't take a better one - argh!!! Kerri-Jo drove down from Canada to ride in the LD 25, and she was on one of her purebred teke mares.

A picture that I got of Cathy Leddy and Wendy Connell heading out for their 50. Cathy was riding her teke sporthorse gelding Galen, and Wendy was on Ali (Alpowa) her nez perce mare.

I guess that the crummy photo that Craig took of Kerri-Jo was made up for with this totally awesome one that he snapped of Monica and Taz! Monica Bretherton rode Wendy's teke sporthorse gelding Taz on the trail ride. He is by Astrachan, (Cathy's stallion) and out of a quarter horse mare. Monica said that he did really well for her and she enjoyed the trail ride a lot. Very cool!
Update! More photos and information from other folks that attended the ride can be found here:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cutting Clinic Day 2

Another fun day of working cattle. Everyone's horses had showed tons of improvement from the first day. The weather held out long enough for everyone to get lots of practice in. About the time that we were done for the day, it started raining. I took Suzette this time and introduced her to the mechanical cow and real cattle for the first time. She did really great. I was surprised at how well she had a nice stop. Being half arab and half teke, I knew that I would have my work cut out for me in that department - but it was a very nice and impressive stop and "whoa". We later worked out of the herd, and she learned how to sort and split them out by herself. Some of the cows were bigger than she was...

Don and Brownie. Brownie did really great the second day.

My mom and Maggie, another horse that my parents raised. I really like taking pictures of Maggie - she is so fast that I almost have to have my camera set on a different mode. There are a couple of pictures that were so fast that they blurred. She is an incredibly nice horse.

A good example of how fast this mare is. It's hard to take photos of her without them blurring...

Jean and Shady cutting.

Cathy and Sissy. They showed really great improvement on the second day as well.

Dr. Fred and Barbie (Bar B). She is a very talented young horse.

We had two new people come on the second day. This is Debbie from Hermiston and her young horse Cody. They were at about the same place in training that I was, (just getting introduced to working cattle). Debbie is a barrel racer, and to her credit she was trying something new for a change. It's very good to try new things!

Larry Bonnet working a cow with Cody. Larry is a horse shoer from Hermiston and also an active team roper.

Rob and Scotch.

Ann and Powerball. That little arab is getting into it!

Me and Suzette working a single cow. We worked from the herd later, but didn't get any photos of that. Thank you to Jeff Wilson for getting these few snapshots of us working the single.

Jean coaching me to push it out. Suzette didn't want to get up close to the cow and move it, so we practiced riding towards it's shoulder and making it move away from us. It built her confidence up, and she learned that it was okay to get up close to it and bully it a little bit, instead of shrinking back like a scared little mouse.

Hurrying to cut it off at the other end.

By the end of the day she was sorting through the herd and bumping them with her nose to move them out. It was great improvement for a young green horse that had never seen a cow before.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cutting Clinic Day 1

This weekend my parents held a cutting clinic which I attended with my two sporthorse colts. My mom and dad have a nice outdoor arena with cattle holding pens and also a mechanical string cow in another small arena to practice on. My mom trains cutting horses and starts colts for people for a living. She has won numerous awards in the Blue Mountain cutting club and also the Foundation Quarter Horse registry.

I've taken some of these photos on day one of the clinic - today. Jean Barboulitas of Hermiston is one of our instructors too, and she is very good at coaching. My mother helps as well and each student gets some time to work on problem areas and stuff that they are having trouble with. Octopelle had never seen a cow up close, let alone worked one - so it was a very good experience for him. He was a bit apprehensive of what they were at first, but soon gained confidence and realized that he had a job to do. We practiced keeping up with the mechanical string cow at first, and then moved onto trailing a single cow around the outer edge of the arena. Once he got used to that, we moved on to working out of the herd. It was a lot of fun, and great for him to experience!

To all of the Akhal Teke folks out there, don't be afraid to try new things with your horses. You never know how well they might do in other areas of sport. As the old saying goes: nothing ventured, nothing gained...

Jean Barboulitas on Shady.

Left to right: Ann Burnside on Powerball (arab filly), me on Octopelle, Don from Hermiston on Brownie, and Dr. Fred Robinson on Barbie (Bar B).

Upper photo: Splitting a pair from the herd and pushing them out. Bottom photo: working a single steer without the herd. The later one isn't the greatest photo, Octopelle was a little late and hadn't made his turn yet. But we got to it, eventually.
Heading to the fence. Trying to keep the steer from getting back into the herd.

Splitting one off and keeping it out there. He got the hang of it by the end of the day.

This is a good photo of my dad on Ace, a young three year old gelding that my parents have raised. This colt has a lot of natural ability when it comes to working cows. And that gorgeous strawberry roan color...

Don from Hermiston working a steer. Brownie is a very nice horse too, lots of natural ability for working cattle.

Rob Burnside and Scotch, a horse that my mother trained. Scotch has won numerous awards and buckles in the past. Rob and Ann bought her a year ago and Rob has began showing her in the cutting club. She turned so hard and fast that Rob lost his hat and snuff box out of his shirt pocket!

Cathy Gettner and her paint horse Sissy. Cathy did very well, and her horse had a lot of energy to spare by the end of the day.
Ann Burnside and Powerball. Ann raises arabians and has began showing in the cutting club. Her horse does very well for her breed.

Dr. Fred Robinson and Barbie (Bar B). She is very nice, and has a lot of natural talent. Dr. Fred is our local veterinarian.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chili Feed Ride

Today Craig and I attended the 24th annual Rattlesnake Ridge Riders Chili Feed ride at Horn Rapids park in Benton City, Wa. It is a big trail ride put on by the backcountry horsemen that is open to everybody, and there is usually anywhere from 200 up to 400 riders that turn out. The weather was really wonderful today! Lots of great sunshine, and the wind was surprisingly calm for the Tri-Cities area.

Going to a few trail rides early in the year is a great way to get young green horses used to new things before venturing onto endurance races. For the last three years I've done the long ride that is around 2 hours in length, and the backcountry horsemen feed everybody a big bowl of chili when they get back into camp. This year I managed to sweet talk Craig into going with me on his trusty old steed (Dee, Octopelle's mother). Everything went perfectly for us today.

Octopelle got to experience lots of new scarey things for the first time today: other peoples horses following too closely behind us - right up our butts, gaited horses doing fast running walks right beside of us with sleigh bells jingling away, people galloping beside of us at high rates of speed, loud gunshots from the shooting range next door to the wildlife area, big scarey white trail signs that make noise when you touch them, horse devouring giant boulders, unexpected folks stepping out of outhouses at the exact inopportune moments, and alas - a little white pony that kept circling us that Ox wasn't sure was friend or foe.....

Overall, it was a great experience for him. I was fiercely proud of my young horse for taking things in stride today. =:)

A wobbley photo from Craigs cellphone. (We forgot the actual real camera in the truck.)

Our neighbor George Ruby took a picture of us with our good camera when we got back to the rig. Thank you so much George!

Friday, March 12, 2010


As I had suspected, the younger barbados ewe had been carrying three little lambies. She is a younger heavier ewe, and a first time lamber - so this is a bit of an overwhelming experience for her. Her mother is the purebred barbados who twinned earlier in the month, and her father was a barbados x dorper cross. The 1/4 dorper blood makes her bigger and apt to throw some really interesting colors on lambs.

The lighter frosted lamb is a ewe, and the darker spotted and solid mahogany are little rams.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Is Here

Lambing has commenced! The first lambs of the year are here, and what a lovely pair of twins! (These are soay x black belly barbados.) Spring is definitely upon us here at the farm.

This ewe has surprised me a bit, because she is older and isn't very big. But, she obviously produces very well. I have a feeling that this ewes daughter - (the other lighter colored barbados), will have triplets. She is twice as big as her mother.

The darker colored lamb is a ewe and the lighter one is a ram.