Saturday, December 17, 2011
Another video of interest is of the famous Turkmen trickriders:
And the ones below are of Absent, the big black Akhal Teke stallion that was a five time Olympic medalist during the 1960's and onward (2 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze). He competed against warmbloods and won many times, and was named "Horse of the Century" by the media. He was a bit heavier in type than Kandar and the tekes in the other videos, but also a very beautiful and talented horse.
Friday, December 2, 2011
A recent picture of him on one of our windy fall day conditioning rides.
He's gotten to the point where he's pretty patient when I have the camera out now. I used to have to push him away all the time when I'd take a picture, because he'd be right in my face wanting to know what that little black thing was. Now, it's like, "Oh god, the black thing is out again. I'll just wait here, knock youself out...."
Monday, November 28, 2011
I've also been experimenting with colors on bases, and this sculpture has a metallic cameleon purple/blue/green hue. It was fun to paint. My new little handmade branded Teke watermark has started making appearances in the model photos too. It's my small attempt to cut down on picture pirating....although I do realize that it can be photoshopped and erased....
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
There was a picture decorating the door of Spot (with Ernie in the saddle), climbing cougar rock at the Tevis a few years back. Both of them are active endurance competitors, and it was nice to see Spot attending the horse show. From the looks of the ribbons hanging on the door, he had done pretty well. I thought that it was a great example of an endurance horse branching out into other activities. Very inspiring.
Tommy has started the journey of proving that he is a trustworthy partner in both the arena and along the trail. For the first few months under saddle, I used to have to lunge him in a warmup to let him get his juvenile bucks and giggles out before I swung a leg up over him. Now, we saddle up and head on down the trail at a nice collected western pleasure jog. All business and no silliness - it's absolutely fabulous.
There have also been two other transitions happening in a years time as well. We have transitioned in the leg aid department from: (1) no spurs for the first 8 months (2) to slip on nubbies for 2 months (3) into gooseneck shank spurs now. I have alterior motives for switching to shanks at both ends. Which brings me to the other transition:
Head gear changes. The first month under saddle was dedicated to the sidepull. I've used it on every horse that I've started. It's similar to a hackamore or a stoutly made halter, only with a more direct rein connect to either side of the nose for a more "non-confusing" approach. I prefer the sidepull over a hackamore because the reins are located on either side, instead of a big rein mass underneath the chin. Young horses seem to understand the direct concept of going right and left with it better, and since there is no bit they can concentrate on carrying the riders weight for the first month. I won't start anything with a bit, as I've always felt that it was too much for a young horse to stay focused on for the intial first few times. I know that there are a lot of people who start out with a snaffle, but it's my personal preference to start without one.
The next transition was into a regular ring snaffle. Tommy worked with it in his mouth and gnawed at it the first two weeks that it was introduced, but soon got comfortable and stopped fiddling with it. Generally most young horses will chew at it to begin with. He learned to give to a stop and backing pressure with it, and also the beginning stages of collection. Most of my snaffles have a sweet iron or copper mouthpiece, I kind-of like them that way. We spent several months working in the snaffle.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Suzette and I crossing a creek. My yellow pullover sweatshirt matches the tree leaves! =:)
Thursday, October 13, 2011
He is by far the most difficult - yet most striking - appaloosa that I've painted, yet.
Kowboy is not very photographic due to his light dun coloration - and a lot of the tiny little details get washed out by the camera's flash. I purposely left off the flash on this leg photo to show the broken up leg barring and tiny specs of hair marks. If you look at the full body shot, the leg barring looks like it's just a solid stripe - but in reality all of the stripes are broken up into a million tiny little brush strokes.
I hope to do another appy in this style of painting in the future, but it will probably be on one of my own models. It was a ton of work, but very rewarding. =:)
Monday, October 10, 2011
There are always a couple of mules that do very well.
A Tevis article in the Auburn Journal:
Sunday, October 9, 2011
The Tevis was run in a very different and somewhat odd way this year. The ride is usually held at the beginning of July when the weather is scorchingly hot - but due to an unusually high snowpack in the Sierra mountains this year - it was moved back to October. This unfortunately created another problem; as a couple of days before the ride was scheduled to begin - it snowed at Robie Park, the starting point of the ride. So the event coordinators had to re-route the ride backwards with a loop half way out and back this year. It was interesting to see the updates and keep track of people on the Tevis website: http://www.teviscup.org/
Cathy and Monica made the trip down to Auburn to help support Jas and Patrick. It will be great to hear the stories and view Monica's pictures when they return from the trip. It's a good idea to have a competent supporting ground crew available for the Tevis, as there is a lot of confusion and chaos with this big of a ride. Contestants need all the help that they can get, and Jas had the whole Akhal Teke community backing her. There were enough donations that came in to the Co-op site to cover most of her expenses for the Tevis: http://akhaltekebreeders.com/default.aspx
Query results for Rider #157 (Shearer-McMahon, Jas)
Information generated 10/9/11 9:29:10 am (UTC-0700)
Auburn - Start
10/8/11 6:30 am
Lower Quarry - East
10/8/11 7:30 am
River Crossing - East
10/8/11 8:06 am
Franciscos - East
10/8/11 8:33 am
Franciscos - East
10/8/11 8:54 am
Cal 2 - East
10/8/11 9:54 am
10/8/11 10:04 am
Foresthill - East
10/8/11 12:00 pm
Foresthill - East
10/8/11 1:08 pm
Chicken Hawk/Volcano - East
10/8/11 2:07 pm
Mosquito Ridge Road
10/8/11 2:14 pm
Chicken Hawk/Volcano - West
10/8/11 4:59 pm
Foresthill - West
10/8/11 5:45 pm
Foresthill - West
10/8/11 6:54 pm
Cal 2 - West
10/8/11 8:53 pm
Franciscos - West
10/8/11 11:07 pm
10/8/11 11:47 pm
Lower Quarry - West
10/9/11 12:55 am
Lower Quarry - West
10/9/11 1:10 am
McCann Stadium - Finish
10/9/11 2:56 am
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Today's horse market is in a pretty sad state. There are several very nice well trained horses in america going for dirt cheap. A friend of mine e-mailed the other day and reported that he witnessed a perfectly sound 12 year old quarter horse gelding - a dead broke kids horse - sell for $200 from his boarding barn. That's a sad commentary. With hay prices at an all time high and a glutted saturatation of the market, things are most likely not going to get better anytime soon. It's happening in other places of the world as well. Inflation of the necessities in life, (like fuel to get to work with) are becoming a real buggar to grapple with - and generally the hobby details in people's lives are the ones that are going to suffer (horses).
But, then again on a cheerier note: there's never been a better time to pick up some totally awesome stock at rock bottom prices. I'm not in the market for another horse, (Craig would be sent to the big house for murdering me if I brought another horse home, and I'm also in a state of being habitually flat ass broke with my finances....) - but it's fun to look around at what's out there.
When I happened on to Nadja's russian sale site http://www.akhalt-service.ru/, I fell head over heels for Saganeya. What a floating butterfly of a beauty! And a steal of a price too. I can remember 10 years ago when I first discovered this breed, a broodmare of this caliber could easily have garnered $30 to $50,000. With the market the way that it is, she is a bargain. Like most of the russian teke stables, they prove their broodstock on the race track. (So, she is race broke - which would translate into "green broke" for pleasure or trail riding.) But still a steal of a deal for a fantastic akhal teke mare. Since she is still a very young horse, there is still time for her to have another career opportunity.
3 year old filly http://www.akhalt-service.ru/broodmares/Saganeya/
There are many other lovely horses available on the site and up for grabs as well. A few of my other favorites are listed below:
Mersedes 3 year old filly http://www.akhalt-service.ru/broodmares/Mersedes/
Olimpiada 2 year old filly http://www.akhalt-service.ru/in-training/Olimpiada/
3 year old colt http://www.akhalt-service.ru/in-training/Karaul/
10 year old stallion http://www.akhalt-service.ru/sires/Pergenbek%2010/
Akderek 11 year old stallion http://www.akhalt-service.ru/sires/Akderek/
Sunday, September 11, 2011
This was his very first real ride out at a distance event, and it was a very good one for him to start with. The country down near Brothers is non-technical with a lot of wide open flat sandy desert. You can see the whole ride pack in front of you, (and some other people coming up from the back), from a good long distance away. Unlike the forest rides, nobody will come out of the trees and surprise your horse and scare the hell out of them. But, there are other unexpected surprises in store on the desert rides - like giant herds of antelope that dart right by your horses! (Yes, it happened, and people had problems.) But overall it's a really great ride to attend. There are many competitive long distance riders who make this their first 100 mile experience, and it's some awesome terrain for that.
My goal at this ride was to just keep Tommy calm and have a good walking "training" ride. We started the very last behind everybody else at camp, because I wanted him to calmly walk out and not get rattled or nervous about anything. (There's nothing worse than having a young green horse start off on the wrong foot by letting them bounce around at the start of a ride and progressively get worse as they get older....) But as Tommy stood next to me and watched everybody else leave in a cloud of dust, you could just see the wheels working in his head - "Where are they going, and why are they leaving so fast....?" It was comical watching him trying to figure out what was going on.
After everybody else left camp and we headed out down the trail at a relaxed walk, there were some 25 milers (who unfortunately got lost and took the wrong loop), come up from behind us and pass us along the way. Much to my surprise, Tommy handled it very well. I fully expected him to get his adrenaline and blood pressure up and want to trot along behind them after they went by us. But he didn't. We would calmly stop along the shoulder of the trail and I'd let him watch them as they passed us at a speedy trot, and then get back onto the trail at a nice leiusurely walk. It was great. I never felt out of control at any time on him, which was a huge sigh of relief. Sometime you never know what a young green horse will do when they experience high speed trail traffic for the first time....some spook and run off, some buck..,ect. Tommy handled it exceptionally well.
We made it almost half way through the ride before we hit a problem. Unfortunately our ride was cut short due to some large lava rocks. We were walking along just fine when I felt him trip and go down in the hind end. I looked back along the trail to see some huge jagged lava rocks sticking up out of the dust. They had been covered completely up by the sand and trail dust and you really couldn't see them very well at all. We kept walking down the trail, but I could tell that he was a bit off from his back legs tripping. Luckily the vet check was only 2 to 3 miles down the trail, so we kept walking on to it. At the check I got off and told the vet what had happened. Ironically there was another rider that was there who pulled because of the same problem. I trotted Tommy out and he was a bit tender and gimpy, so we stood around and ate some hay and drank some water and waited for awhile. (This was also a very good experience for him, as I wasn't sure how he would handle eating and drinking along the trail....) He ate and drank very well, and he got to see some other people (who unfortunately were lost) come in to the check and leave.
After about 20 minutes passed there wasn't much improvement with his hind end gait, so I opted to call it a day. I usually take not being able to finish a ride very personally and with great disappointment - but there was no need for that here. Tommy had proven to me that he could be a very reliable mount and act calm and relaxed at these rides, and that is all that I could ever have asked for. It was kind-of an act of nature that took us (and some other riders) out, and nobody can plan for these unexpected types of things. But Tommy did very well tempermentally, so I was very happy with him. There is great hope for the future.
A picture that Craig snapped of us as we made our way out of ride camp. I love this flat open terrain. There's lots of room to get off of the trail and work on problems with your horse, if you encounter any. Luckily Tommy never gave me a reason to use the extra space to work on anything, as he was very well behaved. But it was there if we needed it...
A picture of us after the ride, nice and relaxed. I forgot the camera in the truck, so I didn't get any pictures going along the trail. At the Friday night ride meeting Charki the ride manager gave us a bit of green ribbon to put in his tail, so that people wouldn't ride up too close behind us. I know Tommy pretty well, but sometimes young horses will kick out of fear and it will come as a surprise to their riders. The green ribbon was a pre-cautionary measure available to let people know that I was on a new young horse and to keep their distance from us.
At about 1:00 p.m. Craig and I ate hot dogs with Alex Rivas at his trailer, (they were great - thanks Alex!) and we let Tommy rest and munch hay at camp for a few hours. Before we loaded him up into the trailer I trotted him out and he was greatly improved and sound by the time we headed for home. Overall it was a great experience for him, and I have no regrets about the ride. =:)
It was a beautiful day, and we rode along along the trail for roughly 10 - 12 miles.
The pretty purple flowers were out again!
My mom was taking pictures, on Diamond.
She managed to get some good pictures of all of us at a lookout point. (I think that her camera picks up colors better than mine does.) I had my own camera out and was taking a picture of Dad, Jeff, and MaryAnn.
A picture my mom took of both of us.
Lots of pretty wild flowers along the trail!