Sweet Summertime

I would like to thank everyone who has read my blog, even if it was just once. As the semester comes to an end, so will my blog in a formal way. I expect to keep posting, especially about Paisley. Also, I will try to incorporate some other horse related things I learn along the way. I have learned that Journalism is NOT my thing, and that I will be leaving Rowan so I can switch my major back to Animal Science. However, I did learn a lot about writing for my readers and I hope that I did well in that sense.

Some of my better posts include:

Straight from 2011’s Youth World Champ

My Search for the Wild Ponies on Chincoteague Island

Horses & People Working Together at Shadow Equestrian

Map of “Must Know” Equine Locations in South Jersey

and Progress With Paisley

Also, if anyone is interested: this Friday, May 10, the Eastern Pennsylvania Reining Horse Association is having a spring show at the Dream Park. I plan to go as long as I don’t have to work. Reining is amazing, don’t miss out on this opportunity! That’s all for now. Thanks again.

Progress with Paisley

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When I first applied for Extreme Mustang Makeover (EMM), I had no idea what I would be getting myself into. As I awaited the decision to be trainer, I got more and more excited. Upon acceptance, I was overjoyed. The training, hard work, and time I would have to put in, weren’t a problem, but a story.

Already a month has flown by and I just want to share the progress I have made with Paisley. Granted, I am no professional horse trainer, just a girl who has been riding and working with horses for about eight years.

I used to ride and show with Nicole Barbye who is also doing the EMM. I asked her about her experience and the good times or difficulties she has faced so far as a trainer. She responded with, “Not to sound too cheesy, but it’s been a wild ride so far. I’ve learned more about myself and horses in 30 days with Z than I have in a whole lifetime of riding. She’s taught me  to forgive not just her, but myself for small mistakes. And I can’t get wrapped up in small failures because the next day might bring a HUGE success.”

I have created a timeline with pictures of most of the things we have worked on day by day. If you click on each photo in the timeline, it will also give you a sentence or two description. As a little “sneak peek:”

Day 1 was April 6, 2013 when my dad and I drove in a truck with a trailer down to Lorton, Virginia to pick up my mustang. I had no idea what number, color, or temperament horse I would be taking home. It took us about three hours to get there. After signing some papers the lady doing the office work told me “You have a chestnut. She is about five years old.” Her number was 9919 so I anxiously went to the holding pens to find her.

Day 2 I spent all day with Paisley, mostly trying to come up with a name, but also allowing her get familiar with me. I even got to touch her.

On Day 3 I could touch Paisley all over, so next we introduced the brush. We working on standing while being pet and brushed all over. Next, we worked on leading.

Day 4 was a little more in depth. Of course, I started with approaching and brushing Paisley. We practiced some leading and then I brought out the saddle pad and saddle. At first, she didn’t like either one. She snorted and backed away from them. After talking to her and giving her time, I could finally walk up to her with the item in my hand. So the next thing i did was kind of brush the object on her body to let her know it is okay.

By Day 5 I was amazed by the progress we had made so I decided I would climb onto Paisley’s back. She’s a little too tall to just “hop on” so I brought her close to the fence, climbed up the rails, and slid on. I only sat there for a minute or two, before something crazy happened. Of course, she was fine with me sitting there so I climbed down.

On Day 6 I worked on saddling and unsaddling with Paisley. After all, you can never practice too much. Day 7 was pouring rain so we didn’t get to do a whole lot, but we worked on picking up feet… in the mud.

I’ve learned the most important thing about horse training is repetition. It’s funny how one day Paisley would do something fine and then two days later act like she didn’t have a clue what I was trying to do. Nicky Franchette, another trainer competing in the EMM this year from New York, agreed by saying “Don’t think that what worked for you before will definitely work today- Try something different.” And that is just all part of the fun! Another important aspect is confidence. Horses can sense the way humans are feeling, so if I were really scared and nervous about working with Paisley, she would take advantage of that and we probably would not have accomplished what we have.

For more information, check out the timeline I’ve put together for “events” that happened over the past month.

I almost forgot!

Sorry, I almost forgot to give everyone the results of the poll for naming my mustang. It was a tie between Maggie, Penny, and Whiskey, where Belle had one vote. Since it is a three-way tie, I am naming her Paisley because that is fun, sweet  and so is she.  Everything is going very well, I can brush her, lead her, pick up her feet, she has been trimmed, put saddle her, get on her, and walk around bareback. She is awesome at turning, I have never seen a horse turn so well.

Ideally, horses are supposed to basically pivot on their hind end. This means, their back feet stay in place, and to turn, the horse crosses their front feet (one over the other) to well, pivot around! This video demonstrates the turn I am talking about, but obviously not so fast. There is also a discipline, or type of riding, for this skill called reining. It is by far the best event to watch because it is always exciting. Also, if you have a Facebook, you don’t have to add me as a friend, but you can like my page and follow along with what is going on with the training process. It will be a little easier and probably updated more often. Another thing coming up this week is a video so don’t go too far.

Oh! Sorry the pictures are so small; I have no idea what’s going on. However, you should be able to click on each one and see the image in a larger view.

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