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10/22/18 You will see a name change on the blog. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past few years, and I feel compelled to share my story.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Smoky Pritchett Clinic & Life at the Ranch

~If I ever become successful in life, I'm 
going to get me a ranch of my own.~
~Emily Downs 1892~

The days are flying by!!! It's already Wednesday, and I'm finally sneaking time in to do a blog about last weekend! I've got my Horsefly publication deadline coming up...and some ag surveys to do also...OK...gotta make this quick!

The Smoky Pritchett clinic was awesome!

Smoky Pritchett, Me & Colt
The only photo of the clinic. I was too busy listening!!

Every rider got to work one on one with Smoky with a maneuver in the reining pattern...rider's choice. Horses were at all levels of training (green snaffle bit to bridle) and riders were of all ages (youth and adult). What everyone's main point of trouble boiled down to moving the horse's body parts...hip, shoulder, nose. For example with the lead departure, the hip needs to be to the inside as well as the nose...and the horse drives from the hip to pick up the correct lead. If the body parts can't be moved by the rider, the horse won't be able to do the maneuver very well.

For me personally, I rode Colt in the two-rein and asked Smoky for some help on getting him starting correctly and some basic use tips. Since I've never had any formal training with the two-rein, it seemed like a good place to start...from a man who's been there and done that! I brought along my hackamore just in case, but never had to use it.

After Smoky helped me adjust my bosal under the bridle correctly, we got started. First he had me pick up the bridle reins...well, I'd only been riding Colt with just contact on the hackamore reins...so, I took the slack out. We practiced his neck reining...making sure that Colt's eye was tipped to the inside. We'd spiral down in the circle and come back out in the same direction and pick up the lope. Colt tends to drop his shoulder going to the left and I need to work on keeping him balanced. It was a really good exercise to get the horse positioned correctly.

After we had finished, I told Smoky that I'd never picked up the bridle reins before today...he said that it seemed like I had and that I had a really nice horse. That was a wonderful compliment coming from a man with his background!

Then after everyone had their one on one, we each got to box a cow...a fresh one at that too! I've never had professional help with my boxing or fence work either, so it was a great learning experience. I just need to do my job..."stop the cow!" I've got to make sure that going to the left I get in front of the cow (I tend to lag behind too far) and then Colt needs to finish his stop before he turns (rider adjustment).

There was another gal there in the two-rein and she'd been in it for a year, so I got great info from watching and listening to her works.

It was supposed to be a two hour clinic, and it ran 3 hours and 15 minutes...but everyone was learning and they wanted everyone to get their works in...it was a great day!

After the clinic, they started the horse sale. This is the annual Shelman Family Horse Sale. I didn't stay too long, but saw this photo op and couldn't resist:

If You Want to Sell a Horse~Get a Cute Cowboy
If you want to sell a horse, get a cute lil' buckaroo to show it for ya!


It's been pretty hot for the past week or so...the dogs are taking full advantage of the pool too!

Abby Loves Her Pool
Abby loves her pool and is always laying down in the cool water!
Everyone except Abby only wants to get their feet wet...Abby's the water dog!


What do you do on a hot Saturday night at the Rough String? Well, stack hay in the barn...what else is there to do?!?

Thank Goodness for Tractor Buckets
First My Man puts 3 bales in the tractor bucket...

My Man Stacks a Mean Load of Hay
...then My Man stacks it in the barn....what am I doing? I'm driving...and taking pictures!
This photo in the barn looks like it's snowing...but it's just hay dust emphasized by the flash. We finally got done around 9:15 PM or so...we only have to stack 3 more loads (including our own alfalfa bales).


Hmmmmmm...Sunday...what shall we do? Let's put in the new deck!

My Man got a smokin' deal on this "already built" deck that was used for a home and garden show...and we'd been thinking about putting a deck off the front steps.

Whala...instant deck!

The Grunting Lil' Tractor
This load made that lil' tractor grunt!
This is probably the heaviest load our lil' tractor has ever carried...My Man had to drive it in backwards because it didn't steer right! But after wiggling it around for a while, he finally got it into place.

We placed pier pads underneath it...and it's in!

Now all of the landscaping comes (that's like my job). I'm planing on using the "lasagna" method. This link talks about vegetable gardens, but it's the same theory for flower beds. If anyone has had any experience with this method, I'd love to hear your thoughts...pros or cons.

The Deck in Place
The pups have moved right in!
The posts are coming off the deck and My Man is going to make a cedar flower trough along the front that will hide the pier blocks. Finish it off with one of my Leopold benches, a two chair bistro set and the BBQ...we're ready for outdoor entertaining...until the skeeters drive us indoors ;~)

Sunset Above the Rim
A picture perfect ending to another great weekend!
The hay is cut...raked this AM...and now I hear thunder and it looks pretty dark up behind our hill...pray that the rain and wind hold off for a couple of days~


gowestferalwoman said...

Why after reading this posting I feel like either;

a) popping my feet up and having a root beer float of ice cream in the sun on a deck -


b) popping open a cold one and sitting outside on a deck to watch the sun set?

Thank you for sharing your clinic ~ your words & experience are encouragement for us who are lagging behind in the attending a clinic dept!

Ed said...

Sounds like a busy weekend, great shot of you and Colt..:-))

Sydney_bitless said...

Sounds like such a fun clinic. Love the deck and that sunset is breathtaking.

Rhonda said...

Glad the clinic went so well! Interesting to hear the training tips. Enjoyed the other pictures also. :) Cool deck! That will surely be enjoyable.

Vaquerogirl said...

Wow! What an opportunity to ride with one of the truly great horsemen of our time! Didn't you just want to follow him around and soak up all his knowledge? That's how I felt with Les Vogt and Bobby Ingersoll.
About your lasagna garden- I never called it that- its catchy- but I do a modified version of that all around my yard and other yards I've worked on. The cardboard or newspaper repell the weeds, and provide a ;clean; base for all the soil, mulch and stuff you can put on top. Organic gardeners always say to never take soil away, or even turn it, but just to add compost and dirt and mulch to the existing garden. I've had a bit of sucess, although I grow a shade garden not veggies! Let me know how it works for you!

Shirley said...

The clinic must have been great, lucky you!
Just the thought of stacking hay in the heat gives me a headache and makes me itch! Nice looking bales though.
You're going to love your deck. If the dogs will share, that is!
Thanks for the link on Lasagne Gardening, never heard of it before, looks interesting.

lisa said...

We were doing hay in the 90 degree weather just the kids and I stacking and picking up out of the fields, so I sure feel for you doing hay but if you have livestock its a necessary evil I guess;) Love the deck! It will be wonderful to sit on and watch the sunrises or sunsets! BBQ time;)

CTG Ponies said...

Wow, you've been busy! You make me feel like a slacker :)

Sounds like the clinic was awesome! Love the new deck.

Crystal said...

Wow looks like you been busy. The clinic sounds awesome, the deck looks great, and they sunset is amazing!

CCC said...

That clinic sounds so nice, I loved to do anything like that but there's just all this work. Glad you got the opportunity.

mugwump said...

OK. I'm jealous. Would kill to get a chance to ride with Pritchett...
I'm just catching up.
Yay for Colt in the 2 rein!
What kind of bit is he in?
How'd you decide on a mouthpiece?

gtyyup said...

VaqueroGirl~Thanks for the tips on the lasagna bed...mine will be for flowers too, but I'll post when I get it going. I wish the clinic was a whole day at least...he's got great info from years of experience.

lisa~I'm so thankful that we don't have to get it out of the field...thank goodness for the bale wagon!!

mugwump~at my last clinic with Mike Bridges, I had him look into Colt's mouth to see what shape it was and then tell me what types of bits would be appropriate. Colt has a medium tent. Then from what I understand, he takes the horse up in stages. The first stage with the medium tent mouth horse would be a Guitron Frog or Salinias bit. Second stage would be a Hill Frog or El Gato Frog. Third stage is the spade. Once the horse has confidence in carrying each bit (10-30 rides) he moves the horse up. I picked an Ernie Marsh bit at this site: http://www.spanishspade.com/bits.html I picked the Santa Maria cheek piece and the Salinas mouth piece with the cover over the roller. I'll be riding Colt in this bit until I get better (professional guidance). But, Colt seems to like the bit and plays with the roller quite a bit...which is a good sign. So, that's all I know! Hey, are you coming to Pendleton?!?

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