Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back in the saddle...

I woke this morning and went to breakfast with my parents. When I got home, Mike was back in bed. He has a head cold and a fever and generally feels like crap. So I thought, "I might as well load up and go to the barrel race. It'll be good for Millie!"

So I did! Once I got there, I had walked Millie around the grounds, between the trailers, and stood by the chaos that is the warm-up pen. Then I went back to the trailer and saddled her. I led her around, between the barns, back through the trailers, and after an hour, I decided that I was tied of walking. I returned to the trailer and saddled Angel, who had gone too.

I rode Angel for an hour, walking and trotting and SCREAMING in the warm-up pen. She and Millie had mothered-up in the trailer and good grief, they were obnoxious!

I rode back to the trailer and let them both calm down for a while. Then I got brave. I thought to myself "This will either be a complete disaster, or I will live through it and it'll be a good experience for Millie."

I untied Millie and climbed on Angel and off we walked. Within five minutes, Millie was ponying with her nose at my knee, her head had lowered, and the wild look in her eye had softened. We stayed clear of the warm-up pen, but walked around the trailers and between the barns. It was good exposure for her! Millie kept looking to Angel for comfort, but over all, it was a great experience for us!

After an hour, I decided that I was cold, so I returned to the trailer, unsaddled Angel, and tied the girls to the trailer and went inside to watch the barrel race.

I left the girls to stand for a couple hours, then loaded up and headed to the trainers'. After getting Millie settled in her new home for the next few months, I loaded Angel and came home.

Millie will spend the next two weeks being conditioned (round penned) before Tara continues training. I am not sure, exactly, where we are headed with Millie. As of right now, she is going to start training to be a barrel racer, though whether Tara patterns her or I do is still in question. Tara and I agree that Millie is a hot little firecracker with a LOT of potential. I believe that Tara, who does this for a living, would be the best choice to start Millie on the pattern and run her during her futurity year, which will be 2012.

Barrel horses can be entered in Futurities for one year only. There are, sadly, some 3 years olds; a lot of 4 yr olds, and a lot of 5 yr olds. I have told Tara that I would like to futurity Millie her 5 yr old year, BUT if the filly is not ready, I will not push the issue. Either Millie is ready or she is not. A lot of money can be made. By the same token, a lot of money can be waste and a filly's mind can be fried by trying to push her into something that she is not ready for.

I am confident that Millie will have no bones about telling me that she is not ready!

The next news - Bullwinkle will go to Tara to be started under saddle. Yes - he is coming three years old. He will go to Tara for 30 days. In that time he will learn to accept the saddle, accept the bridle, walk, trot, steer, and stop. Emphasis being on the stop. Then he will come home until next fall, when he will return to Tara for continuing education.

He has really grown and is 16 hands already. He won't be a full three years old until the end of May. So 30 days is a perfect start until next fall. I have no clue what direction I am going with him. I can't afford to put him in a show barn and have him shown western pleasure. He is not built for barrel racing (besides he can't even buck). He will probably end up being a very nice saddle horse. I have time to think about it, and right now the absolute most important thing with him is that he gets training.

I am thinking about joining a local drill team that is trying to come together and this might work for him. Of course, not for another year at a minimum.

So... it was a good day. I hauled my baby, ponied her, and had my butt back in the saddle.

It feels good..


Nikker said...

Woot, Woot!
You go girl!
I'm excited to see what Millie the Filly becomes!

C. said...

I'm excited about Bullwinkle! Hope he is as bombproof under saddle as his dad. :-)