Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Summer Camp!

Farah & the view~
Tuesday found Farah & I on the road to Snohomish.  We'd been visiting with Scott & Karen about once a week to do some arena riding.  Scott acts as our coach & I really enjoy the weekly social time, as does Farah.  This week, when I arrived & Scott asked me my plans for the week, I thought he was being conversational, but I was wrong :-)  Instead - he asked if I would consider leaving Farah at the farm for a few days so that he could spend some time with her?   What a generous offer!

Scott's horsemanship skills are far advanced from my own.  He's spent several weeks of intense study with Dennis Reis & is a graduate of his Universal Horsemanship program.  Scott judges Colt Starting Challenges & as such, he's had the advantage of watching some of the best trainers at work.  I've been impressed with the level of training that both Scott's senior horse & his young mare demonstrate.  Leaving Farah there would save me hauling the trailer back & forth - I was happy to accept!
Scott with Farah~
Our weekly visits have given Farah the opportunity to interact with other horses on a social level - something she doesn't have at home.  From when I left her in a stall Tue. afternoon, to when I arrived on Wed. - Scott & Karen had turned her out - then watched as the interaction with the other horses ensued - across a fence!  :-)  Gem, Scott's young mare - herd boss & Farah - who thinks she's the boss of everything - had a go at each other.  It didn't last long & by the time the horses were stalled for the evening - I got a text from Karen saying that all was quiet & well in the barn.  I felt like a first time Mom sending my youngest off to camp!

Wednesday morning when I arrived, Farah was grazing & Scott was watching.  Soon - she was haltered & all Scott's work with her was done in-hand.  He found out in short order, that she'd had some Parnelli type work somewhere in her first years.  She knew some tricks - that he recognized from that particular program.  She has been more reactive for a while now - Scott's goal was to remove the re-activeness & replace it with calm response.  It was amazing how just small movements of his body were enough to set Farah off.  She would not just walk on the lounge line & it took a while for Scott to desensitize her to the stick.

I too - needed a lot of coaching on my lack of technique with the lounge line.  I have a habit of backing up.  When Rico took over as my coach - he let me know instantly that he would take advantage of that hole in my training!  :-)   I also rode Rico - Wow!  What fun!  He's big & he's so well trained!  He soon adjusted himself to me & we did a very nice trot!
Justin & Farah
We had a short break - while Justin shod Farah.  Yes, we'd worn them out in just over five weeks :-)  After that, a load of hay was coming in & going by conveyor to the overhead hay loft!  Scott kept Farah with him as all the commotion was going on - using it as a training tool.  Her demeanor had changed just in the 24-hours that she'd been here.  She was walking on the lounge line!  Changing direction perfectly at just a slight cue.  Both Scott & Karen were impressed with her smarts & willingness to learn. 

Today, Scott told me that he had worked both Farah & Rico at liberty in the arena!  I was open mouthed!  Their horses are not shod, just booted for trail.  Farah on the other hand - had four new steel shoes!  Scott said that she actually followed Rico's lead & only once did Rico have to remind her to stay back!  :-)  We rode as a group today with Arlene on Rico, Scott & Gem & Karen on Sherman - Farah's least favorite. :-)  Sherman did try to make friendly advances & finally Farah accepted them without pinned ears!  She was as low-key as I've ever ridden her.  Karen even loped Sherman past as we were walking the perimeter & Farah did not react!

I'd scheduled a ride for tomorrow, so brought her home today - it's been quiet without her!  Not since Khari left for Saudi Arabia in June of 2012, Post~ has the Homestead been without a horse!   Now, my ride has been cancelled - so we may go up tomorrow - to see if anything is left of our trails~


  1. I think a Clinic would,be fun with Scott. I sure could use some training / tuning up!

    1. I don't know that Scott has ever done a clinic! :-)


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