Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weather & Arabians...

Weather's been toying with us here for a couple of day's. Mist filled mornings where you cant see more than a couple of feet. Turns in to a pretty fair day around noon, some really heavy showers in the afternoon sprinkled in with hail and what not. It has been clearing up around suppertime to slide over to thunder and lightning during the nights. Weird!

Got to work the arabian mare some again last night. First I stand corrected as she's only 3 and not 5 as my first info suggested. Anyway she's not been exposed to much of anything so she's pretty raw. Worked her over with a rope and even put a girth on her while we were working.

She's got a temper let me tell ya! If she could growl I believe she would! After 15 minutes or so of bucking, kicking & biting she did give it up and found it easier to just stand quiet and let me flick that darn rope all over. Did some bending and flexing with her as well as turning with rope over hocks, pickin up feet etc. She was pretty docile when we were done as she had a lot to process. Pretty fun mare to work with but this project is gonna take some time.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another week in the books

Busy week and a leisure weekend. Harness race season is at it's most hectic right now. We're represented at 1-3 tracks almost daily, meaning somebody's gotta clean up the mess the "other" photographers make and deliver pics and framed prints etc to customers. So we have our hands full here at the office. Our mare missed the filly derby placing 4th in her heat, top three advanced. She raced as well as she has though and had some traffic problems on the backstretch and last turn giving her to much ground to make up to catch the top three. Just aswell maybee as she might've been in over her head in the finals. Easier pickings in other races for her...

Annelie and Ida went up to grammy's for a visit over the weekend. Ida got a new cousin last week and they were due for a visit. Actually she got three new cousins as my sister Sandra, living in Australia, gave birth to twins a couple of day's ago!

Brady and I have been busy aswell. He's the same old horse as alway's. Pretty solid but has day's where he just don't wanna play. I've gotta learn to stop getting in a fight with him and go do something else on those occasions to save the frustration. It will get better when we get some cows here in a month or so as everything has a clear purpose for him when we're working cows. Be it roping or general cowwork, he sure takes to it a whole lot better than most other things we do.

I´ll get back to working Cat here in a week or two, but in the meantime I´ve been asked to help our friend Eva with an arabian mare that's hasn't been messed with much. She's a 5year old with very limited exposure so that'll be interesting. It's the fourth one I'll start this year, funny as we sorta decided to just mess with our own horses from now on after the move to Snösvad!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend fun

Annelie has started driving Ritzy's Dream again after her loooong convalecens. She looks alot better but still feels a little stiff and unbalanced when being driven. She'll get plenty of long, slow workouts from here on and hopefully build some muscle and carry herself a little better. She's really calm and nice to drive though.

The newly constructed cowpen with the backgates opening up to the barn door and leading up to the arena.

The arena looks huge doesn't it? It only meassures 93x164 feet (28,5 x 50 m) but is plenty for our use.

Yes Gizmo, it's your tree!

Took an evening ride on Brady last night too. Great to travel unhindered across the wide open fields as the sun was coming down!

Ida stuck on a couple too!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More West Texas Futurity thoughts

The West Texas Futurity Classic finals for 5/6 year olds went to......Dont Look Twice surprise, surprise! She was outstanding and scored a very respectable 227.5. Smooth Asa Zee and Reys Desire splitting second with a 224.5. Stylish Scottie keeps pluggin away placing 9th with a 219. Jimmy Kemps's Little Lap Dancer also did good scoring 218 and placing 13th.

Watched the first couple of sets of the Futurity's 1st go. Really mixed fealings about theese early Futuritys. On one hand, there are a bunch of immature horses not quite ready being shown and if you're not careful they can burn out mentally before they even get a chance to mature. On the other hand, the ones that are ready both mentally and physically will benefit greately from the experience and grow as individuals. The risk of injury is alway's there but I don't think you run any greater chance of injury at a show then you do working them at home. Quite the opposite actually. These horses have been worked from early 2 year olds maybe 6 day's aweek and at 3 they get worked a little tougher and at times a little to tough. At a show though, you better ease up and let the horse feel good about travelling and showing, being away from his buddies etc.

So with all that said some pretty mixed impressions from the Futurity's 1st go. Grant Setnickas Nitros Real Deal sure looks the part! Scoring a 219 this blue blooded filly moved and acted like a seasoned cutter. As a grand daughter of Boon San Sally she has a lot to live up to. Besides, her full sister, Little Nitro Sally won the West Texas Futurity last year!

There were some that should've never been entered too, Gary Ray's Miss Herman Cat looked really lost out there and a few others aswell, but then again you never know how they'll react until you expose them to it all....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My picks did pretty well

West Texas Derby open in the books and I more or less had it right! Was rooting for SVR Reyl Smart, Wiley Cat & Cattahoochee but thought one of Clint Allens might be to tough. Result?
SVR Reyl Smart shared the win with Clint Allens Olenasduallyfeather marking a 225, Wiley Cat placing third with a 223 and Cattahoochee did great scoring a 219 placing 6th!

West Texas Futurity, Derby Open

SVR Reyl Smart


Wiley Cat

We'll see what happens in the Classic finals today where Dont Look Twice will be the one to beat. Several really good ones here though. Reys Desire, Smooth Asa Zee, A Little Bossy etc. I like Stylish Scotti and how he works, no wasted movements and right on the mark. Might be a little to tough company this time around though.

Little Lap Dancer
I also like to see Jimmy Kemp's Little Lap Dancer do well, the Kemps has been in the business "forever"with horses like Commander King, Hollywood Bill and Leo San. To their credit they also bred the great Peppy San!

Even though Ashado Boko did well yesterday, I wasn't totally pleased with her. She didn't look as fluent and "springy" as she did awhile back and I hope it was just a lack of racing shining through. Didn't look lame or anything, just not as snappy as before.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ashado 3rd

Well, just as planned she raced last on the inside more or less the whole trip. Was dead last as they headed for home, zig-zagged across the homestretch and finished really strong, placing 3rd. So now we head for the Derby,( filly) at Jägersro, trials on Tuesday!

Ashado's back on track

Got a horse in the races at Solvalla today. Ashado Boko is back on the track to get a race in her before the Derby trials next week. She was very good about a month ago and performed admirably in a couple of races before racing with a throat infection in the StoChampionat trials. Now she's been off for awhile recuperating and need some speedwork to peak her performance for the derby.

She'll most likely just ease along and maybe just being let loose on the homestretch. How she races is more importand than the win this time as we have loftier goals starting next week.

West Texas Futurity classic and derby's 2nd go's yesterday saw some serious cutting! The top 17 in the classic posted a 73 average and a 219 or better three judge score! And this is a Texas 73 mind you, not a European inflated one!

Tonight I'm pullin for Josh Townsend's Cattahoochee, SVR Reyl Smart and Wiley Cat in the Derby final, below. I think one of Clint Allens FIVE finalists might be to much though.

Classic finals Wednesday along with 3yo 1st go. I really like Matt Millers Stylish Scotti, will be tough to win though. Dont Look Twice should be the overall favorite, but there's a slew of really good horses here!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My back & West Texas Futurity

No horses rode yesterday, took a day off now that the clients horses are done and Kick The Cat gets time off for good behaviour. Started fixin the cowpen, putting up scoope gates and 2x4:s.
After that ordeal it was time to get busy assembling a new bed from IKEA.

Now, just because I'm a Swede doesn't mean I follow instructions well and especially not the IKEA ones. Fact is, their furniture are not made to be assembled by someone over 6.3 with a bad back! Crawling around on the floor looking for the right screwes, right plugs and the right plank just doesn't agree with me. Finally got it sleepable around 1 am and yes, I slept like a baby!

Me feels it in my back today though!

West Texas Futurity is underway and it´s one of the earliest 3yo futurities out there. A bit to early for my taste but still exciting to see the newbies. First go of the Futurity is Wednesday.

Summer Spec. non pro derby winner, Cancan Reyvolution sprinted out of the gates and took a 220 lead in the first go of the Derby yesterday. The horse was sold right after the Spectacular and looks to be paying imediate dividends to new owner Lica Pinkston.

Clint Allen had a decent first go as he has 3 of the top 4 and 5 of the top 10 horses so far.

Moms Stilish Cat, Olenasduallyfeather & Blue One Time being the others. Sir Stylish Lizzy, Poo Smoothie, Sly Playgirl, Smooth By Design are also in the top 15 and brothers Woodys Wildest Cat & Wiley Cat are also in the top 25.

5/6 Classic 1st go today with Dont Look Twice chasing yet another title.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Finishing up

Been working 2-3 horses a night here the last couple of weeks. Had lots of ground to make up after the hand thing and horses being sick. They all have progressed as I'd hoped and the clients horses, Bosse & Diva I think I got fairly solid.


Bosse I hear is working out great for his new owners and Diva's owner Helene, was very pleased with her progress last night. She was a bit tender footed though as we had her feet trimmed the other day, but she's handled things really well the last week or so. We haven't seen eye to eye all the time though and she's been abit immature, wich is fine and as expected as she's only 2. She's been exposed to a rider now though and know the basics and has worked in all gates and speeds.


As for our own pony's, Cat is getting a break now for a month or two as I have her pretty much where I want her. She was probably the best I've felt her last night and I feel really good about backing off for awhile before it's time to introduce her to cowwork.

Brady's been ridden only sporadicly through the summer as I've focused on the clients horses and the youngsters. He's really solid though and pretty much knows his stuff. He'll get more work now though and especially if & when we get some cows here.

Annelies trotter mare Ritzy is about ready to get back in training too and I know Annelie's eager. She looks sooo much better and now it's time to put some more muscle on her.

Monday, August 8, 2011

2 year olds

I really enjoy working with the colts. It can be frustrating at times for sure and 1 step forward and 2 steps back at times. But when you get on the same page and you feel the try and desire to learn and please, it's so rewarding! Another thing I like is the fact that you gotta work as much on you as the horse. If you're not in time, in balance, clear and "articulate" you sure can confuse a young horse. You gotta be a pillar of stability, patience and confidence and hope to transfer that onto the young horse who might be scared, unsure and really not knowing what the hell you´re about or after. It's seldom dull though, I'll give you that.

Rode Kick The Cat outside for the 1st time yesterday. She was fairly ok with that. We started in the covered arena as it was pouring outside. She reverted back to her somewhat nerveous and borderline way's. She's so anxious and fretty in there, mostly `cause she can hear her buddies close by. We stuck it out though and even though she had a couple of "hyper" moments we got some things done. Put some shin protectors on her too as she can be to quick for her own good and nick herself at times. So far she does everything with ease, just gotta remind myself to be patient and give her mind time to soak and absorb and not move her along to fast.

After the arena we headed out on the new trail through the woods. Our first ride outside the arena. A bit skittish at first but she simmered down and took things pretty well after awhile. Not totally comfortable though and we´ll probably ad a couple of outside rides here and there this week.

Worked the 2yo Warmblood Diva too this weekend. She's still very raw and sure needs special consideration everytime you step aboard. She could blow anytime when something doesn't suit her majesty! We keep chipping away at the roughness though and she does feel safer and more stable. This lady can move though! When you get her relaxed and working with you instead of against you, she's got some serious hangtime in her collected work. Feels like you're suspended for a minute with every stride. She's gonna be a real classy moving horse when she matures.

Friday, August 5, 2011

We're getting there...

Not much happening here I'm afraid. Spending the day's at the office and keep working the pony's at night. The lumberyard called and said they finally got my boards done, so I'll try to get the cowpen by the arena done this weekend and then go cowhunting!

Kick The Cat had a serious anxiety attack yesterday when she was brought in alone for the farrier. Check that, she wasn't alone per se, the geldings were also in, but her buddies were left out in their pasture. Good thing was I could still reach her when I was working her though. She was as good as she has been for awhile now. She's traveling more straight, stopping and drawing fairly straight too. The turnarounds gets better & better also. She's still as soft in the face as can be and now we try to keep that softness all through the manouvers. I only worked her for about 15-20 minutes yesterday and felt really good about what we got accomplished, saw no need to do more and got off when she was at her best.

Kick The Cat 1 day old!

She's grown into a pretty classy lady!

Rode Bosse outside 4 the 1st time too. No worries, just lulled along without much fanfare. Will work him again today before he leaves us Saturday.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Full weekend

We've had a pretty full weekend here. Lot's of horses to work now that things are more or less back to normal. Helens filly Diva still isn't back but hopefully she'll be workable in a few day's.
Things are progressing with Bosse. He's doing pretty good but now it's time to start askin him for more. More precise and with more form. Need to ramp him up some to so I don't have to chase him as much.
Lars has been kind enough to grade a new track for us to ride and drive on. Great little road through the woods north of the pastures. He will continue clearing a road all around the ranch when time permits and it will be a great thing for the kids to ride on and Annelie and the others to train their trotters and wagon horses on.
Lars & Brunte testdriving the new track.

Eva and her sister all smiles


The NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby finished up Saturday night with the Non-Pro & Open finals. Roger Wagner and his Stylish Martini won the open with a 224.5 score. A really strong effort that looked ok but not spectacular until the last cow. He worked his 2nd cow a little bit short and knew he needed to make up ground. With almost a minute left on the clock he went deep in the herd and scooped out a red, wild cow he previously stayed clear of. A semi rough cut left him throwing down his hand on the fly. The cow was wild and unruly and even had his horse juked out of her sock on one occasion. The mare recovered admirably though and with hard stops & stylish turns she got the better of the cow and marked really high in degree of dificulty. Stylish Martini (Docs Stylish Oak-Miss Martini Play), bred & owned by Marvine Ranch, Co and sister to former NCHA Horse of the Year Copaspepto $460.000, was rewarded almost $40.000 for the win.

Summer Spectacular Derby

Annelie got some really great pics of me working Kick The Cat last night!
The horse is such a joy to work with but I have to remind myself she's only 2 and be careful not giving her more than she can handle.