Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Bars Ranch 100 Day Training Challenge

I entered sort of on a whim - more of a "I wonder if I can get into this" than anything else.
Some of the horses and ponies are rescues. The sizes range from about 12+ hands to about 14.2 hands. Each horse and pony will get an initial score from its level of handling and training level. All are halter broke but that is about as far as some are!!!!! A couple were abused so they of course need the most work but they will come with bonus points so all can be an even opportunity in scoring at the end. The day of the finale there will be several judges judging the ground manners, leading at various speeds, everyday grooming, clipping, handling the hooves, loading in and out of a trailer, lunging and saddling. Then there will be arena work and then a trail challenge. Most of the horses and ponies will be offered for sale at the finale with the trainer having the first option to purchase. The price will be set prior to training as to be fair. Some of the horses and ponies are registered and the ages are from about 2 1/2 to about 12. This is a great place to look for a horse or pony without obligation if you are looking to buy because you can watch them perform under pressure. Its a great place if you are a trainer prove how capable you are as well. Any one who is interested in either participating please email me a letter stating your reasons for wanting to enter the challenge and your experiences with horses.
I got the call back, as well as permission to select one of the abused ones if I'd like the extra challenge.

Of course I said yes to that!

I drove up there on Friday to pick her up, and was given the option between two mares: 

12yrs old, previously started under saddle

6yrs old, absolutely skittish, 100% mystery
 I picked up the second mare for a variety of reasons, but mostly because she seemed a LOT smarter and more interested in being my friend, she just was scared of me and the way I moved.

We got her home without too terrible much trouble (I mean what's 45 minutes putting a horse in and out and in and out and in and out of a trailer at 10pm with a two hour drive ahead of us?). 

She accepted a lot of love on Saturday, standing quietly in the arena while I taught a jumping lesson around her, and enjoying plenty of scratches from the kids. 

She did let me get on her without too much trouble, which makes me think that she has been worked with some before.

When I'm mounting a horse for the first time I generally like to do it bareback because there's fewer things to get stuck in. I chose to get on her right away so that she could learn that this new place has totally different rules than her old home - I'm not out there to ride her around and steer her right off the bat, just get up there and sit for a few minutes and call it a day.

Saddles are N B D!

And then today I hacked her mane off because it made her look like a Gertrude.

There was a raging, multi-day debate over what to name her: Mocha, Nala, Fawn, Khaleesi, etc were all suggested and defended. But we settled on Cappuccino in the end.

Here's to one heck of an adventure!


  1. she looks super sweet!!! what an exciting challenge - keep us posted on how it goes!!! :D