Friday, April 4, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
We are making plans for the actual trip to Madison. We are still looking for sponsors to assist in travel expenses. Presently it is looking like the cost of fuel alone will be over $2,000 round trip. It is not too late to be part of the Midwest Mustang Makeover 2008!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
We would like to offer to those between the west coast and Madison, WI a chance to bid on the mustang. We will be back hauling Diana and Gerwyn Jones's Polish Arabia stallion (Shalwyn Arabians, Walla Walla, WA). Ruben will be riding Shadow in the Dancing With Horses exhibition at the Midwest Horse Expo. Should you be the highest bidder, we will also back haul the mustang for you.
If you would like to bid on the mustang, we will carry your bid to Madison. This way, you are represented at the auction and not have to pay an unknown agent to act for you. If you were to be the high bidder, you would not have to find a shipper and spend the high cost of shipping. We anticipate gas will cost approximtely $2,000 to drive to and from Madison.
How does this benefit you? You could be sending a bid for the winning horse in the Midwest Mustang Makeover 2008. First, you have the opportunity to see this horse in training and be familiar with it. You are buying a horse you know. Second, you have the rare opportunity to bid on a horse trained by Ruben. I cannot say at this time if the horse will need additional training for what the future owner may have in mind for the horse. I can say the horse will be very ridable and safe. Ruben will, as he prfers to do with all the horses he trains, provide riding lessons to the buyer at the HWD facility for a few days so the rider understands how the mustang was trained and how to cue the horse. He will have been exposed to more things than most horses available for sale ANYWHERE. You can refer to an earlier post to what he has done and/or been exposed to at only five weeks of training. You can save in shipping costs. We will be arriving in Benton City, WA 4-5 days after the close of the Expo.
What are the benefits? You get a horse that has already been through a rigorous 100 days of training that you will not have paid for. You will always be able to call on Ruben if you have questions or concerns. You will be buying a symbol of the American West that is NOT wild.
And maybe most important of all, we will act as your agents and we have a vested interest in the horse and will watch out for your best interests monetarily and the horse's interests should you be the high bidder.
The bottom line is you could easily make a bid of a few thousand dollars and be money ahead for what you would get in return. If you are interested in bidding, please contact Ruben.
If you make it to the ride, please say hello and visit with us. Ruben, family and friends will be riding together. For details, you can call Horesmen's Western Dressage.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
First is Dr. Richard (Dick) Root, DVM. He has made himself available from day one. The mustang arrived with a swollen knee and a bit of a club foot on the same leg. Dr. Root was there to examine the leg and give him a check up. Dr. Root has donated his time and services to include x-rays of the knees, medical advice, supplement advice and support from the get go. Dick is an avid horseman who has worked with Ruben for several years. Ruben, having done a good amount of endurance riding and always finished in the Top 10 in both time and Best Condition , has trained Dick's endurance horses and works with Dick on technique. It is always kind of funny to see Dick (not a spring chicken), tell his horse to "park" so he can get into the saddle. Dick is a firm believer in Ruben's training and often/usually rides in a bosal from Ruben. As a horseman and as a Veterinarian, it is rewarding to see his belief and trust in Ruben's training philosophy and methodology. His support is very much appreciated.
Ruben teaching the horse to cross over the front end (spin) on day four of training.
Thank you akk for your support!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Ruben hws been fortunate to have a willing horse and the horse had no preconceived or learned habits taught to them be well intentioned people. He does not train to a schedule of 30 or 90 days. He trains on the premise of the horse's ability and what you want the horse to know when he is finished. A very important quality of Ruben's is that he is very careful NOT to exceed the horses psychological ability to learn. Their ability is based on many factors that include, but are not limited to their age, physical conditioning, previous training exposure, their ability to learn, their level of exposure to other people and many other factors. To illustrate this point, Ruben trained a very expensive Andalusian horse that was a basket case when it arrived. At an early age (6 months), a trainer had used a cattle pro on the horse and it had learned not to trust anyone and fought even Ruben's gentle techniques. Eventually, Ruben won the horse over and it became a very highly trained and willing partner. He was used in many demonstrations and rode by other family members in parades, exhibitions, etc., before returning to the owner. Was that horse trained in a month or two? Absolutely not.
Ruben is a last chance trainer for many horses. These are horses that had a very uncertain future. He has never lost one of these horses because of his training. Have they been "90 day wonders"? Not a one of them. However, they all are now willing partners and have a secure future as a safe and ridable horse. I personally know of an Appaloosa gelding that was gelded because of his vicious and aggressive nature brought about by aggressive, forceful and over all poor training. Ruben was his third and last hope. After Ruben's training this Grandson of Goer, a Hall of Fame Appaloosa, is a great horse. He stood in a field for two and a half years and I was able to saddle him, put a bosal on him and ride him. He remembered his training and even others were able to get on him and ride him in the round pen.
Ruben trains the mustang on his own time. Ruben usually works the mustang twice a day, first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening for 20-30 minutes. Some days there is not enough light left to video tape the session. This is not his normal routine with a horse in training. The horse usually let's Ruben know when to proceed with training to the result the owner desires from Ruben and their horse.
At this point in the Mustang's training he has been exposed to or trained as follows:
- Giving to pressure of the lead line and halter
- Walk on the lead
- Lateral flexing (always done before The 5 Essential Ground Exercises.)
- The 5 Essential Ground Exercises: Moving the Front End, Rear End, Side passing, Backing and Stopping.
- The 5 Essential Ground Exercises transferred to the saddle
- The basic Piaffe, Passage on the ground
- The Spanish Walk on the ground and in the saddle
- Jumping (inside the round pen and arena, not out of them)
- He trailers, allows handling/cleaning of his feet, blankets, stands nicely for the farrier
- Has performed in clinics inside large exposition halls with crowds and noises he was not accustomd to.
- Exposed to several people petting and stimulating him at one time. (he is a glutton for attention/affection)
- Has been out on the trail here at HWD
- Been through Trail Rider Competition Trail in Boise, ID at the Horse Affairs
- Was used to collect a loose horse and worked it (cornered it/penned it) so that it could be caught.
- Stands well to be groomed. Again, likes the attention.
- Is socialized with other horses
- Exposed to non-equine species such as dogs or all sizes, in the yard and on the trail. Live llamas and deer mannequins in the trail course.
- He stands for bicyclists and walks through tarp strips. He even tries to eat them if you stand there long enough.
I am simply amazed at how far this horse has come is such a short time!
We are still experiencing a few technical difficulties on transferring the video tapes to DVD. Luckily, we have a friend that is doing it for us, but there is a time lag in getting them recorded delivered and processed and back so we can post them here. We do appreciate the assistance Brian (BK Builders).
There are lots of comments coming into Horsemen's Western Dressage from former students and clients. They are asking how they can help out. It is very nice to hear them say they do a lot of this or that type riding and they are always complemented on their riding or their horses abilities. They tell Ruben, they have him to thank for that. I guess what goes around does eventually comes around. It is heart warming and rewarding to have people come back and are still appreciative after several years and to know they and their horses are still working together and doing great. That is Ruben's goal: To produce a light and responsive horse that is trained for the remainder of it's life.
Until next time (and hopefully with video's and pictures), happy trails. Be safe out there. Spring is coming, I swear it is, hang in there!
Friday, February 22, 2008
These videos are of poor quality, and from the second day of training. This is the first time the mustang was saddled. Please note that this is NOT a gentled or calm back yard pet. It is a wild mustang experiencing things for a very first time. Ruben's philosophy about a pulling horse sort of goes like this: Let him pull. He will figure it out and then it becomes the horse's idea that standing still is a good thing. There is no way you can hold a 1,000 pound animal that wants to pull away from you. Let the horse figure it out and he teaches himself not to pull and to give to pressure. By the way. he stands perfectly now and is amazingly calm and gentle while being blanketed and tacked up and untacked.
Speaking of the adoption! We have decided that if anyone in the Pacific North West would like to adopt this wonderful willing partner, we will carry your bid to Madison and if you are the successful bidder, we will back haul him for you.
He will have a traveling companion to Madison as Ruben has been invited to perform in the "Dancing With Horses" presentation at the Midwest Horse Expo with one of his finished horses. It is too hard to say if the mustang will be ready for that level exhibition at that time, otherwise we would use him. If you have not seen the intensity and action of Ruben and his finished horses in exhibition, please check out the link to Ruben and Shadow the Dancing Horse on YouTube.com. It was recorded by a friend, Brian, at the opening of the Walla Walla Rodeo here in Washington.
Well I am afraid that is it for now as I have to sort through videos and see if I can get some action on here for you to look at. Hope you have a great weekend!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
We will post videos as soon as they are available. Hope everyone had a Happy Saint Valentine's Day! Less than 2 months to Madison.
Monday, February 4, 2008
The mustang (still not named) continues to impress us. He trusts and accepts most anything Ruben tries with him. He is intelligent has learned a lot in a few short days. Ruben takes it slow, but does not treat the mustang differesntly than other horses. Caution is exercised with all horses and Ruben's ability to read a horse is phenomenal. This mustang has yet to buck once. I believe it is because Ruben develops a raport with each horse he trains. The horses learn to perform because they can, not because they are forced.
Sunday the mustang rested and had a visit from the veterinarian. All the traveling had been hard and he had some swelling in his legs. Otherwise, I think he was happy to be someplace that didn't move for a bit. Little did he know his training was about to start on Monday.