Thursday, February 21, 2008

Back to Back Expos kept us busy.

Sorry for not posting for a while. We have had a crazy three weeks. We had back to back expos in Vancouver, WA and Boise, ID. Now it is back to posting and working toward the Midwest Mustang Makeover at the Midwest Horse Expo in Madison, WI.

Ruben used the mustang for most of the clinics in Vancouver and ALL of them in Boise. He had the choice of using a trained horse or the mustang. He decided to use the mustang and not lose 10 training days which is 10% of the total training time we have. We had the chance to meet a fellow makeover competitor in Vancouver, Bill Campbell. He is from Michigan where he operates Common Sense Horsemanship.
Vancouver was crazy with a couple behind the scenes people missing. It was also the first expo put on by Silver Buckle Ranch. They did a good job for their first time out and we hope to continue our relationship with this very worthy youth equestrian group. Please visit their web sit and see a great group working with youth and horses. They were excited to have Ruben bring the mustang and let the public know about the Mustang Makeovers and the efforts of the Mustang Heritage Foundation. They set aside a one hour clinic in their main arenas each day for people to watch Ruben and the mustang train.
We were prepared for the worst Friday evening when the mustng enterd the building for the first time. He had never been exposed to the noises and crowds of an expo or the temporary indoor arenas they had set up. We decided to use the over head door rather than the man door. The mustang hesitated momentarily and then ealked right into the exhibition hall and the arena like a pro that had done it a thousand times. We will post videos of it when they are converted to disc.

Boise is a great expo to visit. We always enjoy being part of Horse Affairs for the past everal years and look forward to spending a weekend in March with these fine people. We were visited by Richard Shrake and he was complimentary in regard to Ruben's training methods, knowledge and his progress with the mustang. Below are a few pictures of Ruben and the mustang in Boise on the Trail Ride Competition course. The mustang must have figured he was back home in the wild with live llamas, tumble weed covered arbors, deer mannequins, logs and rocks to cross over and little hills. The trail course, a near by jogging path along the Boise river and the surrounding woods were the setting for a video shoot on Monday morning.
Ruben used the mustang for all his clinics at Boise. He did well but got a little resistant toward the end. We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to validate Ruben's training methods on a raw product virtually untouched or influenced by humans. The custom bosala that Ruben uses are soft and easy for any horse to become accustomed to. Some of the clinics the mustang participated in were: Fitting and using the bosal: The oldest known tool used to train horses; The Five Basic Ground Essentials; Lateral Movements (Richard Shrake particularly liked this one.) The mustang was side passing from one corner of the arena to the other. The crowd loved it.
It was a pleasure and made us all proud when people challenged us by saying the mustang had to have been gentled and halter broke before Ruben got him, otherwise he would not have been able to get as far as he has in four weeks of training. It was nice to be able to play the video of the first day of training when it took Ruben 30-45 minutes just to get the horse from the stall to the round pen. A few jaws dropped when they asked if this was the same horse. We hope to make shorter clips of these "special" moments to share with all of you.
The mustang was on display inside the exhibition hall a lot of the time at the Horsemen's Western Dressage booth. He was a perfect gentleman in the stall and welcomed attention from kids and horse lovers of all ages. We had many questions about him as a horse, the Mustang Makeover Challenge and the Heritage Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management's Adopt a Wild Horse Program. We were also pleased to be able to speak to and share time with the folks from the Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. It was a nice to have them nerby to refer people to who had questions we could not answer about adopting and the program itself. They had plenty of printed material on hand, and a variety of other mustangs that were adoptd, trained and are averyday parts of other people's lives.
these are pictures of Ruben and the mustang "playing" on the trail riding competition course in Boise at the Horse Affairs Expo. Many that watched said he should have entered him in the competition. Note the lightness on the reins and how these two work so well together.

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.

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