Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Changes

Doc Holliday: What do you want Wyatt?
Wyatt Earp: Just to live a normal life.
Doc Holliday: There is no normal life, Wyatt, there's just life, ya live it.

I'm still adjusting to changes , I have taken a job with a janitorial company, I'm still struggling with issues relating to my children and my exhusband, its a long sad tale, I'll not bore you with the details.

I just want a normal life..... so tell me, what has become normal for you? Have things you resisted become the new normal? Have you accepted it?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Stills Clouds

I'm especially partial to the blue skies and white clouds, and we have a lot of that here in our area......

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Buck Brannaman

For many years I have desired to ride in a Buck Brannaman clinic, it always been out of my budget as well as often not in my area. Well this year I was surfing the net and happened to learn that Buck was coming to Oregon, I discussed it with Dear Honey and we said if I sold a few things we could afford me attending.......

Welcome Craigslist and I made the funds...... that was back in february.

Now this weekend friday, saturday, sunday and monday mornings I'll be riding the clinic.

I've debated for the last month which horse to ride, should I ride Domino ? or Cricket?

Domino is the easiest horse I've ever trained, he is responsive and willing, even as a 3 year old he is very supple and always willing to accept my direction. He is quick and handy and lots of fun to ride. I have no training issues other than he is green.

Cricket is 4 this year and I started her last year, she came up lame with a left hind tendon injury and has had the last year off, I started riding her about a month ago and she is very difficult to ride, she is board stiff and rigid to the right, she is reactionary and over reacts to slaps and quick movements. She has not bucked much this year but bucked me off twice last year, one incident jammed my thumb badly and she spooked and ran me over once while I was leading her, knocked me down and hit my face, it hurt. I think she is over all that now and is responsive on ground work.

My good friend and trainer insists I should ride Cricket, she thinks I may make good progress with her, and we can help her become softer and flexible. I'd like to ride Domino as he makes me look good, he is farther along. I think I'll be able to spend more time watching the others and less time struggling with my horse on new skills.
I like to look competent as a trainer, I'm challenged by Cricket, I have no doubt as to my ability to make her safe and work through all her issues. I expect this time next year she will be well broke and doing anything we ask of her.
Its just right now she lacks confidence and suppleness.

Does anyone have a suggestion as to which horse I should ride?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Big Day.....

Stay tuned.....

I'm just getting ready to head over to the Buck Brannaman clinic.

I have been more excited than I expected, I hardly slept at all last night, kept listening for the horses. I decided to take Cricket and was sure she would get stuck under a pen panel or something..... She even got a bath....with soap!

And today is supposed to be the hottest day of the year, may reach 100.....blech.

Friday, August 7, 2009 1

First off I have no pictures to share. So I'll relay what I recall by writing about it.

I decided to take Cricket and I'm still not sure if I made the right choice on that.
We arrived on schedule at the facility. I signed in and unloaded and saddled Cricket. She was standing tied to the side of the trailer. I moved to the other side to organize some equipment and get my bridle, I heard her blow up and put on a full fledged bucking fit while tied, rearing and bucking. When she bucks she means business and it's rough stock rodeo worthy.
I thought great, just what I need on this of all days. She has not bucked with me this year and while she has gotten upset and tight I was able to redirect and she seemed to settle.

Not today!

I untied her and bridled her with no problem, did a little ground work getting her to flex to me, walking some circles and what I thought was enough untracking her hind end.
I led her to the arena which was filled with the other 19 participants, another horse was high and tight and promptly dumped her rider although the rider was rather green and sort of fell of, she was unhurt and her horse ran off.
Cricket was a little tight from all the commotion and nervous.
This is the first time I had ridden her off the place and her first experience being hauled and working in a group riding situation. I did a few more ground work lead throughs and untracking, while she seemed a little tight still, I figured her to settle as I walked her to relax and move with the others.
I checked my cinch and swung on, I sat on her for a minute asked her to flex and yield left and right a few times, she still seemed a little tight but I figured I was on and we needed to get moving.
I held both reins in my left hand and grabbed my nightlatch with my right, I jiggled and bumped my legs asking her to move forward..... forward she did, with a grunt and a fart up she went in true bronc form, hit the ground hard with her front feet, bogged her head and did it 3 more times, by this time I started to come loose and decided this jump was as good as any to get off, her next pitch bounced me good onto the saddle horn for good measure and the next pitch threw me clear.
I was thankful for well worked soft arena dirt and landed on my hands and knees.
I kept a grip on my reins, I do have a knack for keeping hold of the horse. She proceeded to drag me about 2 feet before she stopped and turned to face me. I wasn't hurt and other than the overflow of adrenaline a bruise on my bicep and bruise and scrape on my solar plexus I was OK.... although once I stood up I realized my belt buckle worked as a nifty funnel to scoop about a cup of dirt straight into the waist band of my jeans..... suffice it to say I was a bit gritty down there all day.
I spent a few minutes, catching my breath, calming down and soothing Cricket. I chatted with a woman that saw it all and she kept asking me if I was OK and did I need drink (I thought to myself maybe tequila). She commended my lady bronc skills and was helpful to reassure me .... I had to chuckle.

I did a bit more ground work and mounted again, one hand on the reins and right hand on the nightlatch........Jiggled and bumped my legs and let her move off. She did this time rough, crude and started trotting and weaving around, I circled her this way and that, after a turn or 2 I decided to two-hand the reins and managed to steer her around. By this time other horses were taking advantage of their green riders and another girl fell off. Her horse was acting up and she turned him too tight his reaction was to slightly rear to escape the pressure and instead of releasing and holding the saddle she pulled harder on the reins as she lost her balance and fell off backward. The woman was unhurt and her horse earned the privilege of being ridden hard and learning respect and yielding by one of Bucks experienced hands. The woman also earned the home work he assigned and was expected to accomplish that evening.

After several minutes Buck called us into a circle to start the morning discussion for the day...... So much for the smooth start to the clinic.
Buck was adamant on our horses responding to the light feel, both from the leg and the bit, as we discussed his expectation and questions about it were brought up different aspects of those 2 terms were analyzed, he told us "your legs are dead, they have no life" , "your have dulled your horse", "stop nagging with the leg" "ask for the light feel" and "do what it takes"
Apparently my name was drawn out of the hat for the target of the day, I never saw anybody pin the bullseye to my back, but it was there and Buck took aim every chance he could. "Your legs have no life" he barked, "stop grinding your heel into your horse" on my attempts to generate energy with my legs I was hollered at "quit trying to punch a hole in your horse's sides" my attempts to use the soft feel were completely ignored by Cricket, I was still concerned about getting dumped, she was still tight and a little high under me, our steering was shot to hell, she refused to get close to the rail, I had zero flexion and arc to the right (her bad side), she was over flexing to the left and it was 100 degrees with no breeze in an outdoor arena.
My frustration with the horse and my irritation with Buck were interpreted by him as anger, "Geeze people" he barked, "you look so miserable, if you can't have fun , JUST GO HOME", I was hollered at to reward the slightest try, " you have a tendency to demand too much, Rae", he barked " You could pet your horse once in a while, otherwise she will just say 'to hell with it, I can't please you anyway'"

I was thinking I was at the wrong place, on the wrong day and I brought the wrong horse, I certainly didn't pay $500 to become somebodys target. Hell, for $25 I could have sat under a tent in the shade and watched somebody else get ripped.

After about an hour of circles, one rein stops, extremely short serpentines, 1/2 circles, hind end stepping and reaching across, using the light feel with the reins and stopping with position 3 with our seats (pelvis tipped under and sitting on our pockets, slightly braced) we formed another circle for discussion.

I was very tired, VERY hot and feeling targeted.

Buck uses the ending discussion circle to one on one address each rider and how they were doing, when he asked me how I was doing I told him "I brought the wrong horse" he said something about me not needing to impress him and me looking good was not his concern.

I asked about using my legs, asking for the soft feel and not getting it, he barked "your horse doesn't respect you, move your horse to the side" he said, I pressed her with my heel and I knew she wouldn't step to the side, I used a bit more heel, "STOP grinding your heel into your horse, IT NEVER WORKED BEFORE, IT ISN'T GOING TO WORK NOW"
He then went on to discuss if it(anything we are doing) isn't working before it won't work now, "do something different to get something different" he said.

He elaborated on stopping with the seat and holding the soft feel with the reins, always teetering back with the soft feel after coming to a stop.

He asked me to back Cricket, I picked up the reins, held slight feel and jiggled my legs and squeezed.... she didn't back. I have always used that sequence, I had that drilled into me from the beginning of my riding career.... Don't back with the bit .......create some energy with your seat and legs, stop forward motion with the reins and direct it backward...... Buck barked "NO, that isn't working, that is NOT how you back, backing like that will RUIN the back up on a bridle horse",I started to explain that was all I knew, that was how I learned to back up a horse, he ignored me and went on to explain how important it is to back off the soft feel ONLY, I asked about legs, again he barked "NO you DO NOT use your legs backing".

He again asked me to hold a soft feel, I set a soft feel on Cricket and we waited, and waited and waited, after about 20 seconds I kind of shrugged and looked at him, "She'll sit here all day" I said.....

Buck said " Your horse isn't halter broke, get off your horse" as I dismounted he admonished me to dismount more cleanly next time as I drug my toe slightly over her hip, "With you riding a sensitive horse, you should be mindful of causing her more distress". I intentionally have been doing that on mounting and dismounting to desensitize her.....sigh.

He asked his daughter Reata to bring her horse to the middle and he dismounted his horse, he demonstrated how to back the horse holding the bit, he used held the rein close to the bit and applied a very light touch releasing minutely in time with the front feet leaving the ground (that is the release), when the horse didn't back as lightly as the feel he offered, he demonstrated how to press the bit hard into the jaw bone, backing that horse hard 4 or 5 steps, then release and ask for the soft feel again, hard enough to cause that horse to me more mindful to the soft feel initially offered, it should be hard enough to have him think you don't want to do it again. He said "now you try it".
I did and my initial attempts were not hard enough he said, and I was holding the rein not close enough to the snaffle ring.
My next attempts were better. He said "your horse isn't halter broke, when she is halter broke that will improve."

Buck demonstrated how his horse is respectful and soft on the ground, yielded to him and will move on the softest of suggestions. After other discussion and various questions he told us tomorrow we would be doing 'sets'.

A 'set' is backing on the soft feel 10 steps, exactly ten steps, then stepping forward 10 steps , no more, no less. Back 9 steps and forward 9 steps, backward 8 steps forward 8 steps all the way down to one. Keeping a soft feel, if the horse sticks, hard pressure on the jaw, find the soft feel again and start again.

We were dismissed.

I left the arena completely confused, I wondered where the memo was for the information I apparently missed. I really listened hard and I seemed to miss some critical information from somewhere. "do what it takes" "where is the soft feel?" "do something" "don't do that".......

I was untacking Cricket and was preparing to lead her to the water when another participant came to me and commended me on my bronc riding skills, she was impressed that I stayed on as long as I did and she wanted to tell me she thought I did a great job.....too funny.
I was eating my lunch at the trailer and watching Cricket eat hers when a girlfriend I have not seen in 17 years approached me...... She and I used to show horses together and hauled to shows and rode with the same trainer for a time, I was never so surprised.
She has ridden a couple clinics and audited several more, she and her husband have become close acquaintances with Buck.

She encouraged me, she reassured me that Buck does not take personal offense nor does he hold a grudge, he is focused on the horse and focused on the rider. He is totally absorbed with getting the best out of and for both.

I insisted to her I brought the wrong horse and that I should have ridden Domino. She encouraged me to ride Cricket, the greener horse would benefit and I could get the help I needed.
We visited for some time and caught up...... as we were chatting the afternoon Ranch Roping clinic had started in the indoor arena and I heard Buck call my name, he kept asking if I was still here and as he was using his legs to get his horse to back.... he wanted me to see the difference. I heard Reata tell him I was outside, he replied "OK". Later we went in to watch the last part of the roping clinic and he addressed me to tell the importance of sometimes using the legs to back a horse, but ONLY the legs and only as an advanced movement, useful when the hands are occupied with roping and holding a roped animal.

At the end of the day, and after Buck had finished answering all the questions from the ranch roping participants I approached him. I told him I still thought I brought the wrong horse and my concern was getting the tools I need to ride all my horses, not to necessarily fix this one. He said "I think she's doing fine and she really needs the work", I said "I think I'm not getting what I need because I'm spending so much time dealing with her issues" I asked if he thought it better to ride the less green horse, he said "I don't care which horse you bring either way is OK with me".

The guy has a knack of never telling you anything and always letting you find your own answer...... damn.

After I came home and late in the evening I went out and worked Cricket on the lead backing on the soft feel with the rope halter, then backing sets from the ground with the snaffle. I did some small serpentines and practiced sets from the saddle.....

Tomorrow I'm going to be prepared.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Clinic day 2

Another HOT day except today the humidity came up and the lack of a breeze was stifling even at 9am the air was heavy and the temp was rising fast.

I ground worked Cricket at home a little, untracking her hind end and asking for soft feel backups from the ground, we loaded and unloaded from the trailer a couple times for good measure.

We arrived early enough to tack up and do lots of lead throughs and backing. During warm up I focused on getting her to move forward freely. She has a habit of shutting down and uses any opportunity to stop and freeze up. Cricket was a little tight but much more relaxed and showed little inclination to be high under me, she was still bracing on her right side and not flexing and I had no ability to push her ribs with my right leg. Our steering had improved and I didnt fear getting bucked off.

During the morning circle Buck talked about the homework he assigned to the gal that got bucked off and her horse, she said she did it and her horse seemed much more settled. He talked about the fact her herd-bound horse and his buddy were standing side by side, he explained that was the worst thing she could do and how it contributed to her problem the day before. He admonished her to get creative to disrupt that habit.

I thought to myself, you did good for doing your own homework and I also noticed an improvement in cricket.

Buck asked for questions and one fellow was fascinated about getting the horse to yield and getting the horse to 'turn the eye'. How the horse needs to be comfortable to lose you in his blind spot (behind the rump) going from right eye to left eye and vice-versa. Once the horse is comfortable there and knows you won't surprise him he will really yield and accept things more readily.

I had no questions for the morning.... I was still a bit shell shocked from the day before. I was also a bit frustrated at the chatting, I really wanted to get to riding.

He sent us out doing short serpentines again and half circles powering out of the half circle with some energy. After a while he asked for larger serpentines cue with the inside leg at the cinch, ask for the turn with the leg first, rein only if necessary.... always
the lighter feel "Ask for more by asking with less".

Buck called out what he wanted sort of like dance steps...... "step across hind legs 1-2-3-4, sweep through the front legs 1-2-3-4"

Turn a half circle to the right. Make sure all four feet are reaching evenly, when you are done walk them out.”
“Walk with life, as if your life depended on where you were going.”
"Step across hind legs 1-2-3-4, sweep through the front legs 1-2-3-4"

Then he asked us to do sets, we did many sets of sets at the conclusion of each set we were to walk out with some energy, asking for a soft feel, he reinforced that even though you may be on a certain number in your set if you found a very soft feel and the horse was very light to call it good, pet the horse and walk out, OR maybe the horse needed to go back up a number and if the soft feel is gone it may take more steps again to get it right.
"A horse should back like he trots, with diagonal pairs, anything else is wrong".

Walk ahead and ask for the soft feel, always teetering back before the release.

There again confusion sets in as the desire to practice the exercise exactly as explained is trumped by getting the soft feel and working through the brace.

Cricket was much more c
alm although I still felt she was bracing and stopping at first opportunity, she was not moving out freely and we had a hard time walking out. It seemed like I had to nearly constantly kick her to keep her moving.

The air was so hot and the sweat was pouring off me, it was hard to have fun and I was still wishing I rode Domino, he is so easy to ride and very willing and forward.

At the last circle Buck was congratulatory to several riders, noted improvement from several riders, and how their horses were doing better. He talked about being a quitter, "never quit" he boomed!
He shared how he held no regard for quitters and wouldn't tolerate those that do. He talked about safety and good fitting equipment, "Buy the best you can afford and make sure it's quality, don't buy junk, take pride in what you have". He talked about how sorry saddles are bad, how poorly shaped fenders and tight stirrups are bad, "Either get your sorry saddle fixed or get rid of it, get your saddle FIXED" ....

So much for my beloved hand forged rawhide wrapped oxbow stirrups on my favorite saddle..... glad I didn't use them on this clinic. My saddle is not sorry but I suspect he would not have been pleased with my choice of stirrups. My favored trail saddle won't fit Cricket so I rode Dear Honeys saddle even though its much too big for me.... it has turned fenders and roper stirrups. Its NOT a sorry saddle.

I was curious at my desire to please Buck..... they guy certainly has a way to make you think, and I mean really think. Is he talking about horses or people? Do the questions help horses? do they help people? is there a difference? Does being a great horseman mean you will be a great human?

He noted that Cricket was improved but still admonished me to lighten up and not be so serious. He told me I had no business trying to ride her yesterday. He asked me how I was doing, I said "OK, but I had other errands to do and needed to leave right now." He said "OK! see you tomorrow". He said it so nicely and with genuine interest. HMMMMMMM, that was nice.

I still pondered taking Domino for the last 2 days, but then would Buck think me a quitter?
OH great..... now I have to ride Cricket, I'm not going to not bring her and have him think me a quitter......

What to do?

More of Bucks quotes,
"Some people can't ride a swinging gate in a windstorm, what makes them think they can ride a horse."
"Ride your horse like you want him to be."
"Don't ride a sorry saddle, lots of production saddles are sorry"
"If I could I'd issue Monel stirrups to every clinic rider, its too dangerous to have tight fitting stirrups."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Clinic day 3

Cricket as a baby........

Today I made too many errors on the way from the house..... I forgot my purse, GADS!, to go back and get it added 10 minutes to my drive.
Its over an hour from home to the location of the clinic, even 10 minutes starts to pinch the time cushion....... then I had to drop off the kids and the sitter wasn't there, she arrived after a minute..... I saw my main tank was about 1/4 tank, not enough to get there without concern. I switched tanks and the rear tank is empty..... have to get Diesel, OH WHY didn't I fill up last night?

The stress of dealing with this clinic has fried my brain.

Tanks full I head to the clinic. I arrived with little time to spare, Immediately tacked up and by the time I got to the arena the morning circle had started and warm up was over, I listened to questions and answers while I ground worked Cricket.

I practiced having her step across with the hind and walk in a 'united' way, all four feet reaching evenly around the circle, shorten the inside rein, wait for her hip to step away, move to her shoulder and wait for her to step back and off on to the new outside front leg. Backed some sets with my hand on the rein near the bit, she has seemed to have figured it out.

I worked her right and left sides and couple times each.
She was calmer and I think sore and tired, I ground worked her for maybe 8 or 10 minutes. Finally I got on, praying under my breath that she wouldn't buck.... she gave no inclination of resistance and I think was happy to stop and stand.

As the discussion went from topic to topic I was forming a question to Bucks desire to back off the bit, using only the soft feel and no use of legs. Buck has a habit of speaking at length about a topic until he has either answered the question or asked more questions to get the specific information. He always asks if that helped and when he figures he covered it from all angles he will ask if there is another question.
He happened to be looking my way and I raised my hand and said, "I have been pondering what you said on Friday about backing off the soft feel, why is that so important and how does the horse know the difference from the soft feel to back and the soft feel to yield?"

He said, " The horse is that sensitive, he knows the difference because he is so sensitive to the slightest shift. We confuse the horse by not being clear in our request, sometimes we ask nicely and others we jerk his face off, he learns to ignore the minor to react to the major, our inconsistency is the hurdle not the sensitivity of the horse."

He demonstrated the soft feel back up, he really does use seat aid and weight shift more than one realizes. Pick up a soft feel, change seat position from position 3 (relaxed on the pockets pelvis under) to position 2 ( sitting up evenly on both seat bones and inner thigh), tip the shoulders back very slightly behind the vertical, release the soft feel minutely in time with the front foot leaving the ground.

I asked for clarification about speed and how to rate it, he explained after the horse is backing reliably and cadenced and soft, fall out of time with the horse, fall out with the seat and the reins timing, the horse won't like so he will speed up as he does drop the seat and rein and pet him. Horse thinks 'Boy human you can't do that very good' after a few tries the horse figures to get the relief from the out of timing you are doing he needs to speed up then he gets to stop, Soon the faster he goes the faster he gets to make you stop.

Busk is so full of answers and often just his lecture will answer any question that may be stewing.

I was satisfied with what he said, and grateful he didn't acknowledge my being tardy.

Buck admonished those that missed the afternoon session, he told about how his bay horse had an issue and he felt his working through the issue was the high point of the clinic, he said it was sad so many missed it and he couldn't recreate it.......

I was sad I missed it too.

He sent us out doing serpentines, short serpentines, large serpentines asking for the turn with the leg, walking out with life and energy.... boy could some of the advanced horses there WALK. Their mecates swinging to and fro the hind legs were taking huge strides and their turns were fluid and sweeping. I had a bit of a chance to observe a few as we came along together, I really enjoyed that part. It gives me a picture to strive for.

Another fellow and I happened to be moving along down the rail, taking a short rein to the inside, let the hips step over and as the inside front leg reaches release and ride out with energy, he and I worked our horses off each other, as we turned together each horse shortened up to avoid the other, that was fun. I could feel the flow and Cricket was finally doing what I struggled with alone. His horse was very advanced and he made it look like flowing butter, it felt good to get a feel and relax with the movement.

A few minutes later we were struggling again, I heard Buck holler "Rae, stop jerking your horses mouth, ask softly!" I was kicking her again too, she was stiff, lazy and bracing..... I was tired.

I turned her again and woosh, there was the flow, and there was Buck with his flag. He has flagged her in time with her front leg and she flowed off it like butter. We turned again and he flagged, woosh flow.... turn again, woosh flow, I commented "that was nice..... just do 500 more", he said "only 500?", I said maybe "501" he chuckled.

I told him "This horse was gee hawed around for 3 days and (I gestured handing him my rein) and told 'there ya go'", he said "I don't give a damn what happened, that person that calls himself a trainer is a liar" I came back, "that may be, but I'm having to deal with it too."

I told him I ride by myself and don't have someone to flag her for me....he said "you can do this, just flag her yourself, remember the timing and feel of the front foot."

I thought to myself RRRRIIIIIGHT! He was very pleasant, I valued that discussion and I really wished I could ride with him for the next week.

Buck asked us to move up to the trot, long trot " Cricket can trot well but she carries herself on an arc to the left, moving a right circle is hard, she continually drifts to the center, pushing her over is nearly impossible and using the left rein only arcs her more to the left, it was so hard, as she continually drifted to the center to pull her to the outside try to get her straight, all the while asking for a soft feel, lather, rinse, repeat.......
He was hollering at many riders, "stop pounding your horses back, rise to the trot". He was tired of floppy, sloppy riders.
About 1/3 of the group were pretty green riders, had no equitation and had bare control of their horses, they didn't know a lead from a diagonal and I'm sure were struggling with even going around the arena at a trot.

Cricket has a smooth trot but after about the 4th lap I started posting, which made it harder to her bent left, drifting to the inside of arena, pull to the outside, straighten, find the soft feel, keep her moving forward, long trot..... soon Buck called out "Rae, you're are on the wrong diagonal"..... DRAT!..... Note to self, Don't let it happen again.

Buck pulled a few riders to the center for discussion, and on we pounded at the long trot. He called out "I didn't forget you..... take a soft feel, at the walk make a half circle, and pick up the long trot again".

I think we make 10 laps or do at least, Buck called out "Keep asking for the soft feel, hold it for a few strides, keep asking" He lectured about how the long trot is the most useful gait for training, how posting is important and how covering many miles at the trot is beneficial for the horse"

Buck lectured, we trotted, "take a soft feel, at the walk make a half circle, and pick up the long trot again."

I called to him and said "She's lovin' this (going to the left) she is cheating and flexing her poll but not tipping her nose to the right, not arcing her neck to the right, her bad side" Buck said (and he was smiling) "Horses don't cheat, lie or fake" I corrected my statement to say " she is not arcing to her bad side", He told me to keep asking for a soft feel, keep asking to flex to the right, keep asking to move her ribs left, get her straight and ask her to soften to the left arced right. He said I'd have to double up her bad side and do less on her good side.

Then he sent me back out at a long trot.

Riding in traffic was good for Cricket, she had not done that and because everyone was moving at the same gait and the same speed it was helpful. I was able to move her along and she moved freely and passed the horses, then a black and white pinto kicked a hind foot up at her, we were more than 10 feet away and at no risk for getting kicked. Cricket was horrified that could have happened. I dont think it ever occurred to her that another horse would do such a thing.

Now she was worried that every other horse might do the same.... so much for freely moving through traffic. Every other stride she threw on the brakes so to not get within range should someone decide to kick her. Of course no one did but it made for a hurky, jerky long trot.

Buck called us into to the discussion circle. WHEW! I bet we trotted for 40 minutes.

Buck told a story about a clinic he did and this fellow and he clashed, and how Buck really wanted to rip into the guy, as the day went on it became more difficult by the hour. Then he told abouthow he decided to help the guy and offer to help him as much as he could.. He soon came to like the guy and it became pleasant working together. Ultimately he realized he was wrong about his opinion toward the guy. He assumed wrongly about the guys ability and his skills and his desire to do the right thing.
Buck was humbled and sorry he was quick to judge the guy and he was in fact wrong about lots of things related to the guy.

As he told that story I felt he was apologizing to me, not in a direct way but certainly with the story.
Buck has a very unusual way to make the stories and the telling say more than just the words. I was appreciative of the how the day went and how he helped with the flag, and how he relayed the story.

There were lots of questions and answers, I just listened and soaked up his lecture.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Clinic BBQ

Sunday evening was the participants BBQ hosted by friends of Buck and the arena owners....
What a fantastic assortment of food, drink and fellowship.

The opportunity to visit and relax was welcome. During the clinic there was virtually no ability to meet anyone and learn their names or where they were from
. Participants were from Canada, Montana, California, Oregon and New Zealand. I was impressed with the amount of money involved and spent in pursuing this clinic and clinician.

Personally it was a bit of a sacrifice to attend this, I couldn't imagine following Bucks clinic circuit and riding in many clinics over the summer. I'll definately be placing that high on my post lottery winning "To Do" list.

It was a treat to sit and visit casually with Buck, he was genuinely interested in my children and surprised I have 5 children the oldest of which is nearly 18. He took the time to look through my photo album and was interested and asked lots of questions about my children, husband and other topics.... nobody discussed their horses or the clinic. Buck was equally interested in others lives and interests. He is personable and gracious.

I met
Fawn Anderson

She and a friend are taking Bucks clinics over the summer and rode some fabulous horses.

I met 2 women from Florida that were thrilled to get their picture taken with a "REAL" cowboy... they were hilarious.
One woman had a European accent and was curious what 'Barn' I rode with and was surprised to learn I kept my own horses and didn't even have a barn....literally.
Her experience and knowledge was high level show jumpers and the like. The ranching high desert and DIY aspect was lost on her I think.

Everyone was so nice and personable, I enjoyed the evening very much.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Stills Fences

My header image is part of the fence category......

I couldn't decide If I liked BW or color more.......