Thursday, September 19, 2013

Saga of The Big Brass - Part 5 - Becoming a Trail Horse

On Tuesday The Big Brass and I had "our" first solo ride. He was a bit snorty at an odd stack of tires and old wood but other than that we had a fine day! I have to say that he is the best trained of ANY 30 day horse that I have ever ridden of my own or even someone elses!

Looking handsome in his new blue halter :)

My view. Look at that long neck!! 

 Today we loaded up, picked up Andi and Star and headed for the trails towards Vale off of Lytle Blvd. 

I had to get off the tall boy and open a couple gates. I found myself a high spot to stand on so I could get back on. Brass just is doing great and likes the trails too! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saga of The Big Brass - Part 4 - The Moment of Truth

After his two weeks at home waiting for his hooves to heal and allow him to travel with comfort, Brass went back over to Ted Nichols' for the remainder of his training. Since his oddly shaped and distorted hooves didn't want to hold on to the Gloves, I got a pair of Epics for him.

The Epics have the cable system and clamp so they tighten, enabling them to stay on and allowing him to continue with his training. I didn't want him to have too much vacation and forget his recently learned lessons.

After Ted had him back for just a week I went over to ride him. Brass was doing great and I got a "lesson" in understanding a bit more of what Brass knew. I had more to learn to catch up to his level. 

In this last week at Ted's, his final week, Brass was ridden down the road, past the dairy where he thought milk cows were going to kill him. But he lived. After which he was ridden to the Snake River and went wading in the river. Yesterday Ted rode him up on the Adrian hill and we traveled some pretty good trails over ravines and up and down hills. Brass seems to love the trails and Ted has done a magnificent job getting him used to so many things. Now it was time for Brass to "graduate" and for me to take over the reins.

Today was truly the moment of truth, no coaching from Ted, just Brass and I. We trailered out to the Lytle trails south of Vale and off we went. He did superbly although this water tank just didn't belong here as far as he was concerned. Farther down the trail was a huge black tire water tank and he was sure it was going to eat him. But then he discovered it had water in it and then he wondered what the fuss was really about. 

I even took pictures while riding him. 

Christine and Diamond going through the gully ahead of us. They did a great job handling this tough spot that the photo makes look so easy. It really was rougher than that. After 2 1/2 hours we made it back to the trailer and good boy Brass had done everything right! Couldn't have asked for much better.

His reward was going on the small pasture with his buddy Peanut. When I went out to bring them in that black cloud had turned into thunder, lightening and a lot of wind. And Brass was easy to catch and lead into his pen for the night. So very different from what he was a few short weeks ago!! I'm sure I am going to have a lot of fun with this big guy!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Saga of The Big Brass - Vacation - Part 3

Before we left for City of Rocks, August 5, Brass had been doing really well as you can see from Colleen Martin's photos of Brass and his trainer, Ted Nichols. Gone was a lot of his freakiness thanks to all the desensitizing that Ted does with his horses. 

 Here Ted flops the stirrups while Brass walks and jogs around, desensitizing in motion.

Ted loves all the horses as you can see in this photo by Colleen Martin. 

However while we were gone to City of Rocks, Brass' hooves that had been so long and trimmed so much, were now getting sore. Even with Easycare Gloves he was uncomfortable. Not really lame but not moving out like he should be either, and you can't train an unhappy horse and get good results.

It was time to get him out on the trails more and he had to be sound for that, not hurting in any way. Colleen and I went over to check Brass out and discuss things with Ted. When we got there we found Ted playing with Brass bareback. It's just amazing how far this horse has come in 3 weeks time! 

So the decision was made to bring him home for a couple weeks so I could work on his hooves. The exact care given his hooves at that point will be in an Easycare Hoof Blog so watch for that :) But lets just say we trimmed more bar and relieved the sole and I placed a poultice on his front hooves for a few days. 

While I had him home I didn't want him to forget all his lessons so I worked with him and yes - I rode him. My first impression was that he is far too tall, which is why you see the stool out there that I stood on to mount up. And secondly Brass has the world's longest neck. But I'm convinced that when his hooves improve and he goes back in two weeks, that he is going to be awesome! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Silver City and Beyond

    On August 16 and 17 myself and my best bud, who came to visit for 3 weeks, drove up to Diamond Basin to camp out and ride. Since the creeks up here were pretty much dry we decided to unhook the trailer and drive into Silver City on Friday. Great choice as we had the whole town all to ourselves. We could stroll around and look all we wanted and not be in any one's way. Today's Silver City is what's left of an old mining town, rich in pioneer and mining history and tall tales.

The road into Silver City closes in October due to heavy snowfall and mudslides. Most of the residents are summer only and a security person lives in the hotel over the winter. There is a public tour the second weekend of September to guide you past all the best historic points.

This old 1938 pickup is one of my favorite sights. 

The old Stoddard House has been restored and not your typical Silver residence.

Most of the old homes tout rusty metal roofs with new solar panels for power. 

You can't go to Silver without checking out the old cemetery, many "unknowns", probably miners. 

Colleen in front of the Idaho Hotel and Bar.

An old ore cart from the mining hey days.

For some reason these wagon wheels tickled my fancy.

The people in the hotel were a hoot. We were serenaded an entertained. They suggested we come back later after they had more wine! LOL

At one time Silver had 250 working mines.

Code of the Old West.

Saturday morning w just sat in the peace and quiet of "nowhere" watching a gorgeous sunrise!

We headed out towards the cabins by 8 AM and had been on the trail about half an hour when a string of 4-wheelers came along up the hill. This one really cracked me up, two dogs on the back riding in a box and one was wearing "doggles". I chuckled over that one for a while but they said he's sensitive to the sunshine.

Colleen checking out the old outhouse at Montini's cabin. 

Hollie and Colleen at Spring House, about a mile from Montini's

After Spring House we turned back and cut across to Milk Spring and then headed for camp. What a great way to spend the weekend and give my friend a tour of the Old West! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

City of Rocks

    How do you spend a week at a gorgeous place like The City of Rocks National Reserve near Almo, ID., and try to decide which photos to share out of the 500 you took. Not an easy task! It was a great week riding and having fun with both old and new friends. 

On Monday we went for a trail ride out across the prairie, Colleen Martin on Blue and Trish Frahm on Sahra.

Old west decor - horse skull - that's another blog coming soon.

I rode Thunder and ponied his mother, Hollie the day before the rides began.

We also took a drive from ride camp to the town of Yost, UT. There were many old homesteads along the way.

And we checked out the old Yost Pioneer Cemetary

This art work of a lifetime was known as Inez's Rock Garden in downtown Yost, UT. It's like Hidden Pictures, the more you look - the more you find! 

Day 1 on the trail heading out through the City of Rocks National Reserve.

The trails and scenery are gorgeous.

Thunder and I rock climbing. 

The "rock man" watches us on the trails.

Old log ruins with Twin Sisters in the back ground. Day 1 was a great trail, rode with Trish Frahm and Jane Wilson. I wanted Thunder to go easy so we could do multiple days.

On Day 2 I rode Thunder with Kathleen Edman of Montana. She rode her Kentucky Mountain horse 3 days. We placed 4th and 5th and I think Kathy's horse would've gone all 5 days if she could've stayed the whole week. 

Another old farm from the old days.

On day 3 we went up into Castle Rock Park.

Colleen with Blue, doing her first 50 in too many years. We tried to remember the last ride we actually rode together "back in the day". We decided that maybe it was Evergreen Challenge in 1981?

Rock formations every where you look. 

I pulled Thunder at the vet check on day 3, stone bruise. But Colleen and Blue went on and completed. They look great don't they!!? 

On day 4 neither Colleen nor I rode. We went out to the vet check and helped, drove around and did some sight seeing, and all the horses got a massage. :) 

Collen and Jessica waiting for horses to arrive at the vet check

Alex Church with two of our amazing vets, Jessica Heinrich and Olin Balch.

One of the many signs rating the rocks for climbing.

Haha I was being artsy fartsy with the camera. 

Cool rock caves and formations. 

Can you beat this scenery? 

On Day 5 I rode Blue on the 50 with Aubry Church and Deo Peppersack.

The elevation for the day went up over 8800 feet and we were in some very tall trees. 

Deo resting in the check while Cinnamon chows on some grass. It was a beautiful place for a vet check.

Deo, Aubry and I completed the 50 the final day. Colleen completed the 30 with Hollie. It was a great week and we waved "bye" at the rocks as we headed home.