Things Have Slowed Down A Little

I know I’m not the only person in the world that seems to be running in a hundred  different directions at a time.  There are times when life is just completely crazy.  I am currently working a full time job along with substituting as a bus driver at the school.  I am also still taking on some horses for clients. And to add to the pile of stuff I have to do, I have three teenagers and a husband.  But alas things have slowed down a little for me at this moment.  The kids are on Christmas break, so they can help out by doing most of the housework and cooking.  Also because it is Christmas break there is no substitute bussing right now.  And I have told all my clients that are wanting horses to be worked with that I will be waiting until it starts to stay light a little longer before taking on any new horses.  So since things have slowed down a little, let me catch you up on what has been going on in my little horsey world.

Another New Addition

Just got a halter on Meeko, now I"m letting him sniff me

Just got a halter on Meeko, now I”m letting him sniff me

Yes I adopted another baby.  This one is a tri-color pinto mustang.  I struggled with a name, but have finally settled on “Meeko”. It means strength and very wise.  He is six months old and was born in captivity in Nebraska.  He is such a little cutie.  I’ve gotten a lot done with him in the few days I’ve gotten to work with him since I’ve brought him home.  He still isn’t too keen on being caught, but he is getting much better.  In no time at all he will be an attention hog like my other boys.

My husband, Dan, is just starting to teach Meeko to lead.

My husband, Dan, is just starting to teach Meeko to lead.

 

On the second day I tried a blanket on Meeko and Chrome.

On the second day I tried a blanket on Meeko and Chrome.

Also on day 2 I worked on picking up Meeko's feet

Also on day 2 I worked on picking up Meeko’s feet

Loving on my baby

Loving on my baby

Here is the neighbor girl leading Meeko on day 3.  He's a smart little guy

Here is the neighbor girl leading Meeko on day 3. He’s a smart little guy

 

About My Other Boys

Here is Dollar giving the neighbor girls a ride.

Here is Dollar giving the neighbor girls a ride.

Dollar is the same old Dollar.  He didn’t ridden much this last year, but he still does great.  I took him to a versatile ranch horse clinic last month.  He did great.  They also had a show the day after the clinic, but I wasn’t able to make it to the show.  The clinic was composed of four different sections: trail, cow work, ranch horse pleasure, and reining. Dollar proved himself to be pretty good in all four.  I’m really looking forward to taking him to a few events in the next couple of years.  Dollar is also a great horse just to have around for kids to ride.

Chrome December 2013

Chrome December 2013

Chrome is doing great just being a colt.  He is always looking for attention and is just a little jealous of Meeko.  The other day I looked at pictures of Chrome when I first brought him home.  He was so sleek.  Now he’s just a fur ball and  has gotten so big.

Cheveyo Wynn, aka Oakie, has also gotten fuzzy.  I was also looking at pictures of him when I first got him, and he doesn’t even look like the same horse.  I have done so much with him over the past months.  I even put a couple of rides on him, but with my busy schedule, I have decided to wait until spring to put more hours on him.

Riding Oakie

Riding Oakie

Okay, well that’s about all that has been going on in our little world.  I will try to keep you updated on how everyone is coming along.  Until then Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas from me and the boyz

Merry Christmas from me and the boyz

 

 

 

 

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What’s the Hurry?

Over the last year I have trained horses for and have competed in several mustang makeovers. Which involves training a horse from completely wild to show ready in a few short months.  I have also worked with horses for various people over the last  year.  There again I have a time restraint on the time I work with the horse.  Recently I acquired two new horses.  These are just my horses.  They are not for a competition or for anyone else to take home in a month.  They are just for me.  So I decided “what’s the hurry?”

P1140210 (800x600)Well with baby Chrome there is absolutely no hurry.  He is only 4 months old, so it’s not like I’ll be riding him anytime soon.  However, we are still doing some work,  but everything I am doing with him is low pressure.  And by introducing things to him now, there will be less stress on him when it comes time to ride him.  He will be so accustom to me being around him and handling him that riding will seem like nothing at all.

P1140200 (800x600)So what do I teach a baby?  Well to start, he needs to understand my space and his space.  And really learn to stay in his own space.  With a baby sometimes it’s easy to let them get too close to you, because they are small and cute.  However, this can lead to problems in the future when he gets bigger.  I also teach him how to go over obstacles.  That might not seem like much, but it teaches him that I’m his leader.  If I always lead him safely over obstacles, then there will be no reason for him not to trust me when I’m on his back a few years down the road and ask him to go over something he may find scary.  I also get him use to being clipped P1140455 (800x600)with the clippers.  No he really doesn’t need a hair cut yet, but by working with him when he’s small, we won’t have any problems clipping him when he’s older.  I also teach him a few tricks.  Some may think tricks are silly, but in all reality, tricks help build trust.  Also if I’m going on any short trips, I load him into the trailer so he gets use to traveling.  And probably one of the most important things I work with him on is picking up his feet.  That way when my farrier comes out to trim, it will be a lot less stress full for both baby and farrier.  Now a lot of people out there don’t do any work with their colts until they are ready to start riding, and that is just fine.  But I like to play a little with my guy to give him a little head start.

 

P1130960 (800x600)With Oakie (I changed his name to Cheveyo Wynn which means White Warrior Spirit, but ended up still calling him Oakie. long story) I am also in no hurry to hop on his back.  I know there are tons of trainers out there that work with horses some and start riding them when they are two.  But for me, right now, I am really enjoying working on the ground with Oakie.  He is so smart, and I can do almost anything with him on the ground, but what’s the hurry?  I don’t need to have him ride-able for any reason.  I have decided to take my time with him and form P1140040 (800x600)an amazing bond with him.  He is proving to be that one in million horse.  He has such a beautiful personality and is so friendly to everyone.  Sometimes mustangs have a tendency to really only like to have one particular person around, or are only comfortable with one person at a time.  Oakie is every bodies best friend from the second he sees them.  I really love this guy.

So if you hop on my page and wonder why I’m not riding my new guys yet, you will know that I’m just taking my time with them.

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Little Red Thingies

Because we are having a heat wave go through our area, I decided to clean out my horse water tanks and refill them with fresh water.  As the water level nears the bottom of the tank, I start scooping out the muck that has accumulated over the summer.  I was horrified when I noticed tiny little red worms squiggling around.

After I finished draining the tank and scrubbing it twice before refilling it, I ran home to my computer to figure out what the heck was living in my tank.

Come to find out, the little red worms are Blood Worms.  I know that sounds kind of creepy to me too.  Must be really dangerous right?  Nope they are completely harmless.

Photo is from: jeffsandino.com  a fishing website.

Blood Worms aren’t actually worms at all, but are the larvae of the non-biting Midge Fly.  The non-biting Midge Fly looks like a mosquito.  They lay their eggs in water.  The eggs then hatch into the little red larvae or blood worms.  Larvae turn to pupae, which then turns in to an adult non-biting Midge Fly.

So even though it creeped me out just a little, I guess there was nothing to worry about.  The worms are harmless to your horses, and the adults don’t even bite.  The  main problem with the flies is that they can be a nuisance. There is no need to go out and deworm your horse if you find these floating in your tank.  You could however, toss a couple of fish in your tank.  I guess that blood worms are very nutritious  and delicious to fish.

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I’m So Addicted

Well Igone and done it.  I got more horses.  Only two new ones, and one really doesn’t count because he’s just a little baby.  So I guess I better introduce everyone to our new family members.

First of all there is Chrome.  Chrome is a 3 month old colt that was given to us by a breeder who was trying to get rid of some horses.  He is the most adorable little guy.  He is a red dun and has four white socks, hence the reason we named him Chrome.  Branigan, my son, worked with him quite a bit yesterday, we got him the day before that.  He now leads really well and will go over most of our obsticals.  We can also pick up all four of his feet, and we even trimmed his front feet today.  He is going to be the most spoiled baby around.  It was kind of funny though. When we picked him up the lady giving him to us warned me that he hadn’t been handled and he may be kind of wild.  Don’t think she realizes I love to wrangle mustangs.

The next newbie is Oakie, a 2 year old mustang that was born in a wild horse sanctuary in Oklahoma.  Gabby and I had ran up to look at horses at the BLM, and this guy just called to me.  I don’t know what it was about him, but  I was completely drawn to him.  He wasn’t one that came right up to us, or even a color I typically like, but he was the one for me.  So the next day we went back and picked him up.

On the first day I messed around with him a little in the round pen and got him leading. And just messed around with him.

 On day 2 we worked on more leading, on me getting to the right side of him, grooming, and going over some obsticals.

 

Day 3 was pretty great for me and Oakie.  He actaully let me brush both sides of him from head to hoof.  I picked up all four of his feet.  And I saddled him and lunged him around.  He handled it pretty well.  He did give two little hops when I tightened the saddle, but nothin too dramatic.

I love having something new to work with.  It keeps it interesting.  Keep checking back, I should have lots of up dates on how the new ones are doing.

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The Show Must Go On

Well anyone who knows me very well can tell you that I have a hard time sitting still.  So naturally, being laid up is very, very hard for me to handle mentally.  It is so hard for me to follow the doctors orders to rest, especially when I’m starting to feel better and am not hurting all the time.  I’m lucky to have some people around that will help me keep up with my horses while I’m laid up.  And I have taking the opportunity to get some other things done.

Gabby, a girl that I mentor, has been a help.  She and Dan have taken turns working with Remington for me.  Neither of them will ride him, but they have been saddling him and doing ground work with him.  One evening we even saddled him and took him to a Ranch Rodeo, where he stood tied all night to get him use to some action.  He was a little nervous at first, but soon settled down.

Gabby was also nice enough to ride Dollar for me.  Now Dollar can be a wild and crazy guy, and with him only being ridden a couple of times this year I was worried that she might not be able to handle him.  Okay, maybe he isn’t too wild and crazy, but I have been trying to get him ridden at least once a month.  I have ended up so busy this summer that it has been hard to get him ridden.  He is getting so fat, which I know is bad for him, but he is such an easy keeper.  I would have to keep him in a pen alone if  I wanted him to lose weight, and right now his is a pasture buddy for a friends horse.

Since I can’t ride or work with horses, I’ve been making obstacles to use for when I get better.  I put a scaffolding in my work area so I don’t have to do any bending.  I have it set at just the right level to make building easier for me.

First I made these little fence things.  They can be used for what ever you need a little fence thing for.  We are currently using them at the beginning and the end of the “L” that we practice backing through

Next I made a pit or inverted bridge for the horses to walk in.  It is basically like a bridge, but goes down instead of up.

And finally I made a little pedestal for the horses to stand on or jump over.

So you see even though I’m down, I’m not completely out.

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Crash and Burn

So my post today is Crash and Burn for a couple of reasons.  The first one is that my site has actually been down for a little while because of some technical problems.  So it didn’t really crash, but it kind of did.  The other is because I did have a crash this last week and am now laid up for a few weeks.

First let me catch you up on a few things that have been going on in the horse world of Anna.

First I was working with a little TIP horse that I called Izzy.  TIP stands for Trainer Incentive Program, which is a program through the Mustang Heritage Foundation for mustang trainers.  If you are interested in learning more about the TIP program you can click here (TIP) to go to the MHF page.   Anyway I have been putting some rides on Izzy for his adopter.  Izzy is from Oregon and has such a great personality.  I swear Oregon horses are just so full of character.

Over the last month I also made some tough decisions.  With the prices of hay so high and the lack of rain causing the pastures to dry up, I felt it was time to down size my herd a little.  I couldn’t get rid of Dollar because he has been with me for so long, and he is just one of those horses you can hop on and ride whenever you need him to move cattle or anything else.  So I decided to rehome Cobain and Celerina.  As much as I hated to see them go, I just couldn’t keep them any longer. It wasn’t fair to them to stay with me because they are both such great horses, but I just couldn’t give them the time they needed to become finished horses.  I spent some time and found great forever homes for them.  They will get the attention they deserve, and in the end they will be happier horses.  I will miss them tons.  They both have taught me so much.

I was also working with a couple of stud horses for a friend this last month.  They were both 3 year old quarter horses that hadn’t even been halter broke.  They were both starting to come along nicely.  I hadn’t gotten a chance to ride them yet, but I did have them so I could catch them and lead them.  And I had even threw the saddle on them a couple of times.

Remington has been coming along great.  I had done a ton of ground work with him and had him ready to ride.  I got to the point where I was ready to throw my leg over, but I knew I was going to a clinic within a couple of weeks where the clinician would actually put the first ride on Remi for me, so I just waited until the clinic.  Here is a picture of Remington getting his first ride by Mark Lyon

 

Remington did great with Mark.  After he had a little rest I hopped on him and rode him around the round pen also.  We walked, trotted and cantered.

Then I brought him home and rode him the next day in my round pen with Gabby helping direct us.  Again he did great.

During the first week of riding him I rode him in the round pen, the arena and out in the pasture.  He was doing really well. I even took him over all of our obstacles with no problems.

He was doing so well and I couldn’t have been happier with the progress we were making.  He was stopping great, backing and sidepassing. However, on our last ride he was kind of funny because we had moved some items on the outside of the arena, when we had mowed the day before.  He wasn’t too sure about things being a little different.  So I spent a lot of time walking him around the arena, getting him use to the “new” stuff. Then we spent a little time trotting and getting use to the new stuff.  He was finally settled down and relaxing, and I should have called it a day.  However, I wanted to canter him around a little first.  That was a big mistake.  I asked for a canter, and he went.  When we got to the corner, my saddle slipped a little.  Well that spooked Remi and he gave a little hop.  Then my saddle really slipped.  It was at that point I knew I was in trouble.  There was no way I was going to be able to stay on.  I ended up in the fence of the arena.  Some how Remi flipped over. I ended up in the ER and with two broken ribs and a messed up knee.  Luckily I had a helmet on, otherwise I would have had a lot more injuries.

Now I’m stuck on the ground for a few weeks.  I have a friend that will put a few rides on Remi while I’m laid up. I sent all the other horses home, because I can’t afford to feed everything while I heal up.

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Mustang Million Two Weeks In

So it has been two weeks since we picked up our Mustang Million Extreme Mustang Makeover horses.  I thought I would just catch you up on what has been going on.

Gabby and Cali

Gabby is doing a great job with Cali.  They have all the basics down.  Gabby is showing in the youth division, Cali is only a yearling, hence they will do everything in hand.  She has her leading well.  And they have been working on things like jumping barrels, crossing the bridle, standing on a pedestal, lunging, messing with a tarp, and Cali trotting and loping next to Gabby while Gabby runs.

Remington and Myself

Remington is progressing nicely.  He is still a little skittish, but he is getting better everyday.  I’m really trying to make the best horse I can out of him, and if that means working a little longer on the ground I can do it.  It’s hard not to get in a rush at times when you look on Facebook and see everyone else riding their horses already.  But I just keep telling myself I’m doing what is best for Remmi and me.  He’s just not to the point of riding yet, but he’s getting close.  I can saddle him with no problems.  He didn’t even buck the first time I saddle him up.  He isn’t afraid of the tarp.  He will let me touch his body anywhere I want with it.  I even run it between his legs.  I can pick up all four feet without any problems.  I can do just about anything I want to on the ground with him, he’s just still a little nervous.

A couple of things we have been working on is getting him over his stranger anxiety.  I will work with him a little, then I have Dan or Gabby go in and mess with him a little.  At first this was a huge deal; however, he is getting much better with it.  The other thing we are working on is standing still.  If I go to stand beside him he will just walk in circles.  So I’ve just been hanging out standing by his side and letting him turn circles until he stops.  If he stops over even a second I back away, then start over again.  He is getting a ton better with this.  I’m finally able to stand beside him and put my foot in the stirrup without him turning forever.  And he’s not even going in fast circles.  Just walking in really slow circles.  Kind of drives me crazy, but we are getting over it.

Today I worked on running the lead rope behind him and holding pressure on it until he figured out how to turn and give to the pressure.  He did pretty well.  He never did kick at the rope, and after a couple times he settled down and did it nice and slow.  Then I worked on ground driving.  We only did this in the round pen and it took him a little to relax, but by the end we were doing pretty good.

I promise to try and keep this up dated so keep checking in to see how we’re doing.

 

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Life Just Keeps Getting Busier

So sorry that I’ve been horrible about writing.  I could promise to write more, but I hate to make promises I can’t keep.  Let me give you a run down of everything that has been happening in my little world.

Working at Our Farm

 

We have owned some ground for a long time, but it’s a little far away from where we live.  Like 20 miles away, but we decided to put up a horse training facility at our farm.  Currently we live in town, and I have boarded horses with friends.  However, my husband decided that since we own all this land we should put the horses there.  So we set to work fixing it up.  We hauled tons of scrap metal away and buried a ton of junk that had piled up over the last 100 years that the farm has been in the family.  Eventually we would like to build a house out there, but right now it isn’t going to happen.

There is an old school house that was moved to the farm in 1970 that we re-roofed this winter.  This building is serving as our tack room.

We also built six pens and three sheds to use for horses in training.  Along the front of the pens is an alley.  The alley is wide enough to back into to unload horses that are a little too “wild” to lead off the trailer.  Also the alley runs down to the round pens (we have 2).  This works out perfect for the first couple times working with a horse that we can’t quite catch yet.

Then we built a huge arena.  Well it’s not huge, but it’s pretty good sized.  I’m pretty excited about the arena because I can use it for working on my mustang makeover horses.  In the past I had to just work with them out in the open, and they never really got to see and arena very much.

TIP Horses

The Mustang Heritage Foundation had a program called the Trainer Incentive Program, where they paid approved trainers to gentle mustangs and find them homes.  Well I signed up for that program and did pick up a cute little guy to work with.   He’s been a great little horse, and I have found an adopter for him.  I will put 30 days of riding on him then he will go to his new home.  Bad news is, the Mustang Heritage Foundation had to put the TIP program on hold because of budget cuts.  So this little guy may be my first/last TIP horse.

Mustang Million

After much drama, I will be doing the Mustang Million event this year.  We thought it would work out great for Gabby and I because they were going to have an adoption here in Nebraska.  So unlike last years SEMM where we had to drive to Pauls Valley, OK to pick up horses, we could just take a 40 minute drive to the Elm Creek, NE BLM and pick up horses.  That was going to save us a ton of money.  Well the Monday before the Elm Creek adoption I received a call from the MHF saying that they were having to cancel the Elm Creek adoption because of a influenza outbreak at the facility.   So in order for Gabby and I to get horses for the event we were going to have to go to the auction that weekend in Fort Worth, TX, or drive to Oregon to pick up one of the horses from the pool from their auction the week before.  Well financially nether of those options were going to work for me, so I was planning on not doing the event.  But  some people pulled together and actually got it arranged so that a guy from Iowa adopted horses for Gabby and I in TX and hauled them back to Nebraska for us.  He also picked up horses for a few other people and we just had to pay him a little for gas.  So now Gabby and I are in the Mustang Million.

Gabby got a nice little filly that was born in the holding facility in Oklahoma.  She’s considered a bay, but she is kind of a really light bay color.  She named her Cali.  They are doing great.  This is Gabby’s second Mustang Makeover, and it is a lot different now that she kind of knows how everything works.  I really think she will enjoy herself more this year because she will be able to relax a little more.  For more pictures on info on Gabby and Cali you can check out Gabby’s mustang page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GabbysSupremeExtremeMustangAdventure

This will be my 4th mustang makeover.  I ended up with a gelding from Stone Cabin, NV.  He’s kind of thin right now, but we are working out getting weight on him.  He seems to be really athletic and a smart little guy.  I haven’t started riding him yet, but hope to by the end of the week.  I called him Remington, cause he’s a pistol.  We will call him Remmi for short.  This first week I have really been working on building trust with him.  I can groom him, pick up his feet, lead him, saddle him, and put the tarp all over his body.  I think he will be a great little horse.  If you are interested in seeing more pictures of Remmi you can go to my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/knowyourhorse.co

Okay I think I have you all up to date on my horse life.  I will try to do a better job of getting info on here for everyone.  Until next time.  Happy Trails.

 

 

 

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How to Make a Bridle Rack Out of Horseshoes.

Well it is winter, and I don’t care to be cold so I’ve been really boring lately.  I really wish I had a heated indoor arena or at least a heated garage so I could make stuff with out freezing.  On these cold winter days, I sit around and come up with all sorts of stuff to make.  I’ve made some boxes to store saddles in. I’ve made polo wraps. And my newest project was making a bridle rack and a breast collar rack out of horse shoes.  Yes I could just buy one, but this was more fun and way less expensive.

To start you need to get some horse shoes.  Any horse shoes will do.  You can even use used horse shoes if you have some laying around.  I found some at a farm supply store for a little over a buck a piece.  You need to decide how many hooks you want.  For every two hooks you need three shoes.

The first step is to cut one shoe to make the part that is going to be the hook.  We cut right by the nail holes closest to the middle of the shoe.  You want the cut made so that the hook will stick out enough so you can get bridles on and off of it easily.  It took us several tries to get it just right.  With one shoe you will get two parts to use as a hook.

Okay for the next part you need to have someone that can weld and has a welder.  My dad just happens to have one in his garage, so this worked out pretty well for me.  You take the piece that you have cut and place it in the middle of the solid shoe and weld it on.  After you get it welded you need to grind off any rough spots.  Then let the shoes cool.

 

Here are my welded shoes

After the shoes are cooled you can paint them.  I just used Rustoleum black gloss spray paint.  I applied two coats of paint.  Let them dry completely before messing with the shoes.

Now you can just stick the hooks on the wall as they are, or you can do like we did.  Since I wanted to have so many hooks I took a piece of 1X6 and cut it to the lengths I wanted.  Then I sanded and stained the boards.

Once my boards were dry I fastened the bridle hooks on them using horseshoe nails.  On the bridle rack I left 2 inches between hooks.  On the breast collar rack, I left 24 inches between the hooks.

Here are the finished products.  I can’t wait to hang them in the tack shed and fill them up.

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Winter Break!!!!

Well I kind of had a whirlwind of a year.  I competed in three Extreme Mustang Makeover, suffered several injuries, and made tons of new friends this year.  I really love the Mustang Heritage Foundation for all their hard work on putting these makeovers together.  I know it’s not easy.  Everyone is asking me “what’s next?”  Well first I’m going to take a little break over the winter.  Yes I will still be doing some riding, and I’m also hoping to put up a bunch more posts on my knowyourhorse.org website.  My quarter horse, Dollar, needs a little work on some minor things, and I also have two 3 year old mustangs that need finished.

My trip with Celerina went pretty well.  We didn’t place as high as I would have liked, but for the most part she did pretty well.  The people in the states south of us have a little advantage where they have barrel races every week to haul their horses to.  During this time of the year we just don’t have too many races around here.  But it was a great learning experience, I met several new friend.  And the best part was I received the Dawn Lappin award for $250.  This money is for trainers who want to buy their mustangs at the auction after the makeover.  So at the end of the makeover, I actually got to purchase Celerina and bring her home.  While in Texas she was so full of energy.  I didn’t want to change her diet and I was giving her quite a bit of feed.  Combine that with being locked in a tiny stall, and you have one very energetic filly.  Now that we are home she has settled back down.  She gets to run in the pasture with my other horses, and she always runs up to greet me when she hears my truck.  I have hopes of continuing her barrel training and eventually running her in local barrel competitions.

I am also planning on getting some projects done this winter.  I started making some tack boxes.  These boxes will hold 3 saddles, saddle pads and bridles.  Also I am making some polo wraps, which if I get ambitious enough I may have some to sell.  And our big project is to clean up our farm and put a training facility up there.  Right now we live in town and have to keep horses at a friends farm.  This is great, but I really have to limit bringing in extra horses.  Our farm is a little ways away, but hopefully if we can get a decent facility built I can do some training for other people, host clinics, have trail rides, and maybe take on some TIP horses (Trainers Incentive Program – from the Mustang Heritage Foundation).

I have had several people ask me if I am going to do Mustang Million next summer.  Heck yeah!  However, I am looking for someone willing to adopt the mustang and keep it after the competition.  I have plenty of my own horses, and I love the competition and training, but would really prefer the horse to go to a new home after the competition.  The plan would be for the adopter to come to the auction on May 11, 2012 in Elm Creek, NE.  We will choose their mustang.  I will take the mustang home and train him for 120 days.  The adopter pays the adoption fee and the feed bill, but the training and me hauling the mustang is free.  I will take the horse to Texas and show him.  After the show you get an amazing, trained mustang.  If you are interested in adopting a beautiful mustang let me know.  The best way to contact me is to go to my Know Your Horse page on Facebook and leave me a message.

Here are the mustangs I trained this summer.

Amarande

Weego

Celerina

I am so thankful for each of these mustangs and all they have taught me.

 

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