Mesmerizing weekends with the rescue family have become the norm..often not knowing anything about horses can be scary, dangerous and have disasterous results for both horses and handlers..but time and time again the rescue family has a wonderful weekend..not only one or two of the horse/non horse people but every horse and every person has a personal best every time…. watching Deb with Sally roaming around like lifelong pals reunited and catching up on life’s little details..
Ryan and Sally in teaching mode with going up and down hills easily and fluidly now when at first one step was a challenge and getting used to people rules..it’s not polite to kick or bite or kill anyone..the arm over her back as a precurser to a blanket and eventually saddle..little pressure with sensation on both sides..and in watching there has been almost no bad manners on the horses partBella would like to tell you to listen but it appears to be with women..
i say almost as once in awhile Bella would like to tell you to listen but it appears to be with women only….Dennis and Bella have a “it’s just you and I ..don’t mind them” relationship and she is so soft with him.
but with Kelly she may challenge and Kelly is learning to answer the challenge and quickly defuse the situation
.and Lori and Sampson’s quiet talks and checking his progress with his weight and hind leg injury.. how he eats with his donkey friend and will help himself into the shed.. it’s amazing how the horses change in their chameleon like personalities with each different handler..they are so much more than we know..
and how Jadyn who has her horse here joined in and accomplished small miracles with her Mother Shallis also..teaching Jade to calmly have her feet touched and Shallis adjusting the halter on Sally like Ryan did which up till now had been nearly impossible.
.the atmosphere here becomes surreal with each pair or group addressing their own issues or questions..and then changing horses and changing the situation again..so now the introductory period has gone well we can bring in many new lessons..can’t wait till the weekend..
Jade and Bella first ride…
January 22 Sunday..another mesmerizing weekend took place here which seems the norm anymore..the rescue horses are asking to join in with people more and more..they come to the fence and ask to be petted and want to be included..even Sally joins in..still sometimes leaving but coming willingly first try…daily they trot single file from their sleep area to the large arena with the hills and sandy area to go out during the day and at night trot politely in single file back again..(when first here going out and coming in was like trying to herd loose ping pong balls bouncing in every direction)..and now on occasion when allowed to have a fun time in the hay area to leisurely munch on the tall stack of green grassy bales they will politely walk in single file out when I say “out” pointing my arm in the direction they are to go.single file..meandering around the stack and thru the narrow gate to where ever it is they are asked to go..
it appears they have learned the rules here so to speak..if you mind and are polite there are many perks and bennies..if you don’t mind and are not polite it’s just another normal day..they are very kind and well behaved and now very curious and interested..secure and not worried..a better learning state of mind..a safer learning state of mind..
Dennis has been wondering if any of them could be ridden and the universe picked up on his thoughts it appears and settled that thought on everyone’s mind.. and it just happens a good person for the job lives on the ranch across the road.. been riding and roping since he was 3 or 4 years old has the experience and talent to tackle the job.. www.whitlowranch.com is the family website..roping, riding, welding..that’s them..having won almost every title there is to win..Tyler and his brother Travis..twins..Travis the header and Tyler the heeler..team ropers..Tyler is riding horses here to keep busy between rodeos they enter .. in asking if he would work with a couple of the four he was all for it..figuring that Sally was the greenest and Sampson the least likely to carry weight at the moment it left Jade the goreous black with the long full forelock and Bella the paint with her “I’m in charge” attitude..so all four horses were haltered up and led calmly to the round pen to see what was there..and while waiting there Kelly was now handling two horses at a time and Ryan off leading three at a time..coming a long way from barely handling one just two months ago..
and once again whether it is the magical dust the family sprinkles where ever they go or the horse angels smiling on us or the talent of a humble amazing rider the result could not have been better.
Jade was up first and after calmly accepting the saddle and understanding the round pen directions from Tyler seemed to enjoy the interaction..he saddled her quietly..asked her to move out and around and with a slight and barely detectable cue to her in horse language.. body placement had her stopping..turning and walking toward him..licking her lips..dropping her head and slightly exhaling..signs of submission..join up..as he turned and walked a few steps she followed..follow the leader..seeing that, he turned and walked toward her..quietly hooking the long leather split reins to the copper o-ring snaffle bit..a rein on each side and placing them over her neck..then.grabbing the horn..putting a foot in the stirrup and swinging up and on..adjusting his feet and reaching down and stroking her neck to reassure and then asking her to step out..and he rode with ease..she rode with ease..at least it appeared that way..now anyone that has been around riding horses you don’t know knows it can go South in a heartbeat..it can get bad before you know it but Tyler didn’t pressure her too much but didn’t let her think her own thoughts too long either..Jade although looking very broke probably hadn’t been ridden very much he said.
then it was Bella’s turn..Bella saddled easily also..a good sign but she was a little humped back in moving around the round pen.didn’t buck but definitely rounded..upon riding she was far more eager and wanting to go..managable for an experienced rider..but the hard part for people watching is riders like Tyler make everything look easy..the good part is now we know a lot more about these horses and we also know it was probably the first time that Tyler had ridden where the whole crowd gathered at the edge of the round pen was in tears..tears for the success and the journey..from where they came from to where they are..and the great part..it’s still the beginning..
and when everything was done..the horses put up..the party over..and Tyler had gone home..we all went across the road to Whitlow’s ..to watch them rope and to see Tyler getting steers ready to rope..ready to practice with Travis for the next rodeo..practicing to win..which is why they do..