This past weekend, Sage and I attended a day-long confidence clinic in Palomino Valley. We were joined by two other riders and their horses, and several auditors. The trainer, Robert Gonzales, had set up several great obstacles in a large arena, and we spent the day negotiating them from the ground and from the saddle. Some of the challenges included umbrellas, hula hoops, giants balls, barrels, tarps, wooden platforms, tunnels, and a teeter totter! We also rode the "suicide ditch" which was a long deep trench that you have to climb into and jump out of. Sage did an exceptional job, as the following pictures demonstrate - and we had a blast playing together. But perhaps the best part of the day, was that Sage's excellent performance lent itself to conversation throughout the day about the quality of mustangs. Most of the participants in the clinic had never seen a trained mustang and they were thoroughly impressed with him. It gave me a great opportunity to talk about mustangs, the prison program where I adopted Sage, and the Nevada Discovery Ride. I was pleased that by the end of the day several of the ladies in attendance said they were now considering adopting a mustang, especially if "he'd be as good as Sage!" Here's to changing people's minds about wild horses!
I also made another trip down to Stagecoach to see Sandy. She's coming along well with her gentling and is -thisclose- to being haltered! I'm hoping this week will be the breakthrough!
We owe an immense amount of gratitude to Willis Lamm of Least Resistance Training Concepts in Stagecoach, Nevada. He has agreed to do Sandy's first 30 days of gentling and training, and yesterday was day one! I was very excited to go watch and see Sandy for the first time. She is quite a looker! She's about the same size as Sage, but a really pretty sorrel with a multi-hued flaxen mane and amber eyes! To my surprise and amazement, Willis was already in the corral with Sandy! After only about 20 minutes he was able to reach out and scratch her neck. It was truly amazing to see him connect with a very wild horse! Then Willis asked me to get in the corral... I was so nervous! But I did and within a few short minutes, I too was able to reach out and touch her! By the end of our one hour training session, Sandy was calmly standing for scritches and scratches all along her neck and withers, and she even allowed some light touching on her face!
It's early to say what kind of horse Sandy will be, but my first impressions are that she seems very calm and level-headed. Not at all explosive. Even with sticks, ropes, people around, and touching, she never offered to kick or rear. She seemed wary but not overly scared. I think we're on the right track and I'm optimistic that she'll be a great asset as we cross the state next year! In 30 days, we'll bring Sandy back to my barn to begin saddle training and to introduce her to Sage. I hope it's a love connection!
Sage is feeling better!
Speaking of Sage... we had a scary Saturday. Sage had a very sudden onset of colic, which can be fatal for horses! I was a nervous wreck and it's amazing that I didn't get pulled over with the speeds at which I drove to the barn! I was able to get a call in to a vet for an emergency visit. When I got to the barn, Sage was down on the ground looking very lethargic. I ran over to him and when he noticed me he seemed to perk up with recognition. I pet him and talked to him and then he farted! I've never been so happy that someone farted in my life! haha But, since colic is a gastrointestinal issue, farting can be quite a relief for horses. I got Sage to stand up and the vet arrived. Poor Sage had to suffer through a full rectal exam, but he took it like a champ. The vet was quite impressed with his composure. Colic can come on quick and it can go either way really quick too. Luckily, Sage seemed to be feeling much better through the vets visit. She gave him a shot of banamine and some special feeding instructions and that was that! I went and visited Sage yesterday and he was back to his same old goofy self... so crisis averted! Thank goodness!
I'm heading back to the barn today to work with Sage and then back to Stagecoach for day two of Sandy's training. More photos to come!
The latest updates from Samantha on the Nevada Discovery Ride.