Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Doc livingston stables

I thought I'd start at the beginning today about how I got involved with mustangs in the first place. I heard about it first from the barn we're at, Doc Livingston Farm and Stables, when Cohn Livingston competed in the 2009 Gatorland Extreme Mustang Makeover competition. He placed in the top ten. Speed ahead a few months. Again he signs up to do an Extreme Mustang competition, and sees that there's a youth competition running simultaneously. He tells some youths about it and invites them to use his facilities while guiding them and mentoring them in the gentle art of mustang training. You see, you have to actually have the right facilities to have a mustang on them, which we don't at our house. Can't keep a mustang on electric rope three strand fence when they've never seen it before and are completely wild, the horse would run through it the moment you let it out of the trailer!

Everyone else dropped out. I ended up being the only person from all of MS if I recall to compete. Also let me stress if you've never halter broken a horse before, much less worked with mustangs, you really need to have someone else there to help you herd the animal around after getting it.

Just getting it out of the trailer is a feat, much less catching the thing without getting killed.

Ahem, to prove my point: On day 2 of the challenge Allegro jumped the 6 foot fence and took off to the pasture behind it. Yeah you heard me. He jumped the 6 foot fence and ran off. We weren't there at the time but Cohn was there working his horse in the round pen, and he actually got to see him jump off.

We got a call seconds later saying that my horse had escaped. Insert us speeding frantically to get there. By the time we got there the entire barn had mobilized into trapping my horse into the horse trailer. This time we weren't going to be so... eh trusting of him since he'd proven he could jump like a rabbit on steroids. And he was a YEARLING too. I mean it wasn't like he was even a full grown horse jumping it.

He got halter broken that day.

But you see I maybe wouldn't have had a horse if it hadn't have been for the Livingstons, and I certainly never would have even heard of the mustang challenge.  And I definitely wouldn't have won without Cohn and Brandee's guidance.

Here's a link to the barn's website:


And here is a link to mustang adoption tips.  Be sure to read Cohn's tips!


Cohn and Brandee Livingston

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pas de cheval- Horse's step

Pas de cheval [pah duh shuh-VAL]. Horse's step. This step is so called because it resembles the movement of a horse pawing the ground. From the fourth position devant pointe tendue, brush the pointed foot inward toward the knee of the supporting leg. Wihout stopping the movement, execute a devellope, finishing pointe tendue a terre in the fourth position devant. *

Pas de cheval is a step in ballet. Thinking about the name of the blog I thought it correlated. For all of you out there who are not fluent in ballet speak here are some videos to give you the idea of what it looks like.

Here's a link to a demonstration of the step ( although it is closing 5th position not a terre for any of you concerned the definition I gave doesn't match the video) as well as the pronunciation:


Now compare to a video of a horse pawing: 


Ballet terminology from "Technical manual and dictionary of classical ballet" by Gail Grant the third revised edition"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hello Everyone!


I'm Diane Ward a mustang enthusiast. I'm writing this blog on behalf of the Mustang Heritage Foundation's youth representative program where I'll be talking about my experiences with mustangs, and as a representative.

I competed last year, 2009, in the Extreme Mustang Makeover yearling edition with Allegro, my palomino mustang. We won and it was a fantastic experience, unlike anything I've done with horses. The extreme mustang makeover is a competition through the Mustang Heritage Foundation to promote the mustangs, and it IS extreme. You get your wild mustang through a random drawing and train the horses for competition for a 100 days (depending on which competition you're doing). Let me stress that theses horses really are wild, with no real human handling prior to the competition. Even though the rules differ from the adult categories to the youth, the point is to demonstrate how trainable and versatile the breed is. With the yearlings we competed in a in-hand course which combined showmanship with every day things your horse would be required to do if it were adopted out (trailor-loading, catching your horses in a roundpen after releasing it, picking up its feet, etc..) and then a 3 minute freestyle for the 10 finalists.

Here's a link to the Extreme mustang makeover official site:


I thought I'd post some pictures of myself and Allegro too:

Allergro as yearling in TN last year:

My freestyle with Allegro:

Pedestal work with me standing on Allegro:

I realize the stands seem vacant... -_-
But wait there's more...

If anyone's interested in seeing me perform with Allegro and the in-hand part of the competition, here are the links to the youtube videos:

The Freestyle Final:

The In-Hand Competition:

My Performance at the Dixie National Freestyle Reining Competition