Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Horse Show

We took my sister's show horse, Allegro, and the three yearlings to a MS Congress Open Horse Show.

Normally these shows are only for registered AQHA, or registered paints, pintos, appaloosas, or palominos, but this open show allowed the three yearlings to show just for practice in being in an arena. So they were not competing for points. Allegro however is a registered palomino so he was competing for points.

Rachel did very well! She got a 1st and a 5th! I got a 1st, and 2nd with Allegro.

Pictures of me and Allegro:

Pictures of Rachel and Big Mak:

I have to say the mustangs did pretty well compared to all the seasoned show horses!

Showmanship, noun

1. a person who presents or produces a theatrical show, etc

2. a person skilled at presenting anything in an effective manner

Showmanship is an event found at many horse shows which involves a person on the ground leading a horse, wearing a halter, through a series of maneuvers called a pattern. Patterns generally include, walking, trotting, backing, stopping, pivot turns, pull turns, setting up (this is where the horse stands squarely under himself, symmetrically) and is inspected by the judge (this is where the horse is setup and the exhibitor moves around the horse in two places so not to block the judges view of the horse).

The horse itself is not judged on its conformation. Rather, the exhibitor is judged on how well he or she exhibits the animal to its best advantage, with additional scoring for the grooming and presentation of both horse and handler.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Beginning Trick riding

I've always wanted to learn how to trick ride and when Allegro matures and grows some more (I'm think when he's around 5 years old) I'll see if I can get a trick riding deal going with him. I just started practicing with other horses. I have not yet tried with Allegro because I don't think he would be able to handle the weight distribution. He only barely old enough to ride as it is.

Here are some photos of me practicing on my sisters horse!

I don't have an actual trick saddle (they're expensive!) but this pleasure saddle seems to be working well for the moment. These pictures are only done on a standing horse although I did try to do some of them and other moves on a horse with some speed.
I found with a different saddle with a lower pommel I could leverage my leg so that my left leg didn't have to be in the stirrup but I couldn't close my knee enough around this one to do that.

This is my favorite move so far. For a dismount I let my leg continue over my head and flip upright letting go of the saddle.

Again I don't really know anything about trick riding I was just going with what seemed to come easy and balance well. Hope you like the pictures!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 2 with Allegro (Flashback 2009)

These pictures were taken right after Allegro's escape (which I wrote about in an earlier post). After that we were forced to get a halter on him.
The fence behind us in the picture is the one he jumped.
Also I should mention this is after all the fighting about the halter. He didn't just stand quiet immediately. I'm standing off to the side to avoid getting hit if he decided to strike with his front feet.

Picking up the front feet. I only tried to pick up the front feet.

These pictures only show his calm side. I wish I had pictures of all the the fighting and escape before hand.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Mustang Quarter

The Nevada state quarter features mustangs.

More than half of all Mustangs in North America are found in Nevada with other significant populations in Montana, Wyoming and Oregon and another 30,000 horses are in holding facilities. In fact, Allegro was originally from an Nevada herd.

Here is an illustration from the BLM site that details population distribution:

Mustangs from a herd in Oregon.
Photos are from the Bureau of Land Management site.

For more information please visit the BLM site on wild horses and burros here:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mustang digital drawing

A horse is a thing of beauty; none will tire of looking at him as long as he displays himself in his splendor.


A picture drawn on Photoshop CS3.

I was inspired to try and draw a mustang as digital art.

 Horses are a wonderful art subject! Whenever you go to a sales room, maybe with a horse show or rodeo or some other horse event, there's almost always a few vendors set up selling artwork or prints of horses. I've always been blown away by some of that art. It can be simply breathtaking!

The picture turned out rather well, although I think I may go back and add in a stronger outline.

Notes on this picture:

I used the heavy brushes mostly and then either blurred or smudged them for the body part and coloring. The mane I first drew in entirely black and the used the smudge tool to reconstruct how I wanted it. I used another layer for the pastel colors over the picture with a low opacity. I used a "underpaint" filter on the entire picture except the mane and the outline.
Just if anyone is curious...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jumping pictures

Because our camera is so slow these were not actually taken back to back but were from multiple jumps. I just arranged them so you could see the progression. =] Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tractor tires

Since I have no pedestal at the moment I've been experimenting with other things until I get another one. This tire was being used for the mule driving to put extra weight on for the mules to pull. Allegro was fantastic; hopped in it the first time I asked.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Allegro, and more practice

Bowing. I love the big stretch Allegro gets when he bows.

Worked on going through his legs a few times. I found that the front ones were much easier than his back ones because he was able to set them wider and his tail didn't get in the way.


And stopping.

I am eager to have a dirt arena to practice in again. Because of the grass sliding stops are difficult.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Supreme Mustang Makeover

The richest wild horse competition in history came to Fort Worth, TX, on August 13-14, 2010!

The $100,000 purse was offered to more than 100 trainers with over 100 mustangs willing to accept the challenge of competing in the Supreme Mustang Makeover.
The Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover is the sister competition to the highly successful Extreme Mustang Makeover first held in 2007. Unlike the Extreme Mustang Makeover, where trained horses are made available to the public for adoption after the event, adoption of the competition horses was required prior to the event.

"Another big difference was that this group of mustangs were older, at six years old, than the usual three to four years old we work with," said Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF) Executive Director Patti Colbert. "Older horses are generally harder to adopt and are usually headed for long-term holding at this age, so the Supreme Extreme was created to add value to those older horses."
The trainers were required to ride the horse through a series of obstacles and complete basic maneuvers, such as a walk, trot and lope, stop and back, and also compete in a horsemanship and trail riding component, and show cow work. The top twenty finalists competed in a freestyle competition to determine the winner.

The winner was Teryn Muench II of Marfa, Texas.

To watch his video please follow this link:


The cattle that were used for the competition

Teryn took home a check for $50,000! Teryn II is pictured with his father, Teryn I.

A contestant shows in the trail class.

Mr. Dale Lively loping Tres the mustang.

 Check out more of Mr. Dale's training exploits at "Dale Lively's Nauvoo Ranch".

Mr. Dale is a frequent competitor for the EMMs and an accomplished horseman.


Big Mak's freezemark is shown in this picture. His freezemark has been grown over by white hair.

Allegro is a light Palimino so his freezemark is not very noticable, but if you were to shave the hair around the freezemark it would become visible.

* "The BLM uses freezemarking to identify wild horses and burros that have been gathered from the public rangelands because of overpopulation. Freezemarking is a permanent, unalterable, and painless way to identify each horse as an individual. It is applied on the left side of the neck. It follows the International Alpha Angle System, which uses a series of angles and alpha-symbols that cannot be altered. The mark contains the Registering Organization (U.S. Government), year of birth, and registration number.
The technique is simple and completely painless to the animal. The left side of the neck is shaved and washed with alcohol, and the mark is applied with an iron that is chilled in liquid nitrogen. The hair at the site of the mark will grow back white and show the identification number.

In addition to the freezemark on the left side of the neck, sanctuary mustangs are marked on the left croup with four inch-high Arabic numerals that correspond with the last four digits of the freezemark on the neck.
Although every effort is made to apply freezemarks that are legible, occasionally freezemarks do get blurred. This happens when the iron is applied: the animal moves and all or some of the identification number cannot be read. It can also be difficult to read some freezemarks because of the color of the animal." *

Example of a shaving the hair to see the freezemark.
 Information is from:


Saturday, August 14, 2010


One of my friends from the BLM just adopted some burros. They are absolutely precious!

Here are some pictures:

I believe one of them has Jerusalem donkey coloring while the other one is black.

The black one.

You can almost see the cross on his back where the black line comes down from his shoulder, which is part of where the name Jerusalem coloring comes from. It is also related to the Biblical passage in Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19 where Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey.

The Spanish brought donkeys - or "burros" in Spanish - to North America. In the western United States the word "burro" is often used interchangeably with the word "donkey". Sometimes the distinction is made with smaller donkeys, descended from Mexican stock, called "burros".

Wild burros in the U.S.A. are protected by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. These animals, like mustangs, are considered to be a living legacy. However they are periodically at risk from overpopulation and exhausting natural resources. To reduce herd populations and preserve grazing land, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducts roundups of burro herds and holds public auctions.

For more information on burros and how to adopt visit the BLM's page on adoption here:


Or for additional information on how to adopt a wild horse or burro, please call 866-4MUSTANGS

Friday, August 13, 2010

30 days

This competition is about 100 days long and we're at (roughly) day 30.

Rachel has been trying to make the best of time so far, which requires a lot of work and dedication on her part. She's doing a fine job. And it's really neat for me to see her use what she's learned in the past on this horse and to see her growth as a trainer and horseman. I'm certain she will learn a lot from this too. The intensity that she puts into is such that she wants to spend hours working her horse everyday. Teaching a horse from the ground up when it has no knowledge of what we consider training is a great process, and different than working with a domestic horse. With that kind of focus on your skills it's really difficult not to learn something.

Although we have noticed some problems that will need to be fixed most of it is coming smoothly. Rachel is really enjoying the experience but it definitely is challenging, and at some times very stressful.

Rachel and Big Mak explore the possibilities of a feed trough.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

EMM yearling edition rules

The preparation for the EMM is coming well, Rachel is extremely excited about the yearling EMM, and I can't wait for the futurity (or the guidelines on the futurity for that matter). I thought I'd share the rules of the yearling competition so you'd have more of an idea of what Rachel is preparing for.

In Extreme Mustang Makeover the contestants will be judged in four different classes: handling, conditioning, showmanship, and a in-hand obstacle course.

Handling: The contestant will release the horse and then be expected to catch it again. Judging will be based on the mustangs behavior, and responsiveness, and technique, as well as the handlers showmanship.

Conditioning: They will be judged on the mustang's weight, muscling, coat, and overall appearance.

Showmanship: A showmanship pattern where the mustang is shown by the youth. The maneuvers may include walk, trot, back, pivot left and right, and stand quietly for the judges' inspection.

In Hand Obstacle Course: This is like a practicality test to show the people who are considering adopting the yearlings where the horse's training is. The horses complete basic maneuvers and obstacles that may include walking over logs, lounge line work, back through a simple chute, pick up all four feet, brush horse, and load and unload from a trailer, as well as navigating around cones, and spray bottles.

A serpentine cone pattern in the obstacle course at a trot.

The ten mustangs with the highest scores will return for the freestyle finals to showcase their horses special talents, although there will be required maneuvers that must be included in this.

Madi hooping on her 'bronc' from the Extreme Mustang Makeover, Fort Collins, Colorado June 2010 in the Freestyle. (This was not in the youth division but I thought it illustrated the point anyway. =] )

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Big Mak pictures

Here are some pictures of big Mak and Rachel:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

(Flash back 2009) Early choreography.

Here are some more pictures from when I was doing the Extreme Mustang Makeover yearling edition with Allegro in 2009. I was experimenting with choreography for the freestyle routine.

Before standing came sitting.

Good luck to this year's competitors in the adult, youth, and futurity!

Here's a link to the information on this year's Extreme Mustang Makeover, Murfreesboro, TN: