A horse of a better color...

So Saturday morning, early, my youngest son and I loaded up a couple of the mares and went to a cowboy mounted shooting event in Decatur.

The trip was pleasant enough, not too long (except for the infuriating road construction south of Fort Worth), but we found the arena easily enough - which sometimes is difficult for me. I have an odd propensity to be able to drive 100s of miles without a misstep and then spend hours looking for that last turn. I don't know why that is. Probably because I tend to overthink stuff. Anyway - the sign at the gate said "Lonesome Dove Feed" and we were looking for "Lonesome Dove Arena", but we could see a bunch of trailers and people riding so we pulled in. Thank goodness it was the right place.

The day got off to a good start. We brought BERI and MIREE. BERI to compete on, and MIREE simply for the experience. I used to always haul my babies on 'away missions', but she's managed to turn three without having traveled as much as the others.

Anyway, I've decided that MIREE's going to be my shooting horse because she's a nice western color. And isn't that how you pick out a good horse? by the color?!?!


But apparently - dun or buckskin or whatever color of bay she is - is perfect for a shooting horse. :) because she did wonderful. I saddled her up and rode her around in the arena during the warm-up. She was very attentive and alert, and wanted to run a little, but I didn't let her because we haven't cantered yet. Actually we've only trotted a few times and we did longer stretches of trotting in the arena Saturday than she has done to date. She's just turning a full 36 months this week so she'll stay in very light work for the rest of the year. The guns seems to be a total non-event for her. I've shot several rounds off her at home but I wondered how she would do with all the commotion and rapid fire of the competition... She was unphased. I'm so excited about what I'll be able to do with her over the next few years, I just almost can't stand it. She's one that has such a good mind and such a passionate "want to" attitude that I have to carefully check myself and be sure I don't ride her to often (no more than 2xs month) or too long (she's up to about 30 minutes walk/jog).

BERI, of course, was our star on Saturday. She's always been the one that I didn't get along with as well as I should with one that I raised. We've had a kind of push-push lead marish thing, which is a little odd since she's not the highest ranked in the pasture. I've just always felt that she liked to push my buttons. We knew from the time she was born that we'd be keeping her so while she was handled properly and trained, she didn't get as much as the 'for sale' horses, and she was spoiled a bit more (a bit too much). She was a 'kid horse' from the time she was young and by the time I started trying to ride her, she'd been well taught to ignore all the thumps and wallers from whoever was on her back. *sigh*

And it seems like she's never understood why she doesn't have her own bedroom in the house.

But as she's grown, she's eight this year, she's really turned into a good mare. She's started dressage and jumping but decided she didn't like jumping. And she can be a pig about what she doesn't like doing, so we took her out of training and let her be an endurance horse again, which she loves (see the BeriCam from a few posts back), and she's really good at.

Saturday she proved herself again. She doesn't like the guns, but she tolerated them well and I think is going to come along and be a good 'nuff little horse for us to shoot off of. We're hoping to make quite a few competitions, so it will be interesting to see where we are by the end of the year.

....and we don't have any photos yet... I'm compulsively checking the photographer site and will link to them when they show up.


Val said...

Hmmm, riding + shooting = may be the perfect event for Z, since he's always begging to shoot my pistol!
[Go consult the mule to see how SHE feels about it ;-)!] Besides she's RED!

Becky Burkheart said...

HAHA! There were plenty of red horses there, so if you don't have a buckskin mule, I'll bet a red one would work. ;)

Leah Braemel said...

Even though I saw her last year and know she's grown, I still think of Miree as a tiny foal. (Rather like my kids, LOL) I'd never realized you had to wait so long to train them, and the method that you did. It was interesting to read about that. And LOL about Beri pushing your buttons even though she's not the alpha mare. Guess she figures she can be alpha over you?

Becky Burkheart said...

Leah, MIREE is still very much a 'baby' in a lot of ways. People like to think their horses are mature at earlier ages than they are. They *can* work younger than they should, but it tends to take years off their usefulness at the end of their life. :(

But MIREE is never going to be a very big horse, she's a pony by any standard, about 14hh. What growing she still has to do will be mostly thickening up and maturing her joints and bones on the inside.

- and BERI ... well, BERI is just BERI. LOL! We say she's VeryBERI and anyone who knows her very well knows what that means, and anyone who doesn't - it's hard to explain. She's just herself. hahaha! I'm floundering with this one. I guess you just have to know her.