Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Does Clinton Anderson read my blog???

"I have a whole new respect for what you do," said the voice on the phone. A neighbor, who happens to be an equine vet, had just finished watching Clinton Anderson's episode on RFD where he'd been working with mustangs. "Have you seen it?" No...I'm afraid not.

She wasn't the first person to ask. Even Curt wondered if I'd seen CA and his girls working mustangs. But until City Boy taped it and plunked me down yesterday morning, I can honestly say it hadn't ever passed in front of my eyes. And when I did sit down, it wasn't for long...

"He's been reading my blog! Look, he's using my rope trick!"

City Boy went back to check the first aired date, which was in March. Proof, I said, because I'd been using my rope long before that. He must have copied me. Right? Well, okay, maybe someone else out there realized on their own what a sweet deal a long rope can be when dealing with a wild mustang. But I'm sticking to the Clinton Anderson reads my blog story.


A few years ago I adopted this mare, Sunny. She was a reassignment, meaning someone else had adopted her but was now giving her up. She'd not been touched since they'd gotten her. Adopted in June, we picked her up in February. She'd rubbed off her halter and avoided any contact with humans, which wasn't difficult since they'd adopted a little colt who was more than willing to be buddies with them.

So when Sunny came home, we began a journey together. Quiet Storm had been easy, Sunny was not. She was shy, and very touchy about you being on her right side. People continually commented that she must be blind, but she wasn't...she was just a wild horse who didn't like you on her right side.

I worked Sunny with a rope, tossing it repeatedly over her back until it was no big deal to have it laying across her body and dangling down the other side. It took three months for her to relax enough to actually allow me to touch her right shoulder. The day she looked at me with that eye was cause for great celebration. I had to take a picture so I could look at it later and know it wasn't my imagination.

Sunny was a tough nut to crack, and being only my second wild horse, she offered me a lot of opportunities for learning. But learn I did, and learn she did as well. While I never did ride her before finding her a new adopter, she did get good at standing nicely to be tacked up, and I even lead her up on the trails.

When people ask me what my favorite tool is when working wild horses, I tell them a rope. Of course now they'll think I learned it from Clinton Anderson. But those of you who've known me long enough will know that Clinton learned it from me...(that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

15 comments:

Linda said...

I must admit, a long rope with a Mustang is a Godsend--whoever invented it! I used one on my bamboo pole--dropped it over the side of her neck and had her "caught". It was a great tool.

Callie said...

Yeah, He's been reading your blog!

Paint Girl said...

I'd say the same thing, that Clinton was reading your blog! Why not? Sounds good, doesn't it!

Pony Girl said...

Great post, Tracey! I agree with you on the rope, I think they can be so useful for desensitizing and working with horses. Thanks for sharing Sunny's story!

photogchic said...

A long rope is an old Brumby tool...but I bet he got it from reading your blog:-) Where else is he going to go for the most comprehensive site on training Mustangs?

Tina- said...

inviting you over to my 500th post give away
http://gardengoose.blogspot.com/2009/07/500th-post-giveaway-75-worth-of-awesome.html
~Tina

Tracey said...

I'm so glad y'all are with me on this, lol!

Molly said...

I remember you working Sunny with the rope. You totally were ahead of your time.

Angie at Free Rein said...

You are the guru! I'd consult you first before CA anyday.

Debra Trean said...

Clinton rocks I have studied his work for several years and I have watched every show he has on RFD TV as well as use his materials.... his halters and his leads excellent quality and it will be the last set you buy. I am just waiting for my wild mustang to get a bit older before I order him his own halter as his head is huge and I think I need to go up one size. I admire what you do with your horses and the tender touch you have with them.

Karen C. said...

You are darn right CA is reading your blog. Just wait until the end of one of his shows when he throws his arms up in the air and yells "STEVE HOLT!"! He will claim that is his move too...
We all know where it really came from! ;-)

It was meant to be that you got Sunny back to learn and teach at the same time. You saved her. Thank you!

Karen and Tripp

Anonymous said...

Love your post btw. I love your blog btw. I like your style of training and Kitty Lauman's the best. Whenever I watch CA my husband laughs, and calls him Clint TalkyMcTalk. Have you seen the new horses up for Internet Adoption.. I know this is off topic. But they are offering a lot of mare/foal sets this go around. I was curious as what you thought about it. But as it is, I'm signing in anonymous because I don't have an account. But anyways, once again, I adore your posts and pictures. =)

Tracey said...

Oh, Karen...that is just too funny. Yeah, we'll know he's reading for sure when he gives Steve Holt! a shout out, rofl!

Annon...transport could be tricky, I suppose, on mare/foal pairs, but I'm sure the BLM is hoping to adopt out two at a time to lighten the load. We saw far too many yearlings at this adoption in WA yesterday that already had three strikes.

LadyKaliska said...

I was the anonymous. Yeah it's horrible. The economy I know is killing us. And for us Californians, no water for the west side of the Juaquin Valley. I can't imagine hay prices right now for horse owners in my area. I mentioned the foals/mom pairs because it kinda scares me. I know what's going to happen to many of the horses. And I'm glad they are doing their best to get them out there as much as possible. Thx for responding.

Stephanie Yeh said...

Neat post...a rope is an incredible tool when working with mustangs. I just used one in the same manner you discussed with one of my new adoptees. I've had 5 now, and each one has been different...but a rope has been useful in all kinds of ways with each one. Good on ya!