Friday, July 2, 2010

Beamer Goes For a Ride

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It's funny how kids change, isn't it? Several years ago we were given a little gray mustang from the Colville Reservation. Darling named her Sassy, and sassy she certainly was! Darling was only 8 at the time, and since Sassy wasn't broke to ride (oh, you could toss a kid up there and lead her around alright), Darling never really had an opportunity to do much other than be led in a few circles. Her interest wasn't high, and it wasn't long afterward that City Boy lost his job and I decided to sell the little gray mare. A diminutive 12.2 hands, she'd been too small for me, though I'd gotten her started under saddle, we sold her to a woman who raised ponies for driving, and Sassy had just the flash and trot she was looking for.

Darling admitted, once the mare was gone, that she'd really only liked telling people she had a horse...she didn't really like the effort involved.

Then came Quiet Storm...and all that changed. Somewhere deep down, the horse gene was ignited, and Darling became hooked. Sorry, City Boy...

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The past two weeks have seen such great improvements in both Beamer and Darling that I'm sometimes blown away. Darling is no longer interested in simply saying she has a horse. Or for that matter, just sitting pretty on one going over jumps. She's out there daily working with her little girl in an effort to have a good showing come October.

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Beamer is picking up feet and walking over bridges. She loads relatively easily into the horse trailer and is a breeze to catch, even when turned out into the field with the others (she's been out with Tika and Sandy, just like a big girl!)

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Darling decided that Beamer was ready for a little more advanced learning, so she went out and saddled Sandy the other day, and off they went...Beamer in tow! This was Darling's first experience in ponying, and she did a terrific job of keeping the filly attentive and Sandy under control. I'm thinking a little trail ride may be in our near future!

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Things were going so well that I asked Curt if I could possibly bring the two of them down so he could work with Darling in his round pen. My quarter horse loving guru is always nervous about the dangers of wild horses, especially partnered with children (he's not said it, but I know he thinks I'm nuts!), but he agreed to help out.

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They worked on timing and Darling's positioning while on the ground. It's always difficult to get your new mustang to switch directions...you spend so much time trying to get them to face you and come into your space, and next thing they know you're chasing them back out of it. But Curt is quiet and kind, and taught Darling how to get Beamer to move out, then to step back in for some petting and rewards.

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It was a great day for my young trainer and her trainee. Curt even got her picking up hind feet. Said she was a smart filly...then teasingly asked when she was going to start riding? That's just how far along they are; if Beamer were a two year old, we'd be saddling her up.


11 comments:

Kate said...

Love the filly - very cute and a sweet face! That's amazing work your daughter is doing with her - very impressive.

Breathe said...

Isn't it incredible how they blossom! You have so much to be proud of in that wonderful daughter!

CTG Ponies said...

That is so awesome! And that filly has a beautiful face. Darling looks like she's having a blast. I love the totally bored look on Sandy's face too, like he does all this every day.

Shirley said...

That's wonderful! Beamer (***love the name***) is a smart filly, a perfect fit for your daughter. Nice that you have a mentor like Curt too.

Becky said...

:) You have every right to be proud... Darling's pretty amazing. She's incredibly handy with a horse... and that's not even factoring in the fact that she's still a teenager.

What did she use to paint on the teal heart? That's ridiculously cute. I want to borrow the idea.

Also... is Darling chronicling her training anywhere? Is there a blog she's keeping?

Tracey said...

Becky, I wish she were chronicling it, but that gene hasn't quite kicked in yet =) There is the youth and yearling blog, which has bits and pieces of several of the kids: http://youthandyearlings.blogspot.com

As for the paint, I believe it's called Pony Paint. We found it at the tack store. She painted a shooting star on Beamer's hip on the other side. Yes, ridiculously cute.

Blob said...

Glad to hear about Darling's progress and her process. Does this mean she'll be ready to start a horse for me soon??

The paint makes Beamer look like a my little pony!

They both look great, you're a lucky mom!

Tracey said...

Well, Blob, if you don't mind the lack of height on the finished product...I think Darling would LOVE to start this one for you!!!

And yes, I am a lucky mom :)

Lea and her Mustangs said...

How wonderful for your darling daughter and Beamer. Both are such cuties. Love your family. Hope to see you this summer some time.

Jeni said...

Even though I've been "around" horses all of my life that I can remember. I've never had the opportunities that Darling is enjoying. I am jealous!

Darling and Beamer look absolutely wonderful together.

aurora said...

Awesome! Love the look on Darlings face as Beamer walks across the tarp - it's priceless.