Run Johnny Run

Update on Sparks. Johnny goes for a gallop to prepare for the Carolina Horse Trials. Ozzie gets some experience under saddle.

Crickets are delicious

In this week’s vlog, I try a new kind of protein bar made from insects, and talk a little about my search for a working student. My new mustang, Ozzie, is eating grain, and I was able to hop on him for a ride. Progress on Sparks is taking longer than I would like, but my experience with him has underscored the importance of having patience and connecting with your horse on a timeline that is right for them.

Snowstangs

This week I picked up a new mustang in training for Ginny Grigsby. Azogar (aka ‘Ozzie’) is a 9 year old from the Kiger HMA. Going from having his own band in Oregon to spending time developing a respectful relationship with a human is a major change. Ozzie is powerful and intelligent, so am taking things slow. By the end of the first day, however, I was able to touch his face, fix his halter, and feed him alfalfa by hand.

Sparks, of course, continues to make great progress. The sudden snowy weather made working the ponies difficult (I almost didn’t make it up my driveway when I returned from Florida after picking up Ozzie), but we made the most of it. Once the snow began to melt, I went down to North Atlanta Equestrian where I had some help from Stan Smith, who ponied Sparks for a while in a round pen, and then in an open arena. This has been a valuable exercise for working on Sparks’ bolting problem, and I am very fortunate to have the help of an excellent trainer like Stan.

American Ninja Warrior Training: Wild Mustang Edition

This week I took Sparks to the Bartow County Saddle Club to participate in an obstacle clinic organized by my good mustang trainer friends Stan Smith and Rebecca Bowman. I was delighted to spend some time with my friends Cavin Graham and Cindy Brasfield as well. I tried something a little new with the vlog this week, providing extensive commentary on my training process throughout the day. I hope it is interesting, enjoyable, and maybe even a little helpful.

A Rat ate my Christmas balls!

As I was preparing for Christmas last week, I made a terrible discovery: a rat ate the glass balls right off of my Christmas tree! In less weird and more interesting news, I continue to make great progress with my newest mustang Sparks through ground driving desensitization and confidence training. I received an amazing gift box from Buckeye Nutrition filled with all my favorite candy bars. Super yummy. And I finally tell Johnny’s story and share some details about our plans for the coming year.

Spa Day for the Ponies

With visits from the vet, the chiropractor, and the massage therapist, this last week was basically one long spa day for the ponies. Fledge made an excellent all-terrain vehicle as we come to the rescue of a vet stuck in the mud, and I welcome a new mustang to the farm. Sparks has a lot of potential, but for right now we’re focusing on reducing his anxiety with a little bit of ‘equine therapy.’