Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - Rhythm's Story - Part 5

Part One of the Baby Boomer Series

Rhythm's Story starts here

Since we don't have a bunch of money behind this Arabian horse breeding operation of ours, it's been necessary to improvise on ways to get noticed in this community. For me that meant getting involved at a political level. While I couldn't afford expensive advertising often, I could get myself known by volunteering my time.

This had been part of my business plan from the beginning. By the time Rhythm came into the picture I had moved up the food chain in the political arena. I had been working at horse shows for years doing jobs from barn manager on up. In addition to working on horse shows, I also was on the Board of Directors for the Daffodil Arabian Horse Association I also was on the Board of Directors for the Region 5 of AHA

I've never done anything in my life in a small way or half way. If I take on a project, I give 110% and sometimes more. That included in the world of politics. Now that it was time to get started with Rhythm, I had worked my way up to horse show manager for not one but two horse shows, the Daffodil All Arabian Spring Horse Show and the Daffodil All Arabian Summer Horse Show.

I remember at the Daffodil Summer Show when Rhythm was three years old, I took the horse down just for the experience. I didn't show him since I was the show manager and didn't want to do anything that someone might construe as inappropriate. I also took him to get the horse out in public. Even if you've got the most beautiful horse in the world, it won't do much for your business if you don't get the horse seen.

After the show was over, I talked to the judge, Chris Malysheff of Minden, NV, about him. I explained why I hadn't shown the horse but asked her if she take a look at him and tell me what she thought. I really wanted the opinion of someone recognized in the industry.

She thought it would be better if she looked at him in the ring so she headed back there from the show office while I went and got my horse. Rhythm was full of his usual fire and really glad to be getting out of that stall. He went into that arena snorting and blowing and strutting his stuff. The horse wasn't being naughty just full of himself.

Chris's eyes light up and a smile crossed her face. It was clear that she liked what she saw. She asked me about his breeding and his age and such and then asked me if I'd started him yet. When I replied that I hadn't because he was so immature, she shook her head at me and said Mike (Baker) says you have to get these horses going before three. This is too nice a horse to be standing around, you need to get him in the ring.

She said some other things about the horse as well. I really can't remember all the exact details. But suffice it to say, it sounded like she was as impressed with the horse as I was. I know she said he definitely was going to be an competitive open western horse at the national level but I needed to get the horse broke.

I did get Rhythm started under saddle that fall. Even though I was no longer afraid that this was going to be a big wreck, I still had butterflies when I got on the horse for the first time. My daughter, Colleen, was on the ground holding onto his lead. She just walked around with us.

When I cued him to walk, she cued him from the ground as well. That way she re-enforced what I was asking. It didn't take long and the horse had it figured out. Just a slight move of my upper thigh and the horse would move forward. He really didn't like having anymore leg on him than necessary.

I worked that way several times stepping up from the lead rope to a lunge line. Once on the lunge line, we worked up from the walk to a trot and a few days later into a canter. The horse never showed any signs of attitude although sometimes he was a little resistant. From the expression on his face, it was more out of confusion. The horse really didn't think he should be loping with me up there!

It didn't take long to realize that Rhythm was not just a special horse to look at and play with, he was a special horse to ride. The horse had so much talent he could make a beginner feel like a horse trainer.

I had to remind myself all of the time that just because he was going the right way didn't mean the horse had really learned the cues. Learning the cues was going to take lots and lots of repetition. It wasn't ok to assume because he didn't go as good today as he had yesterday that he was not being good. The horse was just a baby, it would take time for him to learn to be consistent. With a little patience he would easily turn into a super star.

To be continued.....

These are more pictures of Rhythm playing in the snow that day. He had such a good time out there, it was hard to bring him in that night.

Rhythm's Story - Part 6

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  1. MiKael I wish I had "met" you years ago when I first came over here, you would have been the motivation I need to get my horses started properly. The Tobiano filly called Lori is a dream to ride too, just absolute natural and smooth as silk when she trots but she has that little bit of spunk that I like, not that flat western pleasure look. She is so wasted on me, she could have achieved a lot in the showring I am sure.

    I LOVE the pictures today again, nothing better than horses enjoying the snow. He is a beautiful boy.


  2. Hey! Thanks for checking out my blog. I really like reading about your horses. I have always loved them, and so does my princess-pony-girl. Where is your story about the twins that I saw mentioned? And pictured on your site? Did one of your mares actually have twins? That's gotta be hard on a mare.

  3. lori, I really like these pictures of him playing in the snow too.

    amy, you can find the story about the twins on the label in the sidebar My Twins, I think is what it says. It will bring up the whole batch of them. but all have links at the top to take you to the beginning and then links at the bottom to go the the next segment. They are amazing.

  4. Those are some beautiful could sell those!!!!