Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - Rhythm's Story - Tommy Garland - After Scottsdale - The Road to the Horse?

Part One of the Baby Boomer Series

Rhythm's Story starts here

After the Scottsdale All Arabian Horse Show the crew at Tommy Garland's did not come straight home. Instead they took a little detour to Murfreesboro, Tennessee where Tommy Garland participated in The Road to the Horse - The Original Colt Starting Challenge at the Tennessee Miller Coliseum.

Four competitors Tommy Garland, Ken McNabb, Mike Kevil and Chris Cox tested their knowledge and horsemanship skills on four three-year-old American Quarter Horse geldings. My guess is that while Tommy was working his magic on his AQHA gelding that the assistant trainer, Greg was probably manning a Tommy Garland booth selling Tommy's DVDs while Brittany's gelding, Rhythm sat at home wishing someone might remember to exercise him.

While the competition was close Defending champion Chris Cox (Mineral Wells, Texas) emerged victorious at his second Road to the Horse competition with his win Sunday, March 2, 2008, at the Tennessee Miller Coliseum Tommy Garland has been invited back to participate again next year. The other clinician already scheduled for the event is world renowned horseman, John Lyons and the third participant is yet to be announced. That's an event that I would love to see! Tickets go on sale May of this year.

In the meantime the Arabian gelding, Rhythm, has been back at the Garland's facility spending probably too much time in his stall. For a horse that needs to be keep busy all the time, six weeks with the trainer out of time was probably not the best thing to happen to him. The clock is ticking on getting this horse into the western bridle in time for a show in Syracuse, NY in May.

Having worked in big show barns, I know the routine while trainers are gone to big shows. The trainers usually must hire outside help to work horses while they are gone. Even back in the day's I worked finding reliable help while the boss was out of town was difficult at best. That was one of the reasons they left me home, I could be trusted to work unattended.

Because Rhythm is not staying at Garlands for the whole show season, he has been stabled in the second barn. It's a hike from the main barn to that second barn. The odds are that if any shortcuts were taken on the horses to be worked, Rhythm was the top of that list.

Personally, I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. Not that it wouldn't be better for the horse to be at least lunged consistently BUT any handler not prepared to deal with a horse like Rhythm could really do more harm than good.

The horse has had to stand in a stall here for extended periods because the fields were too slick to turn him out. Once he did finally get turned out, he ran around like a raving lunatic. Never once did he come up lame even though he sure put himself to the test. While some horses can't do that on again off again type of training and stay sound, Rhythm has proven to be solid under those circumstances.

I'd rather see the horse unworked than pushing someone around for that amount of time. I can't even imagine what the horse would be like under those circumstances because they've never happened before. He's always been a handful when unworked but he's never gotten away with enough to cause a problem. I would hate to see there be a first time for that, or even worse, someone to abuse him because he was naughty. We already know that the horse can't deal with that either. It would destroy his confidence and then there'd be a real mess.

So it's been a couple of weeks since the Garland's crew finally arrived back at the farm. Brittany has been in contact with both Tommy Garland and the assistant trainer, Greg Peak. According to Greg the horse is coming along right on schedule. Rhythm has his days but we all knew he would. The horse just can't be idle that long without testing the humans putting him back into training. A few days for tune up and the plan was to start him in the bridle.

When I last talked with Brittany her show outfit had been ordered (and we won't talk about the price so that poor Rich does not have a stroke) and the horse has been started in the curb. Rhythm has taken to it just fine. He still has his days but Rich, Brittany and I all expected that. He will continue to test Greg until he's convinced that Greg is worthy of his trust. Getting some consistent work time will make a huge difference in this scenario.

So here's the latest scenario. Brittany leaves on March 31 to spend some time at Garland's. Remember her friend, Natasha, who worked with her at Nationals for Tommy. Natasha no longer works at Garlands but lives nearby and has invited Brittany to stay with her. That helped cut down on expenses so Brittany will be able to spend the whole week there.

Greg has promised the horse will be ready for Brittany to ride in the bridle. She will have lessons on the horse each day and find out his quirks in the bridle. That way she'll get reacquainted with her horse and his new buttons before she shows him in May.

Brittany has promised to take a camera and we're hoping a camcorder too, so we can get pictures for the blog. She's also promised to call me each day to let me know how it's going. One things for sure, Brittany will know by next week whether it's realistic or not to be expecting to show at the May show in her home region.

I promise I'll keep everyone posted. As long as Brittany calls, I'll keep updating. Anyone want to make any bets on how long it takes for Tommy to try and put Brittany to work?

To be continued.............when Brittany calls...........

Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. LOL MiKael, I bet he starts on her about 5 seconds after he sees her walk in the door!

    Can't wait to hear how they do there.

    Syracuse huh? I know that place... I was born there.... ;)

  2. I have been waiting for up dates on the boy!! Cant wait to hear how he is doing!

    My bet is Brittany will have a toe on the property and will be hounded about work! Poor girl!

  3. I have special interest in the Rhythm story for some reason.

    I like the quirky horses though. I think it keeps me on task better.

  4. MiKael which show in May is this, I found 2. The Empire State Breeders show, May 2-4 and the Breeders Show May 15-18.

  5. My bet is...the minute she walks in the door, he'll be asking her to clean something! Brittany is awesome and I hope she knows how much we appreciate her keeping us all in the loop.

  6. Oh wow! *excitement building* I hope things go well and to plan AND she sends video and pictures...I would LOVE to see those!! :)

  7. beth, I'm afraid you're probably right. We'll have to see if Brittany can hold onto her resolved to not succumb to the pressure that's sure to be.

    lovelee, my guess would be your special interest is related to his quirks. The boy certainly does have those. lol

    holly, I believe is it the first one. Details will come as we know for sure that the horse is even ready.

    katee, Brittany and Rich both read the blog and the comments so I know they'll get the message. I'm pretty sure there'll be Rhythm posts for a while yet. lol

    equinespirit, I hope that she is able to take the camcorder because I think it will be really helpful to have her lessons recorded for later to review when she has the horse at home on her own. We'll see if her mom lets her borrow the camera.

  8. Looking forward to hearing more about Rythym and Brittany. I would love to go to Road to the Horse.

  9. I'm sure Rythm will be going to the show, how could he not when she already bought the outfit to wear. Hope she doesn't consent to work when she arrives, after all he was still probably charging her full boarding and training fee while he was away showing and promoting himself, he should be willing to give her free lessons, not asking her to work for him.

  10. She must be really excited, I know it would kill me to not have one of my horses close by in training and keep an eye on them and just go visit (you will remember my bad experiences last year)

    Looking forward to the updates.