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Monday, December 30, 2013

A look at 2013

I almost missed out on the last post of 2013... life has been busy. So much has been done this year, I thought I would take a look back at what has happened...

Anthony and I decided to enter the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Norco. My 3rd makeover and Anthony's first. What an exciting adventure we were about to have... See the picture in the ad is of Dixie and I competing in 2012!

January: We headed to Palomino Valley to pick up our mares.

Sweet Pea on day 1

 Luna on day 1

 the fun is about to begin...

February: Extreme Wylene came out for a visit and we got a chance to really work with our mares. Wylene is riding Dixie here while Anthony puts the first ride on Luna.

We made time to visit Charlie and Nancy Brooks in Scottsdale for the Arabian Horse Show.

March: 2013 also brought in some new friends, not so much for Dixie...

Luna in the water bottle 'pit of doom'

Of course, I didn't want to ignore Dixie while we were training our mares. She was after all in training to compete in endurance since I adopted her from the 2012 makeover. 2013 marked her 5th birthday and allowed her to compete in 50 mile endurance races. Anthony took Luna and I took Dixie to the Rides of March in Nevada.

Anthony riding in the Limited Distance race 

Dixie's first 50 mile race! She finished with flying colors!

April: After 90 days of preparation, we were feeling ready for our competition. 

Thanks to Charlie Brooks for this fabulous picture!

 May: We had a BLAST at the Makeover in Norco. We always meet lots of new and old friends. Anthony did a fabulous job with his first mustang ever. I was thrilled to be a contender in the top 10. Here is the freestyle I chose...

Charlie Brooks Photography

Of course, the very best part was finding fabulous homes for our horses. Luna stayed in Norco with a great couple and Sweet Pea came back to Northern California not far from us.

Congrats Sarah and Sweet Pea!

Congrats Sandra and Luna!

We also made time for a clinic at our favorite barn, Sonrisa Stables. These girls tame mustangs for adoption, just like us. They have their own version of a makeover and adoption event to get their horses homes. 

June: We were especially busy in June, starting out with the Sacramento Horse Expo. Anthony, Winston, and I helped out in the BLM booth to talk to prospective and current mustang enthusiasts. 

I think Winston was by far the most popular. 

I also brought Dixie to her 2nd 50 mile endurance race of the season. 

Not only did we have a great time, I sponsored a junior rider (he needed to ride with an adult) and he ended up winning in his division. 

Soon after, Napa Mustang Days came to town. It is a mobile BLM adoption event. One of Anthony's friends' picked out a cute little gelding to take home.

Congrats Suzanne and Scout!

This event had lots of beautiful horses, as always!

A day after Mustang days, we flew the to the Canary Islands for our wedding...

July: Upon coming home, we headed back to the corrals and picked out a wedding present for Anthony...

And a new friend for Sara 

Congrats on getting a great home Maverick!

Then headed to the most difficult endurance race in the United States, the 100 mile Tevis! 
Having a maximum of 24 hours to finish the race, usually about 60% of the riders are pulled or drop out. It is in the heat of the summer and is a true test of horse and rider. 

We crewed for the 2nd year for good friends Jennifer and Jenni.  As the incredible race unfolded, the girls finished 2nd and 3rd!!!! What a phenomenal night I will never forget! 

The Sonrisa team finally finished working their mustangs and it was time to adopt them out. Anthony and I helped in the auctioneer booth during the adoption. We were so proud! 

August: As soon as Sara had gentled Maverick and headed home, Conny brought a new wild one into their family, Raphael (aka Rafi)

Kirsten and her 2012 Makeover mare Georgia headed to the Mendocino Magic with Dixie and I. It was their first taste of endurance (they competed in the 25 mile LD)
Dixie and I took home our 3rd successful 50 mile race, finishing 7th!

September: Anthony and El Capitan (aka Capi) continue to make progress as he goes from 'wild' to 'mild' 

Dixie and I went to the North American Sport Pony inspection.

She placed as a 1st premium mare!

October: Extreme Wylene came back to visit, she can brighten anyones day.. including Clyde (pictured below, lol)

I was given the opportunity to train and find a nice mustang a home, it took one month for him to meet his special someone once we put him under saddle. Congrats Gretchen and family :)

Guess who showed up at the clinic?? Sarah and Sweet Pea!!!

November: Jennifer took Dixie on her 4th race to Lake Sonoma. I crewed for them and was amazed to watch them fly in at 4th place! What a way to end the season!!!!!! 200 competition miles under her belt for 2013! 

December: We were lucky enough to be at the World Arabian Horse Championship in Paris this year. I have never seen so many amazing horses in one place! What a special treat! 

A very cute picture of Rafi (pictured left) and Talitha (my TIP mustang from 2011)

When adopters send you pictures like these, it makes all that hard work worth it!

Dixie of course had to get into the holiday spirit too.

Well, I don't think even I realized how busy 2013 was until I wrote it all down!

A record 7 mustangs were adopted out this year through Anthony and I and we couldn't be happier. 

I want to thank you for reading my blog, whether it is your first time or you have been keeping up. The emails I get from people who have adopted, or want to adopt are so much fun. I have met so many wonderful people through these horses. 

I hope 2013 was just as exciting for all of you too!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lake Sonoma AERC 50

Dancing Dixie had one last 50 mile race for 2013, Lake Sonoma November 2nd.
This was her 4th race and the first time I would not be riding her.

I packed everything up and headed out, lots of excitement as this was the first LD ride we did last year together. My friend Jennifer had agreed to ride her for me, and I was thrilled. Jennifer was actually the only reason I had ever given endurance riding a second thought. She has been a great mentor to me and I was so excited to see how the two would do together. Dixie has been in endurance training for just over a year now. I brought her home as a 'wild' mustang in February 2012. Her tenacity endless energy, and drive was the reason I thought endurance might be 'her sport'. 

Needless to say, the EasyBoots stayed on the whole ride and each stop I saw Jennifer and Dixie I was surprised to see how fast the day was going by. We had talked the night before about timing and we agreed between 9:30 and 10 she would arrive into the first vet check. Wrong! As I walked up the hill at 9:20, they were already there! Fortunately I had dropped the crew bag off so no time was wasted. Next stop, I decided to stay close so I wouldn't make a second mistake. Even though I was not riding, it was just as exciting. 

As I saw them come into the finish line, my heart raced. They had actually buddied up with the same horse and rider from the Mendocino Magic Ride. (That race was in June and we came in as 6th and 7th place together) They rode in as 3rd and 4th place and I was over the moon!

I was so happy to end the season on a high note. As the off season begins, we will go back to my roots and get more focused on dressage.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Extreme Wylene in Northern California

What a busy weekend with Extreme Wylene!

She came to visit Napa and Novato. We sure did have a lot of fun, I found myself running around taking lunch orders, waivers, and taking pictures most of the time but still managed to hop on Dixie a little too. 

As always, some of the horses that came to the clinic really transformed before our eyes. Take the horse below, Clyde. He had a spook and bolt reaction his owner could not overcome. This is after 3 days of being ridden in the clinic...  

I also got to see some familiar faces, Sweet Pea (remember her from my last mustang makeover?!)
She did fabulous, as always with her amazing owner Sarah. It was so fun to see how both of them have bonded and grown. 

One other amazing horse I got to watch was Simba. He is a 3 year old gelding mustang that I have been fostering for a friend while we look for a home. He was just started under saddle and this clinic was his first experience with many other horses, balls, obstacles, and chaos. I was hoping he would do well so I could really start to advertise and when I watched Wylene and her apprentice ride him, my jaw hit the ground. Not only was he quiet (I knew that already!) but he was willing and courageous with any all that was put in front of him! He walked slowly up to the ball (see pictures below) and then started pushing it around.  I was so thrilled that he was so mellow! 

Right away, I put the pictures on facebook and had a few positive prospects. Within 2 hours a friend called that had previously adopted a mustang from me (Hank now known as Sancho). She had a friend interested in adopting. I will post more details on the story as is progresses :)

Here are pictures from Napa and Novato. If you were in the clinic and would like to 'take' any of these pictures, please feel free. 

By the end of the clinic everyone was asking "When is she coming back??"

Once I get her 2014 schedule, I will post some dates, I promise! 

Thanks to all that came and supported the clinic!!!
Especially Dennis, Monte, Napa Horsemans, and Novato Horsemans

Clyde, the 'run away'

Sweet Pea and Sarah



Simba looking like an old relaxed ranch horse

Simba's first experience with the ball

Sweet Pea, oh how she loves that ball!!!

Novato Horsemans

Exreme Wylene giving a little show!

"Up the man, down the rein"

Clyde, blindfolded

Nancy and Christine