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Monday, May 13, 2013

Clinic Weekend at Sonrisa Stables

Norco may have been the finale of our 90 training experience with Luna and Sweet Pea, but there was one other special treat we had at Norco last weekend... Team Sonrisa drove all the way down to support us at the competition too! They have their own wild horse training program and have had their mustangs 30 days now. Anthony and I came out to give them a clinic and a little fresh perspective on how they can gentle their new friends, Hulk, Mickey, Cruise, and Simba. 

Team mascot, Megan cooling off in the ice chest!

Working with Mickey, he quickly showed his one-sidedness. We focused on keeping our bodies in between his shoulders and hips to allow us 'in'. As she moves towards his hips, he is driven forward... move towards his shoulders, he is stopped... when you get to say where the feet go... you're the leader :)

One of the high lights of the weekend was Anthony saddling and putting the first rides on Hulk. The team was ecstatic! He was the most laid back gelding, if you could have seen how many kids were crawling all over him you would know why! 

Team Hulk! 

Getting ready to ride...

First steps, Hulk seemed relaxed when he had his team near him. It is clear they have shown him nothing but love and he trusts them. What a great moment it was!

Baby Cruise is the only yearling. He liked to turn his butt towards you so here I am using 'the cool kid method' to draw him towards me (head first). Pressure and release can be one of your most useful techniques if you pay close attention to your horse and their signs. The girls knew what signs to look for and immediately picked up on the subtle cues Cruise was giving them. 

I was so impressed with the teams and their support. Parents showed up with breakfast, lunch, water, and were so kind to us. Coach Karen was the reason we were invited, and I just think she is the bees knees!  It must be the company she keeps ;) The teams patience and perseverance has me so excited to see what they will accomplish in the next few months before their adoption event! Stay tuned, I am sure there will be updates from these guys!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Extreme Mustang Makeover Norco, 2013

What a weekend. After 90 days, all your hard work pays off at the show and's over. 
Anthony and I both miss our horses, but I can assure you that they got the BEST homes we could have ever asked for. This event was so much fun to be a part of, I am still just reeling from all the emotion that went into it. If you followed me on facebook ( then you may already know how we did. Here are some of the highlights...

Charles Brooks took this great picture of Marissa and Don and I before receiving our top ten awards.
Don took 1st place and Marissa 2nd, I was so honored to be in the top ten with them!

Getting ready for our top ten introductions

I can't believe I made the list!!!

Back, Back, Back, Blindfold! 

No hands! (or eyes!)

This was my impromptu freestyle outfit courtesy of CVS drugstore (crepe paper and scarf)
and Target girls department (dress)

Anthony and Luna-cita

So happy my mom came all the way from Michigan to watch me!

Anthony in the arena with Luna
 Not only did I make the top ten, my mom flew in to visit with my cousins from SoCal, Karen and some of the fabulous Sonrisa team drove to support me, Sarah and Monte drove up ready to adopt Sweet Pea, and I got to be a part of something so much bigger than a horse show. The trainers at these events are more than just horse people, they are down to earth, fun, generous, and I had so much fun being with everyone. There was not a single moment where I felt competitive pressure. Of course, I was nervous and so thankful I had Anthony and my mom by my side to keep me calm and collected!

The show itself went really well. Anthony's high point was taking 3rd in the handling and conditioning class. He not only called his horse to him like a puppy dog, he also picked up a front and hind foot at the same time! The crowd went wild!

My highlight was being a part of the top ten, it was somewhat un-expected and I only had 2 hours to come up with a plan. In the end,  decided that bareback and blindfolded might be fun (and it was!).
I also used the big ball she loved to play with so much, in fact, she has never hit that ball harder and I know the crowd could tell we were just having a grand time playing! My favorite part of that freestyle was having people come up to me and saying that they could really tell I was having fun! It was true, I really did a total blast.

Driving home 9 hours with an empty trailer really made us start thinking about our next adventure. Anthony and I decided he would be searching for his very own mustang next, and I promised to help keep him in shape while Anthony is busy with harvest. Oh yea, and we also have that wedding coming up in June to think about ;)

Once we got home, I checked the mail and found my application to title Dixie waiting for me. What a great way to end an adventure and begin the next, horse ownership! Watch for more posts about Dixie and her next endurance ride. We have a few planned!

I hope you enjoyed reading and following our progress. I am very happy to say that our mares are in wonderful homes and ready to begin their happily ever after. I will post more pictures and updates as I get them!

xo A & A