Yes, it has been a month since I’ve posted, whoops, sorry.  A lot has happened.  So I’ll catch you up in bullet points and then we’ll move on to the details of the RRP next week!  I am right excited.  We might be having almost daily updates over the next two weeks, fair warning.

Since we have last chatted, Howdy:

  • went to the hunter pace at Catalpa Corner in mid-August and jumped everything, but acted kind of goofy and more tense than he should have
  • went to a xc schooling in Kansas City where he was VERY tense and jumped crooked and oddly (though it should be noted that he did jump everything).
  • inherited Betty’s lovely bridle, which he looks smashing in

Howdy Betty bridle

  • cut his left front pastern deep enough that he should have had stitches, but I found it too late for proper stitching, so I cleaned it out and treated and wrapped it every day for 3 weeks and, thank all that is good, it healed beautifully.  He was never lame on it.
  • had a good eye checkup – stable again!
  • started ulcer medication
  • subsequent to ulcer medication, started being less tense under saddle
  • schooled xc in KC and was much better than last time
  • completed a one day event last weekend – dressage, showjumping and xc – and finished with no jump faults and in fourth place.  Whoop!
  • changed his bit to a mylar snaffle with tongue relief, which he seems to like better than the french link

So, after that whirlwind of activity, we are looking forward to the RRP next week!  We actually leave for  Burwell, NE this week to foxhunt.


Bravado showing off his appreciable “standing like a boss at the check” skills

Howdy won’t be foxhunting, but will be going along so that I can work with him every day on his working ranch skills.  I can’t think of a better setting to do it in than at the Burwell Rodeo grounds!  All that history, and the footing is perfect.


Nebraska’s Big Rodeo Arena is going to become “Howdy’s Big Working Ranch Arena” this weekend.

They posted the reining pattern!  It has rollbacks, flying lead changes and spins, oh my!  My ride time for Working Ranch is 11:03 on Thursday 10/5.  I am hearing rumors about a live feed on the internet, but I don’t have details yet.  Will post them when I do.

The following day, Friday 10/6 we basically do a one day event.  The dressage test is considerably more sedate than the reining pattern.  It has um, walk, trot and canter.  Woot.  LOL

Then we go on to showjumping, followed nearly immediately, the schedule implies, by xc.

If the show was tomorrow, we’d do acceptably.  Two weeks ago, I would not have said that because he was very uncomfortable with his ulcers, and thus acting like a goof, but the treatment appears to be working and things are looking up.  The next week we’ll be putting the finishing touches on things.  “Finishing touches” is a relative concept as we are talking about a horse who was racing on the track about a year ago, so we aren’t yet to the finer point of splitting frog hairs here, rather making things flow a little better.  In Working Ranch at the RRP, you can ride in a snaffle or a curb, with a shank length limit of 4.5 inches.  Right now he is going pretty well in his mylar snaffle, so I might not mess with that.  The next week will be all about him allowing himself to be “willingly guided” as the reining horse rulebook says.

Regarding the eventing phase training, they’ll be on hold until after Working Ranch.  He knows how to jump the bright poles and do banks, ditches and water and he won’t forget that if I change the topic for a week.  And as far as dressage goes, reining done right is just western dressage, so no time wasted.  The spins do not translate at all.  Nope not one bit, and a rollback looks an awful lot to me like a refusal without a jump, but I’ll not mention that to Howdy.  😉





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