Monday, December 31, 2012

Kellie Comes To Get Sadie Mae

On Dec. 2nd, Kellie arrived early to pick up Sadie Mae. I had been telling Sadie Mae all about how she was going to live with Kellie and how she needed to be good and take care of Kellie on the trail rides!
Sadie Mae took right to Kellie and I think remembered her from the week before.
I was really sad to see her leave, even though I knew that Sadie was going to go and have more fun with Kellie than she was with me. But my heart melted and all things seemed right then I saw this!
Sadie will be back just as soon as we can find a new mule for Kellie to call her own! I hope it is soon! 

HCOC Trail Obstacle Challenge

Christina and I headed down to Lake Waccamaw for the last High Cotton Obstacle Course Challenge of 2012.  With another challenging course set and a nice warm day for December 1st, we enjoyed the day and both of our equines did really well. Some of the classes had some really tight competition!

The last class of the day was the Masters Class, where they ask extra things of the equine/rider teams. As it turned out Christina and I were the only two in the class. Seven and I went first and had a very good round. Christina and Oakley set out to try to beat us! She had such a good round that she had me slightly worried! It really showed how much the two of them had improved over the last year! All their hard work was showing!
Show results:
In-Hand - 1st -Seven
Novice - 1st  Oakley
Green Horn - 1st Oakley
Masters - 1st Seven, -only 5 points behind- 2nd Oakley

Christina was so excited! She and I both won two nice plaid sheets for our equines! I was very proud of Christina for how well she did!
Tollie and Aimee came out to see us show and we stayed and talked for a long time after the competition! Plus there was a pan of brownies we had to take care of too!
Oakley and one of his TWO sheets!

Seven and one of his TWO sheets! 

Kellie & Sadie Mae Meet

After the loss of my friends Mark and Jeanette Lee's daughters special mule Sophie, due to colic, I offered to let Kellie borrow Sadie Mae till they could find her a new mule to ride.  So the day after Thanksgiving Jeanette, her sister Lynette and Kellie made the trip to spend the day with Sadie Mae and see if things would work out.
We started with a good grooming to help Kellie get comfortable being around her. We checked to see if Kellie's saddle would fit Sadie and is was a perfect fit!
How many ladies does it take to pick out Sadie's foot? 
Next I taught Kellie how to lead Sadie and yield her hind-quarters for respect. Kellie being only 8 years old and Sadie Mae being 18 years old and 1,200 pounds, really needed to respect and listen to Kellie! She caught right on how to do it, and Sadie snapped to attention each time she did it, so I felt like they were off to a really good start!
Little Kellie leading Sadie Mae! 
We rode around in the pasture to let Kellie get a feel for Sadie. She stepped her over one of the logs and  down the small step. Jeanette rode Twila and I rode Seven so we could be right there to help her if needed. Really Jeanette was the one who needed a little help with Twila. Jeanette laughed and laughed as Twila sort of slowly did not go where she wanted her to, but they got it all worked out in the end!
Off we go! Kellie and Sadie in the lead! 
After lunch we headed out on to the trail. Christina had also brought over her horse Oakley and she joined us on the trail too. We had a great time and Lynette took these great photos of us as we came up my neighbors drive way!
 Kellie and Sadie Mae
 Shannon and Seven
 Jeanette and Twila 
Christina and Oakley

H. Cooper Black! Twila's first big Adventure!

On Nov. 16th Debbie and I took of with her mule Tucker and my mammoth donkey Twila Merrill and met our friends at H. Cooper Black. This is down in South Carolina and the riding is mainly sand and pine trees. I thought this might be a good place to being Twila and she how she does in a big group on a longer trail ride.
Twila all clipped up and ready to go! 

On Friday Debbie and I rode out for just short spin through the trees before a group dinner and big camp fire that evening! Tucker and Twila both settled in very well.
Saturday morning we saddled up and got ready to head out with the group! We had a nice group of mules, a horse or two and one big Donkey named Twila Merrill.

The CMA Group makes another attempt to line up! Debbie on Tucker! 
Shannon on Twila and Debbie on Tucker! 
When we took off several people where keeping an eye on Twila to see how she would do. Donkeys are notorious for being much slower than the other mules. The group picked up a quick pace while trying to follow the wagons and Twila did not let me down by keeping right up with everyone!

Twila Merrill stays caught up with the group!
By the time we stopped for lunch Twila was tired and glad for a rest. She stood very well tied with the others and got a rest while we ate lunch! It was so pretty that some people even relaxed enough to catch some short shut eye time!
Twila and Tucker resting at the lake and lunch break.
On the way home we split into two groups. The short ride back and the longer ride back. Debbie and I where the short ride but we took a wrong road and ended up going about just as far back.  About half way home Debbie's mule spooked at something and spun around and off she went. Right when that happened June's mule did the same thing and off she went too.  Both ladies were ok, luckily!
I jumped off of Twila and was able to get a hold of Tucker but June's mule took of, perhaps chasing the other group. I looked at Debbie and asked her if she wanted to ride Twila back and I would ride Tucker home. It took her no time to say and definitive "YES!"
The other mules was caught by another horse group, as we rode home. Debbie has a nice but very slow ride home on the tired Twila! But she never stopped and never refused to go!
I was so impressed with that Donkey!

That night we had a great dinner cooked by Stacey and we huddled around the camp fire as the wind kicked up!  It rained some that next morning and was still pretty cold, so most of us headed home. We hated to leave but I think I was out of Donkey Power for the weekend!  But I was sure proud of Twila! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Belt Buckle Arrives

 Too cute Leisha addressed it to both me and Seven!!!

The anticipation was both scaring me and killing me!!

WOW! WOW! WOW! I love it so much! 

Trophy buckle purse I ordered from Heart of the West! Leslie was so patient with me, letting me pick conchos, buckles and strap colors! 

Final product! I feel like I have to dress up just to carry this purse with me now!   

Fall DuPont Working Weekend with the CMA

LINK to my Video of this weekend:

I got up early and picked up Rebecca and her horse Nellie. We enjoyed the drive and got there around 2pm. Time enough to get set up and then take a short ride on Thursday night! We rode out with Angie and Rascal and ride we did! We trotted and cantered up the trail to the Air strip. It was a wonderful evening and we got some great photos!
Angie & Rascal at the end of the airstrip! 

Rebecca and Nellie!

Friday morning we all got together and went to work Rascal and Angie's two mules did all the log dragging and we quickly cleared out the pre-cut down fire wood.
After a quick lunch we headed out on the trail again for another nice ride!
We had another nice evening by the fire with some good food!

Saturday we rode out right at 9AM and enjoyed the covered bridge and waterfalls before heading to meet Forest Ranger David Brown at the bottom of Stone Mountain. We followed him up the steep long climbing mountain. Once we got to the top and secured the mules we went to work setting up a permanent high line tie and a tie rail. Some of us headed the est of the way up the mountain to help clear trail. It was really pretty up there at 3,500 feet! With beautiful weather you could see for miles!
That night we got together for the Big Man Pan Meal! Everyone brings together ingredients and cook it together with bread and pies! YUM!

Myself and Seven ride out with Rebecca and Nellie.

Sandra and Steve Hyder

The group heads over the covered bridge on the way to the water falls. 

Sunday morning we rode out early, a small group of only 7 of us but we covered a lot of ground and had the park nearly to ourselves. It was a pretty morning and we stopped for lunch by Julia Lake. As we rode in the wind picked up and it started getting cooler. So we were heading home just in time for a cold front and some rain to come in that evening!
Sunday's group at Lake Julia! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Belt Buckle Curse Is Finally Broken!

All the years I have been showing I have never won a Belt Buckle! 
All the high points, all-arounds and championship... when ever there was a belt buckle up for grabs, it seemed something would always go wrong.  So I considered it a Curse!

So my friend Seven finally got it done did for me! We competed in 8 Trail Obstacle Competitions (1 each month) at Brock and Leisha Griffith's place in Denton, NC.  The finals being Oct. 27th, 2012.

We were leading in the points early but still had to go each time and put in good performances to keep our lead. Leisha waited till the end to be sure I would win, because she wanted to order a belt buckle with a Mule Rider on it for me! So thoughtful! Can't wait for it to get there though! 
Thank you to Leisha and Brock for hosting the competition and to everyone who was so supportive with your kind words and cheers!  
I feel like I can now say "Misson Accomplished" well at least this misson!  

My biggest thank you goes to Seven who willing jumped those bank jumps and did all kinds of strange things for me, just because I asked! 

Seven with our Champion Ribbon!

Mom and Dad came down from Virginia for my Birthday and to watch the competition!

Year End Winners are: (LtoR) Chad 3rd place, Melissa 4th place, Brock Griffith, Rebecca 2nd place, Shannon 1st place, Willow 1st place Youth and Leisha Griffith! 

My Trail Obstacle buddy Christina, she won one of Brock's new training tapes! 
Seven made friends with Willows 2 year old donkey!!  He just loves all Donkeys! Too Cute!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Special Visitor!

Sadie Mae had a special visitor last week. My friend Jackie asked me if she could bring her friend Erin over for a visit with my mules and donkeys. Erin suffers from multiple sclerosis and doesn't get to go out very much. 
She was able to pet Sadie and lean on her some to get a good rub on Sadie's shoulder. Sadie enjoyed the attention and stood like a statue!  I was glad to help Jackie and get Erin out for a small adventure. The smiles on her face said it all for me! 
Sadie Mae seems to always make people smile! 

Erin gets to meet Twila Merrill the Donkey too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CMA Mule/Horse Show

On  October 20th the Carolina Mule Association hosted a fundraising horse/mule show. Christina and her horse Oakley came along with us on Friday night to camp. We rode in the ring and had a great crock pot dinner with our friend Cat Nordan! We laughed and talked until way too late!

The next morning the classes came fast but Seven did very well. We got a 3rd in English Mule at halter and then 2nd place in each of our three English Mule riding classes. We won the English Jack Benny class too! Then we had a nice break and got ready for trail classes.  Seven and I won the Adult Trail Class and then got 2nd in the Mule Trail Class.  Seven was really good for our Western Pleasure classes too. Finishing 2nd in most of them.

All in all we had a great day! We ended up being Reserve High Point! The Carolina Mule Association had a great day and raised more money at this show than any others!

Seven says, "What's all this for Mom?"

People could not believe I going to ride English!

Seven and Shannon with our Adult Trail Blue Ribbon! 

Ribbons that we won!

Corgi Picnic 2012

Levi got to see his two of his sisters at the 2012 N.C. Corgi Picnic on Oct. 13th in Wake Forest.
He had a great time playing with Brandy and Harley and even met a new friend named Lucas. We competed and got third place in the speed re-call class! The whole group went down and got to go swimming too! Levi jumped right in and was playing with a ball! He also got to run around and Frap with a ton of other Corgi's in the open field! Great Fun!

Levi playing with Lucas! 

 Brandy sleeping on Judy's foot!

Levi had a great time! 

Dr. Gerd Heuschmann Symposium

On October 5-7, 2012, I was able to attend a Dr. Gerd Heuschmann Symposium.
Hosted by Linda Hoover and the United States Refined Horsemanship Association.

On Friday night in a Southern Pines hotel, a "For The Good Of The Horse" Round table discussion and dinner was held.  Present was Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, Jochen Schleese, Dr. Richard Mansmann, Shawna Karrasch and Gil Merrick was the moderator. It was very interesting and a lot of good subjects with in the Horse Industry were brought up. It defiantly left us all thinking about a lot of things, but that was just the start of the weekend.
The next morning at a beautiful farm in Vass, NC, Dr. Heuschmann spoke for the morning and most of the afternoon, then we moved to a field with a long hill. He worked with several riders on hill work and then finding a good tempo, balance and relaxation during there riding.
On Sunday it was a little cold and blustery. Dr. Heuschmann went even deeper into speaking about classical training vs. modern day, "do it now" riding. He had wonderful graphics by Susan Harris to help us understand what we was talking about.
I left with a whole new understanding and a new train of through about how I ride and approach training!  I also met a lot of great new people!
For more information here is a link to his web site:
If it happens to come up in German, find the little British flag at the top of the page to change the web page to English.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Seven's New Bridle Tag!

In August Seven and I won the Open division at the American Competitive Trail Challenge, in New River, Virginia. One of the awards was some ACTHA BUCKS to be used to a purchase items from their sponsors.  
I saw my friend Joe Most's Horse, Tuff, wearing a bridle tag like this and Seven told me he wanted one too! 
So I contacted Molly's Custom Silver and she helped me with this design! I am so tickled with it and can't wait to see it on Seven's bridle! The only problem is now I want to wear it as a neck lace as well and on Seven's bridle! 
Many Thanks to ACTHA and Molly's Custom Silver! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Guess he was thinking the same thing!

Last night, a wonderful, easy, relaxed trail ride with my best friend Seven. 
He was so in tune with me. I did not even have to cue him for a canter across one of the fields, I just thought about it! 

Guess he was thinking the same thing!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Book Of Mules now Available on Kindle!!!

Sadie Mae is now Digital!!!  Congrats to Donna Campbell Smith!  You can now order "The Book Of Mules" of which Sadie Mae graces the cover on your Kindel!!!  AWESOME!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wonderful Day With Friends & Long Ears!

 Always a good view from between Twila's Donkey Ears!!

It was a beautiful day! Reed brought Ted her mule over and Christina came over to ride Seven on a trail ride. I took Twila out for our 4th ride and 3rd trail ride. She just keeps getting better each time!

We had a nice relaxing ride for about 2 1/2 hours. Twila showed me again why I love big saddle donkeys! A deer jumped out right in front of Twila and then ran along side and jumped into the woods again. She just stopped and looked at it! I gave her a big hug for that!  She crossed the rain road tracks, two ditches and jumped a small creek!

Christina did great with Seven and even got him up into his little gaited walk and Reed even got Ted to trot out on the trail a bit!

After we returned from the ride we went out for an early dinner to Christina's favorite Mexican place!
Wonderful and great day with my good Human and Long Ear Friends! Can't beat that! 

Seven and Christina

Reed and Ted

Twila and Shannon in the Woods.

Twila and Shannon

Seven & The Horse Trainer

Seven and I traveled to Denton NC for another Trail Obstacle Race at Brock and Leisha Griffith's farm. Seven is very well and actually won this time! Everyone brought their A game so it was close!
While I was riding Brock said that Seven looked like he was fun to ride. I told he he could try him out later. Brock took me up on that and took him for a spin around the arena after the competition.  It was fun for me to watch Brock ride him since he is such a good rider I got to see Seven perform at his best!

Is that Seven making Brock look good or Brock making Seven look good?