Friday, June 24, 2011

Day.... Who's counting anyway?

It sure feels great to not be counting days any longer.  I'm sorry for the delay in posts, however I was unsure of how I wanted to continue the blog.  I thought about starting a new site, so as to leave the 90 days of Extreme Mustang Makeover its own story.  I realized though that without the EMM opportunity, I wouldn't have met Marley and none of this would have come to be, and so here this story continues...

 Mike getting Marley out for some sunshine after his bath.  They thought they would do a little rock climbing while they were out.
Photo by Katherine Payne Photography
   Our bidder number                             "Really? You guys are always
   at the EMM auction                                 doing stupid stuff to me"
Photo by Katherine Payne Photography
Photo by Katherine Payne Photography
Our turn on the auction block
Photo by Katherine Payne Photography

The past two weeks have slowed down tremendously.  It was apparent immediately after the excitement from the auction wore off that Marley, Mike and I were all completely exhausted.  Not only had we all worked really hard to make sure we turned out a safe, reliable horse for anyone to adopt, but we were also really nervous that someone else would agree and we would have had to say goodbye to our amazing little horse.  Luckily, none of that happened, but the stress it caused leading up to the auction definitely took a couple of years off my life.  Needless to say, we all took some time off of training and relaxed a little lot.  For an entire week I either rode Marley with only a halter or I didn't ride at all.  We had a lot of play time in the arena and after a few days of rest, Marley's energy was way up again.  He is back to tearing around the arena with his tail in the air and chasing after Mike with much enthusiasm.

Marley continuing his clicker training and down behavior, no need to hose him down anymore! He gets it!

Yesterday we started back to work under saddle.  My plan is to take a few days to get him back to where we were prior to the event as we not only have all the time in the world, but I also want to really focus on some of the minor details that 90 days just simply doesn't allow for.  Additionally, we will be doing a lot of ground work.  I have so many plans with the clicker, and I'm really excited to start putting everything together.  While we were in Fort Collins, we met Mary Kitzmiller who also trains with a clicker.  She gave me a lot of great ideas and I am just so excited to show the world what great things positive reinforcement training can do for any animal. 

Lastly, I want to share a really great story from last weekend at the Extreme Mustang Makeover.  Many of you may know having been there that the auction was simply not as great as it apparently had been in the past.  Many wonderful horses weren't selling for much, if at all.  Perhaps it was the economy, perhaps the EHV-1 outbreak that left people unsure if the event would even happen, but there weren't enough adopters to bring everyone home.  By the end of the event, the amazing staff at Mustang Heritage Foundation had adopted out all of the horses, except one.  Mike and I were already ecstatic to be bringing Marley home, but it was hard to stay enthusiastic as we learned that one little horse wasn't going to get a home.  Before too many of you jump to conclusions here, let me first say it was Mike's idea (that I went gladly along with obviously) that we adopt the last horse and just figure it out later.  We didn't even know his name and ran over to the barn with only 15 minutes to go before we had to give a definite "yes" or "no" on whether we would bring him home.  We breathlessly explained to the trainer that we were interested in his horse and asked if we could please try him, and within minutes I had my English saddle (on a western trained horse) and a rope halter as a bridle.  He stood calmly, though a little confused, as I climbed up onto his back.  It didn't take me long to realize he was just as sweet as could be, and that's all it took.  We ran back to the BLM table, signed his papers, and just like that we now had two horses.  After we signed his papers, we learned his name; Karma.

Our plan for Karma was loosely formed to say the least.  I made a few calls, thought about keeping him as a project horse to later find a home, or if all else failed I knew my Mom wouldn't let him be homeless, and her and Tom have yet to tear down that pasture fence.  The day after Karma came home, Joy Kramer of Bibber Creek came to take a look at him, immediately fell in love (how could you not!) and the rest is history!  Karma's future is brighter than ever and I'm so excited to follow his progress. 

Karma - such a little cutie!
Karma exploring his new home with Joy at Bibber Creek!


  1. I am very pleased he didn't go back to the BLM!!!
    But I thought once you adopted you couldn't sell, trade or give him away till you received his title? Or do you get the title at action?

  2. So happy Karma got a good home thanks to you and Mike. How wonderful that you guys and Marley can just enjoy each other, slow the pace down, and know that you do have all the time in the world now, as they say. And you don't have to blog every day, either. But please don't forget us. :):)

  3. Are you going to post the video of Marley with the cow during the competition? Your mom said it was great.

  4. I am so excited to see an update! I checked facebook all the time for updates about what was going on that week-end and was able to get snippets of info and some pictures. Not many of you though. Your story will always have a special place in my heart and I'm very glad you will send updates here and there (no pressure) I didn't realize what a pretty mane and tail Marley has, it really looks nice. I am glad you were able to take Karma, I'm sure he's in good hands now. "Slow and steady wins the race"! I look forward to your next update. Take care.

  5. I am so glad that you are going to continue Marley's story, after following from the beginning I want to see where he goes from here.
    I am sorry we missed you when we came to pick up Karma, I came over with Ali to help get him. I did get to meet Marley, just as cute in person. I will be putting more pics of Karma on the Bibber Creek FB page as he progresses. Come and visit.