Day 61: Tuesday, April 3, 2012. A
Welcome to the final section of Hannah's
training journal! Today was a great but a long day,
beginning with a fantastic turn-out in the big arena
with Wyatt! It was Hannah's first time in the 1
acre turnout, and she had a ball running around.
Wyatt wanted to run and play together, but Hannah
let him know earlier on that his boyish antics would
NOT be tolerated. So they had fun together, separately!
When it came time for catch up, Hannah walked right
up to Cindy like she's been doing this her whole
Today saw lots of riding - there were
a lot of lessons scheduled, so Hannah alternately
stood and rode for each of them. At the end of the
day, she walked back to her stall next to the little
red wagon! It's a regular red wagon child's toy
that had been brought out earlier. It rattles as
it rolls, and is often accompanied by a child running
along as it's pushed! Normally the wagon is a somewhat
scary training aid, something for a horse to get
used to. Hannah would have cocked an eyebrow at
it if she had one. Other than that, she didn't care!
Even when it followed her home, she wasn't worried.
A brave girl!
Day 62: Wednesday, April 4, 2012.
The Switch Up
After Susan got Hannah ready today,
Cindy took her to the big arena for a review workout.
When that was done, Susan got on her to walk her
around the pens and cool her out - the first time
she's had another rider on her! Since Debbi and
Slim and Louise and Levi were headed out the gate
for a short trail ride, Susan went along. Hannah
did great on trail with Susan, confidently leading
the other two slow-pokes along!
Day 63: Thursday, April 5, 2012. Standing
Today was a quiet day for Hannah,
because she started out being fidgety! After her
own work, she stood in the arena with Cindy aboard,
just relaxing while Cindy taught. Maybe standing
still is not so bad after all!
Day 64: Friday, April 6, 2012. Trail
After a turn out with Wyatt in the
big arena, Cindy and Hannah enjoyed a nice trail
rider with Jordan and Jericho!
Day 65: Saturday, April 7, 2012. Working
Today Hannah got to be a working girl.
She had a tough day being ridden during 3 morning
lessons, and then she led a trail ride! Cindy used
her as her guide horse for a trial ride with some
out of town visitors. After that she got a bath
and went to her pen, leaving Cindy to comment, "Good
day, good horse."
Day 66: Sunday, April 8, 2012. Off
A quiet day relaxing.
Day 67: Monday, April 9, 2012. Review
Today was a normal ride and review
day. Hannah continues to improve all the time.
Day 68: Tuesday, April 10, 2012. A
Change of Tack
In the morning Hannah and Wyatt had
another recess session in the big pasture, and Suan
caught and tacked Hannah up when they were done.
The morning workout consisted of beginning rollbacks
in addition to her normal work, then some real fun.
Hannah and Cindy worked with a raincoat, Cindy taking
it on and off and placing it on the fence several
times. Then Cindy brought out the big pink and yellow
springtime flag - and on a windy day like today,
that flag can CRACK! Hannah took it all in stride
though - a little bit of crazy f=doesn't upset her
After lunch, Hannah was back in the
arena, this time wearing a dressage saddle for the
very first time! Cindy started her working over
poles and crossrails for a beginning jumping lesson.
When that was done she got to relax in the big arena
again, then she was treated to an afternoon of beauty
with Jan, who caught her out of the arena, put her
in the wash rack, and washed, conditioned, and braided
her tail for her!
Day 69: Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Oh, it blew. And it sprnkled, and
threatened to rain harder - but mostly it blew!
Day 70: Thursday, April 12, 2012.
Taking A Step Back
During today's workout in the big
arena, Hannah decided to pull a stunt she hasn't
done in a while - take her shoulder out and run
through the bit. Cindy has worked with her on this
enough, and today instead of fighting with her,
CIndy chose to just take her back to her beginning
training, and let Hannah remind herself how to behave.
Dismounting in the big arena, Cindy
tied Hannah's head around to the side, levaing her
to fight it out with herself until she remembered
that the best way to get out of the situation is
to give to the bit and follow her nose, not to fight
against it and run out with her shoulder.
After that lesson she got to relax
and think about it for a while, then go back to
work after lunch, applying her remembered knowledge!
Day 71: Friday, April 13, 2012. Weather
weather, Go Away!
Too much wind, too much nasty. Friday
the 13th indeed.
Day 72: Saturday, April 14, 2012.
A good ride at the ranch today.
Day 73: Sunday, April 15, 2012. Pioneertown
Hannah returned to Cindy and Steve's
house today for a weekend get-away. They rode along
the road again, and visited some neighbors along
Day 74: Monday, April 16, 2012. Endurance
Last year's Makeover involved long
days in the saddle, and Cindy wanted Hannah to be
ready. So today they started out with a three hour
trail ride up into Water Canyon and the Sawtooth
Mountains. Hannah got to work on some very steep
hillsides, and over some varied terrain including
After a brief lunchtime rest, they
were back at it, working in the arena. Hannah is
proving to be very cooperative and resilient, ready
for whatever is thrown her way!
Day 75: Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Jumping...Once
Hannah came back to the ranch in the
morning, and Cindy rode her during morning lessons.
Then Hannah got a jumping lesson - she did great
with a review of crossrails, then she got to do
a little vertical, the X in combination with the
vertical, and she also jumped the barrels today!
Christina was on hand to snap a couple photos:
After jumping, Cindy and Hannah worked
on their freestyle routine, which is shaping up
nicely! And then...Hannah went to Cindy's house
again for the evening.
Hannah hadn't shown much interest
in the two horses at Steve and Cindy's house, but
for some reason, when those horses left for a trail
ride that evening, Hannah decided she HAD to go
too. So she used her new skills and jumped over
a lowered corner of the arena fence! She made it
out and allowed Steve to catch her very nicely.
Unfortunately, she cut her left front leg in the
process! Cindy bandaged her tightly for the evening,
and she's going to need to see the vet in the morning!
Here's Christina's little
video of her happier jumping experience!
Day 76: Wednesday, April 18, 2012.
First Doctor Visit. See
Pictures in the Gallery: caution, images of
Today Dr. Petrus came out to take
a look at Hannah's leg. An exam showed that the
damage wasn't too bad, but a couple sutures would
be required. Hannah stood beautifully for her exam
and while Dr. Petrus cleaned and scrubbed the would.
When she injected the lidocaine to numb the area,
Hannah did very well - but of course this stings
so she wasn't perfectly still!
Cindy held up the opposite front leg
while the doctor began the suturing, and Cindy was
glad for the time she had spent hobble training
Hannah and teaching her patience! The back side
of the wound proved to be very painful, though,
and it was decided to give Hannah a mild sedative
to expedite the stitching.
Hannah got the rest of the day off,
of course, though she didn't seem bothered at all
with her sutures later in the day!
in the gallery show the would close-up, and
the subsequent medical procedure, if you'd like
to see it.
Day 77: Thursday, April 19, 2012.
Today was another rest and recooperation
for Hannah's leg. She seems to be doing just great,
but Cindy thought a full day of rest would be beneficial.
She will start with light work again tomorrow.
Day 78: Friday, April 20, 2012. Taking
Hannah got out for a walk today while
Cindy taught Cindy B. a dressage lesson. Hannah
felt ready to go, Cindy wanted to preserve her leg
Day 79: Saturday, April 21, 2012.
Just a little walk to get out today.
Day 80: Sunday, April 22, 2012. Sympathy
Today Hannah didn't get to work -
Steve decided to show solidarity by getting a nice
cut on his finger, and needed to go get stitches
himself! Hopefully they will both feel better soon!
Day 81: Monday, April 23, 2012. Light
Just to keep her going.
Day 82: Tuesday, April 24, 2012. More
Today Cindy and Hannah stepped things
up a bit, but they are not quite back to full work.
Day 83: Wednesday, April 25, 2012.
Versatility - See Pictures
in the Gallery
Cindy and Hannah went back to work
today, as Hannah's leg has been looking very good
and she's been feeling ready to go! Today was a
review of all the things they've done up to this
point: Dressage work, obstacle work, and even a
little jumping! Hannah hadn't forgotten anything
and they had a great day - check out the pictures
in the Gallery!
Day 84: Thursday, April 26, 2012.
Cindy and Hannah worked on a bit of
Day 85: Friday, April 27, 2012. Review
Lots of time spent in the arena today.
Day 86: Saturday, April 28, 2012.
All This - and Cows Too?!
Saturday night Hannah had an evening
outing - she and Cindy went to Parker Arena in 29
Palms to ride under the lights! They arrived in
the late evening, just when the Parker Arena regulars
were finishing up their cow work for the night.
Hannah didn't work cows today, but she did get to
meet them. She didn't think much of them until they
moved - then there were much more exciting!
She and Cindy went right to work,
though and got to do some night riding with the
lights on in a new place. Getting ready for that
Day 87: Sunday, April 29, 2012. Day
No work today.
Day 88: Monday, April 30, 2012. Long
Today was another long day, with a
three hour trail ride into the SawTooth Mountains.
Day 89: Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Review
Today was a workout in the arena at
Steve and Cindy's house, then another trail ride
along Pioneertown Road.
Day 90: Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Chasing
Hannah may not have gotten to work
with the cows Saturday night, but she does know
how to do it thanks to the 'mechanical cow' today!
Today she worked a flag that 'ran' back and forth
across the end of the arena, thanks to Steve being
the 'pedal power'. He set up a bike to work a rope
that tracks a flag left and right, according to
which way the bike person pedals! Hannah got some
experience in following the movements a cow makes
as its worked along the arena, by following the
Day 91: Thursday, May 3, 2012. Review
So it's now day 91????? Yes, the way
the competition is scheduled this year, between
horse pick up dates and actual show date is a little
longer than it was last year. It seems trainers
actually have 104 days to train this year - on Thursday,
May 17th, they will pack up and report to the Norco
show grounds for day 1 of the Extreme Mustang Makeover.
Hannah and Cindy are ready to go, putting the polish
on their freestyle moves and getting ready for those
longs days of the show.
On May 18th and 19th, all the horses
will be evaluated as they perform a wide variety
of tasks, from trail rides in different settings
to arena work of all kids. They will even be scored
on appearance and body condition. Then on Saturday
night, May 19th, the Top Ten Finalists will compete
in a Freestyle work-off, each trainer and horse
showing off their best skills in dramamtic ways,
and set to music. The tickets for Saturday night
are already on sale at the Makeover site - you can
buy online or at the event. The rest of the event
is free and spectators are welcome. See the Norco
for tickets, trainer info, class schedule - everything!
On Sunday, May 20th, all the talented
horses will be available for purchase at an auction.
Each trainer will bring their horse out one last
time, and the bidding begins. If you're intersted
in Hannah, she will be looking for a good home that
Sunday! Come out and see her perform. If you have
any questions about her, you can email Cindy at
Day 92: Friday, May 4, 2012. Patience
After being ridden most of the morning,
Hannah played 'chair' during Cindy's afternoon lessons.
The events at the Makeover come one after the other,
on the same day, so it's important Hannah doesn't
"know when the quarter is up". She's not
one of those horses that won't behave if you ride
longer than an hour a day!
Day 93: Saturday, May 5, 2012. Watch
Hannah didn't have to work today,
just observe! The MBHA
held their show at the ranch, and Hannah got to
see all the fun and listen to the loudspeaker a
Day 94: Sunday, May 6, 2012. Trail
Back to Water Canyon Ranch (Steve
and Cindy's house) for a trail ride in the mountains.
Day 95: Monday, May 7, 2012. Review
Trail ride, arena work on lead changes,
and some time spent working the flag "Cow"
made a well-rounded day.
Day 96: Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Review
Today Cindy and Hannah practiced everything
they know! They worked on being slow and perfect
in everything they do.
Day 97: Wednesday, May 9, 2012. Real
Cindy and Hannah headed down to Tony
Ranch today. Tony specializes in Working Cow
Horse activities, and Hannah got her first chance
to actually work a cow. She did great - Cindy commented
that Hannah doesn't get flustered about the cows.
In short order she had the process figured out,
and Cindy even had to ask her to wait to follow
the cow a time or two. She was so attuned to the
cow that she moved slightly before they did - though
she was always right in the direction she anticipated
the cow was going to go! A great time for a beginning
Day 98: Thursday, May 10, 2012. Review
A quiet day of riding during morning
Day 99: Friday, May 11, 2012. Cows
Back to Eastside
Ranch again today, to put a little polish on
the cattle start Hannah got the other day. Thanks
so much to Tony Mendoza for all his help and advice!
Day 100: Saturday, May 12, 2012. Day
Time for a rest!
Day 101: Sunday, May 13, 2012. Happy
Today Cindy and Hannah worked in-hand,
preparing for Friday's events!
Day 102: Monday, May 14, 2012. Review
It's almost time, and everything is
getting shined up!
Day 103: Tuesday, May 15, 2012. Jump
It was all about the hunters today
as Hannah got a review on her jumping. She calmly
and easily sailed over a variety of jumps, including
the stone wall, the wooden gate, and several combinations.
Hannah is always so cool - nothing flusters her
at all! But as with the cows, Cindy only had to
monitor Hannah's confidence level. She's so calm
and so smart, that she anticipates the next move.
She doesn't fight for it or get too strong about
it, she just goes on confidently! Her good judgement
and basic common sense can be an asset, but Cindy
always reminds her that she's supposed to wait to
be asked, in case her rider has a different plan
Day 104 and 105: Wednesday, May 16,and
Thursday, May 17th, 2012. Final Review
Hannah and Cindy spent all Wednesday
and Thursday morning reviewing, and practicing their
freestyle routine with music. It's looking great,
and they are ready as can be!
Today, Thursday, they left in the
afternoon and arrived at the Norco showgrounds to
check in and prepare for the next three days. So
this will be our last Hannah update on the site
until after the Makeover is over, and we'll have
results and pictures. then. If you can't wait, check
out our Facebook
page, where I'm sure people will be doing smartphone
updates from the show!
As much as we have enjoyed having Hannah at YVEC,
she will be ready to be auctioned to her new home
on Sunday - we'd love to keep them all, but of course
that's not possible! We wish Hannah and Cindy all
the best at the show, and we hope someone wonderful
adopts Hannah - we already know they will be getting
a wonderful horse!
The Extreme Mustang Makeover,
Norco, May 18, 19, 20, 2012.
What a wild and wonderful weekend Cindy and Hannah
had! On Friday they competed in the Reining Pattern
Class, followed immediately by the Rural trail Challenge.
They did a great job at both, and by the end of
that first day they were in 6th place overall. There
are so many pictures of the event, it is easier
to view them at Flickr.com than to put them all
on this site, so check out Friday's photos here:
Saturday's Trail Class was a standout performance
for Cindy and Hannah. They accomplished all the
arena trail obstacles so smoothly and easily the
audience was actually gasping! At the end of the
required tasks, they has 90 seconds to show off,
and they did! Cindy took Hannah through an elaborate
series of sidepasses and turns that left the crowd
After that, it was straight out to the Urban Trail
Challenge, through the streets of Norco and down
to the river. There were two water crossings, sections
of beach trail, and various tasks in town that had
to be completed. They did very well and then returned
to the show ground to await the naming of the Top
Ten. Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/deserttrailrider/sets/72157629835517534/
Right before Top Ten, awards were given for all
previous events, and CIndy and Hannah took third
in the Trail Class and picked up a yellow ribbon.
Then the names were called for Top Ten, in 'no particular
order', although it turned out the order they were
named was the order of go for the evening. The first
person called was Cindy! Great that she made it,
but she had to ride first all night, which can be
a tough spot to be in!
The riders started out with a list of compulsory
moves to perform in a short demonstration, then
they would have 3 1/2 minutes for a Freestyle performance.
Cindy and Hannah dressed in proper Dressage attire,
Cindy in her Shadbelly and tails! They presented
a very elegant picture, and English and Dressage
riders in attendance cheered extra hard to see them.
They gave a beautiful compulsory performance, followed
by a thrilling Freestyle that included dressage
moves, two verticle jumps set up as a single stride
between, and ending with chasing a cow - all in
the dressage gear! The cow was tough and got away
from Hannah, but all the cows were tough that night
and their ride still was the best demonstration
of the versatility of the Mustang Breed seen all
weekend. Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/deserttrailrider/sets/72157629835786224/
At the end of the night, Cindy and Hannah finished
9th place in the scoring, and higher than that in
the fan's hearts! So many nice people came over
after the event to say how impressed they were with
their performance and with the amount and level
of training Cindy had been able to accomplish. All
the riders did a great job, and the purpose of the
event - to promote awareness iof the Mustang breed,
was definitely accomplished that night!
On Sunday, the auction began with an impromptu
soccer game between the riders using the large ball!
After, each horse was ridden in by their trainer.
The trainers got to speak about the horse and their
experience training them, then the bidding began.
New owners found horses, and in some cases the trainers
themselves were able to take their own horse home.
In Hannah's case it was a little of both!
Bidding was fierce for Hannah, another testament
to Cindy's good work, and in the end her selling
price was tied for second highest of the day! The
winner? Joe, who boards his horse "Big John"
at our ranch! So Hannah got a new owner, but we
still get to see her every day. And Joe has already
started his lessons with Cindy, establishing a bond
with his new young mustang and learning how to work
with her. Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/deserttrailrider/sets/72157629835267670/
We are all very pleased and proud of Cindy and