Tuesday, June 30, 2009

USEF Finals for Kyndall Harper

What an exciting day in Oklahoma City for Kyndall and Chicken who's real name is Please Me Whiz!!

This was the United States Equestrian Federation Finals for the 13 and Under Division. Kyndall had qualified to get to this point by winning several qualifying shows during the past year. Kids from every part of the country were there and the crowd was into it!!

Kyndall really had her game face on and in her first ride marked a very nice 214!!! Well that held for a while until she was eventually tied by Emily Wineger from Texas. Emily is actually a 14-18 rider according NRHA rules but for USEF the dates are different so at this event she is back in the 13 and Under for this last show. So, the two of them tied and set up for a run off which means they both ride one more time. Kyndall went first and held nothing back! It was really one of the best rides that her and Chicken have ever had! Beautiful spins and great circles!! Then came three gigantic stops!! The crowd was going crazy and when it was over Kyndall and Chicken had marked a 216!!!

Then came Emily's ride and she did have a very nice ride as well! She finished with a 217 to win the event.

I couldn't be more proud of how Kyndall and Chicken did under a great deal of pressure!! Kyndall was flawless in that final run!! It was so much fun to have all the support of the crowd especially from all the other Florida folks in attendance there.

So for the second year in a row Kyndall and Chicken are the USEF 13 and Under Finals Reserve Champions!!! Congratulations!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fat, Slick and Healthy!!!!

A lot of people ask us about what we feed..in fact that topic is discussed every time a horse comes in training. People like to know what it is we do to keep our horses looking so good...fat and slick. Well, it can be summed up very easily. We feed the horses the absolute best feed we can buy meaning both hay and grain and all these horses are on a work out routine. Does that sound familiar to what you hear on T.V. or from your doctor? Diet and exercise are the keys to good health!

When you think about what these horses do for a living there is no other good comparison than that of being a professional athlete. When an NFL football player shows up at training camp he is fed the best food the nutritionists can find and each player is given a diet plan suited to their needs. Then they use that energy to exercise and build muscle in the places they need to perform their job.

Our horses need a high calorie diet to provide the energy necessary to keep up with a rigorous training program. One critical factor here is that this high calorie diet needs to come from a source that is low in starch and sugars. Horses are herbivores meaning they eat grasses as their main diet. We feed straight alfalfa with a protein level of about 23%. If you don't feed quality hay you will be fighting a losing battle because the majority of a horses nutrition and energy comes from their hay.

Secondly, the grain we use is specifically low in starch and sugars and is very high in fat. It has been determined that fat is the best source for usable energy without negative effects on your horse. What we want is a lot of energy without driving a horse crazy! We need calm..good.. usable energy.

"Tribute" is a relatively new company that has the best product on the market. We specifically use the grain called "Kalm Ultra". This is an extruded grain which means it is fully cooked and comes in pellet form. Horses are able to digest every bit of this with no waste. There are no short cuts with this company either. Many companies these days use a "least cost formula" which means they change the formula according to the price of various ingredients so each time you buy you are getting a different product. With Tribute feeds you get the exact same thing every time and they are committed to using the absolute best ingredients they can find.

I have found that I am able to fatten horses up quickly and then drop the amount of feed each horse gets to half of what I am used to feeding. My horses are slick and fat and have a great stamina. Rest assured when your horse is in training here they are getting the best food we can buy!!!

Finally, keep in mind that when you are feeding horses this type of diet they need to be getting regular exercise. The key is daily work...not once or twice per week. So in figuring out your horses program consider your horses body weight and how much they are getting worked and adjust accordingly. We feed Tribute Kalm Ultra to every horse on the ranch including brood mares and growing youngsters but we do not feed the same amounts and for the outside horses we adjust the amount of alfalfa according to the grass supply in the pastures. We feed no additional supplements. I love that!!!

One Busy Weekend!

We had two shows to attend this past weekend! Friday Lucas and I headed to Sarasota for a cow horse show while Esther stayed in Ocala and worked with the reiners at the FRHA show at OEC.
Lucas and I both had fun Friday night schooling Boony and Bobby in the AQHA cutting classes. We are getting both horses ready for a big cow horse show in Tennessee next month.
Saturday Lucas had an outstanding ride on Bobby marking 72 1/2 in the reining and a huge 75 on his fence work!!! It was a flawless cow work getting in and out quickly and making a very fast run look easy. They won the Non Pro and the Novice Non Pro garnishing about $580 dollars. Lucas showed Bob three times over the weekend and marked consistant 72 1/2's in the rein work all three times. Sunday he ended up second with another good ride but not as good of a cow to work. What a great weekend!! Lucas is becoming more and more composed as a showman and thinking clearly making good decisions on his cows...its really fun to see him doing so well!!! Way to go Luke!!!
Boony had a very nice outing for his debut cow horse show. I showed him one time in the Open Hackamore class and he was very good. He marked a 74 1/2 in the rein work and a 70 on his cow. He was so relaxed and happy to go down the fence real hard...he is a fun horse to show!! I am really looking forward to getting him in some derbies for the first time this summer!

Back in Ocala the reiners were working hard as well! Both days this weekend Karen Anderson really rode well. She was so relaxed and in control on Piggy and won herself enough points to get her Green buckle!!! Congratulations Karen!!
Burl wrestled with Bugsy a little bit but the ride I saw on Sunday morning was really good! The best spins I have ever seen Bugsy and Burl get done and until the last stop... one of the best rides I've seen them have! Way to go Burl!
Kyndall had nice rides winning the 13 an Under on Saturday and placing 2nd on Sunday with a nice 71. She was getting ready for the USEF competition in Oklahoma so she was working hard on Chicken's form and did a great job! Good Luck next Saturday Kyndall!!!!
Ginger had a bit of a tough go on Saturday with Juiced Up, (I think due to the heat) but came back with a wonderful ride on Sunday placing 2nd and 3rd in the two Rookie divisions!! Your hanging right in there Ginger... keep it up!!!
I have to say a huge special thanks to my good friend Steven Duchac for helping this past week with Dually!! Since I was going to be gone and Esther hasn't been feeling well the last several weeks...(yes for the obvious reason..Grace is going to have another playmate in her future)..Steven rode and showed Dually. He did a beautiful job and gained 6 year end points for us in the FRHA standings!! Thanks So Much Steven!!!
Everyone did a great job this weekend...we are proud of the whole team!!

I want to say a special thankyou to Cassidy Long who has spent three days with us in the last two weeks just working her heart out!! For a fourteen year old she has such a great work ethic and is such a joy to have around. I hope to have her around a lot more this summer as a working student!! Thanks Cassidy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Very Sad News

Steven Duchac's horse "Bodie" died on Wednesday morning. Steven and Anne are of course devastated and we are all just in shock about it. Steven bought Bodie exactly one year ago and has really had a great season going on him. Steven was currently sitting in 2nd place in the Rookie Professional class in Florida. Just this past weekend he showed Bodie and had a nice 71 ride Saturday night winning that class. Steven said on Tuesday Bodie became sick late in the afternoon and the vet treated him for being dehydrated. Steven was with him until late in the night but said that Bodie had recovered and both he and the vet thought everything was fine. Wednesday morning they found him in his stall and he had died sometime early that morning. This is the kind of thing that you never picture happening to you, but it just reminds us how fragile life is. We all lift Steven and Anne up in our thoughts and prayers. Steven and Anne: we are all very sorry for your loss.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reining in May

You can bet your lucky red shirt this girl is hard to beat

About as rare as getting a picture of the McCullough Mom and Dad

What we love about horse shows is the time it gives you to just think

and think

and think

The famous perching area

...horse shows are a time to play hide and seek

to gather together and cheer for each other

smiling faces

working hard to accomplish goals

a job well done, loving care

This is what our horse show weekends are all about!