Archive for the ‘Week 4’ Category

Day 25-33

Hello everyone!

Forgive me for being so long for this post because now this one is going to be long!

When I left off on Day 24, I had passed out and been instructed to rest for a few days. For the following two days I did nothing much past resting and petting the horses briefly when I fed.

Friday, Eli and I hauled up to Snowmass for Karen Scholl’s Horsemanship for Women clinic. I have been learning from Karen from 5 years and have participated in 8 of her clinics now. She is a wonderful teacher and a phenomenal horse woman. I never pass up an opportunity to learn something new from her. I recommend everyone with a horse should participate in at least one of her clinics in their lifetime! It is nothing but beneficial.

She will be having a clinic here in Grand Junction on the weekend of August 27-29. Check out her website for your reservation. www.KarenScholl.com

So I had the privilege of participating in her clinic in Snowmass this weekend which was located at the beautiful Moon Run Ranch. To say the least, Renaissance and I learned so much during the clinic. We were able to fill in some holes that we’ve had and strengthen what we were already good at. The transformation that we were able to undergo this weekend drastically strengthened our abilities and my leadership with him. During the clinic we did everything from desensitizing to backing, isolations, sidepassing, driving, circling, and a few other fun things. I greatly enjoyed Karen’s ability to give Ren and I a job while the other participants were riding. I wasn’t able to take very many pictures during the clinic but Karen and Eli took some fun pictures and videos that I’ll get from them soon to post on here. 🙂 

During the evenings, after the clinic, I was able to play around the ranch where we swam in the pond, climbed hills, ran up and down the trails, and more.

Here is Ren in the Taj Mahal of horse stables.

Poking his head out.

Here he is next to a beautiful creek at the ranch…

Ren and Stream.

Here he is under an antler arch…

Don't lift your head!

And up the stairs…

The all naturale Stair Master.

And over the ditch…

"I've been doin' this since I was born!"

 And up the rock wall…

Mountain Goat!

One of the evenings, I was taking Ren for a walk and we decided to go for a swim.

"Hey, this is fun!"

He took right to the water…

Drinking and Splashing

And he cleared the grass away from the edges…

Tall grass--Yum!

He loved the water and played in it for about a half hour until I couldn’t feel my toes so we got out. Karen got a really fun video of us playing in the water that I’ll get from her as soon as she puts them up somewhere. The water was FREEZING so I didn’t go any farther than belly deep, but Ren swam out as far as the 12 ft lead rope would let him. I’m excited to take the horses up to the Mesa Lakes and really swim with all of them. 🙂

Here is Ren after the swim…

This towel isn't quite big enough for his whole body! 🙂

Also after the swim, I discovered LEECHES on my feet and ankles! It was really weird but Peroxide got them all off really quickly. 🙂

On the last day of the clinic we were doing fun stuff like having him walk underneath me while I’m standing on barrels (also on tape) and interacting with the “Big Pink Wiggly Guy” (Sky Dancer thing outside of car dealers and stuff). He didn’t care one bit about the Wiggly Guy, in fact, he had his butt to it in a matter of minutes.

The clinic was so much fun and the ideal vacation for my horse and I. Eli and I also got the privilege of staying with a very nice couple in Basalt on Saturday night. It was so nice of them to share their home with us. Thank you Sally and Craig!

On Monday, Eli, Karen, and I headed back to Grand Junction. For the past few days, during the cool hours of the day, I’ve been playing with Renaissance with driving, conditioning, and all the usual stuff. 🙂

He has gotten to the point where he will pick up his feet from a snap of my fingers. He is such a smart horse!

Can you believe we’re 1/3 the way through this!?

Tip of the Day:

Less is More! Often times people tend to work on something until it gets good, and then work on it some more. Instead, when the horse is giving you his very best effort, stop! Reward his best effort and move on! Do less instead of more. This way, if you quit every time they give their best effort, they will give you more and more of their best NEXT time! People think that they have to “Drill the exercises!” until the horse is tired! However, this only encourages mediocre behavior! So remember- Less is More!!

Have fun! Be smart! Be safe!

~Stephanie and Renaissance

Thank you to my sponsors:

ALAMAR STABLES LLC    (970) 523-1145




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Day 24

I apologize for the lack of exciting update for the day but it turns out, my body needs some time away from activity. This morning while cleaning stalls, I passed out and was pretty out of it for a few hours. I went to the E.R. and they said that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for too long and I need some rest! So I’ll try to sleep in a bit longer, and eat a little more, and listen to my body when it is telling me to stop!

Renaissance, I’m sure, is very content with a day off from his long day yesterday!

We’ll be back up and moving soon!

Daily Tip:

Don’t push things too much. Recognize your body signals and rest when necessary!

(This is as much for me as it is for everyone else!)


Have fun. Be smart. Be safe.


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Day 23

What a great day! 🙂  

Today after getting my work done, Annie (parental unit) and I went riding with our trusty steeds and ponied our yearlings. It started off a bit of a drag…🙂 (That’s a pun.) Pretty soon both the yearlings got the idea and didn’t pull back quite so much. Our ride looked much like this…  

On the trail.


In the canyon we got lots of new exposure for both of the little ones. We crossed water, went up hills, down hills, through bushes, over logs, and all sorts of stuff, all while learning trail manners of being able to cooperate with horses behind, beside, and in front of them. Renaissance was surprisingly aggressive towards the other horses (minus Topaz) for the first while of the ride. He kicked Justice (Annie’s steed) and bit at Brio (Annie’s yearling). Over the course of the ride, however, they all learned how to be a happy “herd”-for the most part. Here is water crossing…  

There is water under us. I couldn't see the screen.


And water splashing…  

He wasn't ready to get out yet.


And sidepassing over a log…  

Here is an example of one of those "games" we're supposed to be playing!


Instead of sidepassing mindlessly in the arena, get out and play a game with stuff!  

Here is us resting in the shade…  

Such a loving horse.


And about 1/2 the way back to the trailer, my legs were getting tired of the saddle so I got off Topaz, took off the saddle, and put it on Ren so I could ride bareback a while. Now this was only his second time ever having the saddle on him, the first time having both cinches tightened up really tight, and the first time moving with it on. He did not buck or fuss or move around while I was saddling him. He acted like he’d been doing it his whole life! 🙂  

Find the difference...


This was another day that gave way to the fine example of how once Mustangs get to trusting you, they’ll do just about anything.  

Here is my Mustang crew at the end of the ride..  

You can't get better than this!


Again, what a great day today. It was so much fun to spend the day with Annie and all the horses. It was a great learning experience too! I’m looking forward to getting out and about more.  

Daily Tip:  

It’s not a competition! When a communication issue arises with your horse and you, it is common for people to tell you to “Don’t let the horse win!” or “If they win this one, they’ll always act up.” As if it is a competition against your horse! Now I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a partnership with my horse than have to always compete with them. Remember, the games we play with our horses are the non-competitive type! When things become a battle, then you may need to rethink the way you are going about your request. Often a lapse in communication on our part can turn confusion into frustration for the horse and you! So if you feel like you’re getting into a competition with your horse, reassess the way you are asking, and try again.  

It’s the journey, not the destination that is most important with horses!  

Have fun. Be smart. Be safe.  


P.S.- Thank you so much to the FRIENDS OF THE MUSTANGS club for supporting Renaissance and me by spreading the word through the newsletter! Visit them at: www.friendsofthemustangs.org !!

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Day 22

Week 4! Already! 

Today was a great day with the horses. Some friends of mine came over to see Renaissance and one (Josie) stayed and rode with me. Thanks Georgia and Josie for coming by and visiting! But Josie and I had a nice short ride around the 32 road desert with Topaz, Bones, and Ren. We were both bareback so Topaz got to pull on Ren in a new way (with the rope around her chest). It definitely held her back while he pulled, but once he stopped pulling it was a very enjoyable ride. I loved being able to ride and catch up with Josie while playing with my horses as well! Also, Renaissance FINALLY got spooked! So now I know that he is a real horse! 🙂 It was a combination of Sadie (my dog) running up over the hill behind us, and a dirt bike starting in front of us. It was very quick and he settled right down after he jumped forward a few steps. Josie and I were planning on riding more in the arena back at Alamar but as we got back the wind picked up really badly so we just shut up the barn and sat inside. Luckily I was able to play with Ren in the barn some more though. He is getting so comfortable with me all over him. 

...and under him.


Also a new discovery: he likes apricots. 🙂 



I also started working on little tricks with him. Here is him trying to bow. 

Putting two little requests together into one big request.


And of course, lots of love for my Mustangs! 

What's not to love?


And more love! 

Super Duper Hug!


I know it looks like I’m holding their heads like that, but I’m really not. I’m just petting them. 🙂 Here is also me holding both of their feet. If only Topaz could be in my Freestyle routine, we could make a beautiful show. 

Why not?


As much as I love each horse individually, it is so much fun to play with them together and do things in tandem. Double the horses, double the fun! 

Tomorrow I’m off to go riding (and ponying) on the Wild Horse Range. Topaz can see her family and Ren can see his far far far distant cousins. 😛 

Daily Tip: 

There is safety in numbers! A lot of times when people lack confidence in what their doing with their horses, what they really need is another person there for support and safety if needed! If you are unsure of what you’re doing, have someone more experienced than you come out and be there with you and help if needed. Or even if you are sure of what you’re doing and are just nervous as to the possible outcome, it is still safer to have someone around just in case! Plus, it’s fun to spend time with people who share common interests. Don’t let nervousness keep you from your horses! Call a friend, get out, and PLAY! 🙂 

Have fun, Be smart, Be safe! 

~Stephanie and Renaissance! 

(Photographer and companion of the day was a fellow trainer and friend, Josie Gilbert.)

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