The Challenge | The Trainers and Students | Event Information
Sunday, August 8
Today was Prancer's first horse show. The plan was to see how she handles other horses, people, loud speakers, and just "stuff." I thought we could show in a driving class and two riding classes; Prancer, however, thought we should leave the driving to the many mini's trotting around with tiny little carts, so we skipped that class. Since we skipped that class, we now have to work double hard to ensure the riding goes well and we do what is asked in the class. So first was the Saddle Seat English Pleasure Open class - yes, Saddle Seat! So she is all dressed up and we show her stuff…and she WINS!!! I swear, this is Christa all over!
So, I happily head back to the trailer and drink some water because it feels like about 107 degrees outside. Next is the Saddle Seat Equitation Open class, so we wash up her legs and head right back to the ring. She does even better in this second class, picking up her canter quicker and being happier in the bridle…and guess what…she wins again!! Again I repeat, this horse is awesome.
Prancer also gave her first lesson yesterday and did well with that. She is willing to try about anything and as long as you let her know what you want, she will do her best to do it right (regardless of what the 'it' is). She is not the calmest horse in the barn, but again will trust you to keep her safe. This is a great horse, and no, I will not be bidding on her because of my small bank account. <wink>
Monday, August 2
I was away at a horse show part of last week and through the weekend, but when I got on Prancer today, she stepped right into it. Today we tried Saddleseat and now I am questioning how I will ride her at her first show next weekend. Hunt seat or saddle seat? I have a video of her saddle seat, so if you have an opinion, let me know what you think is better for her. This horse is awesome; she just goes along with whatever I ask. I think last year Christa adored me, this year I think Prancer truly respects me and trusts me to do what's best. She has the look of a superstar so if you have any interest in showing, this is the horse for you.
So we will continue fine tuning everything and just work on building those muscles so we can make it through the very long day of the Challenge! Can't wait!
Her new video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewiegi8arSU. Let me know if you'd like to come out and see her. Weekends and evenings work best for me.
Wednesday, July 21
It's been busy around here lately. Prancer and I have just continued to work through voice commands, speed control, and bath manners. She is still figuring out what is happening in her mouth in terms of the bridle, but she doesn't fight -just figuring it out. She makes me proud every day and I am getting her ready for her first horse show, the Washington County Fair in August. Today we got video of me riding her and while it wasn't a perfect ride, it still makes me proud.
See the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftlqXI7NEEw
Friday, July 16
Come and visit Prancer at Foster Farm's Open House this Saturday, July 17, from 11am to 3pm. We will have "pony" rides, lunch, rescue horses, and information. Come visit Prancer, or any of the other adoptable rescue horses as well; Maggie, Nitro, or Wendy!
Foster Farm is located at 1376 257th Ave NW, Isanti, MN 55040. Mapquest can get you there fairly easily, but call Natalie if you need directions: 612-616-6687.
Thursday, July 8
So it just gets better and better!!
Today, since she did so well yesterday, I decided to try her with the cart to see if we can do this driving thing that I have so much fun with. I had my step-son help me and before long we had the cart hooked, then he put some weight in the cart while I walked with her, and then this wonderful horse just walked around like a star as I jumped in the cart and took her for her first drive. I'm not sure why this is so exciting for me (you should see my big cheesy smile right now), but it just is!
We got video of most of this work, so everyone can share in my excitement. You guys may know by now that I am not a big blogger, but Prancer is just making these updates so fun for me. I'm telling you guys, this is an awesome horse! Another Christa day <grin>.
Here's the link for the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIfoaKREKQw. Enjoy!
I must now keep reminding myself that I have no extra space, she cannot come home with me after the Challenge and she needs to be adopted by someone else…
Wednesday, July 7
I had to write today because my sweet little Prancer was an absolute doll today!
If any of you payed attention to last year's Challenge, Prancer and I had a "Christa moment" (well more like a "Christa day")... I taught her how to long line in the beginning, but she was not enjoying it so I left it alone for a while. I went back to it today and she acted like she had been long lining all along.
She must know that we have to perform pertty soon! This is a wonderful horse who is going to be ready to drive before long. I still can't wait to see how far we get.
Friday, July 2
Because Prancer is such a star, having a week off while I am away at a show is no reason to forget anything! We got right back into the swing of things without any back steps. She is learning how to soften her canter and is now very relaxed during her trot.
We have now worked in one of the outdoor arenas and the indoor and she is comfortable in either. We also spent some time on her first "trail" ride. While the scary cars that never slow down when they pass were a bit questionable, the most she would do is stop. It's amazing how fast a horse can walk when they are sure that they are heading home! It's now July, so it's time to start planning how to handle the different classes of the challenge. The free style, of course being the hardest to prepare a plan for.
Well, training continues and I welcome anyone to come out and see her or try her. She is ready for other riders now. I am available evenings and on the weekends for visitors.
Monday, June 7
Well everyone, I am proud to say I have another star for the Challenge! Prancer is about the sweetest horse around and she learns quickly as well. We had worked on ground “stuff” for the first few weeks and then I read the Trainer’s Blogs and thought, wow, I better get on my horse and catch up! So last week I got on her for the first time. It was very uneventful, but made me SO happy. She has been learning about steering from the ground so when I got on her she knew, for the most part, what I was asking.
This last weekend I got on her again and then finally we worked on our trot. She has a great English trot, which is comfortable and fun to ride. This is a very willing mare who tries her best to do what is asked of her. She is still very interested in other horses and likes to answer any calls she hears while being worked, or getting ready to be worked. We are working on this and she is trying her best to pay closer attention during her work sessions.
This is a great friendly mare, who seems like she will be great for about anyone! She will get a few days off this weekend while I go off to a horse show, but it will be back to work on Monday. Call me to set up a time to come and see this great mare.
Tuesday, May 25
Prancer has been learning all kinds of fun things so far. She is now lunging with ease both directions and listening to voice commands. We have spent some time on standing square when she stops and she is picking that up very nicely. She is in the middle of learning what a bit feels like and she has fun with that. This is a sweet and eager mare who looks forward to working, but thinks maybe she should be playing with her friends when we first leave the pasture. She figured out pretty quickly that a bath feels really nice when its 90 degrees outside! She has a prominent “broodmare belly,” so we are working on getting that firmed up a bit. She seems to be learning and accepting everything easily and this will be an exciting few months seeing what all she will learn.
Monday, May 10
Week one for Prancer was all about learning to listen and respond. She is a very friendly mare who loves attention, but can get distracted pretty easily when she sees or hears another horse. So far she has learned how to trot on a lunge line fairly well. We are working through her tendency to go for the exit when passing it. When I would go to her pasture to get her I could just call her name and she would raise her head and start coming to me. This was exiting since I don’t have any horses who do this! She is a great size for a child or family and her temperament seems to match that as well. She seems to be a quick learner and I hope to be able to do lots with her by the end of our time together.
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To get in touch with Natalie Payne regarding Prancer, or to set up a time where you can meet them both, please feel free to contact Natalie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 612-616-6687.
About Natalie Payne: I grew up loving horses and my sister and I ‘made’ my mom take us to trail riding places EVERY weekend. Eventually, we convinced her it would be easier to just buy us each a horse. We must have been pretty convincing, because she did! Shortly after this we started taking lessons with Judy French, an instructor who would come to the barn where we boarded. A friend bought a Saddlebred and once we saw a 'Saddlebred' show we were hooked. We were soon deeply involved in Saddlebreds and I was always happy that my trainers said I had quite a talent with these horses.
When I graduated from high school I started training horses full time and worked closely with a few Saddlebred trainers here in Minnesota. Claudia Bearman, the late Barry Yount, Bob and Linda Jensen, and Dawn DeHart were the trainers and instructors I spent the most time with and learned a lot from. I have worked with many horses that come to me with issues; nervousness, disrespect, or some that are just too young to know any better. I am comfortable teaching horses how to be ridden, teaching them how to respect and enjoy human companionship, and teaching them trust.
I am a Saddleseat trainer and instructor and along with this discipline goes horse shows. I thoroughly enjoy showing and having my students show at horse shows! Last year’s win at the Trainer’s Challenge was one of the most exciting wins since winning the bronze medal at the Pleasure Olympics in 1994! Christa, my student last year, is doing well and is giving lots of lessons. If you'd like to learn even more about me and what I offer, please visit my website at www.FosterFarmMN.com. You can also find other Rescue horses at Foster Farm who are available for adoption.