Crazy Cow Country Farm

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Wanna lose weight? Hire Lisa Clark!

July 16th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

My dear friend and horse trainer, Lisa Clark, moved away from us last fall and is now a sort of gypsy on the road.  She travels with her mustang, Maggie, and her dog, Harry, but every once in a while she has some downtime between horse training clinics or lessons so she pops in for a while.  There’s nothing better than seeing her truck and trailer pulling in the drive and helping her unload.  Jack and Harry immediately pee on each other’s territory and then Maggie goes out in the cow pasture and rolls in some fresh mud while I help Lisa unhook her trailer in some shade – she sleeps in the living quarters while she’s here.

This time she arrived last Tuesday and we immediately got to work.  I got up around 5:00 or 6:00 so I could get a good run in and then start lining up horses for us to work.  By the time Lisa had her breakfast I usually had everyone fed and waiting.  We worked and rode horses all through the cool mornings and welcomed the occasional rain shower or sometimes just used the garden hose to cool off.  The kids spent their time bringing us ice water, fetching buckets, and bringing out tack.  By noon I was usual covered in mud, manure, sweat, and even blood – blisters that opened quickly go bloody when you’re working in the dirt.  After lunch I worked my phone jobs and then after dinner we went back at it with any horses we hadn’t gotten to that morning.  By dark we had them all turned back out so we could shower and drop dead.

Rinse and repeat, for a week and a half.

I’m so exhausted at the moment I could sleep for a week but I lost 6 pounds and learned so much from her that it was totally worth it.  Last fall when she visited us I’d just had my surgery from when Buck dumped me and Ed was still healing from catching on fire so this time we were able to enjoy each other’s company a little more.  The kids even got personal riding lessons and Kenny took to her little Maggie like peas and carrots.  She even let him ride out on the road with us.  Tess got tuned  up a little, Fire had his first workout under saddle and did awesome, and she even started Smoke for us.  I learned how to work two horses at once in the round pen going different directions and still keep them both listening to me and my seat has improved dramatically.

And then there’s Buck.

I promised Ed that I wouldn’t ride him and I intend to keep that promise.  If we can ever afford to send him out for 30 days of riding sometime, maybe even more, then I imagine I’ll ride him again.  But, reality is that I’ve got three kids, a farm, and jobs that need worked so I can’t risk it.  When Lisa heard that and learned the details of what happened she suggested we work him a little to see where his mind was at.  His mind was dead on right where it needed to be.  She seemed almost surprised at how well we did together on groundwork and after the third time of seeing me work him at liberty she said, “This horse hasn’t left you once this entire session – you need to ride him.”  And then of course, through tears, I told her that I just couldn’t.  She even flanked him out and got nothing, just the smallest of bucks that wouldn’t have hurt a fly.  So she thought about riding him.  Well, for a minute anyway.

Lisa’s saddle outweighs mine by about 50 pounds and is a trail saddle with lots of flappy leather strips for tying stuff off.  There’s also a nice heavy breast strap – which Buck has never worn.  He let her approach him and he let her saddle him.  While watching this and seeing his eyes, I slowly backed out of the pen and made sure all the panels were tightly locked as I took out all of Lisa’s equipment.  Lisa took one small half step to the side and we both knew what was coming – he never even moved off, never moved a hoof.  Buck threw himself straight up into the air and then proceeded to show Lisa exactly what a buck from Buck looked like.  Thank God no one was on him, I’ve never seen him do what he did. 

Somehow she managed to keep him in her hands – she was using a lariat on the neck rather than a halter or else it would have been game over immediately.  After about 10 full minutes he decided he was done bucking and galloping like a fool through the pen so she immediately informed him that if he wanted to run like the wind then by God he was going to run like the wind.  The lariat went under his tail, between his legs, around his face, and she even swung it like a jump rope a time or two.  And when she stopped to back up, asking him to come in, he walked right into her with his head down like he was the sweetest little innocent thing.  Once he calms down he a sweetie but holy crap getting him through something like that can get you killed.

So she decided not to ride him.  A few days of rides with her wouldn’t have done him a lot of good and all it would have done is bring more of an ache out in me that’s already deep.  One day.  Maybe one day.

Now she’s off to Manhattan for some private lessons and I’ve got a well charted path to march onward with the two we’ve started.  My neglected house has been cleaned, the laundry caught up, and tonight I think I’ll go to bed about 6:00.  Hell, I may not even do the dinner dishes.

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