Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Help the Horse Stay Legged Up and Responsive

Hello fellow horsemen,

For the avid horse owner/ lover, our horses are never far from our thoughts. However, when faced with 100 degree temperatures, some of us find ourselves less than enthused at the idea of saddling up and going for a joy ride. We should all be mindful of the fact that in less than two months, the weather is going to break and we are all going to want to take those horses out and get to riding again.

The best shot we have at an enjoyable fall riding experience is to help the horse stay legged up and responsive throughout the year. There is a lot of training that can be done with our horses through the summer that will help the horse deal with the fall riding both mentally and physically. If you would like suggstions as to what things I recommend, blog back and ask me! I'm here.
Let's all try to have our horses a little more prepared for what we will be askng of them this fall. It will make a better riding experience for both horse and rider!

I hope you find the harmony you seek!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring branding at the Flake ranch

Hello friends,
To all that came out and participated in the branding, I want to thank and commend you. The cattle were handled appropriately, the attitudes were phenomenal, and the work got done with some decorum! 
To all of you that didn't make it, you missed out on a beautiful and rewarding day. The branding was a tremendous success! No one was hurt, no stock was hurt and everybody became more well rounded while they had a big time!!!
I especially want to thank Maggie and Bill Flake for being such gracious hosts and for entrusting myself and Jay Hillman with their spring herd work. I believe this is going to become an annual event that will soon become very talked about in this region!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Welcome 2009!

Horsemen and friends,
I hope this chilly time of year finds all of you healthy and warm. I am greatly enjoying the comforts of an indoor arena at the "Aaron Thornbrugh Horsemanship Center" in Sonora. A fellow could get spoiled pretty quick to being out of the wind! I want to thank all of you for contributing to and participating in the success of 2008. It was a tremendous year for Aaron Thornbrugh Horsemanship. As a result of the momentum built in 2008, I feel that 2009 needs to be a year of transition and advancement. I decided it is time to take my life and horsemanship beyond some of its lingering obstacles and I have taken action on that very plan in several ways.

In 2009,

  • I have moved to a ranch with an indoor facility to accomodate students in daylight or dark and without regard for weather

  • I have recreated the safe, beautiful round pen that some of you have enjoyed at my winslow facility

  • I am adding an "A-pen" for teaching a horse defensive cow work

  • I will be having longer colt starting and cow-working clinics at the ATH Center because the new facility has a "Bunk House" that will sleep 6.

  • Two DVD's are going to be in production for 2009. "Colt Starting" and "Reasonable Round Penning"

  • My first book is going to a publisher in January of 2009

  • We are going to be kicking off a progressive, month lesson called "The Ride" in several arenas in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

  • Ranch roping and stockmanship clinics have been added to the list of clinic topics.

  • I will be doing an authentic spring branding at the Flake Ranch in April and a round-up and sorting at that ranch in the fall.

  • We have scheduled at least two clinics per month for the entire year.

  • The web-site is going to get a fresh face and the energy in it will be a reflection of our excitement for and dedication to you!

  • ATH Center is going to be helping students develop their interests in Ranch Horse Versatility competitions

  • I will be appearing at horse expos in various states. (These appearances will be posted on the event schedule when they are confirmed.)

  • A monthly "Reata roping" practice/ competition is in development for the ATH Center's 200'x300' outdoor arena

  • And I am going to be continuing my pursuit of "The making of a bridle horse" by going out to Helena, Montana to spend time with Californio bridle horseman Dave Weaver and his wife Gwynn Turnbull Weaver in July. (I am a student as well!)

It is going to be an exciting and progressive year for Aaron Thornbrugh Horsemanship and all who participate in it. I am anxious to see what 2009 has in store for us all!

I hope you find the harmony you seek!


Monday, January 5, 2009

Great First Ride

The new facility in Springdale was certainly off to a great start in 2009 with a wonderful group of riders and friends who enjoyed a super potluck lunch, a fun trail ride and working some cattle. The group photo shows 17 riders and there were several others lined up along the fence engrossed in conversation who did not get into the photo. I believe we had a good 25 riders and several others joined the fun who didn't happen to bring horses. Thanks to all who came out for a wonderful day, we were blessed with unseasonably warm weather and it was just great to meet so many new friends and ride with several old friends. We hope your new year got off to as great a start as ours did! More details about the new facility and upcoming events will be posted soon! ~ Laurie

Friday, December 26, 2008

Presenting "The Ride" 2009

Presently there are two special groups forming in the state of Arkansas. These riders participate in an ongoing, intense study of horsemanship we are calling "The Ride". The groups meet formally once (or twice) each month for 4 hours and practice between sessions. "The Ride" is for those with high expectations of themselves, and their horses. Great expectations can only be realized through a serious committment and willingness to perform the work required.

In Mule's words, "I want to assemble groups of people that are serious about taking their horsemanship to the next level. I want people that have a mentality of "I don't care how long this takes. I am staying hooked til I get where I want to be." I intend to take these people to the point where they are going to be some of the best horsemen and women around. They are going to get the answers to questions they may have never known to ask. The riders in these groups will be part of an elite group of horsemen that are studying a horse from the inside out (literally)."

One group is currently located in the NW, and one in the Central Arkansas. There are still openings in the NWA group. If you would like to join "The Ride" in NWA, or start one in your area, just drop us a line at horsemanship@mulespeakshorse.com

Friday, November 21, 2008

Remarks on Equine Extravaganza from Tess Logic

The Equine Extravaganza in VA last weekend was so successful! We were surprised at the great attendance. We expected a good turnout with lower gas prices in the area but we had a steady stream of attendees all three days and had the best Sunday in the history of the event! YAY!

Brock Griffith of NC won the trainer challenge! YAY Brock! He drew a nice roan colt ... funny to call a 17H sport horse a colt! All of these horses from VA Sport Horses seemed to have a LOT more life in them than the ones in the NC challenge. Brock made consistant steady progress with his colt ... he bucked the saddle on day one and was still rounded in the back on day two. Some saw the "want to" in the horse on day three, but he never bucked and Brock finished the obstacle course with time to spare and threw in some extras at the end.

Scott Purdum's horse was full of bucks! Scott really had a challenge and thou he did not win the competition he proved his ability to the crowd beyond the shadow of a doubt and endeared himself to all there. After an extremely frustrating start, in which his horse ... aptly named "Arrive Alive" was very weary of seeing him out of both eyes. On one side or the other, this cute bay colt was a happy camper. But when Scott positioned himself where he could be seen on either side ... the bucking began! It took more time for this colt to come around but on day three - Scott executed a beautiful ride and was so pleased with the horse's trust and acceptance during the obstacle course he became emotional!

Charles Pelham drew a spotted colt that liked to kick! Sort of disrespectful and pushy from the get go - Charles got his colt rode but he never seemed to like it much. Charles, is a great guy and very funny and knowledgeable.

Mule Thornbrugh looked to be in the lead after day one. On day two his colt bucked like a rank bronc and put Mule on the ground. Undeterred, Mule climbed back on rode through a good minute or more of bucking and we thought his colt was over it. Day three came and Mule was looking a good. Time for the obstacle course and be it the freedom of having the whole arena, or the crowds near the gate ... or has Mule put it "the good Lord saving him a whole lot of healing". His horse bucked and bawled and was not going to be ridden in the short 10 minutes Mule had to complete the course. In the end, he walked him thru graciously and showed the crowd he was a class act! Mule was great - all that bucking brought the folks back on Sunday. It's like Nascar - everybody likes a wreck!

Tess Logic, Owner and Editor of Horse South Magazine

Equestrianmag Article

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Patti Comments About Camp

"Mule's Women's Horsemanship Immersion Camp was not only a valuable learning experience but a whole lot of fun! I would encourage my friends to come and tell them that they would discover new things about their horses and themselves. Mule gives each rider devoted attention to their needs. I would swear that Mule has eyes in the back of his head – he’s doesn’t miss anything going on around him. A camp like Mule’s is a great opportunity to find holes in your horse that you never knew existed. You will leave with a much braver and confident horse and rider. The delicious meals on the deck were a great time to debrief and “breathe”. I came to the camp not knowing what to expect and left with a huge grin on my face. I brought with me a problematic horse that I fell in love with, who tested me in ways that I’ve not encountered with any other horse. The final day of the camp ended with my horse and me traveling thru the trail obstacle course without a hitch. If I had been wearing a shirt with buttons, someone could have been injured with the way I swelled with pride for my horse TeeJay and me. Mule has a knack for helping you find answers and your inner strengths without causing you to feel insecure or vulnerable." Patti Watson
In the photo above Patti and TeeJay were supposed to be sorting a calf from the herd, but I suspected they were pretending to chase buffalo! Patti and TeeJay were magfnicent to watch together. ~ LH