Tad Griffith Trick Riding Exhibition! We always watch the riders, but I want you to watch the horses…






Well, as promised, here is the actual event that Tad and Tanya were practicing for in last week’s post about them.  So, you saw them rehearsing (and if you didn’t, here is that link) and now it is the big day!  Things didn’t go exactly as planned… This Fiesta arena is a bit smaller than Tad’s and this show is Tanya’s first…  You go, girl!

Anyway, I know you will want to watch this video to see them do their amazing tricks.  I certainly did.  But, after viewing it a few times, I turned my attention onto the horses.  Wow.  It was really something when you thought about what the horses did!  First of all, no one is steering.  These boys did what they knew they were supposed to do regardless if there was someone at the helm.  Now, we all know what horses can do if you drop the rein…  But not with these two.  Atta boys just kept on keeping on with what they knew they needed to do.  They never mosey to the center ring to eat flowers.  They don’t stop and rear at flashbulbs.  They don’t break into a trot or an uneven run, they don’t fuss, they don’t talk back, they don’t cut the circle… they just do their job with their ears up.  Wow.

Take a gander at Tanya’s horse.  First, she shimmies up on his neck, grabs a handful of poll mane and then steers him with it.  Hey, its all good…  She stands on his back and then, she hangs off the side of the saddle, moving around,  as he gallops around the arena...  Yeah, my horse would do that, too.  Not.  We riders often blame ourselves for leaning left and right (which we do) and say that we are hard on our horses for leaning one way (which we are).  So, imagine having a whole body over to one side!  Does the horse flinch?  No.  Does he stumble?  Nope again.  He just compensates and keeps going like he should.  Oh, and by the way, this horse got his belly slapped a few times by her hand and he didn’t even twitch an ear.  Never let them see you sweat.  This boy acted like it was just another day at the office.

And Tad’s horse!  OMG.  He just does his thing.  The boy has his head smacked a few times and his necked roughed up… does he do anything but his job?  No.  He just keeps an even gallop at all times.  So remarkable!  He didn’t change one bit from home to the show.  Don’t we all wish we could say that?  ;)

Oh, and I have to comment, check out how the horses watch each other.  Every time one stops and the other goes, the one standing watches with complete attention.  It would be so much fun to be able to read the thought bubbles from those horses…  (Roany)”Oooh, Tango, ouch, that musta hurt when she stuck her toe in your eyeball” … (Tango) “Nawww, I’m used to it… but did you see that kid throw a cup at me?  I almost jumped three feet!  Stoopid photographer popped a flash right in my eye!” (Roany) “You sure looked good out there, is your hip still bothering you?  Didn’t look like it, you looked like a colt out there” (Tango) “Awww, thanks, just doing my job…”  Or, something like that.

Anyway, please watch the Before and After videos (Tad at home and Tad at the show) and Enjoy!  If you have time, watch them again with the horses in mind.  They are very cute and such good boys!

Here is the You Tube version of Tad’s trickriding at the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse.

Here is the You Tube link of the previous video where Tad is rehearsing for this at home.

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My Horse is Stalking Me… She stares at me all the time. Has this ever happened to you?






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ORIGINALLY POSTED 5/10/1O… Remi has not changed in all this time, and I love that about her!

I know this may sound odd, but my mare, Remi, is stalking me…  I mean, I think she is stalking me.  Maybe I’m paranoid but I don’t think so.

Whenever I go outside, she is always looking at me.  Day or Night, Winter or Summer, this mare is fixated on me.  I can walk outside and no other horse even lifts its head and she’ll spot me with her held held at Defcon 5.  She could be far off in her field where she is only visible to me via a squint, but that squint will reveal her big white blaze fully loaded right back at me…  I can throw her some hay and sure, she’ll grab a bite but then watch me as I serve everyone else.  And, it isn’t as if she thinks she’s missing out.  She isn’t pawing or putting her face through the fence boards; she is just looking… at me.  If I let her out to graze, instead of heading for the green grass, she will come right to me and look at me.  I ask her what she wants and she keeps looking so intently I feel like I’m the only human that cannot understand her.  She even comes up to the windows of the house and looks in.  If I am in my upstairs office, she will wait at the window closest.  In fact, as I am writing this, I just went over to the window and there she was.  So, I snapped this one shot (the first pic in the post) where I’m looking down at her on the lawn.

Actually, I have assembled several photos for you to see what I mean.  If I went out and tried to get my other (normal) horses to pay attention and look at me while I was taking a photo, they’d all look up for a moment and then go back to whatever they were doing.  Some would even give me that disgusted horsey sigh,  “She has that thing in her hand again”…  Now, I’m not talking about being inside of their pens.  I’m strictly speaking of your regular, every day activities that might include a photo from the porch.  Do your horses watch your every move?  Didn’t think so.  When it comes to Remi, if she sees me,  she locks and loads!

All this would be rather creepy if I didn’t really like her  And, maybe that is it.  Maybe I’m her girlfriend.  Maybe.  Or, maybe I’m just not getting it.  However, I may have a clue…  First though, let me tell you how she came to live here.

I rescued Remington from a feedlot in Washington.  I saw her face on the internet and her brief story which I will add here.  “Remington is a 10 year old BLM Mustang mare – she seems sweet – feet too long to ride — don’t know if broke.”   That was it.   I couldn’t even calculate her size.  There was a guy in the photo holding her rope but I didn’t know if he was a small guy or a giant.  I had no point of reference.  Still, it was something about how she stared right into the camera.  It was as if she was searching for something…  See, I think she was stalking me even then.

I had just gotten paid.  My paycheck was burning a hole in my pocket and my compassion was burning a hole in my heart. I quick, without letting myself talk myself out of it, sent the email that saved her.   Well, actually it was the several buttons I pushed at Pay Pal that did the actual rescuing but you know what I mean.  Anyway, that should have been enough.  I should have stopped there.  For criminy sakes, we have 13 horses here already.  But, ohhhhhh noooooo, instead I asked if I could have her, too.

For those of you who are not part of the gripping daily drama of horse rescue (I’m not putting it down — I want to save them all — but it can be very dramatic.), there are many aspects to a rescue.  Most people who are involved do whatever feels best for them.  Some search the feedlots, some take photos at the feedlots or wherever, some work the computers to get the word out, some send money, some quarantine, some transport and some house the rescued horses until they can find their forever homes.  So, it would have been enough for me to do just one part.  I could have easily stopped after bailing her out of the slaughterhouse.  But, for some reason, I filled out the adoption forms.  I was accepted.

So a few weeks later, she arrived.  Her feet were so long they looked like elf slippers. She was skinny and her coat was nasty.  She wouldn’t let me get near her.  She just stared at me.  Of course, when a new, ex-wild horse stares at you, you kinda figure that is par for the course.  But, it has been two years and she still stares at me — all the time.

I decided to find out what I could about her past.  I know the BLM has to keep records of all adoptions, so I contacted them.  “Sure, just send us a jpeg of the brand.”  So, I did.  Success!  They, of course, had a record of when she was captured (poor girl) and who first adopted her.  Hmmmm.  “Could I speak to him?”  Well, they didn’t give out that info but they said they would contact him for me and let him know I’d like to speak with him, if he was at the same number…

And they found him!  Yup, he was still answering the same phone number 8 years later and he used it to call me almost immediately.   From his voice, I felt he may have been at least an octogenarian.  Probably more of a centuryarian.  Anyway, he started crying when I said that I had her.  He was so relieved.  It was obvious that he loved her and felt horribly that he had to give her up recently.  I didn’t tell him that she was on a feedlot.  He had no idea what his kids had done with her (so sad).  He asked if I had her sister, too.  That made my heart ache.  I did know that there was another BLM mare that had been rescued at the same time as Remi so I told him that I thought she was rescued, too.  He told me that “Headlight” (that’s what he called her) had been very difficult to break but that she had been his ranch horse.  He described her perfectly, even the scar on her shoulder.  After a few minutes, I promised that I would send him a photo which I did.  He asked God to bless me and I started to choke up a bit.  I didn’t have the courage to ask something as ridiculous as, “Hey, did she stare at you, too?”  So, I didn’t.  I hung up and knew that I was now her keeper and proud to do it for this sweet, old cowboy.

So, I knew more about her, but I still didn’t understand her.  As time passed, I learned a few things.  Yes, she is stubborn until she decides that something is OK to do.  She will not follow you unless she thinks it makes sense.  She will not leave her pen unless she is going someplace equally as safe.   Remi has not forgotten what it was like to be a survivalist in the wild.  No fly spray, thank you very much.  She doesn’t like to be groomed, she doesn’t want to be ridden (we’ve tried) and she doesn’t even want to go to the neighbors to eat their grass.  She has no desires in life except to be touched…  And that was my first clue into why she stalks me.  I have hands.  And, I’m not afraid to use them…

The first time she let me actually touch her, she almost collapsed into me.  Her eyes rolled back into her head and she moaned softly.  I thought I had hurt her so I stepped back.  Remi whipped her head around and I swear I heard her say, “Keep doing that!”  So, I touched her again.  I ran my hands all over her and she let me touch all parts as long as I was stroking her.  Previously, she wouldn’t pick up a hoof.  But, if I was touching her and massaging her (not like I know how to massage a horse… but you know what I mean), she would be very accommodating.  She will let me apply fly spray if I use my hands, she will let me groom her if I put a groomer glove on my hand, she will let me start at her poll and end at the tip of her tail for HOURS, and I do mean hours.  She pins her ears if any other horse comes around and closes her eyes as soon as I start.  The girl is a spa girl.  She loves to be touched!

So, I guess she really isn’t a stalker.  I guess that look I saw on the Internet was a query.  I think she maybe didn’t get so much stroking from the man who dearly loved her.  Maybe she missed the touch of her wild herd.  Maybe she longed for the comfort of having her flesh pressed upon from all sides.  Maybe, my accidental desire to get fly spray on her by putting it on my hand and wiping it on her was a gift from the horsey gods.  Maybe I do understand her after all… Maybe I hear her loud and clear.  “I’m here and ready if you wanna touch me…?  I really, really like that and I want to be near and ready whenever you think you might want to touch me.  So, just know that I’m right here if you want to touch me… Is it today?  Is today the day you want to touch me?  If so, I’m right here and I’ll just wait for you to call my name or whatever…”

So now, when I see her looking at me so intently, I know exactly what she wants.  Hey, I understand…  I totally know how she feels.  Don’t you?

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A very young, neglected and skinny pregnant mare with a skinny baby at her side.

A very young, neglected and skinny pregnant mare with a skinny baby at her side.


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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!