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mel d
 #101 
Here we are turning at a trot...


Lori W
 #102 

Way to go Mel & Stormy.

Wendy W - WI
 #103 

Oh Mel!!!!!!!!!!!  I have big giant goosebumps!!!!!  You both look wonderful!!!  Talk about getting misty!  Great job........really great job!

Melissa
 #104 

Wow - you guys look so great!  What a beautiful boy you have there.

Karrie
 #105 

AWESOME MEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  way too cool......i wish i had an arena, especially this last six weeks or so....looks like great fun

Anna WI
 #106 

i love those pistures with the light on the two of you. i know how it is to have a young horse put up with the rider trying to learn english. i learned how to ride it over the summer and i am thankfull i had a horse that would put up with it. congrats and keep up all the good work. keep posting those awesome pictures too.

Denise S - WW
 #107 
Looks to me like you guys have been doing that for years! Great update mel!!!!!
Poiny Pants Mom
 #108 

Mel, you and Stormy look AWESOME!!!  He sure is one handsome boy!!  What a great job you are doing with him!

Tammy Mn
 #109 

Mel,  you guys look great together!!  You've done such a good job with him!

mel d
 #110 
Well the weather forecast for the next two days is 12-18" of snow, so I went out and sat in the pasture just to be with the kids. Last weekend's snow is trying to melt and the late afternoon sun was strong, so I just chilled with them, so relaxing. As I was leaving they came up to say goodbye. Those two are such good buddies...what a match!


Denise S - WW
 #111 
What a great visual & picture mel!!Thanks a bunch for sharing!!! The "kids" look great together! Sure hope that big storm misses us all. UGH. (On a side note...are those leaves on the trees in the back ground of that picture??)
Wendy W - WI
 #112 

Another warm fuzzy.  They are glorious together.  Stupid weather.  Thanks for the picture mel!!

mel d
 #113 

Yep, they are leaves from last season, Denise. Some of the oaks hold them through the winter...

Char
 #114 

The picture is AWESOME... They sure look like they are very close already, and I am thinking what a wonderful trail ride you will have this spring.... SPRING!! Doesn't that come AFTER winter, or are we skipping SPRING, and heading right into SUMMER? R U supposed to get SNOW tonight, again? Barf Barf!

Karen-MHWF
 #115 

Those two...they just look so perfect together!  Even those two were a good match for each other!  :)  Thanks Mel! 

Char
 #116 

Mel D. I just looked through this thread on Stormy...How many horses do you have now? It looks like what I have dreamed of.. You and your hubby will have a good time this spring, doing the trails, and just sitting by the round pen/corral, and enjoying your Hoofers! I love the pictures. And, I have never been in an ENGLISH saddle.. Is it more comfortable than a western? Is is just like an Austrailian saddle, or like they short cut it, "AUSSIE"?

Karrie
 #117 

BIG HUGE AWWWWW moment....so great to love just being with them too isn't it?  Yepper they look GREAT together

mel d
 #118 
Char, we have two horses...Stormy and Ruby. I am also taking care of an abused horse near here and just sent in my sponsorship for Java. I would have more, but can't have horses where I live (zoning)...so have to board.

Sara
 #119 

I just love seeing how great he looks. I really would have loved to adopt him myself. Char--as far as your question about English saddles, once you start riding English you'll never go back to Western in my book!! I've been riding huntseat for 15 years after being a die hard western pleasure kid (my dad didn't want his girls riding in "sissy" English saddles). I still ride western occassionally, but English has a lot more to offer and is much more comfortable to me (I know all you western riders will cringe, but give it a try!). Even my big, tough husband rode Vinny western once and decided my english saddle was much better.

mel d
 #120 
Char, I love the comfort of the English saddle. I grew up without a saddle for a long time, so only rode bareback. The English saddle feels like that for me, but with more support. I have ridden Ruby in Jeff's western with the gel seat...and it is very comfortable, just not right for me.
(I will still wear my western boots, however, they fit just right!)
mel d
 #121 

Stormy really lived up to his name yesterday!

First, totally proud of him, stood ground tied while I groomed and cleaned hooves (who would have thought that would ever happen a year ago?)

Then I was leading him down into a new area...I do it with both horses, out of sight of the other so they will pay attention to me and not worry about where the other is...fine and dandy...

BUT as we were heading back he wanted to take off, reared and put up quite a fuss. I got him under control and we walked calmly up the hill ---

He did it again later when he had to go somewhere he didn't want to (separating from the other horses). He got pushy, reared, and I had to get after him...back him fast and he reared once more while I pushed him back.  Got him calmed down then and kept going the direction I wanted, but it did put a shiver up my spine when he looked like he wanted to lunge forward and give me a bite...he didn't, and that's what I have to remember. He did calm down and we did more ground work out of sight of any other horses. I feel as if he trusts me and is testing me when he realizes he'd rather be back with the herd, wondering?

I should add that if he could graze along side the lane, he didn't care one way or the other about being separated...

Later in the day we rode again and he was a good boy...Man,  his name sure fits him. That Storm seems to come out whenever I am on the ground and he can't do what HE wants...

Helpful suggestions needed, thanks...


Pony Pants Mom
 #122 
Mel - I can't get over how much your Stormy is like my Preston!  They even look very much alike!  When Stormy (Stoney's) picture was first posted on the adoptions page, I thought they had put up a picture of my guy!

Just like you said, it sounds like Stormy is testing you.  I went through a phase like that with Preston.  He would pitch a fit if he could not do want he wanted and there was the rearing and being pushy.  I have to be honest, there were days when I wondered what I had gotten myself into!  It can be pretty intimidating to see this huge animal towering over you.  We did work through it though and while he still will sometimes makes a half hearted attempt to have a tantrum, it grows less each time.  Preston is a slow maturer and I see him settling and "growing up" more each year.  I find with him that lots and lots of ground work is the key.....

Stormy is such a gem - I think he knows his Mom means business!
Amy P.
 #123 
Congratulations on your progress with Stormy, I love hearing about him!  Mel it sounds like you're doing a fantastic job.  I can relate to questioning yourself and how you handled a big test after it is over.  It sounds like you did great though.  The hardest part is definetly finding that ability to keep your brain thinking through whatever adrenaline the situation may bring.  It sounds like you did that, and handled it well!
The only advice I can give is pretty much exactly what you did: do what you need to do (within reason) to get their brain and respect back to you, and then follow through with what they were protesting... as long as the protest doesn't successfully prevent whatever they were trying to stop, it won't be worth their while next time!
mel d
 #124 

Thank you! Read your posts just before leaving for the barn and it helped a lot! There were no Storm clouds today at all...Mr. Respectful...I think your words helped my confidence and he could tell .

Denise S - WW
 #125 
Good job mel! I would have handled the situation just as you did. I've had similar situations arise(with Ole, he's always testing me) but without the rearing. That would have been pretty intimidating but the best thing is to work thru it & it sounds like you did just that! It's funny how they can read the internal confidence we carry as well. I love reading your posts & experiences. I can always relate!!
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