» Strang Gang News November 2010 «

12/01/2009 | (0) Comments

The Year started with a sheepdog trial in Denver, and also with a win. What a great way to start the year!!!!!!! We attended the National Western Stock show in Denver in January, with the Strang Ranch represented in the bovine show with the Max’s Lowline heifers, and the canine division with Rosie in the sheepdog trial. The horses were already in California with my able bodied assistant Kristy Gregg. Mike, Kit, Bridget, Nellie, Treat and Rosie -in one truck...- all headed west the end of January. Arriving just in time to help Bob Peitrzak show his horse Cubano in the first week of shows at the Desert Horse Park in Thermal. It took us a couple weeks to get our horses in the show ring, but by week three Martha McCoys’ horse Sandro Bear had picked up great ribbons in the pre-green, Phillip was getting checks in the huge level five jumpers, and the Devan’s pony Benedicta Blue was winning in the Large Green Ponies. By the end of the circuit Laura Peitrzak had joined us with her two horses, Carolyn Miller had jumped Himself clean and fast in the Adult jumpers, and the young horses were getting a dose of horse show reality.

Benedicta Blue showing in the large Green pony's Thermal 2010.
Benedicta Blue showing in the large Green pony's Thermal 2010.
We hurried home to MUD and Cold, but also a trip to Hawaii with family. A few days in a rain forest, and a few days on a beach- and everything was put right!!!!!! .
Back at it at the Ranch, we hosted a mock horse show to get the new kids ready for the upcoming horse show season. The little girls that were just learning to canter it seems were now learning about courses, and lead changes. Their preparation paid off as all had am amazing show season. I am so proud of them all. In May we canceled our local horse show because who wants to show in SNOW!!! and went to high Prairie for two weeks instead. We won a little, {Sandro Bear was Champion in the Pre-Green Hunters} learned a lot and had a great time. It was fun getting back to horse showing!!! Summer here we come.

The dog trialing ramped up a notch with three dog trials to participate in in the spring. Dogs were great, handler needs a lot of work- final score..... dogs and Bridget zero- sheep 12.... It seems that our success early was not indicative of our summer success. We are learning a lot, and am proud to say that by the time August rolled around I was back on track and Treat just two yrs old won his first open Ranch trial at Nicomodes Dog Trial in Alamosa Colorado. He also went on to win a nursery in October, on his home turf and get his first “leg” in qualifying for the National Finals in 2011. Rosie remains the finest stock dog you could ever want, patient, strong and smarter than all of us.

June at the ranch brought our first CWHJA horse show at the ranch and two others in the Valley. Greg Best came from New Zealand for a fabulous jumping clinic the end of the month. This man has the history of top competition both as a rider and a coach at the Olympic level. His extensive clinic schedule has him teaching thousands of riders in a year. With all that experience behind him it is no wonder he is a master teacher and trainer. We look forward to next years clinic. We thought so much of our time with him, we ventured over the mountains and rode with him again in August at Plum Creek Hollow. Thank you Greg for all your time and patience. Maria Wasson also came to the ranch monthly for our flat work tune ups. June was also the start of our first annual summer pony camp. This was a huge success. Deciding that the kids needed a little more than diagonals and leads in their riding we established the camp. Our goals to teach some of the things that our kids miss not being a part of Pony Club, and have some good old fashioned fun!!! I think we succeeded on both counts. Courtney and Amy helped run them with the able assistance of Skylar. This is definitely on for next year. And I am sure we will be a sell out.

July and August brought more horse shows. Local shows were a blast with my crew of kids. I am so grateful for my wonderful ponies- Bell, Freckles, Cloudy and Bonni. Each pony teaches a different lesson, so with the kids switching ponies each month the end result is a very capable rider, and a lot of RIBBONS!!! Martha McCoy and her horse Sandro Bear collected a Championship ribbon at Estes Park in August. September brought us to fall High Prairie where Strang Ranches Artie and Carolyn Devan topped the Children’s hunter for a Championship ribbon.
October brought the dog trial, and another perfect perfect autumn weekend. We had competitors from seven different states, there were lots of spectators and lots of interest was generated about next years trials. It was a wonderful weekend.
I would like to congratulate Beth Jaquet on the purchase of Nakota, and Michelle Marlow on the purchase of Wonder. I am so pleased that you both found your horses, and that they found you. Good luck!!
I am bracing for winter.... Fall was just too easy. Beautiful, warm sunny days made riding the three year olds fillies a reality. This time of new cold, frozen ground, and early dark nights is a hard transition. I will be happy when the snow is deep, and we can once again ride out on that fluffy, crystal cloud under the Colorado blue sky. 

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