October 2016 Continuing Stories
Holistic Animal Wellness Week (Issue 1 Article 1: September 2016)
This could be the start of something big! Participants in our Holistic Animal Wellness Workshop on October 1st and in our Holistic Animal Wellness Clinic on October 8th and 9th went away hunger for more. In fact, interest was so high that we immediately arranged to get Laura Fabber-Morris back to Dunrovin where she will present a Winter Wellness Workshop for horses and offer private horse wellness sessions during the weekend of October 29th and 30th . Both sessions immediately filled with participants.
Clearly, animal owners are anxious to learn new ways of supporting and interacting with their four legged family members. Dunrovin will work during the following months to develop more opportunities to explore new animal health and wellness techniques and to create a community of like minded animal owners who want to share and learn together. We will definitely repeat our activities of this year and will also expand to include dogs and cats in our future workshops. We are excited about the possibilities and the energy we all received from coming together to focus on animal wellness.
Master Horseman Brandon Carpenter (Issue 1 Article 2: September 2016)
Our association with Brandon enable us to do so many fun and exciting activities with horses. Not only is he an excellent horsemanship instructor, but his deep ranch roots working with cattle make him perfect for hosting cattle herding clinics and using horses for leadership training.
Dunrovin will capitalize on his availability for several programs this coming winter and next summer. Starting in January, Brandon will help several horse owner address issues with their horses via our new “tele-training” technology. Horse owners will send us videos of their riding or working with their horse. We will then broadcast those videos while Brandon and the horse owner talk via the telephone to discuss possible training techniques for the horse. Everyone on our www.DaysAtDunrovin.com web site will be able to listen and learn right along with them.
In May, Brandon will accompany a group of women to the Wisdom Cattle Company in Montana’s Big Hole Valley for a four day cattle herding clinic. This promises to be a truly unique event. The owners of the Wisdom Cattle Company have been living and working on their ranch for five generations. They are steeped in the history and community in the Big Hole Valley, which is without doubt of Montana’s most spectacular settings. This will be our first time working at this ranch under these circumstance, but we have plans to expand to include leadership workshops with horses and cattle.
Training Mystery (Issue 1 Article 3: September 2016)
Taryn has made tremendous progress with Mystery under Brandon’s “tele – training” program. After a very busy summer, Taryn has resumed her online sessions with Brandon and we were sure that she would ride Mystery for the first time before the end of October.
Sure enough! the big event happened on October 24, 2016 and was viewed by many of our D@D members. Congratulations to Taryn for being such a great student. Congratulations to Brandon for being such a terrific "tele-trainer!"
Horrors! Taryn will then leave Dunrovin on December 1st. She has been such a pleasure to have with us and she had contributed a tremendous amount to our management and care of our horses in addition to being a expert guide with truly outstanding customer service. Taryn is leaving to pick up her college career and complete her degree, which we totally support. We hope to have her return on occasion and we wish her the very best as she develops her career.
Dunrovin is in the process of interviewing for Taryn position at Dunroivn. We hope to find another young person eager to learn under Brandon “tele – training” to bring Mystery fully into our ranch operation. I am confident that the right person will drive down the road. Stay tuned!
Hoping for a Foal in April, 2017 (Issue 1 Article 4: September 2016)
Updates on pregnancies practically define the cliché that “no news is good news.” We certainly don’t want any exciting news to report this early in Lonza’s pregnancy. All the excitement should come at the end, and only at the end!
Lonza is doing well and beginning to show a swollen belly as the foal grows. Right now while the footing is still good, she will remain with the entire herd on our winter field where she has lots of room for exercise. However, as the snow come, ice appears, and the weight of the growing foals begins to impact her ability to safely move away from other herd members, we will bring her back to the our barn area along with her mother Annie.
Six New Horses at Dunrovin (Issue 1 Article 5: September 2016)
Three of our new horses, Razz, Butte, and Dugan, continue to hit the trails with our staff with both Razz and Butte under saddle with guests as well. Mystery will be ridden for the first time soon. Flynn has recovered from his case of EPM and has demonstrated a kind and gently spirit. The only new horse with something of a question mark hanging over his head is Erskine.
Razz is by far the farthest along to becoming a fully participating Dunrovin guest horse. He served as one of the horses this past September for the annual Giddy-Up Girl’s adventure, traveling with the seven other horses to Lincoln, MT to venture into the wilderness areas along the Continental Divide. Razz not only did a superb job, but he captured the heart of Christine, his rider. She will be back next year to reconnect with him. Meanwhile, he have been taking a number of guests across the river and has earned the affections of several young pony club members.
Butte is commonly used by our staff, but remains a bit too much of a horse for many of our guests. He is a goin’ horse and he can be a little reactive. He's in great in the arena and have even been used in our kid's summer camps. but outside of the arena, he is only given to guests who have the experience and confidence to handle his eagerness and his moments of drama on the trail. We are confident that with time, he will overcome his reactive tendencies; but his eagerness is probably an inborn characteristic. He has a wonderful, fast, and smooth gait that those with appropriate horsemanship skills can really enjoy.
Dugan shows every sign of being a stalwart guest horse. Endowed with a pure running walk for which his breed is famous, riding Dugan is pure pleasure. The only reason that he is not currently being used with guests is that we have not yet seen him respond in a wider range of experiences. During the late fall, we will get him out in the Blue Mountain Recreation Area near Missoula where there are lots of distractions like runners, dogs, bicycles, baby carriages, and wildlife to see how he handles it all. My guess is that he will be a ease no matter what comes at him.
Mystery has been at Dunrovin for almost exactly one year and we couldn't be happier with him as our "tele-training" horse. He continues to make great progress. Our expectations and hope is that our staff will be able to use him next summer as a “drag” horse (the one at the end of a string of horses) to give him more training and get him accustomed to all that Dunrovin trail rides involve. We don’t anticipate using him with guests for at least another couple of years. His winning personality makes us think that once he is partnered with guests, he will be a favorite. The is a happy go lucky sort of a guy with a sense of humor and love of people.
Flynn is likewise a people horse who comes right up and wants to spend time with whoever happens by. His hind quarters lost considerable strength and coordination while he was battling EPM. Our staff has ridden him on very short excursions around the ranch to see how well he is under saddle and to ascertain his coordination in the hind quarters. He did beautifully with respect to his behavior and his response to riding ques. He will be a terrific guest horse once he builds his strength and coordination back up. We are developing both physical therapy and a zoopharmacognosy programs to support Flynn’s recovery. Stay tuned for opportunities on our web cameras to watch us implement those programs.
Erskine is a BIG boy and uses his size to intimidate both his fellow herd members and, at times, his rider. His behavior is not consistent with being a guest horse and he will need substantial work to bring him to that level. Erskine served a case study for our Holistic Wellness Workshop, where our practitioners noticed that Erskine has some gait abnormalities that they thought could be the result of some previous injury. Since we do not know his history, we are unable to put all of the puzzle pieces together. We will start with that assumption and develop a physical therapy and zoopharmacognosy program for him to implement this winter. Given his behavior and our lack of knowledge about it root, we have checked our expectations at the door and will work with Erskine little by little, a step at a time, to try to identify the underlying issue and resolve it. This could take some time and some experimenting. Our work with Erskine will also be featured this winter on our DaysAtDunrovin web cameras.
Retiring Smokey (Issue 1 Article 6: September 2016)
Smokey is indeed easing into retirement by continuing to serve in the children’s programs where the work and weight is light, but staying away from the long trails and heavy riders. He is healthy in every other way except for his arthritis (like many senior citizens I know!). Our goal is to keep him pain free, but still moving to ensure that he retains mobility and flexibility as well as he overall condition.
His favorite rider, Paula, remains steadfast in her affections for him and never misses an opportunity to shower him with attention. She is very respectful of his limitations, but she also understands that the right amount and type of work can only help him.
Meanwhile, Paula is working with Razz to see if that could bud into a strong relationship. Some things cannot be forced. They must open up in their own time and own way. Such is the nature of new relationships. So far so good. They are doing well and learning each other’s ways. We wish them luck and want to support all three of them – Smokey, Paula, and Razz.
Painting Ponies (Issue 1 Article 7: September 2016)
The dates for our Big Sky Equine Art Fringe Festival have been set and a preliminary itinerary is emerging:
August 12 and 13: The Equine Art Workshop will teach prospective artists how to handle and work with a horse as an art canvas as well as instruction on the types of material can be applied to a live horse.
August 14 through 20: The Equine Art Summer Camp will pair adults and children in a weeklong camp of horsemanship and art. Students will learn how to handle and ride horses while preparing horse related artwork and creating a theatrical performance. The camp will end with performances throughout the day on Friday, August 18 and Saturday, August 19.
August 19: The Equine Art Extravaganza Contest and Parade among invited professional artists will be conducted. Artists and their assistants will be given four hours in which to decorate both their horse and their equine photo studio backdrops. Horses will be paraded and photographed, both standing and in motion. Contest winners will be determined by both onsite and online votes. People can vote by making a $5 donation to the Friends of Dunrovin. All money raised with be used to support experiential learning with horses for leadership training and wellness for both adults and youth.
August 20: The Big Sky Equine Art Fringe Festival will terminate with a community brunch, final viewing of the horses followed by a bathing of the horses in which each horse is returned to its natural condition.
Needless to say, we are very excited about the possibilities for this event. We hope to create a event that has wide appeal, that teaches people about the beauty and nature of horses, and that raises money to bring horses into the lives of adults and youth who could realize the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of experiential education with horses.