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adventure | The Trick Ponies of Chincoteague

Posts Tagged ‘adventure

Herding Cows on Horseback

Last month we took Blitz and Boomerang on a long trailride in one of the nearby nature preserves. Little did we know it would end up being one of our favorite adventures ever when we happened upon some loose cattle.

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

The further down the trail we got, the more cattle we started to see. We figured they had gotten out of someone’s pasture, but we weren’t sure where they belonged. We were DYING to herd them somewhere (just like real cowgirls) but it just didn’t seem like it was meant to be.

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

As we made our way towards home we couldn’t help ourselves with herding a few into a small cluster.

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

While we were taking the obligatory “cow selfie” the farmer who owned said cattle popped up over the hill in his truck to see our little cluster of cattle. Seeing that we were DYING to take our littler herd somewhere the farmer asked us if we minded helping him drive them back to their pasture. Um yes please! He didn’t have to ask us twice!

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Check out the video: Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Blitz and Boomerang chased stray cattle, moved them through a water crossing, and got them all safely back in their pasture.

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

When you live on the east coast (at least near us) herding cattle like this is not something you get to do everyday, especially in a real “farm” setting! It was a dream come true for us.

The farmers were very thankful for our helpful ponies, and we had the best trailride ever! If anyone else wants to “accidentally” let their cattle escape, you can totally call on the Painting Ponies to help you round them up!

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Cowboy Race in New York

Over the 4th of July Weekend we packed up the ponies (Boomerang, Blitz, and “sister” Jet) and headed north 5 hours to New York. The plan was to spend the weekend camping with the horses, trail riding, and competing in a Cowboy Race.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

While Boomer has competed in a few cowboy races before, this was the largest course we had been on – with a lot of new obstacles our ponies had never encountered.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

The way this course was run was that the day before and day of riders could introduce their horses to the obstacles, but you would not learn the course you were riding until right before you competed.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Some of the obstacles were similar to things you might see on a cross-country jump course, while others were designed to look very out of the ordinary (for most horses).

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

This was Boomer’s first competition since last summer, and the first real event he’s been to since his injuries this winter. We discovered Boomer had been bruising his front ankles on the entrance to our shed all winter (likely for years) every time he backed out quickly (most likely because the other ponies chased him out) as well as inflammation in his tendon sheath on a back hind leg (probably from running around like a crazy pony in the pasture over the winter).

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

I’ve since discovered that because of these injuries Boomer is now very sensitive to being asked to back up over things, or walk over things that he thinks might hit his ankles (for fear of it hurting). So we will be starting over in a sense on a lot of obstacles that he was once unfazed by, and trying to build his confidence so he doesn’t have to worry that he will injure himself. Not to mention he now wears boots for protection 24/7.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Also because Boomer was just getting back into the swing of competing my plan was to take it easy with him. No racing around, no tight spins, no jumping. Well a lot of the course required some speed, and despite my best efforts to keep him going a relaxed pace….Boomer had other plans. He also decided it would be much more fun to jump the obstacles than trot over them….silly pony! At least he had fun!

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

I would say Boomer’s favorite obstacle was these “porcupine” noodles. With clicker training I’ve taught him to walk his face through “noodles”, so he loved rubbing his face all over them.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

One of the more challenging obstacles on the course was the pinwheel. You had to lift a (heavy) board off a barrel and spin it around. The challenging part was not moving too quickly and keeping the board from falling off the barrel on the other end.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Another challenging obstacle was the trailer load. You had to load your horse into a strange trailer with streamers on the course.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

I was proud of Boomer for mastering the tire cross. He was very unsure of it the first day I introduced it to him, but by the time he had to compete he was confident enough to cross it with ease.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

My sister’s mare Jet also came with us, and did great on the course! She hasn’t been exposed to as many obstacles as our Chincoteagues, but she tried her heart out on the course and held her own against all the cowboys. Even in english tack!

I’ve found a lot of these courses are designed for riders that ride western – requiring the horn for some things. It’s sort of a bummer that I think a lot of time us english riders (my saddle is a treeless english saddle) are discouraged from participating in events like these (or looked down on because we ride english). But as you can see, just because I ride english doesn’t mean I can’t do all the same things. I ride english to do team penning, ranch sorting, trail riding, mounted shooting, cowboy races and more! I don’t think it should matter what type of saddle (or even bitting too in some cases) I chose to put on my horse.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Blitz also competed in the “on-line” division and did great! He took home first place in his class.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Boomer was all smiles by the end of the weekend adventure! I’m not sure when we will be back to New York again (it was a long long drive!) but it was a fun trip.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

On the way home one of our trailer tires burst! Thankfully everyone was ok, and after unloading a pony on the side of the road & popping on our spare we were no worse for wear.

Have you been camping with your horse? Any recommendations on places to go for our next adventure?

P.S. I hope to have a video to share of Boomer on the course soon. Since the grounds were so large a lot of the video is shot far away, so I’ll have to see how much of it turned out (without it looking like tiny little ants are running the race).

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Adventures in Ranch Sorting

Last weekend we took a trip to Double Rock Farm to attend a beginner Ranch Sorting Clinic with Blitz and Boomer. You might remember that we’ve been to Double Rock before, where I introduced Boomer to his first cow.

Ranch Sorting at Double Rock // Painting Pony Adventures

Ranch Sorting at Double Rock // Painting Pony Adventures

Ranch Sorting at Double Rock // Painting Pony Adventures

Both ponies picked back up where we had left off last fall (before my knee surgery) and I think they both enjoyed bossing the cows around.

I noticed that Boomer really likes being able to move the cows with some speed, so I’m very much interested to try some team penning soon – which is a little bit more of a faster paced sport.

Below is a video of Boomer’s first time on the cows that day. I find the hardest part in Ranch Sorting is thinking ahead to where that cow might end up when you start to move it. But I know this will just improve the more we’re able to practice…..now if I could just talk my parents into getting some cattle on the farm!

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Announcing the Super Pony! DVD Release

The day has finally come! It’s time to announce the official release of the brand-new Super Pony DVD, staring the talented Minnow from Painting Pony and his sidekick, Ammo the Dachshund!

Super Pony DVD! Now available at Painting Pony

Thanks to my talented brother and Depthink Productions, we began filming for the DVD this past summer, and I’m so excited that it’s finally ready to share with everyone! I think everyone will really enjoy getting to learn more about all the ponies and watch several of Minnow & Ammo’s favorite “super” performances.

Check out the DVD Trailer:

ON THIS DVD

Trainer, Kyley DiLuigi, introduces us to Super Pony, the alter ego of the talented Chincoteague Pony, Minnow! Watch as he shows us some of his favorite trick performances, many of which have been performed at expos, fairs, schools, and even the Annual Chincoteague Pony Penning. Several performances also include Minnow’s lovable sidekick, Ammo the Dachshund, as well as other members of the Painting Pony crew. In addition to 5 featured videos, this DVD also contains 2 bonus videos: a visit to Iron Horse Farm, home to the Painting Ponies; and a talk given by Kyley about everyone’s favorite Chincoteague Pony, Misty of Chincoteague.

Super Pony DVD! Now available at Painting Pony

PAINTING PONY

In 2007, Painting Pony was founded when Kyley DiLuigi decided to bring her paints from art school out to the farm where she kept her 14-year-old pony, Minnow. That cold winter day Minnow became the World’s First Painting Chincoteague Pony as he created his very first masterpiece. As it became evident that Minnow had a gift that he truly loved, the paintings he created began to pile higher and higher. Feeling the need to share Minnow’s art with the world, Kyley started PaintingPony.com and the rest is history!

Super Pony DVD! Now available at Painting Pony

The Super Pony DVD is approx. 20 minutes and is available for purchase at $12 in our shop.

There is still plenty of time to order your copy for Holiday Gifts!

As a special gift to all our followers, enter code FREESHIP at checkout to receive free shipping on your entire order! (domestic orders only).

You can grab your own copy HERE, and we also have great gift sets available that include this DVD HERE.

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The Ponies visit Assateague

chesapeake boomerang

Last weekend the ponies and Ammo the Dachshund went on a very special trip. We rounded everyone up and made the 4 hour trek down to Assateague Island, Virginia to ride on the beach with our friends from the Chincoteague Pony Centre.

blitz

I’ve been waiting my whole life to make this trip and ride on the beach with my ponies, and I was thrilled to be able to share this trip with Minnow, Blitz, Boomerang, Ammo and my mom.

blitz and boomer

We left behind a freak October snowstorm in PA on Saturday to head to the rainy (but atleast not snowy) island. We were fortunate to have a place for the ponies to stay at a friends farm and on Sunday morning we drove the ponies out to the island for their very first beach ride.

chincoteague Minnow

Chincoteague Minnow

For Minnow it was a sort of homecoming as he was born on the island 18 years ago, but for Blitz and Boomerang it was a completely new experience.

I’ve been to the Assateague beach before, but riding across the dunes on horseback was an entirely new and amazing experience. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful it was, the sun glistening off the ocean as the huge waves came crashing down all around us. We even witnessed two bald eagles taking flight off the beach.

bald eagle

All the ponies dipped their feet into the ocean and seemed utterly at home on the island, a special place that they are all tied to. My mom and I vowed that this would not be the last time we galloped along the beach with our boys.

chesapeake boomerang

Chesapeake Boomerang

After our 2 hour ride I took the opportunity to take as many pictures as possible of the ponies as the waves crashed down behind them. I even broke out their painting easel and Minnow’s super hero ensemble.

Chincoteague Minnow

Chincoteague Minnow

Chincoteague Minnow

Chincoteague Minnow

As Minnow began to enthusiastically pose along the beach he started to draw a small crowd. People began asking questions until someone in the crowd recognized who he was. I felt like we were being followed by the paparazzi as cameras flashed around us and people exclaimed that they were meeting a celebrity. I’m sure Minnow was feeling very important.

Chincoteague Minnow

Chincoteague Minnow

Boomerang also got his turn to shine as I asked him to laydown on the beach – and he happily obliged even as the ocean waves rolled towards him. I even got him to sit, a trick we have only just begun working on. Boomer really is an amazing pony and so willing to do almost anything I ask of him.

Chesapeake Boomerang

Chesapeake Boomerang

Chesapeake Boomerang

Chesapeake Boomerang

Blitz took his turn in front of the camera and showed off what a super model he is. I’ve always said he’s the most gorgeous of our ponies and he definitely did not disappoint. Blitz also had a very special experience as we were down visiting, because his mom was on the island (and also Blitz & Boomer’s sire).

Chesapeake Lightning

Chesapeake Lightning

Chesapeake Lightning

Chesapeake Lightning

We got to meet Tidewater Fable aka L’Eggs, Blitz’s beautiful solid bay dam. We instantly realized where Blitz got his looks from, and also his timid tenancies. I dreamed of L’Eggs nickering and Blitz calling back with an enthusiastic “MOM!” – although of course none of that happened and I’m pretty sure neither even knew the other was there. I can dream though!

Tidewater Fable

Tidewater Fable - Blitz's Dam

 

Tidewater Fable

Tidewater Fable - Blitz's Dam

Chesapeake Powhattan's Promise

Chesapeake Powhattan's Promise - Blitz and Boomer's Sire

After our beach ride we trailered the ponies over to Pony Pines for their end of the year fun show. By this point the ponies were getting very good at loading and unloading on our new 3 horse step-up trailer. It was great practice for them and by the end of the trip they were pros at trailer loading.

At the fun show my mom and I entered in a handful of the fun classes. We won the ribbon race as well as the hilarious wheelbarrow race (where one rider pushed the other in a wheelbarrow while leading a pony). I also took Boomerang in their version of the Extreme Cowboy Race. Boomer impressed me by doing a water ditch jump, mastering a massive bridge, navigating through brush and even jumping a scary black plastic tube. I was very proud of him as he galloped across the hilly terrain course they had created behind the farm.

Ironically immediately following we entered into the Chincotaegue Pony Pleasure Class – I should have foreseen how amped up Boomer would be after racing through the hills. Lets just say we were done for as soon as they asked us to canter and Boomer went bronco bucking around the arena. I had to laugh.

At the end of the evening Minnow got a chance to shine as he dressed up in his Super Hero Costume with best pal Ammo (aka Rocket Dog) for the costume class. They came home with a blue for the most unique costume and I think both of them were very pleased with themselves.

minnow and ammo

Before we headed home on Sunday we took one last trip out to Assateague to get some more pictures and enjoy the view. It was such an amazing trip and I hope it won’t be our last!

the painting ponies

A special thanks to all of our friends who made it possible for us to visit!

You can check out more photos from our trip on our facebook page. I should be back soon with some more photos and videos to share too!

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