Posts Tagged ‘portable corral

Camping, Thunderstorms, and Late Night Talks

Last weekend we took the ponies to a mounted games competition in New Jersey. This is one of my favorite competitions of the year, because not only is it a short distance from our home base in PA, but it’s also an event that most of the riders camp at. I love camping, especially when I get to bring along the ponies AND the dog.

camping with ponies

We arrived just as it was getting dark and dropped two of the ponies (Blitz – who came along for the experience and more training, and Jet – my sister’s mare that my mom would be riding for the weekend) at the stables. We bedded their stalls and tucked them in for the night, all while Boomerang waited patiently on the trailer.

Then we drove Boomer up to the campsites where we set up his portable corral from Travel n’ Corrals. This was the first time I got a chance to use the corral at an overnight competition – and also the first time he had ever seen it. And did I mention it was dark by this point?

boomerang travel n corrals

We unloaded Boomer and put him in the corral while we set up the tent. He looked around for a second and went straight to eating his hay. I was pretty amazed at how he acted like everything was no big deal. His friends (who rode in the trailer with him) got dropped off somewhere else and now here he was up on the top of a hill next to a campsite, in a corral he had never seen, with not a single horse in sight…..just quietly munching his hay. Pretty cool pony.

boomerang travel n corrals

Well, he was pretty cool until about 1am when he ran out of hay. Ha. Should have known it would be too good to be true.

With his hay gone I think he looked around and realized “what the heck, where am I and what happened to my friends?” His ear piercing whinny woke me instantly. I think he would have eventually stopped calling too – had his big brother Blitz not heard him a mile away in the stables and called back. And yes, it was DEFINITELY Blitz – he has a VERY distinct whinny. Every hour or so they would call back and forth to each other – if I only knew what they were saying! At one point I even heard Boomerang lay down in his corral – yet continue to return Blitz’s calls. He wasn’t frantic, he didn’t try to escape (not that he could – these things are really well built) or do anything horrible – he was simply having a late night conversation with his big brother….on the other side of the facility!

boomerang travel n corrals

Hindsight, I probably should have set the corral up closer to the barns so that he could at least see another horse. But regardless of the fact that he stayed up all night talking I was still proud of how he handled the situation I put him in.

Not only was the corral a new thing for us at this competition, but it was also the first time I got to compete with my treeless saddle. I wish I had some pictures to share, but since my mom and I were both riding together we had no one with us to take pictures. If only somehow I could train the Dachshund to do it! Hummm. But, the saddle was awesome! No slipping, and both Boomerang and I were SUPER comfy in it. I even got to do some full out vaulting into it without any problems. I really wish I had gone treeless years sooner – I’ll never go back!

In between competition sessions my mom worked on training Blitz to tie (without his friends around). Blitz has progressed in leaps and bounds with all the training my mom has put into him, but he still has one major issue they are working on. His separation anxiety. He has a real problem leaving his friends and being alone.

This is what well behaved horses look like when they tie:

ponies tied to trailer

And this is what naughty Blitz looks like when he ties without his friends around:

ponies tied to trailer

Blitz spent a lot of time working on tieing in the woods by our campsite. It was very tough for him not to have his friends around – but my mom thinks she hopefully made some breakthroughs with him.

tieing ponies

With high-hopes of working even further on Blitz’s training on Day 2, we were instead hit with a nasty Thunderstorm on Saturday night. Camping proved to get a little wet – but atleast we were nice and toasty in the tent with our little heater named Ammo the Dachshund. Ammo is such a trooper, he’ll put up with pretty much anything – and any situation. Thunder & Lightning is no problem for this guy – I think he might sleep through a tornado if no one woke him!

ammo the dachshund

Sadly when we woke up the next day the competition had to be canceled. With no end in sight for the storms, they were forced to pin the divisions based on standings from the previous day. But we still came home with a second place finish!

ammo the dachshund second place

We packed up and headed home – only to be hit with one last road block just minutes from the farm. Luckily Peco was nearby and able to help us out before the ponies got too hot in the trailer. And next time I’m going to REALLY try to remember my rubber boots so I’m not stuck wearing soggy sneakers all weekend!

fallen tree

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Sponsor – Travel n Corrals

We’re very excited to introduce our new sponsor, Travel n Corrals! I had spent months researching portable corral systems so that the boys would have a safe and secure place to perform inside of when we travel to venues without an arena. When I finally stumbled upon Travel n Corrals I knew I had found the perfect solution.

Each individual panel weighs only 15 pounds – I constructed the corral for the first time all by myself, and I was even able to carry two panels at once (I’m a beast huh?). It only took me about 5 minutes to set up! Each panel is connected every 7’ with a full length 4’ steel pipe rod that a horse cannot pull out vs. short pins or Velcro that the horse can work at removing. It has a special cap at the end that makes it nearly impossible for a horse to grip it with their teeth.

Minnow tests out the new corral system

Our corral is the 18′ x 18′ size, but you can easily add more panels in the future, or connect two corrals together for an even larger area for your horse.

One of the great aspects to these corrals is that they come with a life time guarantee, so IF you ever have an issue, or have something break – you can get it replaced.

Minnow giving the new corral the once-over.

Another great thing about these corrals for us is that it is highly visible through the panels – meaning no one’s view will be obstructed when Minnow is painting his masterpiece. The corral will also open up many more venues for us to perform at. Setting up in a parking lot or a grassy field will be no issue now that we have a safe and secure place for Minnow to be.

While we will mostly be using our corral for performances, it is also fantastic for traveling to horse shows and events. Set it up next to your trailer on show day and your horse isn’t stuck standing on the trailer between classes/events. We also plan to use ours at mounted games competitions – where keeping your horse overnight often requires a stall rental. Now we’ll be able to forgo the stall fees & the horses will have more room to move about. Would also be great for overnight trail rides!

The other really cool thing about these panels is that you can mount them to your trailer for transportation.

With options for mounting on the outside of a trailer, in the tackroom or even in one of the stall bays – it makes traveling with them even easier. We don’t have any of the mounting hardware yet – as we are hoping to upgrade to a newer trailer soon.

Travel n Corrals’ 13’x13′ corrals sells for $525 + $99 S&H – which is the best price out there for portable corrals at this size (believe me I looked!) And the more you buy, the better the price gets.

Visit Travel n Corrals ( www.travelncorrals.com ) where you can watch a great video explaining more about these corrals.

And now I leave you with some utterly adorable shots of Minnow – have I mentioned I love this pony?

Photos by Kyley DiLuigi. All rights reserved. www.paintingpony.com

Our pedestal in the above picture is from our sponsors, Toys for Horses.

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