Posts Tagged ‘Trooper

Swimming Chincoteague Ponies

On Sunday after the boy’s first Gymkhana Event we stopped at Marsh Creek State Park. The objective, take the ponies swimming (and have a father’s day picnic)!

My sister’s mare, Jet (the black horse), has been swimming several times – as has Minnow. So this time it was Blitz & Boomer’s turn to test out the water.

Both were a little skeptical at first, but on a nice hot day, it didn’t take them long to get in the water.

But after a few minutes and a little gentle coaxing, Boomer was swimming!

Even my parent’s dog, Trooper, joined in on the swimming fun.

The ponies were even introduced to their first kayaks. No one freaked out – even when it drifted awfully close to them. You have to love the mindset of a Chincoteague Pony.

Blitz never did actually swim, but he’s a bit more cautious than Boomer is. And my mom wanted to make it a pleasant experience for him so she opted not ask too much of him.

Little Ammo the Dachshund had to watch from the sidelines. But he is just too little to swim with the big boys. Sorry fella.

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The Ponies get a new Trailer

When I was a kid getting my pony to horse shows required us to be a little creative.

That’s my childhood pony, Oreo Cookie, in the back of our horse trailer in 1989. For trips to local shows and summer camp our little make-shift rig worked out just fine. Oreo really enjoyed going on rides, she’d rest her head on the cab of the truck letting the wind whip through her mane.

Eventually my sister and I joined Pony Club (thank goodness the pickup truck had long since died – we probably would have been kicked out instantly for our HIGHLY unsafe trailer), and the need for a real horse trailer to get us to rallies and practices was high on the list.

Our maroon trailer took us to MANY pony club rallies. It took the ponies to Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland and more. It brought Minnow home to live with us and took him to his first pony penning. For the past 15 years it’s the only horse trailer we have known.

For years we had outgrown it. With three riders in the family, not all of us could attend events together. Or we had to find someone to trailer our third pony. Minnow’s growing accumulation of trick gear was getting harder and harder to fit on long trips. We longed for a tackroom.

Then last week we finally did it. I had combed used trailer ads for years, waiting for the right 3 horse bumper pull trailer to pop up (they are hard to find!). And at last the perfect-for-us trailer popped up.

We’ve been practicing our trailer loading – as we’re not sure some of the ponies have ever been on a step-up before. It’s also a learning curve for us – as we get accustomed to the new and so much larger trailer (it also boasts a rear and front tack room perfect for transporting trick gear).

Even Ammo the Dachshund is super excited that it can fit all three of his favorite Chincoteague Ponies at once.

And little Minnow is just tall enough to peek his little head out the window.

We’re excited for our next adventure with our new trailer! And if anyone is interested in a used 2 horse bumper pull, all steel, wood floor, still in great working condition let us know!

Now I just have to practice backing this beast up!

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We’ve all taken to calling little Ammo the Dachshund “Champion” this week. Because last Sunday we took him to the annual Keystone Dachshund Races. We didn’t have high hopes for him in the racing department – because the last two years he was sort of a racing dud. Not that he didn’t try, but he was just way too excited about being able to play with a bunch of puppies his size!

But this year Ammo decided to kick it into warp speed – as he flew past his competition in the heavy weigh division. Ammo weighs a hefty 20lbs – but he’s far from over weight – in fact he’s got some mean muscles and he’s in great shape. But most of the dachshund that attend the races are considered mini’s weighing 15lbs and under. And at 20lbs Ammo doesn’t qualify to be a standard dachshund (weighing more 25-30lb) so he’s what is called a “tweenie”.

Ammo finished first in 3 out of his 5 preliminary heats, earning him 3 spots in the semi-finals. And in an almost-to-close-to-call finish Ammo narrowly won his last chance race in the semi-finals. This earned him a spot in the Final race. Ammo went head-to-heat with lean mean mini-dachshund Dudley! It was a close race, but Dudley snuck across the finish line a nose ahead of Ammo.

We were super proud of our little Reserve Champ! Perhaps next year he’ll bring home the gold!

Racing wasn’t the only reason we were at the Keystone Dachshund Races, Ammo had also been invited back again to perform during the lunch break.

This year his best friend Trooper (my mom’s dog) performed with him. This was Trooper’s first performance ever – and there were a little kinks – but we all had lots of fun!

We look forward to visiting again next year!

Read all about Ammo’s big race and performance on his blog.

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June Events & Sitting Ponies

Well June is officially here – and thus begins our countdown to pony penning! The pressure is on for me to think up a new skit for Minnow to perform while we are down there. I have a few random ideas floating around my head – but suggestions are definitely welcome!

I do need to come up with a plan though, so I have an idea of what new tricks I need to teach Minnow this year. In the hopes that working on some new tricks might spark an idea for me I started training both Minnow and Boomerang to sit.

We’re at the beginning stages right now, (although Boomer has had some previous lessons on it last year with me – I just got a bit distracted before finishing it) but I’m sure they will both get it soon. I’ve been training them together – something I only sometimes do – but working them at the same time is really helping them to learn faster. Boomerang I think might catch on a bit quicker than Minnow, as he’s less concerned about touching his butt to a rustling bean bag chair. Minnow would much rather prefer to pick them up and throw them. haha.

I’ve also been having Minnow watch me cue Boomerang to lay down – and I’m just waiting for the opportunity when Minnow offers this trick to me so I can reward him. Any day now….I can just tell!

Amongst the pony training, Ammo has also been getting ready for his big performance at the Keystone Dachshund Races next weekend.

I swear he’s really excited! 🙂

Ammo will be performing around lunchtime with his pal Super Trooper (my mom’s Australian Shepherd/Labrador). This will be Trooper’s debut performance and he’s been working really hard! Let’s just say I’m off in search of a doggie sized tutu today – it’s going to be epic.

So if you are in the Lewisberry PA area next Sunday June 12th around from 12pm – 6pm – be sure to shop by to watch Ammo race for charity & perform with Trooper. We’ll also have a booth set up where ammo will be selling some of his artwork- with perhaps a few pieces from the ponies as well. It’s definitely a fun day with the profits benefiting the Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue. We hope to see you there!

P.S. Ammo says that anyone who sports a “Go Ammo” t-shirt on Race day to support him will get an extra slobbery kiss!

Blitz and Minnow grazing at home at Iron Horse Farm

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Iron Horse Farm – video tour

Some of you might know that in 2009 we moved the ponies into our farm, Iron Horse Farm. My parents waited 20+ years until they were able to build the farm of their dreams. And while the farm never seems to be quite complete (we always have projects going on) – it is definitely a place our whole family cherishes.

My talented brother Taylor recently made an updated farm tour for our website while he was home visiting from North Carolina. (and he’s also working on a new video for the painting ponies!)

Check it out:

Isn’t it fantastic! You can see my mom working Blitz in the video with her dog Trooper – as well as Boomerang and Minnow (and our other horses Jet – black mare & Nitro – the grey). Sadly I wasn’t out at the farm the day he shot – or perhaps I would have made him capture a few pony tricks for the reel. But regardless, my brother is an super talented filmmaker – he shot this in one day! Amazing right?

So if you are in need of some video work – be sure to check out his website Depthink. (he will travel!)

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