Leah Read July 2014- California
So my time at the Roeser’s ranch is coming to an end. With just days left I can't believe my time here has gone so fast. I am so glad that we were given this amount of time to work with our mentors, as it has given me a better understanding of Jon's program than I would have gotten.
We have been working cattle on horses and Jon has been so great to let me ride some amazing horses. I have been able to take a few down the fence and track cattle on them as well. I also got to cut on two outstanding horses. The feel that I got from riding both of them on a cow is something I will always remember and start to hunt for in every horse. Just knowing what you are striving for gives you a goal on younger or less experienced horses.
For the last month I was given a two year old to ride - name Doc. He was a little worried and unsure at the start, but I feel like he has gained some confidence and trust in what I ask of him. It's really fun to be able to ride this young horse and see the progress we have both made.
Clay starts all the two year olds here on the ranch and just the other day I was able to work one of his young horses on the mechanical cow. It's so interesting to see where the process starts. Being at Jon's and being able to see such a wide range of horses has really let me experience how to adjust and work with each individual horse.
I can't thank the people involved in the Legacy of Legends program enough; it's been a great opportunity and without their support I could have only dreamed of doing this.
Leah’s mentor is Cow Horse Trainer and Million Dollar Rider Jon Roeser.
Blair Ireland July 2014
Campe Verde Arizona
Well it's time for another update and I can't believe I am already more than two thirds of the way through my time here at the Stallings ranch. In some ways it feels like I only arrived last week, in others I feel as I have been here forever - the time has just flown by. The new experiences and opportunities continue every day and I love all the different things I am getting to see and learn. I am also enjoying the hot summer sun, as I'm told it's been very cold and rainy back home in Victoria, Australia.
I have had the chance to visit with Dr Carolyn Lee, an equine reproduction specialist from Dewey Arizona. My first visit with Dr Lee was when we took Blue Roo, a 4yo stud to be collected for the first time. Getting to see the process of teaching him to use the mounting dummy was incredibly informative and of great interest to me, as we have been considering collecting our Morgan stallion back home for use with AI. Then my second visit was a solo trip where I took Kevin and Karen's prize stallion NMSU Truckin Chex "Elvis" up for a date. It was a little nerve wracking knowing I had such valuable cargo on board, but I had a fair bit of practice driving on the wrong side of the road by that stage and it all turned out very straight forward and easy, never even getting lost.
Recently I had the great privilege to have been trusted to look after the ranch whilst everyone headed down to compete at the Derby in Paso Robles recently. I spent the week helping the stable staff with all the usual chores such as feeding, watering, and raking down the arenas. I also continued on with riding all of the 2 year olds, which gave me a good chance test some of the new skills I have been learning. It was great to then receive feedback from Kevin upon his return.
We are off to check out Sedona tomorrow, which is said to be a lovely area, so I am looking forward to that. In the meantime I have included a video of me having a go at my first ever slides on board QH Mare, Royal - WOW - What a blast! Of course the biggest slide was before we decided to go and bring the video out, but I think I'm hooked now so there will be more to come.
The pictures are of me onboard a nice filly named Cowgirl. This is her first ride under saddle, and Lera Petska is giving me a hand to move her around some.
Daisy Kiellor July 2014
Campe Verde Arizona
Good horsemanship – Good people.
I have heard many times before that the way a person treats a horse relates to how they would treat a person. My time at Stallings Performance Horses is a testament to that. Kevin and Karen are not only two of the best hands I have ever seen in person, but also two of the best people I have ever met.
Kevin often says that what he is teaching is simple but not easy, and I could not agree more. I don't know how many times he has repeated the same things to me, like 'go straight, forward and around' but every time he is kind and has been understanding and supportive. It is so frustrating to want something so badly and to feel as though you are improving at a snail’s pace. Every day I see more and more areas that need work so my improvement seems relatively insignificant. It feels like I've learnt so much, but I know less than I ever have!
Sometimes I don't understand why I am doing something with a horse and I have to trust Kevin and follow through with what he has asked, within a few days the light bulb will let off a faint glow.
I am given opportunities to learn from all levels of horses from babies to top level show horses, which is also frustrating because with my new found lack of knowledge I don't want to ruin any good work, or put a horses training back. But alas Kevin says it gives him an opportunity to school them more and get them more solid on their education.
Last night we watched my application video for the scholarship, everyone found it very funny because I spent the whole time yelling myself instructions. Turns out I must be improving after all. I'm thoroughly enjoying my time here. I feel at home, I already miss friends that I have only just met and wish I could take a few horses (and people) home with me when I leave.
The reports below offer some insight into what our 2014 scholarship recipients
are learning and how they are advancing in their horsemanship