Rawhidenlace

Rawhidenlace
2008 Arabian Horse Association OEIP National Mounted Shooting Champion

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Miamitown Ohio

1st Ohio held another fun shooting event on Labor Day weekend.

Saber and I traveled over on Saturday night to socialize and get ready for a fun day of shooting on Sunday.
Sunday morning dawned beautiful and the morning gave way to heat and humidity. The runs were fast and the times sizzling.

There were only two ladies in the Level 2 division today and I found myself in 1st place after the first stage. Saber ran smooth and clean and I shot clean with a good time to start the day.

After that things went down hill for me. The horse was doing great but I made mental errors and my time paid for it.

The last stage of the day I did shoot clean and we did run fast, but it was not enough to over take the lead and we came in second for the day in our division.

I discovered that Saber is now working great and it is time to start fine tuning my skills to match his speed and turns. So back to Brad's with the trailer and the horse and we are going to start working my shooting skills and markmanship.

More later on this subject as I have two weeks to get prepared before our Border Wars with 1st Ohio.

Below are some pictures that I took on Sunday so enjoy them.









This is the Ron Hubert clan. The family was part of our balloon setting crew for us all day Sunday.

























My good friend Nancy Latham and her good freind Lynette McCellan






Below is Sue Morlock
























Friday, August 29, 2008

Arabians & Half Arabians excelling in the sport

I received my latest issue of "the Modern Arabian" in the mail this past week. On the cover was a Cowboy Mounted shooter and the publication dedicated a very nice 10 page article called Ready, Aim, Fire.

The article covered that in's and out's of our sport and showcased some very nice purebred and half Arabian horses. Kudos to AHA for showing that our Arabian horses are just as versatile as that "other breed" we hear so much about within CMS.

One point that the article keep coming back to was how much "heart" our Arabians have when it comes to shooting. Not only do the have the ability to with stand the gun fire and the sights and smells, they also look out for their riders. Time again owners said that their horses put them were they needed to be for shots and wins. Even Frank Turben stated when asked by Marsha Hayes, What made Witez Dynasty known as "Tez" such a great shooting horse? He responded after a few moments of silence "He went where I thought."



Yep, the magic between the Arabian and rider is beauty and poetry in motion, even if it is fast motion. Our Arabians can run and they run FAST, my own half Arabian A Saber Salute can out run me on the stages. I am still new to this sport and I look forward to day that I shoot as fast he runs. Not only are they quick but they are very, very agile. My black Arabian stallion APMJ Blackjack is probably the cattiest horse I have on the place and he really likes the shooting. My biggest problem is going to be in my 2nd stage of childhood, being able to keep up with him when he turns. He is just plain quick and fast and sometimes my old body just doesn't go with him.


One thing that I would like to express to readers of my blog, if you own an Arabian or Half Arabian and you belong to the AHA. Please log on the website and sign your horses up for the Open Event Incentive Program. They now included CMSA as one of the host associations for the OEIP. I would really like to see the caterogy grow and take off as one of the largest groups for points tabulations that OEIP has to offer.



Also I would like to say way to go Grey Meckfessel and Pepsi, they were also featured in the article. I have video of Gary and Pepsi on my YouTube site as well if you want to see this great pair in action.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

YouTube & Misc.



As the summer has progressed, I have either taken videos or pictures of my CMS friends. When it was my turn to shoot, friends have taken over my camera and videoed in my absent. Either way you can view videos of various shoots held in Indiana that I have attended and enjoying watching some of the other members in action.







I will be attending at least 4 more shoots held in the state in the next three months so there will be lots more to see. So remember to stop back by soon, pull up a chair & pour yourself a drink . Relax and enjoy my novice summer of Guns~N~Horses.











Some History

I began riding at a very early age, first in front of my father in the saddle when I was 1 year old.


My little sister Debbie is between my dad and I. I think I am three in this picture taken in the summer of 1964. Notice the horse has a very short tail. This was he fashion back then





By the time I was 4 or 5, I was riding alone on a pony and working cattle along side my grandfather and my father. This entailed gathering cattle off the US forest service land or BLM land, sorting cattle for sale in the fall or driving cattle from one allotment to another. These allotments were 6 square miles or larger, covered in sagebrush, rocky tabletops, or pine forests where cattle could hole up and hide from you. Our cattle were not tame by a long shot and if they heard you coming, they would high tail it with calves in tow as fast they could run from you. If you or the stock dogs couldn't’t get in front of them to turn them, you prayed they would hit a fence and then drift the correct way to the holding pens. Otherwise, you came back the next day and tried it all over again. It would take at least 4-5 cowboys to do this and we would start very early in the morning and ride until very late afternoon on most occasions. I began roping at age 8 and like heeling much better than heading. My father and I would team rope at the county fair or at local brandings around the Harney County area. I was of course riding a bigger horse because the pony just couldn't handle the calves, as they were just about as big as he was.

One thing about that pony he taught me how cuss and it wasn’t much to my mothers liking either. But he was a very cantankerous little pony. He and I had many discussions on who was in charge much to my mother’s dismay. I have tried to clean my act, and I still slip on more than one occasion. Dang it…….

This is Scotch the pony; notice the hobbles on his front feet. He had a nasty habit of leaving camp and taking the other horses with him. I am standing at his shoulder my smallest sister Beverly at his head. Taken at Rainbow meadow 1967.











Gathering cattle in the spring of the year was quite fun for me as I would get to be out of school early by 3-4 days. When work was to be done on the spring round up all hands were called into service even a girl. I must say I was much more tomboy than girl! The cattle were moved from the winter grounds on the valley floor of the Harney Basin up into the summer grazing pastures of the High Desert. Ponderosa pines were in abundance and I loved trailing the cow and calf pairs through those forests to reach the high meadows of my grandfathers Upper Ranch. The ranch was the base camp for all operations in the spring. On most days, it is normal for us to travel 30 miles a day out from the ranch to gather cattle and move them to separate areas of the 10,000 acres that he had in forest service permits or private ground. I forgot to mention that grandfather ran 2500 head of brood cows 300 head of top Hereford bulls and had remuda of 45 horses. The cattle were left up in the hills until late fall and then gathered to be brought back down the Harney Basin. I wasn’t allowed to leave school for the fall roundup. That was one discussion I wasn’t willing to cross my grand father about. He was a big stickler for school education.

My family also had a cattle operation and we had about 1100 acres of private ground and ran about 326 head of brood cows, 6 horses for working them, and my mother had a flock of Suffolk sheep that numbered about 115 head. We put up our own hay for all of the animals and I worked for my grandfather in the summer in the hay fields. I started out being a rake jockey and making 8.00 a day and in junior high graduated to Swather operator, which I held until I graduated from High school my last year I was paid 25.00 a day. Big money for a school kid back in those days. The average haying season ran from late June until late August. We were able to get one cutting of wild hay, and then two cuttings of alfalfa. Grandpa told me that I was the best he had at cutting a clean field and keeping the windrows straight. He never gave out compliments and I always cherish anything he had to say that was positive.

I trained horses for my Dad and my grandfather in my spare time, and it was my job to start the colts for them when horses were purchased. My dad & grandfather taught me natural horsemanship long before it became a “new thing” and I learned how to turn out nice, soft, supple, horses that would work cattle one day and become a 4-h horse on the weekend.

In 1978, I was chosen to represent our county on the Harney County Fair court. This was a very high honor and sought by many country gals with a country/horse background. This wasn’t your garden-variety beauty contest. We had to be pretty to look at, be graceful, poised (which I had a few problems with) and well mannered, but we also had to ride very, very well. The reining pattern of choice for our horsemanship test was the old pattern with one large & small figure 8’s, correct flying lead changes, rollbacks, spins, and sliding stops. We were judged on our Rodeo Grand entries that were fast, furious, and you needed a good stop on your horses. You also had to have a horse that would tolerate parades with all the noise, pomp and circumstance that goes with environment. Contestant scores were based 75% horsemanship and 25% on the rest.
These are tryout pictures from 1977.























The following summer, in 1979, we traveled to over 35 rodeos in 13 weeks. Two large parades, the Portland Oregon Rose Festival, and the Snake River Stamped in Nampa Idaho, plus assisting with choosing the next court for 1980. It was a grand summer. I learned a lot about public speaking, standing up in front of crowds and working a crowd for benefits.
Yep I have even rode an app or two!
























After I left home, I kept horses in my life; I spent many years in the horse show ring and dealt with many crappy snobbish people. Arabians are part of my life now and I love their spirit and intelligence. They get a bad rapt for being stupid, but they really are not, they love to please and I haven’t found one that you can’t do it all with. Just look at Saber, shooting horse, western pleasure, sport horse, English show horse, and of course sidesaddle in western, English and jumping. I have jumped him aside 3’6”. I have been invited to Equine Affair twice, once in Kentucky and then Ohio to showcase jumping aside. I have also been invited to ride in the parade of breeds at the Kentucky horse park for sidesaddle demos in 2002 – 2006.

One thing that I love about CMSA is the people, they are a breath of fresh air and it feels like home to me. Cowboys and Cowgirls working to one goal. Have fun, Socialize, and ride fast horses, with blazing guns.

Just a side note: In 2003, I was published in the Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul ~ I wrote a story called Great Grandma Hazel and the Sidesaddle. My sister jokingly tells folks that our family is now cultured since I have been published. I just have to smile at her and get embarrassed, as I never thought it would make the cut in the first place. Just goes to show what happens when you least expect good things to happen.

I have been doing sidesaddle since I was 11 the story tells about how I got started riding and why.

They call it a Disease










If you ask my parents what I have they would tell you it is an affliction, end of story.

But if you ask millions of other horse crazy people in the world, (usually more women than men) they would tell you it is a disease. There is no cure for this sickness except to buy, rent, lease, or be close to a horse. Sometime even that isn’t enough to help the allure of the equine passion. Just a whiff of horse sweat would drive me nuts, I always thought, if I could just make a perfume that smells like a horse I would be a millionaire overnight.

My Father Bob McDonald, even as a young boy you can see horses were a big part of his life. No wonder it runs in the genes!

Sadly, my father is to blame for my affliction, if you can call it that, on my first birthday; dear old dad brought home a Wonder Horse. How many of you remember those? Plastic horse with a wooden handle through the head for the riders hands to hold and wooden handles for the feet rest on. The horse’s front feet folded back under it’s self with the hind feet tucked under their plastic belly, the horse was mounted on four metal springs attached to a metal tube rack for support. You could either rock this horse back and forth or bounce on it. My father, bless him, with only good intentions, promptly put me on it and started to bounce me. (Just a little harder than I wanted according to Mom) Needless to say I took my first spill from a horse (plastic at that), and ran to my mother for safety. Dad, the true blue cowboy that he was, took me back and placed me back on Wonder Pony, because everybody who rides a horse knows the golden rule “if you fall or get bucked off you get right back on!” That was the last time I cried about a horse, unless I was told, “no you can’t ride or no you don’t need one of your own.” I liked that horse so much and I could bounce it so hard that I could walk him across the floor. I think that is when Mom, bottle of aspirin in hand and with hand held to head told Dad that poor Wonder Horse had to go and I had to find another mount.

This brings me to the plastic stick horses, soft plastic heads that were red, black, or brown. My favorites were the black ones! They had string manes, and vinyl tape reins with a small silver bell attached at the bottom of the bit, a wooden stick coming out the bottom of the horse’s head, painted whatever color the horse’s head was with a candy cane stripe down the length. This stick horse was just the right size for you to throw a leg over and gallop all over the house, the yard, or the driveway if the notion took you. Between the ages of 4 and 7 again according to Mom, I wore one out about every two months. Not because these darling horses were hard mouthed, but because the farrier with no amount of coaxing could add more stick length after I worn it down and it became too short for me. I remember one afternoon asking Grandpa Henry to please take one of grandma’s Vi’s broom handles and put poor Blacky’s head on it, because he just didn’t fit me anymore. Grandpa kindly declined, I think, because he was afraid grandma would put his behind on the stick. With this turn of events I finally grew up enough to get a real horse. This brings me to the one and only Shetland pony in my life.

I became the owner of Scotch the piebald pony at the tender age of 5 years. Dad had an uncle that lived about an hour from our ranch, and he had this little Shetland pony. It had foundered and needed another home. So Dad took the pickup to Beulah along with a bottle of real Scotch Whisky to trade my uncle for the pony (now that is real horse trading material)and hauled this pony home for me and to give Mom some needed peace and quiet in the house. Mom on the other hand did not get her needed rest because I in turn kept asking her all day “Mommy would you saddle and bridle Scotch for me PLEASE?”

Mike standing behind Scotch, my youngest sister Beverly, at his head and myself standing at his shoulder. Taken at Rainbow Meadow, Oregon 1967. Notice the hobbles on his front feet. He had a nasty habit of leaving camp!

Scotch was a great pony that is if you didn’t mind having your legs scraped on everything from bushes, to gate posts or get a bath whether you wanted one or not, because he would lay down in irrigation ditches, with saddle and all, just to remove you from his body. I remember one incident when Scotch tried to rub me off on Dad when he was talking to a gentleman in our yard. Dad was explaining something to this guy and lifted his arm up to point out a building to him. Scotch saw this as the perfect opportunity to get rid of me and proceeded to run under Dad’s arm. Needless to say it wasn’t one of his brighter moments. Dad decided he had enough of Scotch and his antics at my expense, and got on and rode him for about 20 minutes. Funniest thing you ever saw, this great big man on this little horse with his feet dragging the ground. Scotch just trotting trying to bounce Dad off. I never laughed so hard in my life. What Scotch did teach me at an early age was to envy my Dad’s saddle horses. These were the big honest horses in my life at this point. They always seemed to do what Dad told them and they didn’t put Dad in the fence or the water. Unfortunately Scotch was all I had until Dad brought home Mohab.

Mohab was half Morgan and Half Arab, and if I remember right the only Arab that Dad ever allowed on the place. He had a funny way of traveling because when he loped he loped sideways like a dog and Dad started calling him ole rubberneck. The reason for this nickname was because no matter how hard you tried to neck rein or plow rein him over to direction that you wanted go, he would just counter canter the opposite. So Dad trained him to calf rope since he liked to run straight, but that didn’t last long when Mohab got into some wire and cut his hind legs pretty bad. After that incident and he healed up, he became my new horse.





Mohab and myself – first time in 4-H 1968
Harney County Fair, Burns, Oregon

Mother was stilling hoping for peace and quiet with this new horse because I had two more sisters by this time and the three of us kept her pretty busy. Also neither one of them had the affliction for which she was grateful! Unfortunately for Mom I still bothered her to help me saddle and bridle, because the horse was bigger and he always would lift his head higher than I could reach to put the bridle on. Funny how horses always know how to out smart a 6 year old kid.

By now I was becoming a better rider and Dad would take me with him in the spring of the year to help turn out the cattle in the forests of eastern Oregon for summer grazing. This was a big highlight for me because I got to spend two weeks with my Dad and grandfather up in the hills at buckaroo camp and ride all day. Another bonus to this was getting out of school early at the end of year. It was only a day or two before school ended officially, but it was fun to tell all my friends that summer vacation was starting early for me. I rode in the hills every spring until I graduated from high school and I still have fond memories of trailing cattle through the ponderosa forests.

My horse riding skills improved daily because I was always riding, even in the winter. When you live on a working cattle ranch you ride continuously no matter the weather or the conditions. I think it made me a better-rounded horsewoman for it. Of course Mom still got the brunt of my horse adventures, especially in the spring when I would come in from at ride bare back and then throw my pants with horsehair and sweat stuck to them in the washer usually unannounced to her and promptly turn it on so that I could have clean jeans for riding the next day. I never looked to see what else might be in there and mom was hollering at me because horsehair got everywhere even in the clean clothes!

Brandings were a fun event for me as well; I think it made my Dad nervous for a change instead of Mom. He was always warning me to remember to keep my fingers out of the dallies when I was roping. I remember him saying, “Remember to keep your thumb up Sis!” I never worked on the ground with my mother or my youngest sisters. That was just not my style; I wanted to be horseback and roping to bring the calves to the fire. I was now riding my Dad’s best working stock horse “Chester”. (Who, by the way if you were to ask him, Dad would tell you to this day that I just ruined “Chester” chasing barrels.) I probably did, but it sure was fun! Chester was the best roping horse that Dad had; he knew when to pull, when to let off, and when to hold the rope tight. I pretty much just sat there and threw the loop. When things went smoothly it was fun, but when things went wrong it could get ugly. I remember one year when I was roping and the rope got stuck under my horse’s tail. Now talk about a bucking fit, it made ole Wonder Horse look docile. Chester clamped his tail down; Dad started yelling “turn him out from under it Sis,” and the other cowboys just got out of the way to give ole Chester room to move. I managed to get the rope out, but I had lost the calf and that hurt my feelings more than the ribbing I got at lunch break.














Dad and Chester, 1971 winning the Harney County Stock Horse Futurity for the 5-year-old division.


I grew up with knowledge of horses that just scratched the surface, I thought I knew enough to break colts out for other people and then I went to college, got married and had kids. At this point horses were not a part of my life and it just about drove me crazy. The horse disease had reared its head again. My first husband just about died the day I came home with a friend and said, “Hi love, I just bought a horse.” The look on this poor man’s face was pure devastation; you would have thought I had slugged him in the stomach. He did finally understand that no matter how much you take the girl out of the country the country is always going to stay in the girl. Horses are the same way, you take the horse away from the girl but the girl is still going to long for the horse. Or figure out a way to get the horse to the girl. Yep you guessed it. I got the horse to the girl and it was a Half Arabian gelding, black just like my stick horses of the past and green so that I could break him out the way I wanted. His name, Shadow Dancer!

Shadow and I at a local Indiana horse show, riding saddle seat aside.

Poor Shadow was now the victim of a person that hadn’t been around horses for about 12 years. I was so excited to have another horse that I did just about everything to him, western riding, English, cutting, roping, and driving just to name a few. As time went on we even went elk hunting together, which he enjoyed as long as the elk were still alive. The dead part just wasn’t his cup of tea, but if you needed to know where the game was just look between his ears, for those ears were greatest radar detectors for elk or deer that I’ve ever seen in action, he always would see them before me.

I sent Shadow to my niece to use for pony club so that she and her sister would not have to share a horse. I always had one and I though it was only fair they should each have one to ride. My friends have all teased me that I have given away the best horse that I will ever own. Yet I ask them “how will I know unless I get a new one and see how that colt will turn out?” I have been blessed with several Shadows over the years and each one is always a new challenge and I look forward to many more. I hope that Mankind will never get a cure for this affliction and hope that many more ladies and gentleman get to be just a crazy as I have been. You never known when it is going to strike you whether you are young or old but I can tell you that there isn’t a more wonderful way to spend your life than with a horse!

From the beginning


For the last several years a good friend of mine (Brad Abrams) has been after me to try Cowboy Mounted Shooting. I have until this January turned him down as I was very involved with my favorite type of riding sidesaddle.
I grew up learning the art from my Great Grandmother and had been riding aside from the age of 11. Brad kept telling me that I could ride aside while shooting and that if I would just give it a try I would love it.


Growing up as a kid, barrels and poles were not something that was allowed with my father as he always stated my sisters and I would ruin his saddle horses by chasing cans (barrel racing) and what good was pole bending for a cowhorse.

So with all this talk trapped in my head from my dad, the thought of running stages with poles, pylons, and barrels complete with 2 colt .45 loaded with black powder blanks wasn't to appealing to me. Until I got to watching some videos on YouTube and watching Annie Bianco-Ellett in action. I was hooked and Brad got his wish.





So this year I began on a journey with my show horse A Saber Salute who is now converted to CMSA and we both had allot of learning to do. Prefecting our neck reining, learning to shoot on a moving horse, cleaning guns, and Saber had to learn to be alone in the arena and trust me that the balloons were not out to get him!
I remember my first stage in Cloverdale, Indiana at the Grand Am hosted by the Indiana Rough Riders and the Illiana Rangers. I forgot that I had to pull the hammer back after each shot. After the first balloon burst and I just kept squeezing the trigger and nothing was happening. Then it dawn on me after I blew past the last balloon before the rundown barrel what I forgot. I was laughing so hard when I crossed the time line that Brad wanted to know if the gun had jammed? All I could do was explain it isn't semi automatic is it?!?