Sunday, August 28, 2005

Here's Tommie Turvey with his trick horse "Pokerjoe" and Queensland Healer "Bandit". (Tommie is the one with the sunglasses.) photo by Kay Fellows. Posted by Picasa

Training Horses

Things have been really busy for me. I have been working with a new team of horses to put with our new chariots. They are Caesar and Spartacus. Father and son. 9 and 5 year old quarterhorse bay geldings. Spar has two white socks and a snip on the nose to add a little more color than his dad. They are good natured, but haven't been worked in a while. We see a lot of potential in them as a roman riding team too. They will even turn out better than my Cavalia team of Bandit and Hollywood. Bandit was the troublemaker on that team, but I think C and S will get along fine and work together really well. They look really nice. I'll get you photos as soon as I can. What can I say about "Sugar Cookie". Everybody who sees here falls in love with her. She is a rare breed and has this beautiful gentle look about her. (Don't be fooled though, she is a BIG draft horse who uses her size to get her way sometimes.) We are working on her manners and lots of ground control. When we start to work her in the round pen or on the lunge line she is little stand offish at first, but once she gets those big legs moving, the fire starts to burn and she gets all excited to work. She's a lot of horse to keep clean too, but we use a great shampoo from Absorbine (Superpoo) that keeps her clean and soft. I have been working on her show looks, taking care of her mane and tail with the Absorbine "Sante Fe" Detangler/Conditioner and trimming her up with our WAHL StablePro Clippers. This will enhance her beautiful mane and tail. I'm trying to get her mane to part on both sides. I think that will look beautiful under spot lights. A nice shiny coat, hoof polish and shimmery mane and tail. She's got so much potential. Tommie and I would love to do a bareback routine on her, just like we did together at Arabian Nights. She is also a nice driving horse. A friend of ours developed this cool new cart he calls the millenium cart. She will also be a favorite at any event, parade, or clinic. She has quite a history too. I'll publish her story on the website soon. She is destined to be a show horse!
Tommie has been incredibly busy working and training horses. He works everything from colts to wild mustangs to his own trained horses. He has been non-stop every day. In addition to training the ground work, he still has to add in the trick training. With all of the horses, he trains about 6 hours a day with the other 10 hours doing the cleaning, shoeing, washing, sweeping, and office work. He is constantly on the phone when he isn't training. You will never see him on the phone or chatting with someone when he is training. He wants to make sure he keeps the bond between him and his horses so there are no distractions so he can reach the goal he set for the day and be done. He really believes in only training what is needed. Giving the horse a way to do what is asked and then rewarded by being left alone in the paddock or stall to be a horse. Horses have such a keen sense and memory. They remember the good and bad things that happen, so that's why I like to give my horses something good to remember before I put them away with plenty of praise and pats. They really understand your voice, emotions, and body language. That's why we don't use treats to reward good behavior or as a reward for doing a trick. It creates a bad habit of the horse looking for treats or even biting at your pants pocket. We usually notice this from horses who are well trained but a bit pushy or disrespectful towards their owners. We want the experience of the training to be a loving one for the horse, where your excited voice and emotions are what he/she enjoys, not just about food or treats. Horses are grazing animals who eat any chance they can, so we give treats only when it serves a direct purpose. We know some trainers or owners who give treats after each trick, but we believe for most people it will create another problem and takes away from the loving caring relationship you should be developing.
Time to get back to work. Thanks for all the emails and questions too. I try to answer them all, so be patient. We have lots of cool stuff on the horizon including new t-shirts, sweatshirts, and training gear. Get ready all you "Equine Extremists" out there! Time to Ride Fast... Take Chances!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Rescued a Little Dog

Recently driving home in Clermont I drove down my road by the lake and saw this little dog hopping on three legs in the middle of the road. My first reaction was the doggy got hit and was running away scared. With all the development in the area the road was quite busy with traffic and it was 5:00pm to boot. I drove up about 10 feet behind the pooch and he kept hobbling along in the middle of the road, so I quickly stopped my car in the middle of the road, put on my flashers, jumped out and ran to get the doggie out of harms way. In the 30 seconds it took for me to catch the pup, the 6 or 7 cars behind me started beeping their horns and two of them drove around my car in the left lane and flew by me and the pup with no regards to what was happening. I guess they were in such a hurry to get home after a long day at work. I'd hate to imagine what would have happened if those cars would have gotten to the doggie before I did. The lady directly behind me gave me a nice wave to let me know she didn't mind waiting the extra minute to save the dogs life. We brought the dog to our house to check out, but he didn't seem to be in any pain with his leg. We then drove the neighborhood asking if anybody knew the dog. After about an hour we saw this couple who lived about 300 yards down the road where I picked the dog up, crossing the street and looking around the bushes. As soon as we drove up the ladies face went from concern to pure joy! They told us the dog had a bad leg from birth, so we were happy that it wasn't hit by a car. They thanked us and said I was an "angel" watching over their dog. They were worried because of all the speeding traffic going by. After we left, I had this really good feeling inside. After thinking about it, it was pretty dangerous doing what I did, but sometimes instinct takes over and you have to do what you have to do for someone or something that can't do it for themself. I have two doggies and hope someone would do the same if they were in the same situation.
Ride Fast... Take Chances!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Here is the latest addition to our stables. She is a beautiful American Cream draft horse. She just makes you smile when you see her. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 15, 2005

Got a chance to take a breather!

Sorry it has been a while since I added to this journal, but I was without internet for 4 weeks and now we're getting ready for more shows in August and Sept. We have lots of exciting stuff in store. I was helping build our new roman chariots at the fabricators. Jon Wearley designed them and had them built here in Florida. I can't wait to take them out and race them! They are a lot of fun. We now have to train 2 teams of horses to pull them around the arena. It is hot hot hot in Florida. I guess being on the west coast for a year and a half made me forget about the incredibly hot weather, but I love the sun and the water.
We have lots of stuff going on an I promise to fill you in as the week goes on. (Now that I'm sort of caught up and ready to start working and training horses again.) Time to hit the road for my morning run. Photos to come!
Ride Fast... Take Chances!

Tommie Turvey performs with Pokerjoe