Yesterday Don and I took Bernard, Ellsworth and Patrick to visit Carson and the herd at 7MSN.

Patrick hadn’t been loaded into a trailer since he came to Morning Bray Farm back in March, and we worried about how he would do.

Something I never told you is that Patrick’s former people used a cattle prod to trailer load him.

Well, world, I’m here to tell ya… Patrick don’t need no cattle prod to load into a trailer. Our fluffy boy walked right in.

I was so excited that he could be part of the adventure yesterday. So happy that he got to experience the beauty of life.

It was interesting how the addition of Patrick made things feel different. It felt like a herd this time. Just like that, the boys played and played.

The icing on the cake was my best ride yet on Big Red. Thanks to Carson and Lucy, Big Red and I learned a ton, gained confidence and had a blast.

We practiced a one-rein stop, we trotted, we loped and we maneuvered up and down and through and over various obstacles. Big Red was cooperative, willing and confident. Life was beautiful yesterday!

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On Saturday morning, Don and I loaded Ellsworth into the trailer and headed down to see Ryan for a lesson and a trail ride. (Ellsworth walked right into the trailer with no aids, by the way.)

Once we arrived, we started by warming Ellsworth up in the round pen.

And then headed out on the trail. Me on Big Red and Ryan on Murphy.

Ellsworth was a star. Since the trail we took is closed to vehicles, Ellsworth had to step over a metal fence bar about a foot off the ground at the beginning of our ride. Good boy! I can tell you without a doubt there’s no way he would have done that five weeks ago.

Ellsworth walked strong and tall and I couldn’t stop smiling.

We walked down the canal path for about 20 minutes, then into the bosque a short distance to the river.

It was surreal to be sitting atop Big Red, quietly watching and enjoying the beauty of the Rio Grande.

And to think, this is just the beginning!

I ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Ellsworth.

Just like that, our boy is now a man.

Big Red got his first headstall, bit and reins on Saturday.

Ryan selected an eggbutt snaffle bit to get Ellsworth started.

Ellsworth took to it like an old pro.

I’m so proud of him.

A few adjustments were necessary, but as always, Ellsworth was very patient.

Lessons for Big Red – Week Two

Lessons for Big Red – Week One

Do you know the feeling you get when you realize you’ve made a really good decision?

Hiring Ryan to train Ellsworth this summer was an excellent decision. 

On Saturday, during Ellsworth’s sixth lesson, Ryan took Ellsworth on his very first trail ride.

With Ryan’s experience and confidence guiding him, Ellsworth did a phenomenal job.

Ryan has a knack for knowing what Ellsworth needs and what he’s ready for.

Perhaps it was the antics of Ellsworth’s brothers on Saturday that prompted Ryan to take Ellsworth off the property for his maiden ride. Check out the peanut gallery:

Ellsworth clearly responds to Ryan’s consistency, perseverance and patience. For example, getting Ellsworth to cross over these logs has always been a big challenge for us on our walks.

On Saturday, Ryan had Ellsworth walking over them inside of five minutes.

And riding across them inside of seven.

Hey, Ryan? Don’t forget us when you’re famous, okay?

Lessons for Big Red – Week One

Ellsworth had his first official saddle training lesson on Tuesday afternoon, and let me tell you, he was a star pupil.

We’re very excited that after taking Ellsworth down to their farm, Ryan has agreed to work with and saddle train Ellsworth at Morning Bray Farm this summer.

As was the case the last time Ryan worked with Ellsworth, Ryan was confident, assertive, calm and quiet with him. It was a beautiful thing watching such a talented young man work with Big Red.

Ryan’s methods revolve around building Ellsworth’s confidence rather than instructing by force. I’m seeing Ellsworth react so positively to Ryan’s tact, and I couldn’t be more proud of them both.

Ryan has agreed to let me take notes and pictures so that you can follow along. Both Ryan and Big Red are going to do great things this summer!

Lessons for Big Red – Week Two