It’s been a very hectic week or so. I spent three days at the Western & English market show in Denver. It is one of the biggest market shows there is—a show where manufacturers and distributors sell goods at wholesale to tack stores and the like. It’s a bit overwhelming with all the products, from fashion apparel to tack to new and innovative products just coming on the scene. It’s fun but exhausting, and a great time to network with other professionals and see what’s new in the industry. It was nice to say hello to a fellow clinicians like Ken McNabb, Craig Cameron, Chris Cox and Stacey Westfall.
On Monday, we jumped a flight to Phoenix and Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday was spent filming six new episodes of Horse Master. It’s a very busy three days when we film. We start at first light and continue, with only a brief lunch break, until the sun sets and it’s too dark. Thankfully, we have an awesome crew—the regulars are Heidi (producer), Steve (videographer and editor), Cheryl (wardrobe) and T Cody (trainer that works with the riders in their practice sessions). We are also always dependent on a few volunteer “grips” (Hollywood slang for go-fors) and this time we had two local women that were absolutely incredible to work with—Vicky and Leanne. We always try to have fun while we are filming but it is still lots of hard work and long days and I appreciate the dedicated work of all the crew.
We had a great variety of subjects to film—Barbara, with a giant forward moving TB that she couldn’t stop; Andrea, with an OTTB (off-the-track Thoroughbred) who she was hoping to convert into a family horse; Mika, with a herd-bound QH mare that threw tantrums any time you separate her from her buddy; Beth, whose spooky young horse was afraid of everything, including the saddle; Devon, a young man with a half-Arab sport horse that had very explosive canter transitions; and Laurie, whose TB gelding wouldn’t load in a trailer (understatement).
I think all of the episodes turned out well. My two favorites were Devon and Laurie, because their horses made the most dramatic turnarounds. When I watched Devon as we filmed his “before” footage (the very first thing we do in each episode—this is the time when we decide what the issue really is) I could see the very obvious problem, but wasn’t sure what I could do for him. When Devon cued his horse, he would explode into the canter, sometimes bucking, always running off; then he would be nervous and jiggy and anticipating the cue. “Rocky” was a very handsome horse that they bought with the hopes of showing but his behavior made showing impossible and it wasn’t obvious to me what Devon was doing to cause this kind of reaction. I got on and rode Rocky and found the key to smooth transitions and amazingly, Devon was able to change the way he rode this horse right away and the results were tremendous. Both Devon and his mom were thrilled with the progress they made.
The trailer loading episode was pretty wild and I have sore muscles all over my body as a reminder. Turned out the horse had some ground manner issues (no surprise) and had learned the very nasty trick of rearing, snatching his nose away and running off, dragging behind him whoever happened to be holding the lead line (fondly referred to as dirt skiing). This issue was separate from the loading problem, but made loading difficult, if not downright impossible. I had to put a chain on his nose, over the rope halter, in order to gain the leverage I needed to keep control of him. Once we got that problem resolved, it was a short time before he was walking calmly in and out of the trailer. Again, the turnaround was very dramatic and I think we got some great footage.
All the best,
I am back to work and Devon to school and boy, are we missing the excitement….Thank you for having Devon and Rocky [registered name “Bradaigh”]. It really was a super experience for both of them!
Check out Queen Creek’s new equestrian facility! Thanks to all of Queen Creek!
Thank you for your patience, your guidance and your hard work last week at the Arizona Horse Master shoot. Where you all get your boundless energy is beyond me – I was totally exhausted by the time we left on Wednesday and not worth much the rest of the week.
Heidi, you were right – you all made a nerve-wracking experience fun (somewhat fun, anyhow!).
Steve, your unfailing cheerfulness and calmness really helped Copper and I settle in during our shoot (well, o.k., as settled as my nerves could get!).
Cheryl, you are as good having my mom there. 🙂 Thanks for so politely tucking in my mic and shirt; and even bigger thanks for the positive thoughts and pats on the shoulder.
You are an awesome team – Julie is lucky to have you as her filming crew. And I am lucky for having met you, too!
Barb Hawkins and Copper Mountain
Due to the incredible smiles and support we had, I had to drop a note to all as well. Everyone, from the facility at Queen Creek’s Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre to the cast, grips, Nutramax our ever present sponsor, and even those that brought horses AFTER the episodes were shot! Thank You! We worked fairly hard with long hours and it is truly appreciated to be able to look around during all of that and see patience, smiles, and even some laughter. With such incredible support by all, we are truly fortunate. To ALL involved, thank you from 12Basket Productions, as well. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Proudly shooting and editing HorseMaster with Julie Goodnight!
What an experience! I am still not sure how to sum it all up, but I can say that it has cast a new light on the way I work with Orion. He is actually fairly relaxed at home and I had been ignoring little things because they did not seem like anything to worry about. The minute we leave the property everything changes and he exhibits the behaviors that you all saw last week. Whenever this would happen, I would feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed It seemed like the behaviors came out of nowhere. I realized 2 things the day of the shoot (probably sometime when Orion was running loose after escaping): 1. These issues are present at home, I am just not paying attention to them. 2. I have been giving him a pass when we are off of the property because he is “worried.” Filming that episode has really given me pause to consider what to do next. I’m still considering, but it seems like upping the ante on ground work is in order, along with a zero tolerance policy. I’ll keep you posted because I think Orion and I are in for a lot of changes (good ones) as a result of Julie’s help.
Thanks to all of you for your patience and kind words during the filming.
P.S. Orion stepped right into the trailer to come home and then quickly backed out. This appears to be our new challenge, but we have the tools now!