Friday, April 15, 2011

Maggie Speaks: Flag is Up Farms and Audition for America's Favorite Trail Horse

Heading to the Audition Arena
Hi.  Maggie here again.  I like to tell my own story because I am meeting lots of nice humans on the trail and I want to connect with you directly.  You can also friend me on Facebook under the name of Northerly Magdalena.

For those of you new to this blog, my human has been writing most of it for a couple of years.  Recently I got my own Facebook account, and I like telling my own story so much that now I'm writing here too.

If you have a question for my human, you can email her at, or friend her on Facebook too.

Last weekend, my human took me to Flags Up Farm in Solvang.  It was a very nice place, and Magic and Midnight were in big stalls beside me, to keep me company.  It was nice to have them there, because I was a little nervous for my big audition.  I could hear them cheering for me from their stalls, and when I was nervous, my human would take me to see them.  I wasn't nervous very long, because I'm used to travel and like to see new places.

We got to the audition site in the rain.  The entrance to Monty Roberts' ranch was very beautiful - purple flowers called Wisteria were hanging off the gate, and the long driveway was very impressive.  There were lots of horses around and lots of green grass paddocks.  There was even a racetrack and I got to run around it once.  There was another horse trying to follow me, but he couldn't keep up.  If the track wasn't so muddy I could have run even faster.  I really like to race.

Entry to Monty Roberts Ranch in Solvang
Flag is Up Farms
The Race Track at Flag is Up Farms
I had a good run here, even though the rain made it muddy.

Here is one of the other competitors.  This nice mule stayed next to me.
I think he did his figure 8 better than me...

Look how nice this horse looks.  I love the color of the coat...
This horse's human was really fancy...

The Audition Arena
The Office at Flag is Up Farms
This beautiful palomino is an Australian Stock horse.
His humans raise them in California.  

Saffron's human, Betsey, and my human, Trish Wild.
They liked each other as much as Saffron and I liked each other.
Almost ready.

My new human friend Chance drove his truck to pull our trailer.
He also gave me food and brushed me a lot.
My new human friend, Chance.
He plays guitar and sings to me by the fire.
We had good food there, and my human gave me extra grain with molasses on it.  I love food.  I slept really well, and my feet don't hurt anymore because I have my nice Eponashoes on.  I laid down in soft shavings and slept a lot that night.  My human and her friend, Chance, stayed somewhere else and came back the next morning to get me ready for my audition.
Saffron and her human Betsey.  Saffron was in the stall next to me.
Her audition was just before mine.
I had to wait a couple of hours, and while we were waiting, my human took me into a round pen and we practiced our yoga together and I got to blow off some steam.  I was feeling pretty good by the time my number was called.
This is my number.  See my name?

I trotted right over the poles and did my side pass really well, but when it came time to back around the cones in a figure 8, I just couldn't see them.  They were too close together, and I stepped on one of them.  After that, we did our yoga together for our freestyle portion, and I always like that.  Then my human talked into some sort of stick that made her voice very loud.  I guess it is going to take 2-3 weeks for us to find out if we get to be on TV in Texas.

Entering the Arena
Attempting the Backward Figure 8.  Oops.
Equine Yoga Freestyle Demo
I am meditating and standing very still in Mountain Pose.
Then we were done, and the humans took us to a nice place to camp for the night called Rancho Oso.

The barn at Rancho Oso
Cute cabins that humans can rent at Rancho Oso
It was about an hour drive from Solvang, but it was a beautiful day, and I like to see the ocean.  We went for a short ride around the Ranch in the evening and then we had a little fire and I liked listening to the guitar music the human named Chance played for us.  He was a really good singer too.  I liked being in the woods and listening to the music.  I had a nice dinner and slept laying down.

That's my human friend Donna riding me.
I usually am in front.
My human is riding Magic.
Me and Midnight and Magic on the trail at Rancho Oso.
Donna, Paul, and Trish in the saddle.
Here I am, waiting for the boys to catch up.
Nice grass to eat here...
Doesn't Donna have nice boots?
Amber, Donna and Paul's dog.  She liked me, and spent time in the corral with me.
She likes to eat my grain.  She's very gentle and doesn't bark at me.
She likes to dig holes...

The next day, we all got in the trailer and drove to a place called Pismo Beach.  That was fun, because there were lots of people on the beach and people drive their cars right next to the ocean.  I learned that the surf is not dangerous and got to run in the water, which felt really great.  Magic and Midnight are still really afraid to get in the ocean, but I'm not anymore.  It makes me a little dizzy to stare at the waves though...
On the Beach at Montana de Oro
Chance riding bareback on Magic

We spent about an hour at Pismo Beach, and then got back in the trailer with our saddles still on.  We drove north again to Montana de Oro beach, which is near Los Osos and just south of Morro Bay.
Chance and Donna on Midnight and Magic
Riding on the dunes at Montana de Oro

We had so much fun here!  We got to walk on trails all over beautiful dunes with flowers everywhere, and got up high above the ocean so we could see a long way, which I love.
There were many types of flowers on the dunes.
Donna riding Midnight
Riding on the soft sand dunes was epic!

Magic at the crest of the hill.
You can see a long ways from up here..
I love this view, and I love this human, Paul.

Then we had to go down a super steep trail to the beach, but it wasn't that hard because it was sandy.  The humans that were riding us were a little bit scared because it was so steep, but I wasn't afraid at all.

Coming down the steep trail.
It was a lot steeper than it looks in the photo.
Chance is happy because Magic made it down the steep hill ok.
Midnight and Donna.  She is a really good rider.
She is a Kundalini Guru and I think it gives her really good 
balance and a sense of calm that we horses like.
Once we got to the bottom, we got to run down the beach and we even raced a little bit.  One time my saddle turned and the human Paul fell off of me on the sand.  I kept running for a little ways, but finally I stopped because I did not like the saddle hanging off my side.
Our Friends from Colorado, Gwen and Aaron, meet Donna

Racing on the beach is fun.
Here we are riding with our friends from Colorado, Gwen and Aaron.
I like to carry Gwen.  She doesn't weigh very much.
That rock behind Magic is in Morrow Bay
Magic is being taught to rear, in case he gets to be in the movies someday.
I wish everyone would ride bareback.
It is so much nicer for us horses.
The first thing Midnight did when he got his saddle off was roll in the sand.
I like to go in the ocean now.
I was afraid at first because it was so loud, but now I like it.
I like to run on the beach in the water.
My human likes to be in the water too.
We didn't see this wave was going to be this big....
I'm laughing because my human got really wet!
She was laughing too.
We had a great time.  We love each other!
Magic carried Chance and Trish out bareback.
He's very strong.
It was a pretty great day.  I got a lot of exercise and was pretty tired at the end of it.  We went back to the Ranch and I went to sleep after my dinner.

Crossing the river at Rancho Oso
The next morning after our yoga, we went for another ride around the ranch, and that was really nice, because we got to climb up to a very high mountain and could see a very long way, which is one of my favorite things.  We also crossed some pretty deep rivers, but I didn't quite have to swim.  A new human, Chance rode me, and he was very kind to me.  One time I ran really fast and he was bouncing in my saddle so much I thought he might fall, so I slowed down after that.

Chance made it across the river!
Crossing the second river.
I almost had to swim, it was so deep.
It felt nice and cool.
Paul is worried that Midnight is going downstream.
I am watching Midnight and Magic head toward
the water rushing over Paradise Road.
I can tell they are afraid, but I'm not.  I'm not afraid of anything.
Magic is walking very carefully because it's a little bit slippery.
Midnight turned around and came back because he wants me to go first.
Midnight stepped off the road into the river.  It's a good thing it wasn't very deep!
Paul had to work very hard to turn him around and cross.
Sometimes my brother is very stubborn.
This is the trail we decided to take to the top of a hill.
This is the view from the top of Paradise Valley.
On the left in the distance you can see all the
horse trailers parked at Rancho Oso.
We are camped in the woods by the river by ourselves though.
My human likes to be away from lots of people.
Here we are posing for the view shot.
I like to pose for the camera.
This is Chance.  I like him a lot.  Maybe sometime he'll try to ride me bareback.
Paul is very happy to get to the top.
He was a little bit scared of the narrow trails we climbed to get here.
Here's another view pose.  I am helping Chance take the photo by standing very still.
Here we go down the hill again.
Back at camp, we met up with our neighbors who were camped nearby.
Making fun of Trish and the crazy way she poses for photos.
"Do a Trish photo!",  they said.  I think they look like they are having fun.
This is Gayle.  She was nice and I like the way her hat matches her shirt.
This is Gayle's daughter - I can't remember her name....but isn't she pretty?
This is Gayle's daughter's friend.  I love her big smile.  I like to be with humans that are happy.
Here are their three horses.  They have wild flowers in their bridles.
This flower looks nice in this horse's bridle, doesn't it?
When humans do this, I think it shows that they love us.
I enjoyed the whole weekend very much.  The humans had a lot of fun, and their little dog Amber came and ate with me.  Sometimes she would just sit and be with me.  I really like that a lot.  I saw a facebook video about a cat and a dolphin the other day who were best friends, and I would like to have a pet like that.  Amber is really sweet.  I hope my human gets me a pet someday...

After our big ride of 15 miles, we got back into the trailer and broke down the tents.  Then we drove home.  The humans fed us a nice supper and told us we could rest for a day.

I hope I did well enough to get on that reality TV show.  I want to get some lessons with Monty Roberts.

I was tired today, and just rested and ate all day.  Tomorrow the humans are going to clean the trailer, and then we might go for another ride somewhere.  I just love meeting new humans.  Especially when they bring me carrots and apples.  Yum.