Here is an example of us helping one of our students find their first horse.  
Melody and 10 year old Nicole were wanting their first horse.  They needed
an older horse that they could learn on, trail ride, play in fun shows and just
enjoy without getting hurt.

After Kasey determined what they wanted and needed she located
Gunsmoke in Garland, TX  After interviewing the owner, Donna, Kasey made
arrangements for Melody and Nicole to come with her and Mike and take a
look at Gunsmoke.  (See what Melody wrote to us afterwards)
Melody looks at Gunsmoke
After Mike has looked over the horse to verify
age, and check for other problems he asks
Melody to take a good look at Gunsmoke while
he gets the tack ready.  She wants a horse that
will stand quiet and not fight, bite or kick when
tied up.
Time to Groom out
We asked the owner not to get Gunsmoke
ready so we could let Melody groom him
out. Melody wants to check Gunsmoke
carefully to make sure that he will be
gentle enough for her 10 year old daughter
to handle.  Gunsmoke stands quiet for her.
Nicole and Gunsmoke
Nicole likes Gunsmoke already.  
But we have a few more things to
look at before we can give the
thumbs up or not.
Mike adjusts the tack
Mike always brings his own tack  to try
the horse out in.  Just in case the
owner's tack is not in good condition or
is not safe.  Sometimes the owner's tack
does not fit or is not suited for the horse.
Let's check you out
Mike longe lines the horse to see
if it is trained to do so and to
check for lameness, discomfort
or behavioral issues.
Everyone watches
Melody and Nicole stand with
Gunsmoke's owner, Donna as
they watch Mike evaluate him.
Gunsmoke is doing great!
Mike sizes the bridle that will be
used to ride Gunsmoke.  
Gunsmoke is being very good.
Mike talks to Melody
Mike explains something to
Melody while Gunsmoke waits
patiently.
Mike tests the horse
Mike tries to back Gunsmoke.  
Gunsmoke does a great job.
Were you trained by a
professional?
We can't ask Gunsmoke this, but
luckily there are other ways to tell.
Time for Melody to ride
We decide that Gunsmoke is a
good safe horse in the round
pen.  Melody happily hops on to
take Gunsmoke for a spin.
How does he ride?
Mike gives Melody some pointers
before she gets going so she
can get the most out of
Gunsmoke.
Melody test rides Gunsmoke
Melody gets a feel for Gunsmoke
in the arena to see if she likes
the way he behaves under
saddle.
Nicole test rides Gunsmoke
Nicole gets to try Gunsmoke
next.  He is doing a super job!
Melody test rides Gunsmoke
out in the open
Melody rides Gunsmoke out in
the pasture to see if he still
behaves well.  He does and we
are all very pleased.
We got this email the
following week...

Hey Kasey,

Just wanted to let you
know that Gunsmoke was
WONDERFUL today.   
Nicole gave him a few
apple slices and we
started grooming him, he
completely relaxed and
seemed to decide that he
liked us! We groomed him
and just talked to him for
about 45 minutes, then we
tacked him up.

I free lunged him (he did
great) and then me and
Nicole rode him in the
round pen, then headed
off onto the 150 acres of
trails (Nicole rode) with  
some other girls for two
hours and he just did
WONDERFUL! He
definitley knows what to do
on the trail and he just
had great manners
around the other horses
and with Nicole. He's so
calm and sweet and he's
just the perfect size for us.
He did great with his new
bit (I got just what Mike
said- a tom thumb, copper
mouthpiece, med. shank
and a curb strap). And I
bought him one of those
blankets that y'all have
and put that on him for
tonight.

Thank you, thank you so
much for finding him! I did
call Donna today (the
seller) and let her know
how he was doing and she
was grateful that I called.

Talk to you soon!
Melody
Thumbs Up!
Everybody just loves Gunsmoke.  
He passed our tests with flying
colors.  Congratulations Melody
and Nicole on your new horse!
Mike and Kasey,

Here are a couple of pictures from Nicole's first show with Gunsmoke (it was this
past Saturday at our barn- they have shows monthly). They participated in the
halter, showmanship and horsemanship classes. She won three 2nd place, two
3rd place, and one 6th place ribbons.

Take care!
Melody
M-Bar-K Farms
Gun Smoke