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2012 Meet up group EVENTS

Alamo Mini Harness Club

2013 Group Event Planners

Elizabeth Pannill - Coordinator

  Gail Gavit 

  Debi Curtsinger  - event emails

Robyne Rebman

Debra Bohnsack - website/emails

If you would like to host or help plan an event, please feel free to email anyone above. Your ideas are welcomed!

Saturday, January 21st -  2012

Equine Massage Clinic and Open Driving 
Massage Clinic 10am – 2pm      Open Driving 10-4pm

Hosted by Debi Curtsinger in Hondo

Participating with a horse – (Limit of nine horses) – $25.00

Auditors – $10.00

Lorre Mueller of MAGGA MASSAGE will conduct an Equine Massage Clinic using the Masterson Method among other techniques. You can learn more about Lorre on her website. We will learn ways through massage to help our horses perform better, feel better and stay sound! Those who bring horses will work on massage techniques with their horses. Sports massage differs from other forms of massage in that it focuses on the prevention of future muscle injury, not just the cause of muscle injury and its relief. Sports massage utilizes classic Swedish massage techniques, which is a vigorous massage intended to energize and invigorate the muscles. The specific strokes used in sports massage are designed to break up muscle adhesions† in order for muscles to be restored to their proper function. 
† Adhesions are "clumps" of tissue that restrict the proper shortening and lengthening of the muscle tissue.
There is a limit of nine horses to participate in this clinic, so sign up early! This is also an open driving day, so feel free to come out and drive before, during or after the clinic. If you have young horses, bring them along to socialize them to new places.

As usual, please bring your lunch, chair and beverages. Negative coggins required. 
PLEASE RSVP TO DEBI CURTSINGER AT      lefox215@aol.com 
Facts & Benefits of Equine Massage


Improves muscle tone and increases range of motion 
Increases flexibility and performance 
Balances the body by treating it as a whole instead of individual parts 
Alleviates muscle pain and tightness 
Reduces inflammation and swelling 
Promotes healing by improving circulation 
Relieves muscle tension so that the muscles can relax 
Lengthens connective tissue which results in the reduction of adhesions in the muscle 
Loosens and softens scar tissue 
Prevents atrophy (wasting) of inactive muscles

- Massage may be able to relieve:

- Trouble with transitions
- Trouble picking up leads
- Shortened or choppy strides
- Girthing problems
- Irritability or resistance
- Hind end weakness
We had a great trurn out for the Equine Massage Clinic! Throughout years of horse ownership, I had never learned anything about massage and how much it could benefit our horses. I know I join everyone who attended the clinic in thanking Debi & JJ Cursinger for hosting the clinic, and Lorre Mueller for being passionate in sharing her knowledge of equine massage. She presented a huge amount of beneficial information , along with a very informative packet of techniques and diagrams to refer to. We were able to see horses that appeared tense and stiff transform into supple and relaxed ones with a bit of expert massage! Lorre went over areas that particularly apply to driving horses.....how to help relax and "give" the neck, encourage the horse to relax and flex at the poll, soften the jaw and bend the head from side to side, loosen up the shoulders, gently work the hind legs where stifles can sometimes be a problem.... and more.
Equine massage is something that many expressed an interest in learning more about! Some of those attending had a natural knack for catching on quickly....Diane Law stood out as a very fast study, while I must admit to having a harder time of it....including the "feather touch"! Several members harnessed up and drove the cones course, arena and field after the clinic. I think everyone learned a lot and had a great time!  

Please click here to read important meet up group safety and personal rules.

MARCH 2012

Saturday, March 24th
10 am – Will last until all animals are checked!

- Carl Mitz will inspect and work on animals brought throughout the day
- 12 noon Lunch Break – 30 minute Dental Seminar during lunch
- Dressage arena, 10 acre Open field, and Cones Course 
   for open practice driving throughout the day.

Hosted by Debra Bohnsack, Bandera
Cost per horse - $60 only if work is needed, no charge to inspect or for the seminar. Pay Mr. Mitz the day of event.

Carl Mitz Equine Dental Clinic! A big thank you to Carl for offering to conduct this clinic. Mr. Mitz will conduct a seminar at noon using mini horse skulls to show some of the unique challenges our smaller animals face. As he inspects and works on mini horses and mini donkeys that our members bring, he will answer questions throughout the day. For many of us, (including myself) Carl has provided expert care for our horses teeth for many years. If your mini horse OR mini donkey has not been seen by an equine dental professional in the last year, you need to come and bring your animals! Tooth issues can lead to a host of problems including poor weight gain, colic and driving problems due to bit fitting. You can look forward to skilled and professional service for your animal. We have a lot signed up so far to be checked, with space for plenty more.
I will also have a Cones Course set up, a regulation sized (30 x 60 Meter) Dressage Field set up and open driving in a 10 acre mowed field. I hope to have the back wooded trails open again for driving as well.

The Equine Dental Clinic with Carl Mitz was GREAT! Over 30 animals had their teeth checked and many needed work done. Carl performed a variety of services including removing wolf teeth, reducing canine teeth, floating off sharp edges, removing hooks and points and even removing tarter build up that can cause infection. He was able to point out many ulcers on the horses/donkeys cheeks from sharp teeth rubbing against them. Mr. Mitz also advised when a follow-up check was indicated based on each individual equine. All horses and donkeys that received care will be much healthier since they can eat more comfortably and carry a bit better too! He also had a very educational presentation of equine skulls displaying dental problems that are fairly common with minis. Among several display boards was one filled with over 100 wolf teeth. The display showed how very different they can be shaped from animal to animal, and why removal is most often suggested for a driving animal. We all enjoyed the presentation and had a great time!

The weather was a blessing with nice temperatures in the morning, and a sunny afternoon. We had 12 mini horses and donkeys enjoy driving both the cones course and around the property. Steve B. was official timer for anyone wanting to be timed through the cones and we had prizes for fastest and slowest times! Janie Amdal of Chimacum tack donated a nose buckle halter and a matching set of mini bell and splint boots as prizes. The day was filled with smiles and Carl Mitz commented what a really nice group of people the Alamo members were!

I’d like to thank Carl Mitz for his presentation along with everyone who came out and enjoyed the beautiful day. I’ll have lots of pictures from this event on the group website soon. Now lets think about our Easter Drive and Party! 


APRIL 2012

Saturday, April 21st 2011 10am – 5pm
Agarita Ranch Trail Drive & EASTER Party in the Saloon ! (weather permitting)
Agarita Ranch, Lockhart, TX
www.agaritaranch.com ( website link)

Hosted by Elizabeth Pannill DVM & Debra Bohnsack

Please join us Saturday, April 21st between 10am-5pm at beautiful Agarita Ranch in Lockhart for a festive pot luck EASTER Party and a day of driving fun! The trails are made for carriage driving and encompass over 130 acres that wind through woods and have optional obstacles set up. This facility is made for CDE competition! They have a full size dressage arena set up and our club will set up a cones course. Feel free to drive through the trails and around the ranch or have fun practicing cones and dressage. These will not be timed or judged...it’s just for fun! There is an old western town at Agarita ranch and it's complete with stalls for keeping your horse during the day or overnight. If you have young horses or donkeys not yet driving, bring them along for a walk through the beautiful trails and get them used to new places.

On Saturday we’ll have a brief meeting at 10 am, then be harnessed up by 11am and ready to start the group trail drive led by Liz Pannill. After the group trail drive you may explore the trails on your own, use the dressage arena or practice the cones course.There are MANY trails to enjoy. Around 1 pm we will all meet in the Lucky Lady Saloon for an Alamo Club EASTER Party! The saloon has a small fridge, coffee maker, microwave, sink and outlets for hot plates or crock pots. We ask that everyone attending bring a food item to share. We'll keep a list so there are no duplicates. If you would like to participate in a secret Easter “mini” gift exchange, please bring a wrapped gift of $5.00 or less. After the potluck you may drive again and explore the trails....practice dressage or smoke through the cones course!

We did it! We had PERFECT weather and a fabulous day spent with driving friends at Agarita Ranch. The event started with a meeting in the morning to organize the group trail drive. We had about 30 people attending throughout the day with 20 horses/donkeys driving! The horses went out first and the donkeys followed. The paths were well groomed and really pretty with huge oak trees lining the way. All the horses were well behaved and made it past the scary metal "animals" along one trail. 

After the group drive we all gathered in the Lucky Lady Saloon for a grand Easter feast. Everyone brought delicious food that made choosing what to pick very difficult....so many of us tested it all. Spiral Ham, brisket, salads, coleslaws, deviled eggs, queso and other dips and oh those desserts! Brownies, cookies, cheesecake, pastry and more. 

After lunch we all harnessed up again and drove the trails at our own pace, and the cones course as well. Several of us stayed over on Saturday night to drive again on Sunday. The third time to schedule this event was the charm, as we could not have asked for a more beautiful day! Thank's to all who came out to enjoy the day and shared their food and friendship. I took a lot of pictures and have posted quite a few at right, but if you'd like a disk with all of them, just let me know. 


MAY 2012

Saturday, May 26th   10-5 pm
Lazy 2 Equestrian Center – Poteet
Introduction to Obstacles & Open Driving Day
Bring your horses or donkeys
Hosted by members Karen Harris & Harla Spooner

Karen Harris, trainer and owner of the Lazy 2 Equestrian Center and Harla Spooner will host an Introduction to Obstacles Class and open driving day along with group member Harla Spooner. There are two arenas and lots of wooded driving trails on her 100+ acre ranch. One arena is set up with obstacles that be either driven or walked in hand. Karen will give a group class on introducing your mini or donkey to the obstacles. There are bridges, poles, platforms, barrels, and more. Getting your horse used to these “scary” things is a great way to desensitize him to objects he may see on the trail, road or show ring! You can bring young or untrained horses and walk the objects, or bring your driving animals and drive through them. The other arena is open and can be used for practice or warming up. The trails are beautiful and can be walked or driven! 

The Lazy 2 cost is $20 for the entire day. Take the class, audit , arena and trail driving!

 Please bring your chair, lunch, beverages and negative coggins. No stallions or dogs. 
Please sign a release on arrival.

Please RSVP to Harla Spooner by phone after 6m to 830-393-8239

We all had a great time at Karen Harris' and it was good to see everyone who was able to attend. Karen's talk was very informative and I am learning more about donkeys all the time. It was great to see all the animals doing the obstacles and learning new things. I even saw Debi's Buddy going over the high jump. My new litte Demi made her first road trip there and did all the obstacles without any trouble. She wasn't very happy to unload when we got there, and it took three of us to load her back when it was time to leave, but this last week with a little help, she now trailers like a pro.  I think everyone had a successful morning and by that afternoon, it was very hot and time to sit and visit and cool off. There were some new people and animals there that I had not met before and it was fun to get to know them as well. I hope everyone had a good time. Thanks Karen for all of your hard working in getting everything ready for us. I hope we were all well behaved enough that you will invite us back! Please send some pictures if you took any. I was having so much fun I didn't get a chance to take any photos.


JUNE 2012

Saturday, June 16th
10am - 5 pm
- Derby Day! "Run For the Roses Obstacle Course" 
- Kentucky Derby Hat Contest
- Open Driving
Hosted by members Gail and Brad Gavit near Tarpley.

RUN FOR THE ROSES: Here's a chance to have fun and practice some of the obstacle skills you learned in May. Gail will have a "Run for the Roses" theme obstacle course set up at her ranch. You can drive the obstacle course timed or not, but there will be a prize for fastest individual run! Practice your skills, have fun, and give your driving animal some new obstacles to get used to. 

HAT CONTEST: Everyone is invited to wear a grand Kentucky Derby hat to lunch for the Derby Hat Contest!

OPEN DRIVING:  The property will also be set up for open driving. As usual, you can bring young animals to get them used to new places. 

Brad will be serving cool virgin Mint Juleps beside the pool! (Feel free to bring your swim suit) Join us for a FUN day of great practice driving and cheer for the Run for the Roses!

Please RSVP to Gail Gavit at ggavit@earthlink.net

Please bring your negative coggins, chair, lunch and prepare to HAVE FUN! 

We had alot of fun at this event. I had been waiting for the pictures from the photographer before I posted anything, but I'm not sure when I'll get those, so I did create a new album with just a couple of pics that we had taken. I will post more when I get them. Sisu brought her wonderful donkeys and let me and Robyne drive a pair. First time for both of us and I think I'm hooked. Thanks Sisu!
The beautiful hats were great fun, we had funny, beautiful, elegant, creative, you name it. Lori's had pinwheels on it that spun it the breeze...too funny. She first thought it was bees buzzing around her head...lol.
Food was great, mint lemonade and mint and raspberry tea.
We even had music that Debi C. complied with the "Call to the Post!" Not sure that the "call to the post" coincided with any of us showing up at starting gate, but it was fun to hear in the background. It was so beautiful seeing the animals and their drivers wearing the beautiful hats, winding their way through the oak trees. 

The winners were: "drumroll please......"

First Place donkey division: Olivia Lowe
Second Place donkey division: Debi Curtsinger
Third Place donkey division: Robyne Rebman

First Place horse division: Debra Bohnsack
Second Place horse division: Sandra Hudson 
Thid Place horse division: Gail Gavit

Honorable Mention goes to Harla Spooner who RAN the couse ground driving her Donkey Snowflake!

I want to thank Debi C. for bringing the sandwiches and doing our candy bags and helping make the decorations. Robyne and Debra B for coming up early had helping set everything up. And my daugher and her friends who timed the course so the rest of us could drive. I do appreciate all of the help. 
Tents are all folded, flages are lowered, signs are down, gates are all stacked and put away, but as I was going around and cleaning up and putting everything away, I was thinking that for sure we should definately do this again! What fun! 

There was a great photographer who took hundreds of pictures. Email Gail above if you'd like a copy.


JULY 2012

Saturday, July 14th
10am - 3 pm

Jerry McClennan presents Young Living Essential Oils
Their benefits for you and your horses
No cost for this event

Hosted by Paula Gower and Dana Boze
Paula Gower residence near Weimer TX

This from Jerry Mclennan: 
"I've been asked to come present information about how Young Living Essential Oils can be used with our animals to improve their health and healing as well as their owners' health and healing. We picked July for this because of the heat. I don't know if yall will want to drive in the "cool" of the morning on July 14 and we'll be "oily" in the AC after the drive. That's up to yall. I'll be bringing my oils so everyone can have hands on with them, as well as some references about their use. I would like for everyone coming to e-mail me as soon as possible about specific health issues with their animals and themselves. This will help me prepare a presentation that is applicable to the participants' needs, not just a lot of information they don't need. I have done all my Groom's Clinics this way and it is VERY beneficial to everyone. I come prepared for what THEY want and they leave with something they can use.....it is not just a wasted day. Feel free to call me about the plans for July 14 at any time! I want this clinic to be worthwhile for everyone attending."
Jerry McLennan
Young Living #1261185

Here is the website for Young Essential Oils. http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/index.html 

After the clinic, everyone is welcome to drive the trails or work in the arena, there are no stalls so you will have to work out of your trailers please. Paula has trails cut through her 40 acres. However if it's too hot and no one wishes to drive we can do the oils presentation and then have lunch and close. Bring your sack lunch and a chair if you want to sit outside before or during lunch. The presentation will be held inside the house. Drinks and desserts will be provided. There will be a designated area to park so please follow the signs. There are cats, many. So if anyone is allergic to cats, please be aware. Please provide a current coggins, there could be bugs on the trails, bring your fly spray. No dogs, no stallions and no alcohol. Helmets are preferred for everyone, but are a requirement for anyone under 18! You will need to sign a release upon arrival.

The weather in Texas was hot, muddy and wet, but a dedicated group made their way to Paula Gower’s place in Weimer this month to attend the Living Oils seminar hosted by Paula Gower and Dana Boze. They learned about Living Oils from Jerry McLennan. If you were not able to attend, Paula reported that they really learned a lot about how the oils can be used to improve the health and well being of our animals and ourselves. It sounds like everyone enjoyed the day exploring this alternative therapy. You can learn more about living oils at http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/index.html 


 AUGUST 2012

Saturday, August 25th (NEW DATE)
9:30 - 4 pm
"Too Hot to Trot Day!" 
Hosted by members Sisu Morris and 
Barbara Hilliard of Stock Market Donkeys 
in Dripping Springs 

- Donkey& Mini Hoof Care Demo & Talk 
   By Lee & Walter Fuermann
- Luncheon Provided
- Donkey Games
- Hands on time with the mini donkeys
- Swimming!
Members Sisu Morris & Barbara Hilliard of Stock Market Miniature Donkeys in Drippings Springs will host another "Too Hot to Trot Day”. Swim party, donkey hoof care demo and talk by Lee & Walter Fuermann, donkey games and a great luncheon. Delicious food, games, obstacles, jumping and hands on time with the mini donkeys! If you are shopping for a well handled donkey with proper foot care, vaccinations and health care, I've asked that a sale list be available too! Join us for another wonderful day of friends, learning and fun! Please do not bring horses/donkeys, we will use the ranch donkeys for demo and games!

Saturday's event was another great day! Lee and Walter Fuermann gave an excellent program on foot care and we all enjoyed watching Walter trim a few donkeys. Barbara and Sisu had a wonderful meal for us all and the hostess gifts ( hook picks and Sisu's special spicy mustard ) were wonderful . After lunch , several took thedonkeys thru the in hand trial obstacles and jump course while others had another lesson from Walter and Lee on hoof trimming. All in all it was a great day . Thanks to Barbara and Sisu once again for a great event. Watch for info coming soon about the driving day on the Keyes Ranch near Dripping Springs . 


Changed to Rain Date of Saturday Oct 6th   
Drive, Pack and Picnic at Keyes Ranch near Dripping Springs
Deborah Keyes and her husband have graciously invited us to enjoy a day driving or relaxing at their beautiful ranch in Dripping Springs. In Deborah's words, the ranch is perfect for... all things equestrian!
Meet at the ranch at 10am to enjoy the 300+ acres with great driving areas!

Bring your lunch, beverage and a dessert to share. Water will be provided. Negative coggins required.
Please sign release waiver on arrival, thank you.

Please RSVP to stockmktsdonkey@aol.com  for address and directions.

What can I say about the Keyes Ranch Event - beautiful cool weather, well groomed trails, good company and great food.

We all were thankful to our Hosts, Bill and Deborah Keyes, for sharing their lovely Ranch and for all the hard work preparing the trails for us. And a special thanks for all the organizers: Sisu, Barb, Elizabeth, Robyn and all the others behind the scenes.

I had a fantastic time visiting and driving. I have posted photos on our album page and I can send larger copies of any photo to you - just email me. Also, I encourage anyone that took pics that day to post theirs and to send copies to Debra for inclusion on our web page.

Buddy and I will be resting today - its hard work having so much fun! Can't wait until our next event and to re-visit the Keyes. Debi C and Buddy Love


Saturday, OCTOBER  20th, 2012
OPEN DRIVING at Gail Gavit's Ranch in Tarpley
The gate will be open from 7am until 6pm
Please bring your lunch, chair and negative coggins. No dogs please.
Water will be provided!
Carl Mitz will also be there to check horses teeth and do work if needed. 
There is no cost to check your horses teeth. 
The fee if work is done is only $60.00 per mini, pony or donkey. 

Forty acres of beautiful trails to enjoy!
This is an open driving day. Bring your horses, donkeys or ponies and enjoy a day spent with friends at Gail's beautiful ranch. There are easy to drive trails cut through the woods as well as an open flat practice area. Please RSVP to Gail Gavit at ggavit@earthlink.net      or for directions. 

Our thanks to Brad and Gail Gavitt for sharing their Ranch on Saturday. We had a cool day with beautiful views. The trails were, as usual, perfect. I loved the clouds on the hills and quiet, relaxing atmosphere. Welcome to our new members Patty and Skip. It was a pleasure getting to know you and your handsome donkey. Debbie White's Eddie and Elvis were a thrill to watch in action. And lunch - I love our talks over good food and desserts.

And...the main event. Carl was, of course, awesome with the equines. He settles them down and even my little wild stallion was a good boy. He gave us lots of useful advice and even gave me a heads up on a sinus problem for one of mine. We hope to have him back in the spring. Remember there is no charge to check them, just if they need work.

Until next time, November 3, at Francine Dismukes in Luling.....Buddy says "hee haw" and to make sure everyone knows that he was a good boy on Saturday.

Debi C & Buddy


Saturday, NOVEMBER 3th, 2012    NEW DATE

Francine Dismukes & Malen Dell 
Whip Handling Clinic and Individual Lessons
Hosted by Francine & Malen of FHD Ranch in Lulling.
Email for directions

*Whip Handling Demonstration 
*Individual lessons
*Open Carriage Collection

Individual 45 minute lesson – $65  Notice: LESSON SPOTS ARE FILLED, but plenty of audit space!
Auditors – $10 day

This great clinic will consist of six individual 45 minute lessons with your mini, pony or donkey at a cost of $65 each. Auditors are also welcome at $10 each for the whole day!

Those who take a lesson can work with Francine on whip handling or choose the skills they wish to improve upon.You will be required to bring an astm approved helmet, whip, gloves and negative Coggins your horse.
There will be a driven whip handling demonstration with one of Francine’s Andalusian horses. Proper whip cues can enable a horse to perform his best whether in the ring or on the trail. Every driver should carry their whip at all times and know how to use it properly. For a driver, the whip takes the place of a riders legs in communicating with the horse.

Francine will also open up her carriage collection for us to view! She and her husband have a very lovely collection of traditional and modern vehicles.

Please RSVP to Liz Pannill at    goatdoc.ep@gmail.com   or 512-738-7224.  

We have a waiting list for lessons spaces in case of cancels.

Negative coggins required, no dogs allowed.

Francine Clinic Schedule:

8-9am       lesson
9-10am     lesson
10-11am   lesson

11-12 noon   -  Whip handling demonstration

12-1pm    LUNCH

1-2pm      lesson
2-3pm      lesson
3-4pm      lesson



SATURDAY DECEMBER 1st, Christmas Party and Drive!

Our party and drive this year will be held at Dowell Ranch in south Austin! A special thank you to 
Caroline Dowell for inviting us for the day, and to Elizabeth Pannill for making the arrangements and hosting. There is no cost for this event. 

Gate will open at 9am

Brief meeting at 10am, then harness up and group drives at 11am!


CHRISTMAS PARTY in the guest house 1pm! - Liz will provide spiral cut ham. Everyone please bring a dish to share. Liz will keep the food list so there are no duplicates. Please email her with what you'd like to bring. Negative coggins required, no dogs please. Please sign release waiver on arrival.

This is a one day event, there are no stalls available or overnight stays.

* Huge arena!

* Plenty of place to park trailers.

* Large areas to drive in 2 pastures -probably at least a 2 mile track!

* Most of the area is flat with only a small hill ( more like a slope ) in the pasture

* We will use her nice ranch ( guest house ) full kitchen , and couches /chairs etc, patio off the kitchen for the party!

Her ranch manager is really nice , and will mow before the event....and all this is all at no cost!

Dowell Ranch is right on FM 1626 about 2 miles from IH 35 ( south Austin ) the exit is Onion Creek Parkway/FM 1626 coming from the north and Slaughter Creek Over Pass/FM 1626 coming from the south.

Please RSVP to Elizabeth Pannill  

Please email Liz with any questions. This will be a another great event!!

A special thank you to Liz for all her work putting together our Christmas Drive. To Sisu for the lovely host's gift. and of course to all the members who came, brought yummy food, helped in the kitchen, took pictures and made the day fun for all. The Ranch was beautiful, the ring was the best I have ever driven in and the trails were safe and fun. I had a chance to visit this time as I was lucky to have my designated driver and helper - who enjoyed himself too - he was not being anti social ladies - he was just staying out of the way so I could visit and not worry about entertaining him. Plus Buddy was a great foot rest... Can't wait until our next get together. I posted some of the pictures but had to stop due to a glitch. So please add to them. If anyone needs a larger copy for prints - just email me. I hope your holidays are full of family, good health and lots of good memories...Debi C.

Happy New Year!
March Photo Gallery
April Photo Gallery
Agarita Ranch  -  April 2012
May Photo Gallery
August Photo Gallery
October Photo Gallery
I was informed that the photographer was having too much fun to take pictures!
NOVEMBER Photo Gallery
DECEMBER Photo Gallery