I can NOT properly express to you how much fun we had. I'm already itching to do it again! I didn't get much for photos or video, but I'll share what I did get, and give you the narrative.
We unloaded a the nearby cutting trainer's barn and Junior was wound up, more so than I had seen him in a while. Not sure what it was, but he never has liked being tied to a trailer. I tacked him up and we walked through a few buildings and into the small indoor arena. The trainer and our old friend A was there with her "new" horse, Cowboy, whom I hadn't had the pleasure of meeting just yet. I met A at a previous barn when she had a very different horse. She's now in love and a much more calm and content rider than when I saw her last. She's found cutting to be her calling so she's been boarding at this barn and training there. So fun to see!
We warmed up at the trot and lope, letting him do a nice, long posting trot to get him working and hopefully out of that jitteriness he brought off the trailer. After a while, A and the trainer opened a door and went out to shoo in a small herd of holstein steer-calves. After our Ranch Show introduction to the calves I didn't think he'd freak out, but I turned him to face the door with his good eye, sat deep and widened my feet just in case... and yes, I chose to wear my helmet, cowgirl or not. The calves came in and Junior lit up like the 4th of July. He jumped a bit, did that snorty rattle thing he does when he's nervous and danced around a bit, watching the calves. Pretty soon though, he was on his way towards them. He was more excited than scared so I was told to go ahead and take him in. He went right into the herd, nosing the calves, letting them nose him, and let me start moving them around right away.
The video is from the first bit. I don't know how long I was doing it, but eventually we started figuring it out - with the trainer's instructions, of course - and I could tell Junior really liked it. He wasn't afraid of them at all, but I learned that his one-sideded-ness is magnified in the required maneuvers.
After a long while we moved back to the group and shooed those calves out. We then opened a different door and headed out to usher in the "bigger ornrier" herd. They were bigger and there was more of them. Junior went a bit ape when we got out into the field with them. Again, not afraid of them, but wanted to get at them. He was doing the thing he used to do at shows when everyone would leave him - he tossed his head and jumped around and did his snorty rattle. He calmed down once I let him get up to them and help push them into the arena. These cows were much more intimidating to me because they were bigger and there were a lot more of them. We watched B and A do their turns and then I went in for a little bit, but I didn't feel as comfortable with the big'uns.
|Get along, little doggie!|
|The actual doggies were not to be bothered enough to move.|
|B and Zip demonstrate, Junior takes notes.|
|Gratuitous pretty Ohio sky pic.|