Friday, August 16, 2013

Cow-Pony for a Day

In our quest to attempt ALL the disciplines at least once, (excluding the ones that require jumping because I am a wuss) we have been fortunate to have a helpful friend/enabler with a trailer.  Our friend B and her trusty little quarter horse, Zip, have taken us to pleasure shows, trail rides, and now this year we added a Ranch Riding show and..... WE GOT TO PLAY WITH COWS!!!!

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.

Such fun!

video
I'm trying the Blogger upload for the first time.... testing... testing...

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.
And yes, there WILL be more on our mounted archery adventures eventually.  :)

10 comments:

  1. I am so jealous!! Looks so fun!

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  2. Looks like so much fun! I'm still waiting for a chance to work cattle with Lilly... I'm not sure she'll like it as much as Junior seemed to, though!

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  3. If THATS his lope when hes excited...sheesh puts my half-lope on a good day with Milo TO SHAME!

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    1. But look how high his head is, not exactly a "relaxed slow lope" is it? LOL! But yes, I wish he could manage to do that for more than four strides. He seems to be able to start out like that but I can't get him back to it after more than a few strides!

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  4. Looks like a lot of fun! I've done a tiny amount of cow work at the two Mark Rashid clinics I rode at in CO - it was a lot of fun and very educational as to how little it takes to do something like this with our horses - it's a good remedy for over-riding/over-cuing. Pie's done some cow work - don't think Red ever has although he should be a natural at it.

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  5. How much FUN!! Y'all look so great, and Junior is obviously the master of the cattle, and looks quite pleased with himself haha. Basically ready for a big Wyoming cattle drive, am I right?

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    1. I'm about as ready for a cattle drive as I am for the Elk hunting my dad suggested after I mentioned mounted archery!

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Roots and Wings said: "I used to know Junior! When he was at XXXXXXXX three ish years ago, I was interning/volunteering there. He was just stunning <3"

      Thanks for your comment, it's nice to hear such nice things about Junior, but your comment included the name of one of our previous boarding facilities and I have a commitment to keeping personal information off of this blog in order to protect the innocent (and the guilty LOL!). I wasn't able to edit the comment so I needed to delete it and repost the edited content. :( Sorry!

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