Monday, June 30, 2008

The "Cow" is back in Cowgirl

Cows......Oh working cattle....I am back! I am alive, energized and full of anticipation of what is to come. I took Harley to a cattle clinic this weekend put on by my local ranch horse club. I wanted to see how Harley would behave for me in an outside environment with other horses and energy since this is where we seem to have our issues. The clinic was three hours from my house and because my husbands job requires our truck I was unable to leave until the morning of the clinic. Nonetheless I loaded up and left the house at 7 am to make it there for the 10 o'clock start time. As soon as I loaded Harley and closed the trailer door it started to pour rain. The rain was short lived however and soon we had cloudy Sky's and smooth driving. There were about 10 participants in the clinic of varying degrees of skill. We did some arena exercises that related to working cows like rollbacks and stops, Harley was great. Then came the cattle! It has been about 12 years since I have worked on cattle, I used to team pen and sort with Tank when I lived in Florida. Now I have had Harley in cattle only twice since I owned him and that was only tracking and moving around in the herd, I have never asked him to work one. We used 10 head of cattle at a time, they were small and extremely gentle just what I was hoping for. We all took turns going into the herd and pulling out a calf to track and move around. Harley was a little apprehensive approaching the herd but gave me no static or resistance entering the herd. We pulled a little black calf out and I sent him down the wall slowly he had a little spunk and turned back quick and Harley instantly responded on his own cutting him off! Wow, just what I had hoped for. I actually was able to circle the cow and stop it on the fence both directions.
The boy is a natural! Of course with his breeding he should be. The clinician called me over to the corner after my go and congratulated me on nice work. He said I needed to slow down my hands (as always) but that I looked good with my horse.
Hard not to get excited in the moment of working a cow! We took a lunch break and had a wonderful TeX Mex buffet that the farm's owner had prepared. We saddled up again and practiced on the cattle again, this time with just one cow in the arena for our run. We boxed the cow at the top of the fence then sent it down the wall then circled it both ways in the arena. Harley was so excited but very responsive to my ques. I got several comments from other participants about him and what a natural he was. My good friend told me I was crazy if I sold him and that this is what he needs to be doing. I had to head out before the clinic ended because of the three hour trip and I did not want to travel after dark by myself with a black trailer on back roads. I left with a feeling of great accomplishment and really excited for the future. I made plans to start taking him to another trainer's barn once a week to work on cattle in August. I got home around 10 o'clock and have to say I was a little worn out but happy. Got that "now I know what was missing" vibe going through my head . Cow work......
Happy trails.....

3 comments:

Kathy C said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! =)

Pony Girl said...

Yea, that is SO exciting! I can hear your enthusiasm in your post. You got yourself a little cowpony! Can't wait to see pics or video someday of Harley workin' it!

The Knutson's said...

Glad that you were able to get out and enjoy your Harley! How exciting that he is such a natural, little, cow horse...he definitely LOOKS like one :)