I know, I know I have been away to long again.....sigh. I really am having a time arranging everything this days. Part of the issue is my hubby is home for a month and my schedule always gets switched around during his down times. He is a sales rep and usually leaves Monday mornings and returns home Friday eves. Three times a year he has about a month off,this creates some chaos at home. I am the super scheduler and have to be in order to keep the old house together and take care of the two kids
and the horses and the grass, garden etc. etc. When hub is home he has his own agenda as well and lots of projects to help me get done so things get crazy. I also try to do my traveling to my customers for my job that are overnight stays. Today I am in Georgetown KY staying at a friend's (thanks Susan!) while I see my customers in
Lexington and surrounding areas. She was nice enough to let me use her laptop to post today.
OK, onto other news.....
The cattle clinic was a blast! The trip started Saturday morning at 7am as it was a two hour drive. It was cool out 54 so Harley was feeling good and pranced all the way to the trailer. I actually put a sheet on him as my trailer is a modified stock (solid walls half way up) sorry can't post any pics for ya. I had to stop at the halfway point and remove the sheet as it warmed up quick the farther South I drove.
I found the place with no issues and saddled up Harley. I knew the clinician but had never ridden with him. They had a nice indoor arena about 80x200 that was well lit and had nice footing. There were about 12 riders in the clinic two men and the rest ladies. We worked on framing up our horses and kind took turns showing what our horses were capable of at first. Ben the clinician, was very good about spending time individually with each rider telling them and showing them what he thought they needed to work on. Mine and Harley's was the face.....he needs to have more "give"
when he gets excited i.e. lead changes and cattle work. Ben thought if I go back and spend more time on that exercise each ride that he will get better in times of high energy. For instance when we do a pattern class it is all good until the lead change, he is deadly at lead changes but... he gets so amped up that he dives into the next circle before my neck rein cue. I am to practice lead changes on the straight aways until he will do them with no excitement on his part. We did some other riding exercises like rollbacks on the wall and circles all relating to the working cow horse class, then broke for lunch. I almost forgot to tell you my new chinks arrived on Friday just in time for the clinic! I wore them and despite a few adjustments to the leg straps I loved them! I promise to post some pics when I make it back to my computer. I got them from a maker out of Wyoming and she really did a nice job. They are unique as they have the twisted fringe. After lunch we brought in the cows, around 20 head or so. I have to tell you they were darn near the size of Harley!!! He did not like this fact, and the cattle were fresh, fresh, fresh. We went over things like settling the herd, what positions to be in if you were herd holders or turn back help and how to "read" cattle. Very informative stuff!
Then the moment of truth, our turn to cut. Harley did not want to enter the herd...
Ben said that it really wasn't a bad thing, better than being too aggressive. The herd holder helped me part the cows and then I made my cut, a solid black steer.
He was fairly quite for this herd and allowed me to keep him on the line for several back and forths. Ben then told me to cut another. This time I cut a brown with nubby horns, he was a real pisser....he was moving way to fast for my liking and Harley was really getting amped up and not making his full stops before rolling back and generally running through my hands. I did not lose my cow but it wasn't very pretty.
Ben said back to those basics of giving the face an getting him to rate off my seat.
We then did some great exercises involving fencing cattle and circling but it was done with two horses. All in all a great day and I learned alot. I got home around 9pm and was beat.
Just a teaser for the next post........hubby surprised me on my return with a new/used trailer!
stay tuned for details....