Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cow Pony

Last night my friend L and I took Buddy and her mare Dar to a 3 man ranch sorting.  For $20 we rode for 3hrs and were able to get 5 runs in with the cows and a wonderful home cooked meal!  We partnered up with two different women for our runs and managed to do pretty well.  The goal was the move the 10 cows in order from one pen to another in less than 2 and a half minutes. The 90x200 arena was divided into thirds; the far end and the middle were the two pens for the cows and the last third was where everyone waited to go.

When we first got there, we had about 10mins to warm up while the cows roamed around the arena.  Buddy immediately perked up and wanted to see the cows, but we were able to have a decent warm up with a little w-t-c each way. We watched a few other groups go and when we went in for our turn Buddy took off trotting down towards the end and the cows.  He was amped!  The first few runs went ok. Bud was pretty excited and wanted to keep chasing the cows so we had to have a discussion about what it means when I asked him to stop.  L's mare hasn't been on cows much but she's starting to figure out how to chase them and cut them out of the herd.

We took a break for dinner and let the horses rest for bit.  Dinner was pulled pork sandwiches, pasta salad, and an awesome blackberry cobbler. Seriously I would pay $20 just for the food!

When we got back on, the managers had put up a heater where everyone was waiting. It was hovering around 30* and it was very appreciated.  All the horses didn't seem to care about it and L's mare really loved standing next to it.  When we went back for our final couple rounds Dar didn't want to walk away from the heater. 

Pic of the heater shamelessly stolen from the farm's FB page.  The paint in the background is L's mare Dar.

Our final couple rounds went really well.  Buddy started really listening to me, and would lock on to the cow I wanted.  He was flying down the arena, but was tired enough at this point to stop when I asked.  I still think that next time I'll use a bigger bit.  I usually use a short shanked plain snaffle, and since I'm not real familiar with Western bits I'll ask Connie what she thinks would be good for him. I think they are doing cows almost every Friday and I would love to be able to go once a month.

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