Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cattle Working Clinic

For our club's Horse Fest, one of the activities was a cattle working clinic.  I had signed up thinking it would be good for Otoelene and me to get some outside instruction and maybe I could get interested in this sorting thing.   But due to the weather (calling for more rain) it was moved from our show grounds to the farm where the trainer works an hour away. 
 These were some pretty nice digs.  This was all of the house that you could see from the driveway.  I had looked it up on goggle earth and told E that it looked like something from the Sims.  She said it was to architectural for anything she had made.
 How would you like to have that outdoor arena?
 There was also an electronic gate with a call box to have to get through.
 Anyway, back to the clinic.  I have never been to a cattle working one and had no idea what to expect.  There were 12 riders for an originally scheduled 2 1/2 hour time slot.  We started off working a flag.  This is a feed sack on a pulley system that the horse is suppose to track back and forth like a steer, stopping and rolling back to keep up with it.  Neither Otoelene or I have ever worked a flag before plus Otolene hates plastic.
 Consequently, we didn't start off working very close to it.
 But by the end she had moved in better.  The instructor said some horses take a long time and some not so much before you get to a good stopping point with them.  He said Otoelene didn't take long.  Which translated to we got about 2 minutes while it felt like everyone else got 10 or more.  Granted, a couple of riders needed help with which rein and leg to use while turning the horse.
 Three hours later he brought in some calves to work on.  I thought we would do more sorting but instead it turned out to be more like cutting.
 Otoelene had no problem going in to get one.  This is where she is so calm and quite.  He called her "and old soul"  because he thought the calves picked up on her calmness and naturally wanted to follow her out.
 The keeping the calf from going back to the herd was a little harder.  We definitely need to work on our stopping a lot more.   As it turned out we were there for over 5 hours and I did the flag once and the cattle twice.   He also recommended a twisted snaffle, German martingale and spurs.  Since I am not competing at this for me and Otoelene I don't think any of that will be necessary.   I was pleased with how Otoelene did and I think I'll just practice out in the field with our cattle.  Don't guess I'll take up sorting just yet.  And thanks to J for driving me and being so patient with such a long day.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

Sounds fun! Get the cutting bu you'll love it :D My Razz horse still doesnt like the flag, but the one we started with was kinda scary even to me, it was a stuffed cow thats head moved and he bobbed all over when stopping, shed be better with just a flag i think.

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