Monday, June 29, 2009

Calf-Sorting 2.0

Saturday I took Ashley to the Wagon Wheelers arena for calf-sorting practice. They were supposed to have practice for a couple hours, then jack-pot sorting, but there were a bunch of events this weekend and so the turnout for the sorting was small so they just did the practice. It was my first time driving the truck we bought and using the trailer that is now MINE. It is the truck that was my brother-in-law's and the trailer that was my mother-in-law's. We made it there fine, safe and in one piece. We tacked up the horses and loaded them up. When we arrived we just pulled them out and tied them up. We chatted with Don Johnson and signed up for the sorting. Then we put on our bridles and rode around in the arena, walk/trot/canter. Ashley was scared to canter at first but I told her she had too and she did great.

Then, the man running the sorting let us go in with the cows and walk around in them since we are new to calf-sorting. Ashley got the hang of steering back and forth in the cows. Gypsy is a cow horse so she knew what she was doing, but Ashley had never done any cow work before. Dazzle was much calmer than last time.

Trudy and Andy arrived and Don sent them to get one of his horses for Trudy to ride. She returned with Handy, an Appy that looks like a bulldog on dachshund legs. He is a trail horse first and apparently also a cow horse. I don't think he's ever competed, but he knows what he's supposed to do. We talked and walked around in the waiting arena.

Then the sorting started and since there weren't many people there we got to go in for four runs. I ran with a lady that I had taken a college class from a few years ago twice and then twice with a girl named Kelsie that shows barrel racing with her paint mare, Patches. She is another advocate of doing everything you can in a snaffle. Her horse rides in lime green and it looks good on them. We had a great time and even had a run with only 2 cows out of order.

Michelle rode her mom's horse over from their house as it's only a block away and we talked and rode in the arena together a bit between my runs. Then she headed home, she wasn't able to do the calf-sorting this time. I'm hoping she'll get to next time.

Our last run was good and I felt like I didn't fight with Dazzle much; she was starting to figure out the game and was letting me direct her instead of arguing with me. I did had to borrow spurs from Kelsie because I ended up without mine. They were much bigger than mine, but she didn't act any different for them. I think I'm going to have to get actual western spurs to do the western stuff with, lol. My English spurs may just not be cutting it for cows.

It's really challenging and I felt tempted to decide not to do cows anymore, but after thinking about it, I decided that maybe that means I need to keep doing it because it's a challenge. Then we had our last run where it felt more like we were working as a team and that was encouraging. My secret dream is to have her doing well in totally different categories and Dressage-Calf-Sorting would definitely count!

Ashley did great, didn't complain the whole day, even though it took her two hours of figure 8's and circles to get Gypsy to stand still. Gypsy had a ball and was quiet excited. We will definitely be going again.

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