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Friday, January 8, 2010

What the...

I am going to a cowhorse reining clinic tomorrow. On Farley. Yep - we are going to learn all sorts of things like "boxing a cow", running something down a fence, sorting something else, and somehow through of all of this accomplishing my real goals:
  • Have fun
  • Give Farley some cow experience, so when a bull looks at us from the side of the trail during conditioning rides, I don't melt into a shivering pool of fear.

This is really all D*'s fault. While trail riding he spoke of how much "fun" cattle work was, and how it really "matters" because there is a goal that either gets done or doesn't (presumably the cow is how you want it or not). In fact, he made it sound so glorious that I went back and edited by 2010 goals to include cattle work on Farley. Now, the day before, I'm not too sure. Really, what was I thinking?

On the other hand, I condition around cows. While Farley has progressed from snorting and doing her best impression of a bunny rabbit, to merely flicking an ear as cows tumble from the hill side along side the trail, I'm under no firm assurances that things wouldn't suddenly disintegrate if the cows moved TOWARDS us rather than away. Couple that with my naturally fearful nature and an over-active imagination and that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Actually, it just spells trouble for whomever is riding with me (most likely a 14 year old cousin). As I've already explained to her, if the sh-t hits the fan, I'm under no obligation and it's every (wo)man for their own! It will be a close thing, but I almost positive I could make it down the trail first through hook or crook, leaving her to distract the bear, cougar, bull, whatever following close behind.

But I digress.

I pointed out to my co-worker, whom I'm going with, that I won't be exactly inconspicuous in my english saddle, bright biothane tack and helmet, even if I'm going with the jeans and cowboy boot look. I attempted to disguise my saddle with a cleverly placed western print pad and nope, it's not going to fool anyone. But then she pointed out that the 2 Fresians she's bringing aren't exactly traditional cow horses.....

So off I go. Poor little Farley. Just this morning we tacked up and went on a lovely 5 mile trot/canter down the canal, complete with shoulder-in practice (my newest tool in the tool box from Wednesday's lesson). Tomorrow morning is going to be an eye-opener. I've NEVER fallen off of Farley... Making a note to make sure I put on my helmet...... Remember that I showed dairy cows for 8 years and LIVED at a dairy in college. Beef cattle are not the evil cousins. Just the smellier ones.


  1. Go Mel!! Have a blast! And you WILL NOT fall off Farley! ;)

    Hey shoot me an email when you have time- I got your question about angles, wanted to make sure all was well out there with your wonderful crew.

  2. Sounds like YOU need this maybe even more than Farley. :-) I bet as soon as you see she has no issues with those cows, you will no longer be concerned about the crap hitting the whirling device any longer. Go have FUN!

  3. You are going to have so much fun! The movement will be world's different from what you've been doing either on the trail or in dressage, so be prepared to find muscles you didn't know you had, despite how well conditioned you are.

    I haven't done this with Estes because she was raised as a cow pony and I'm not at all sure that I can stay on once she locks onto a cow. In fact, her previous owner tells a great story about Estes sorting calves by herself and bringing them to the squeeze chute for Ida.

  4. Have so much fun!!! I have always wanted to try working cows! Let us know how it goes!

  5. When I first got Fiddle and it quickly became apparent that my immediate goal of "ride 50's on this horse" was inappropriate for her because she was so danged immature, I changed the goal for that year to "I will do something new and different with this horse at least once each month for an entire year." Running cows was on the list but I didn't get to do it...yet. But someday, I will!

    Meantime, I'm eagerly waiting to hear about your experience!

  6. This sounds so very to see what those Frisians think of it..too hilarious!
    Can't wait to see!

  7. OMG I am so jealous!!! That sounds like so much fun! My word of the year is courage, and so I am going to pass a little your way to get through today and have fun. I always stand with Phoenix regardless of what we do so I feel your pain. I hope that she takes to cows like PB takes to jelly. I cannot wait to hear all about it! I hope it was fun!

  8. I can't wait to hear the follow-up post on this...all the years we've been around cows and now: you are learning to live the real. live. western novel!!

    Be sure to carry your rifle in case you have to "light a shuck"


  9. You go cowgirl!!! I think you'll find it's fun... and definitely helps to change things up a bit..which I am all for..


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