Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I attended a private clinic Saturday morning with a small group of ladies that are beginners such as myself but very much serious about the sport. It was so fun and Summer was really on. We each even got to do a run with the pro/instructor. And that was real fun.
When I got there, we all saddled up and warmed up in the deep sandy arena. Summer was a running walk fool and it was fun to watch James (instructor) watch her go around the arena. He started asking me questions about her different gaits and how I learned the difference in each one. I just told him it took me about 2 years to tell the difference as she has about 9 different gaits, from dog walk to gallop and everything in between.
We had a real good 2 1/2 hours. It was me and 4 other beginners, and another lady (a rating of 4 sorter) who kind of acted as an assist for James outside the pens when we had questions while he worked with a team in the pens. I just got so much out of it.
Sunday we went to the arena and I started off not doing to well. I guess I had other things on my mind. One of the pro guys named Pete said he would run with me early in the day and we got 5 in. So, either he made me look good or I made him look bad! LOL But my theory is, if a pro runs with a beginner, they know what they are getting into. LOL Later in the day, I ran with Starla and we got 5, then my last run I went with Cynthia and we got 4.
**********************Connie and I waiting for the words, "flag is up"
Not bad as I did get about 9 runs in that day. A few were busts right away, so that is probably why I was able to go so many times. James was there and was giving us, that went to his place Saturday, side line instruction, which I thought was just super cool of him to do.
*******************Summer and I bringing one through the hole
*****Once you get the calf in, you got to turn quickly to guard the hole.
*************Connie guarding the hole while my calf and 2 bad ones come to her
************************Summer and I in the hole
I really tried to put into use everything that he taught. There were a few times I caught myself making a mistake and I would try to correct it before it was a major boo-boo.
I think my major issue is getting to fast and trying to hard for my level. I think I am getting ahead of myself and my abilities at this point. I know I need to back off a bit and learn more. Just quit getting so dang excited! I guess I just watch those pro-am folks and the speed they go at and I think, "I can do that!" But, Summer is not ready for that and I need more learning. James said that two things that Summer needs to work on, and that they both would come with time and experience is, seperating the herd when there are a bunch standing together, and if too many come at the hole at once while we are guarding it. He said she get nervous. And I know that, cause while he can see it, I can feel it. But, he said, she is very responsive to me and that could be why she is doing what I ask her to do. She may be nervous on those two issues, but she is doing it. Her strongest issue I think is, once we get our calf between her and the wall, she is all business.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I went again this weekend. Met my friends, Cynthia, Emily and Robin there. Even rode with a lady named Connie. It was her first time. So there was someone there newer than me! LOL
Summer and I got 5 runs in. We could have done 6, but after our 5th run, I quit on a good note. Our 5th run was with Cynthia and we got 5 calves in. I got 3 and she got 2 and she was working on her 3rd when the buzzer sounded. I was so happy. I thought we only got 4 in and I turned around and we had gotten 5. I hollered I was so excited and shouted to Dennis, "We got 5!" LOL I know, I know...might have embarrassed myself a little, but I just can't believe that Summer is starting to pick this up. I know there have been sneers and remarks made about Summer and I. I have heard them repeated to me. But we are showing those few nay-sayers aren't we! LOL
Summer was gaiting real good in the warm up areas and when I was waiting in line for our turn, a cowboy came up to me and said, "You could get somewhere real fast on her can't ya?" LOL I guess he had been watching us, and probably trying to figure out what kind of horse she was. When I told another guy named Larry what she was, he said, "You should get a prize just for doing this on a Tennessee Walker. " LOL Guess they don't see to many of those around the sorting pens.
But once again, I can't wait until this weekend. Now don't get me wrong. I ain't giving up on trail riding. She is too good at that to let that go. I just feel that I have such a willing mare that it would be shameful not to let her try new venues.
So her resume' is this to date:
NATRC Safety Horse
Competitive Trail Horse
***NATRC - several
***TTC - 1
***STC - 1
***LD -1 (but we ain't stopping at 1!)
***2006 Stock Show
***2007 Driving her cart behind the longhorns in the stockyards
***Endurance Distance Drive 2007
More to follow, God willing...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Maybe I watched too many westerns when I was a kid. I have pictures of me dressed in cowboy gear when I was little. I was standing next to my grandpa and my granny took the picture. On weekends on channel 39 (which is now a latino channel), it was cartoons until noon and westerns the rest of the day. Bonanza, Raw Hide, Gun Smoke, The Rifleman, etc...It fed my dreams to someday have horses and ride. Ride the open range and herd the cattle home. Head 'em up and move 'em out! LOL
Well, I've done a lot of trail riding (that is the open range part I guess), now I have the urge to herd the cattle home (or in the case of sorting, put 'em the other round pen LOL). Last Friday I met some of my friends at the arena and we had a blast. As soon as Emily gets the video uploaded to youtube I will have a video of mine and Summer's run with Cynthia and her boy Monte. If Doug can get a shoe to stay on Summer's right rear foot (horizontal crack), I will be going again this Friday and then to a sorting clinic next Saturday. I found out the clinician doesn't like anymore than 6 folks, so that will be a lot of good one on one with him.
Summer was real good this past Friday. She wasn't a ball of nerves. She was calm and did what I asked. I think the only mess ups were with the pilot(me) not communicating the right signals to ground control (Summer). LOL
Who knows how far this will go. Maybe this is just something I need to get out of my system. Maybe, secretly, it is just one of my things on my "bucket list" I want to mark off. Or maybe it is something I want to see if me and my non-stock horse can actually do. Who knows...all I do know, as long as we are having fun...then let's do it! YEEHAW!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
*****************My mini man being a perfect little gentleman*********
The rest of the following week I spent training him to drive. Near the end, you always need help from second or third parties as you can't do it all by yourself. When it was time to show him the cart, June helped me. He could care less. Barb was our main assisting person, but when we were ready to drive him, she wasn't at the farm. So June and I slipped the shafts in the tug loops and just let him pull it around with me driving from behind the cart and her holding his lead rope. We didn't hook him as if there was an emergency, he would just slip out of the cart.
Once Barb got to the farm, we hitched him up and I ground drove again from behind the cart. We only did this for about 5 minutes and then all agreed it was time! I was so excited! I know Barb and June will let me drive one of their many ponies. But I wanted to drive MY pony! So we headed to the out door arena and I got in the cart. They had two lead ropes on him and they each got on either side of him. Again, in case of an emergency. After we did once around the arena. June took off her lead rope. Barb lengthened her rope and gave me all the control of him. After another time around. We agreed it was time for me to take the controls. She let go and he drove off like he had done it all his life. I admit, I cried. I am not a trainer, but I felt such an accomplishment at teaching another one of my kids to drive. Here is a picture of our first solo drive:
**********************Isn't he just the cutest thing!******************
He is still very green of course. Still has a lot to learn, but hopefully next year, he will be ready for his first show.