Thursday, March 24, 2011

Great practice last night...

Course we used Roy's cows and they were a bit easier than the cows we used Saturday. But they were harder in that you really had to push them to get them to run. That part wore me out. I was huffin and puffin when I got done running with Katy and James. You really have to move to keep up with those two when you are sorting. But it's a good thing!

I ran with most of my clinic mates. All but Mike, Anthony and Travis. Connie and I got 4 on our first go, and 5 on our second. Robin and I got 4, Vicki and I got 3, Katy and I got 9 and James and I got all 10. I was very pleased with all my runs. None of us busted. And yes, even as easy as these cows were, folks were busting.

I think Summer bit the last cow that I was pushing thru when we ran with James. I don't think Roy caught it or he didn't care. But either way, she was really on last night.

I told David that had she been that horse Saturday, we might have done better. But then again, probably not. Harder cows can make or break you. And Saturday they broke us. But that's all good. I just hope they use Cactus Cattle Co next month. LOL Those cows are a tad easier for Summer and I to work. Not that easy, but what ever mixed breed cow they used this past Saturday was crazy. But on the flip side, they have to mix them up and make it hard or the same people will be winning all the time.

Anyway, I can't wait for Sunday and more practice. I am sure Summer can wait, but I'm the one that pays the bills right? LOL

Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Can I get a Mulligan on this past weekend? LOL

What a crappy weekend. Well, Sunday evening was good, so I can't complain about the entire weekend.

The sorting went horribly wrong. I did 5 runs. 1 in the 8 mix with Buck. We only got 2 head. He is trying to slow down a bit too as he gets pretty reved up like the rest of us do and ends up making mistakes. We didn't bust, but it took 5 head to go back.

I did 4 runs in the 3 sort. There were 97 teams! I think it took 6 head to go back. Well, that wasn't happening today either. My first run was with Connie. We only got 2 head.

Then I ran with Vicki. I had to laugh at her horse Tim. It was too funny. I went in first and she and Tim were in the hole. I was getting after my cow and 2 trash ones came their way. My cow and I were still "north of the equator", but those 2 cows came at Tim and I know I saw Vicki kick him to make him move and he just stood there and watched them run past him. LOL It was like he was in a, "I don't feel like it right now" mood. Tim is a trained cutting horse too. I think that is what made me laugh.

My third run was with Buck and we busted right off the bat. He went in first and went after his cow and cow number 9 apparently knew the game. She came at me and I was hollering and Summer lunged at her and it didn't phase her one bit. She blew between the side of the hole and Summer's chest. And just like that, we were done.

My fourth was my draw. A new guy named Todd. He is a cutter on a cutting horse. We only got 1. When he brought me his cow, the blank was with it and there was no way I could seperate it without busting so I had to block both of them. I felt horrible about that but JB always says, if you have to block the good one so you don't bust, then block the good one.

After I was done and paid my bill, I took Summer home and fed everyone. Got in my car and drove back to the arena as David was in Denton racing and Amanda was out with her friends.

So I got to watch the other classes and I worked the gates for the last class.

I do have to say that these cows were tough. You had to have a good horse (and Summer was actually good for me this day) and you had to have the luck of the cow. These cows didn't come from Cactus Cattle Company. They were more flighty than what most of us are used too and more flighty than the ones we have lessons on as our lesson cows are from CCC too. Even the fresh ones from CCC are easier than the ones we competed with this past Saturday. JB even confirmed to us that basically, these cows were tougher than what we are used too. But that's okay, you can't win 'em all. And sometimes you don't even get a short go.

I got home at midnight and put my jammies on to relax a bit, then Amanda started hollering for me from the living room. She was with Libby (our Bulldog) who was on her quilt on the love seat. There was blood all over the quilt. She has completely ripped one of her nails out of her paw. So I run back to the bed room and get dressed and drive her to the Animal ER. Called David and he was on his way home and would be at the ER after he dropped his car off at home. Well, $350.00 later, she was bandaged up, doped up and was wearing her "cone of shame". Poor baby, she looks so pitiful. I told David, in the 22 years we have been having dogs, we have never had one that had to go to the ER. Then Libby came along and she has been twice! LOL

So needless to say, we didn't get home until 3am Sunday morning. I went to bed with no shower, (I know, gross) but man I was exhausted. I woke up at 9:30 and my butt was dragging. Got to the barn about 4ish and had a nice ride on Summer on our trails with Tracey and Amira. I was going to ride Harper, but it was windy, I was tired and she was in season. I didn't want a schooling ride.

So I am asking for a Mulligan for this past weekend (accept for the nice Sunday evening ride). Thank God next weekend is a 3 day weekend for me.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yes, more on sorting...

Tomorrow is our 3rd competition of the year.

Last month I was running too fast and out thinking Summer instead of letting her do what her capabilities are. In other words, I have to slow down.

That being said, JB said I could use Nasty if I wanted too, if the other guy that was supposed to ride her (he is interested in buying her) doesn't show up. However, Nasty thinks faster than me. I wish I could have had more riding time on her. Hell, I wish I had the $$ to buy her. My heart tells me to just try to borrow the money from my parents but my brain says no. "But this little mare would benefit being owned by me. All she does is work. No relaxing trail rides and such. And with me, she would get that." And here I go again, talking myself into talking to my dad. "No Tammy!!!! If you have to borrow to buy a toy, then you don't need the toy." "But I feel sorry for her, all she does is work, no play time." "No Tammy." Man, there I go again, talking to myself. David said that maybe by the time I have my $$ saved to buy a finished cow horse, that maybe she will be back a JB's again. This is the second time she has been at his place. You never know.

Anyway, I will slow down a bit tomorrow. Let Summer think for a second and then do our best to get the job done.

As for Summer, she has really packed on the pounds this past month. I have lost 23lbs and she has probably gained 50. I have cut her off Beet Pulp hoping that will help a bit. I can't imagine that BP is what is causing this weight gain. Another theory is that over the winter, she burned the hay calories to keep warm and that kept her looking good, now she doesn't have to burn calories by shivering, so I am gonna have to work her more ofter and a bit harder. Like I did last night.

Anywoot. Everyone have a blessed and fun weekend in whatever activity you decide to do.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fun filled horsey weekend...

What a nice weekend it was.

Saturday was my clinic at JB's place. It was such a nice day. A little windy, but no complaints. I rode Summer my first 3 goes and she was panting like crazy as she has put on some weight. (got to get that belly off of her) James noticed and said, "she's hot Tammy". I know, but she'll be fine. Then he asked if I wanted to ride a horse that he was selling for someone. She is a little black and white paint with the barn name of Nasty. So I said sure. All I can say it was all I could do to keep her in check and keep up with her. She is fast and all about the job. I sure would like to have her as I need a finished horse for this sport. Summer is good, but I need great to advance in this sport. And Nasty is great. I ran her 3 times and on my last run of the day decided to use Summer. The guy I ran with asked, "you gonna ride Summer?" I was like, "if you want me to ride Nasty I will." He was like, "Oh, I was just asking, you ride who you want." He wasn't snarky about it, just asking. Well, this guy is always winning money and he is pretty good. I mean, we all have things to improve upon, but he is good. But I swear it was like Summer understood him. She was on! It was beautiful. We did a very nice, fluid run. He even complemented Summer when we were done. And James had nothing to critique us on. Next Saturday is Southwest, let's hope she is "on" then too.

After I got back to my barn, I saddled up Harper and lunged her in the round pen. She did something she hadn't done before and she did it twice. She humped that back up and went to bucking. From whet I observed on the ground, it wasn't anything I couldn't sit, but now I know what her bucks look like. Once I got done lunging her, I hopped on and worked on her collection and then we just did one loop around the barn yard. She was real good for me.

Sunday was more sorting, but this time I took Harper to the arena. She wasn't too keen on that, but she didn't try to kill me either. I didn't take Summer and there was no Amira to act like a secruity blanket. Barb came up for a few minutes and gave me some advice on what to do when she starts moving around in the waiting line and such. Robin came up to me and asked if I had a ride open and I am like, "of course, I'm on little greeny, nobodies gonna want to ride with me today." LOL

So Robin and I go in and man, Harper was all about chasing those cows. She had absolutely no reservations about going into the herd and sorting her cow. My only problem was she wouldn't stop. She totally sucks at the hole. She wanted to continue chasing. So needless to say, Harper and I showed everyone watching how not to sort. LOL But Robin was cool with it, that's why it's called practice.

The next run I asked James to run with me and I would pay for his run. And Harper did it again. Harper's thoughts: "Chase the cows, but I ain't working no stupid hole, I want to chase cows!" James told me when we were done that I needed to work on her stop. Roy and Barb both said the same thing about what James meant, so we will be working on that this week. As well as with Summer.

My final run, I asked this girl named Courtney if she had any open runs, and she was sweet enough to say yes. I told her I was on a greeny that loved the chase but didn't have a clue about the hole. So she worked the gate and I did all the sorting. We got 4 head. I was very proud of Harper. That little mare has potential. Just not sure if I'm the one that can get it all from her. But I sure want to try.

I have to say though, after our first run with Robin, she really settled down. I mean, she was quiet after our first run. She stood quietly while we were in line and everything. No fidgeting and such like before the run. It was like something in her brain just clicked on and she was a good girl. She still gave "ugly ears" to everyone that got too close, but she is a mare.

I do have to work on her trailer skills. She sits on the butt chain and door when she is fixing to be let out and she about runs you over coming out. Gotta call Toni on that one.

When we got back to the barn it was still pretty early. So I tacked up Summer and went for a lovely, quiet ride in the pasture. She was very good today. Maybe a bit jealous that I am paying attention to other horses? Who knows. But she was good for my last run the day before after I rode Nasty a few times, then she was good and no spooks after she saw me come home from riding Harper. Or maybe she is just liking the break I am giving her.

After Summer and I came back in, Barb brought me Woody. He is half pony and half Arabian. Amish broke driving horse of her's. She wants me to ride him cause June is wanting to use him as a riding horse. It has been about 6 years since he's had a saddle on. But he was very good for me. I only rode about 10 minutes as it was getting late and I only wanted to see what he would do. I think he will be just fine. But I will ride him a bit more so June will be comfortable getting on him.

I also have my farrier wanting to me ride his horse, Ebby. She is a stock type, almost black bay mare. Lots of fire in her, but she is a sweet mare. He said she is good and has sorted before and loves to work cow and I was more than welcome to take her to the arena any time I wanted. So last night after I worked Harper, I put Ebby in the round pen and just watched her. She ran and bucked and farted and wouldn't stop until I came back to the fence. I will ride her a bit at the barn and get comfortable on her before I do any work with her. He said she is a good girl, but she has been his horse for 10 years, so will she be good for a perfect stranger? I may wear both of my helmets for this one. LOL

It was a great weekend and I feel very honored that all these folks are trusting me with their animals.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another day at the sorting pens...

Had a great weekend this past weekend!

Worked our home trails Saturday, even with the wind trying to knock me off my horse. But she was real good while I clipped, cleared and marked trail.

Sunday, I went to sorting practice. Tracey decided to come with her horse Amira. Toni and her beau Kelley decided to come down from Decatur for some practice as it had been awhile since they have worked cows.

There was a good turn out this day. I got to run with each one of my "class mates" that showed up and with James, our instructor. I had some pretty decent runs, but my best two were with Vicki and James. Didn't do too bad with Robin except for Summer lunging out of the hole at the wrong time and at the good cow, causing it to turn back and Robin having to go get it again. But we must remember, we are aboard something with a mind of its own.

But I was real proud of Summer. She was real good. We have a lesson this next Saturday and then SWTPA the following Saturday. Let's hope she is good then too. But I did slow my brain down like James told me and I didn't over think Summer. I know that when I am pumped up, I am way over thinking my horse, her abilities and her comfort zone. She still gets nervous when we are seperating the herd, and I need to remember that and sssllllooowww down a bit while she does the job I am asking of her. Slow to seperate, but she loves it when the chase is on! Man does she love chasing them cows. LOL

Friday, March 4, 2011

Something I haven't done in 18 years, I did last night.

I rode my mare bare back. I know it doesn't sound like a big event to some, but it was to me.

When it comes to horses, fear is not an option. Except for riding bare back.

In the summer of 1993, I was riding my Arab gelding, Fawtal, BB. Well, I wasn't exactly BB, I had a little Navajo blanket on him. Silly me. The blanket started to shift a bit and I went to straighten while I was on him. He was very leg sensitive and when I squeezed with my legs to raise myself up and adjust the blanket, he thought I asked him to move out at a trot to the right. Well, when he moved right, I went left.

After a concussion, broken left shoulder and unconscious for 24 hours, I decided to saddle my horse from there on out. Thank God I was at our boarding stables and one boarder had a cell phone. Remember, 18 years ago, you had have money to have a cell phone. Thank God he had money. LOL

I am just around the corner from a 20lb weight loss (with 40 more to go) and last night, while working my mare in the round pen, I just decided to ride BB, and it felt natural and comfortable. Just a halter, lead rope and a trusty mount. But loosing some of that extra weight I have been carrying for so long, felt good. I didn't feel like a wibble wobble on her back.

My barn owner was there and giving instructions. "Heels down, toes forward, use your thighs to hold on, etc..." After 3 whole laps in the round pen, my thighs were on FIRE! LOL But I think it is something I am going to do every chance I get. It will really build those thigh muscles and help burn calories.

Just thought I'd share...
Thanks for reading.