Sunday Stills assignment this week is Red
I went to an Introduction to Cattle Clinic this weekend. My original plan had been to bring Steve Holt!, but as he's still on the mend, Sandy was the mustang who climbed into the trailer and headed down the road bright and early yesterday morning. While he's seen cows as well as buffalo on the other side of the fence while living at Curt's last year, he's not ever been asked to drive, sort, push or cut a living, breathing bovine until yesterday.
(The gal who took video for me bumped a button which set the camera to manual focus...something I didn't realize until I returned home...so please excuse the fuzzy photos! I used Darling's camera because of the video feature but have no clue how to use it.)
Most of the horses there were pretty green on cattle, so it took some of them awhile to get their horses into the herd. Our first objective had been to just walk our horse into the middle, then turn left or right, or whatever felt good so long as we didn't scare them and scatter cattle around the arena. Sandy marched right into the center like he'd been born doing this. If a cow didn't move the way he expected it should, he'd pin his ears and shake his head towards it. At one point he indicated he may have a steak for lunch...raw, please, with it's hide still on.
Once everyone had a chance to get their horse quietly in and out of the herd, the cattle were moved back behind a panel and one left out in the arena for us to 'trail'. This was an exercise in getting our horses to learn to want to follow the cow. Not a problem for Sandy, and in fact after watching him move through the herd our instructor made sure we had a fresher cow to push around, and Sandy was happy to oblige.
Mind you...we really had no clue what all we were to be doing here in this video, and Sandy was concerned about the panels at the end as they were covered with plastic and the wind was blowing. He really thought it best to just leave the calf at that point rather than risk being eaten by plastic. But over all I was happy with the fact that he showed expression and interest.