Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sucker's Got COW



Sandy & I hauled to Curt's this morning for a lesson. Darling still hasn't edited the lesson footage from last week, so I have nothing to show for our hard work, but this is what Curt had to say after our lesson today:

"Sucker's Got Cow!"

And this, for those of you who don't know, is a good thing! I've been watching others ride their horses and was beginning to wonder if it would ever be like that for Sandy & I, or if this was just a fun way to spend some time. After all, I do love spending time with Curt as he teases and jokes and strokes my horse riding ego. He seems to enjoy watching my mustangs come along, but there's always been that little part of me that thinks he's only humoring me. But not today. Today was good. Very, very good.

Sandy's stops are stronger and his turns crisper at the right end than the left. This is normal. It's like being able to write your name better with one hand than the other. One side is stronger. And by end, if you've watched any of the former videos you'll see what I mean. The bull works back and forth, teaching the horse to stop hard and drop their butt into the ground, turning a hard 180 and moving off in the other direction.

The goal with cutting is to be able to walk into your herd quietly and not scatter the cattle. Then you want to push one calf out while the others stay behind you. That's the cut, and where the term 'cutting' comes from. Then your horse stays between the calf and the herd. As the calf dashes and darts back and forth in an attempt to rejoin his buddies, your horse has to be able to 'read' it and turn head to head with it, preventing it from returning.

The hydra bull becomes an excellent tool with which to do this because the driver is able to work the horse at their own skill level. Not too fast, not too slow. You can work on your turns and stops and not have to worry about a calf dashing off faster than your horse is able to handle it. And the better your horse becomes at reading the calf, the less you need to do while in the saddle. When competing, the rider helps guide the horse while selecting the calf, and that's it. You then drop your hand down and let the horse do the work. Left, stop, right, stop, left, stop and so on.

Today, Sandy's turns to the right were strong enough that I was able to drop my reins at that end and let him stop and turn on his own. It was fantastic! And to hear that Old Man Storbakken thinks he's got cow? Priceless!


In other news, Curt recently sold Pepenary. I stopped in yesterday morning to wish him a Happy Birthday and he asked me to hop and and ride her a few minutes. They'll be picking her up later this week. So it was my last ride on the little 14 hand dynamo before she goes to a boy who's around 8 or 9. She'll still be working cows and should do real well for him. No new footage for her, either, but here's a video from a couple months ago. You may have already seen it, but hey, watch it again! And if you're new here to the Diaries, enjoy!


Pony Girl said...

OH, good news about Sandy! Can't wait to see the video! I'm pushing Paint Girl to bring Chance up in a few years and do some cattle work with you! I think it'd be fun to train that little filly to do it all!

Tracey said...

You push, I'll pull! Mustangs love to watch cows and I'll be Chance would be terrific!