Sunday, April 28, 2013


I put Oz back to work after getting his 'I dunno' results from the vet.  He coughed twice...then worked for half an hour with nothing.  Then again last night, hauling him to the arena.  One measly cough.  Seriously, Oz?  What the heck?  Not coughing is nearly as aggravating as having a cough that you don't know where it's coming from.  Apparently, all I needed to do to 'cure' him was stuff his nose in a glove and try to suffocate him.  Who knew?  

Darling and I made our way up to the Reined Cowhorse Show yesterday where I snapped a few photos of friends (and strangers) who were competing.  Wonder if any of my mustangs would be well suited for this event?  The object of the game is to perform an easy pattern showing your horse is able to do lead changes in both directions, a couple of stops and back up.  This is called the 'dry work'.  

Dry work is followed by the cow being turned into the arena with you.  This is when it gets tricky, because the cow hasn't read the rule book.

First, you work your cow off the back wall, which is the end of the arena where the cow just came through the gate.  You want to show that your horse can 'box' the cow, or keep it contained in a smaller area.  This is similar to cutting, though you've not got a herd behind you.

Then you allow the cow to move up along the long side of the arena, as though it's making a get away.  Now your horse is tested on how well it can rate the calf, move ahead of it and turn it back the other direction.  You want to get a couple good turns in each direction to show how well your horse can handle it.

Once you've made those hard, fast turns, you drive your cow out into the arena and show how your horse is able to direct the cow by circling it.  You want to circle both directions, which can be tricky as those little suckers can move pretty quick when they want to!  A nice, pretty circle will get you more points than something that is, say, egg shaped, or free form.

 Once you've circled to the right, you allow the cow to move just slightly ahead of your horse, and you then move to the cow's opposite side, and circle to the left.  

 This is all done at what is often times similar to a hand gallop.  Or, in other words, break neck speed.  As previously stated, the cows don't read the rules and have no clue that there is any sort of pattern involved.  Sometimes, they turn the wrong way and dive under the horse, causing great accidents to happen.  Thankfully, we didn't witness anything like that yesterday.

Darling had thought this may be a fun sport until we sat and watched.  Then?  "Those people are crazy, mom.  Just crazy.  I mean, I do crazy stuff, but that's CRAZY!"

Guess I won't need to worry if my mustangs can do it or not!

Hope y'all have a happy Sunday!


Sam said...

You know, I wouldn't mind trying that on one of my Friesians. I wonder how she would handle cows?


Cindy D. said...

hmmm side passing over a barrel, gonna have to put that on my list of things to do.
Great pics!

strivingforsavvy said...

You've done a great job with Oz!

Shirley said...

I love the working cowhorse class. And it is true to life- when I worked on a ranch, this was what I had to do to get a sick calf out of the herd to take it to the doctoring pens (My rancher didn't rope to doctor, he had me move them to a chute). Those lil boogers can really move sick or not and you have to cowgirl up to stay with them sometimes.

Paint Girl said...

Awesome pictures!! I think one of these days you will find the "one" to do this with!! I think it would be fun, but I have never tried anything like that before!!