Thursday, March 26, 2009

No Wind Wednesday!

Okay, so it was Thursday.
It's spring break, and I'm not keeping track.
Besides, I like the alliteration.
It's been windy all week, so I've gotten lots of little projects done in the barn, and some extra blogging (did you notice?) But no riding.
Today the wind let up, and it got up to the mid-fifties. So off with the insulated coveralls and rubber boots, on with jeans and real boots.
Worked little Amy on the lunge line--she was a little SNOT! trying to drag me around, and leaping into the air like a big toad! She finally settled down, and we did a bit of showmanship practice--almost got a decent turn on the haunches.
Since Al was at work, I didn't want to climb on Maddie (no one to pick up the pieces, if necessary). So out came Kate. Since one of the little projects I haven't gotten to is cleaning my bridles (and I want to switch out the bit in Kate & Maddie's), I put the bosal on her. She, too, was a bit full of herself, though not as bad as last time. But once I got on, we did twenty minutes or so of walk-trot circles and serpentines, the sidled over to the out-gate and headed up the driveway.

Neighbors cows had just been fed, on the other side of the fence, and uncharacteristically, Kate balked several times at the calves along the fenceline between us. Likewise, when we went to turn from the road onto the ditch road that skirts the east side of the property, as the irrigation crew had just burned off the weed this morning, and the ditch looked and smelled strange. But once we got moving, she settled down and walked right out. Al arrived home as we turned into the south gate and started down the hill towards home, so he offered to come out and get some photos.

These railroad ties will eventually make up the "drop" jump into the pond I'm building, but for now, they're good for side-pass practice.

Getting into position. Aaack! Now what do I do, Momma?!?

Kate did one good pass to the left, but got confused when I asked her to go back to the right. She decided she didn't like the RR ties, and did a near perfect sidepass to get away! So I built on that, and got several good steps each direction.

Better head position, but with my exaggerated cue, I still look like an off-balance dork!

Try again with the ties. Al didn't get the shot, but she did do better this time.

One gratuitous shot:
Daddy. Save me from this crazy woman!
Al headed in, so we walked by the house and back up the driveway again. More baby cow antics, but Kate seemed to enjoy making them all run away--a good first step toward cattle work is for the horse to "track" some cows, and see that they are much more likely to be afraid of the horse, than the other way around. But Kate was also telling me she was ready to go home. So after standing a minute, while all the calves came back up to the fence in curiosity, we backed them up one more time, and headed for the barn. Interestingly, when I asked her to sidepass up to the out-gate to close it, she did it so well that she put me too close to reach over to latch the chain!
She stood quietly while I loved on her and worked the tangles out of her mane (some treats helped), then I fed everybody and called it a day.
Tomorrow, if it's not windy, Maddie and her little sister Beth (and maybe some tack cleaning).

1 comment:

  1. All beasts, and maybe we humans too, seem to respond to wind with a kick of carefree energy, but with horses, the spook element can be "interesting" for sure. It makes me smile to read about Kate's satisfaction in her successful cow-scaring techniques, and I could swear there is a little bit of gloat in that last expression. And you thought it was all you:)