Monday, June 24, 2013

Cow Clinic - Day 3

So I went back. I really didn't want to and driving over there that morning , I was in such a bad mood. T left that morning to go visit his parents but encouraged me to go and try to make the best of it, afterall I did pay for the 3 days.  If nothing else, just work on the stuff I new I needed to work on with Maggie.

The day shaped up to be nice weather so the plan was to spend the morning working inside on alot of the same things , ask any questions and he had a couple of additional things he wanted to show us.
Well I am not sure what happened, but maybe D went back and read his horse training books over night because he started out the day doing a really good job of explaining the process of working the horse on the ground around you on a line, getting the soft feel in the halter and how that translates to the time when you get on the horse.  He even brought out his other horse , who was obviously better trained (probably not by him) and demonstrated a walk , trot , canter all in hand on a line with nothing more than just the energy from his body , down the rope , to the horse. It was truly a nice thing to see.. it was as it should be and really spoke to what a lot of natural horsemanship is about...

All I could think about was, why the hell didn't you start out on Friday talking about this?? "

Anyways, it set me at ease and Maggie and I had a pretty good morning working on some things. We even had a nice canter on  a loose rein.

In the afternoon we went and gathered cows out in the big pasture. Maggie got really worked up over that process and even bucked a couple of times before it was all said and done. We brought the cows into a pen that was adjacent to the arena. The plan  was to let two cows into the arena at a time and two riders would go. Each rider would pick a cow and work that cow down along the length of the arena and back, across the diagonal of the arena and back, and so on. The goal was to move the cow and let the cows speed guide us. If the cow went faster, we could follow faster. If the cow slowed, we had to slow up. Piece of cake, right ???
It really makes you think about rating your horse and realize how cool it would be if horses came with a volume dial that you could turn up for more , down for less. I am working on installing that on Maggie Unfortunately,  those cows don't want to be moved away from the their herd on the other side of the fence and come up with some creative ways to avoid being moved.

After some work ,and a lot of back and forth, trying to get a feel for moving this cow,   Maggie and I finally got our cow working pretty good. We even had some really nice stops and turns and blocks.

NEVER CHASE THE  COW BECAUSE YOU WILL ALWAYS GET BEAT!!!  (unless you have a rope handy)

Needless to say, It was a total blast. At one point, D was instructing me through some moves and was building up to having me push the cow down the fence line with some speed. He encouraged me to let Maggie go and get after it but I was a bit tentative because we were coming up on the end of the arena pretty darn fast.  Nonetheless, Maggie was moving along pretty quick and to make it just a bit more fun, there was a big puddle, actually a bit of a lake on one end of the arena.
Well as we came barreling  down that line in a gallop with that cow, we made a big splash into that water. We got soaked but it was a blast! I could see how someone could do that all day.  D said he was hoping I was going to let Maggie full out, apparently he wanted to see what she had.. but I  guess I kept it within what considered safe... silly me, right?

So all in all, we ended on a good note. I got a lot of compliments on Maggie on how quiet she was. Man, if they only knew how hard I was working to keep her that way but I guess that if they couldn't see it, then maybe what I have been doing is working.



Anonymous said...

Connie R again. Glad it worked out and you had fun. Apparently your bit was not a problem after all!lol

Jonna said...

nope, not the bit.. !

irish horse said...

I had to eagerly wait to see if you were going to go back! I'm glad you did, and it does sound like you and Maggie learned a few good things.

But just by your description I am annoyed at the trainer! I found just watching the natural horsemanship people at our local expo event to be the same frustration. Not the "real" trainers but their disciples, with some very odd info thrown in with the good.

And great job keeping Maggie quiet. I love your last comment, but you are right, if they can't see the duck paddling furiously underwater, you're doing great!

Jonna said...

Irish Horse- Yes, in the end I was glad I went back as well. We did get some value. Yep, duck paddling philosophy for sure !! I think the trainer was missing some key pieces and it is unfortunate. It was interesting to be the outsider in his group of followers. They really thought he had a real way with horses. I just didn't see it. To me, his horses were more programmed but not truly "with him".
The real trainers like Buck can't really control what is being taught out there by their disciples.. unfortunately.
My mentors are still Harry Whitney and Alice Trindle. I never feel like they are putting horses/riders in dangerous situations. Harry Whitney of all trainers is down right gifted with horses. So onward work with Maggie to continue to settle her mind. That is key with her.