Winter Series: January 16 Show
Horse Show Mornings... aka Dark & Cold & Early
This time, thanks to my mama, I have a video for you guys to follow along while I talk about the show. Let's just start by saying this show was bitterly, bitterly cold. When it's that cold out, mornings are hard. Before a show, I usually have to wake up around 5:30 am, to head to the barn around 6:00 am, feed horses, get Lady bundled in her back-on-track blanket and wraps, then load the trailer, then load the ponies (we bring Lady, and my boss brings his turn back horse, John Wayne) and head out for around 8:00 am. This particular morning, my Boss' rig wasn't cooperating and wasn't starting. So we waited it out until around 8:30, and thankfully it finally started. So we loaded horses with the sun up, but that didn't seem to help the situation much. It was around -20 C with windchill, and it was nasty.
Boss & I chatting about "angles" aka Boss describing what I should be doing while i'm out there, and me just hoping I don't die.
This time, I changed up my routine with Lady a little bit. I saddled her and tied her up inside so she could be warm, then I went and watched some cutting. I like watching the cutting before I actually have to start prepping my horse, winds me down a little bit. Plus, I was happy to see the herds were a lot quieter than the previous show. We didn't flag this time, nor did I get on her way too early. She's a hard mare to read warm-up wise, and she's a little fuzzy right now, so she sweats up fast, and so it's a bit of a balancing game trying to figure it all out. She also hates being sweaty and is #TheItchiestHorseOnThePlanet, so once i'm on her - i'm not getting off, or she'll be rubbing her bridle/saddle/face/whatever she can find right off on the rail. Looking back on the show, and after watching the video, she might have been a little fresh, but we're figuring it out... slowly ;)
Without further ado...
A breakdown of the video...
I was second in the herd, so my Boss and I watched cows together which was nice, and also calmed me down a little. There were two little black cows with white stockings that we thought would be quiet, and one was right at the top of the herd, so I cut that one first. I got a little intimidated chipping one off the side like that but think I cut hi pretty well and centred. This was my favourite cow I cut, he worked well, and Lady was really stopping and showing me she was out there for me. The more I rode, and sat, she stopped and dug in. It was a pretty cool feeling. Re-watching the video back, I need to get her a little bit more straighter, and help her out with my legs, but overall, I was really happy with that first cow.
The second cow I needed to be a bit more assertive in my cut, but in the end I got the cow out of the herd. Lady got a little excited, as you can see in the video, and I really should have just focused on sitting quieter, but I tensed up a little. She worked really good again, but when I got a little out of centre, it threw her off. Again SIT QUIETER. haha I should get that tattoo'ed on me somewhere. My first cut you can see I'm really sitting, waiting, stopping, and she's cleaner, my second cut my body get's way more erratic, and so does she in turn. I tagged off that second cow a little messy as well, that could use some cleaning up.
What you can't see in that video is that when I tag off my second cow, Lady sort of felt like she was charging back into the herd, and instead of just sitting quiet, and taking a minute, or even pulling her one-handed (a one point deduction), I grabbed the reins with my second hand and pulled her hard, which is a three point deduction. I actually didn't realize I had even done this until after the fact, so that's something I need to be much more aware of. I actually did it twice, once again while walking into the herd, so that's a 6 point deduction right there.
My third cow I still had about 42 seconds, which seemed like a lot, so I brought most of the herd up with me, which in hindsight, I should not have done. So it takes me awhile to get a cow cut. When I finally get my third cow in my sights, he "mothers" up with another and my herd help had a hard time helping me out. Just as I get him cut, the buzzer sounds.
In the end, I scored a 63, which is not great.. at all.. haha but I was VERY happy with how Lady worked, and definitely in re-watching the video, it's really little things I need to work on that will really make for a better show. Realistically, my only goal for this show was to get a score, and we did that, so boo-ya! We are trying some new bits at the next show, just because I did feel she was pretty chargy back into the herd and wasn't really listening, so we'll see how that goes as well. Overall, I thought she worked really great, that first cow was almost flawless, and I know that if I can do my end of the job right, she'll pick up the slack for me.
Finally, at the show, a lady came up to me and told me she owned Lady's full sister, who has won over 50K in cutting. Pretty cool!! Lady felt a little disgruntled by that... with only 1,000 in earnings.. but what can ya do. Sometimes your siblings out-shine you. I also met Crystal, of Ranch Riding, and that was super fun after all these years of following each other's blogs!
Watching Cows... Better photos next time, haha, promise