10-24-2011, 06:20 PM
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You're partially correct. The header is the horse that, when the flag is dropped- must get in front of the calf, position the rider to where they can throw a loop around his horns, and jerk the half 'out of orbit,' giving the heeler the chance to rope it's back legs and throw it to the ground.
So yes. The horse must be fast. Being small often isn't a fault either, if the horse is stocky. This is the reason that quarter horses and appaloosas are often found doing this job. They have to be bulky enough to stop the calf from it's crazed bolt across the arene, as quickly as possible.
Corona can definitely handle herself out there, we just don't think it's the best suited to her build. With as slight as she is, she could be battered pretty good if the calf were to hit her, but my main worry is her legs. Her pastern and hock angles give me the idea that she's got weak tendons, and then there's the pigeon toes. I believe the BO is still planning to use her on occasion for that purpose, but for the most part, we're going to switch her discipline.
I'm definitely looking at options for a new job. She doesn't enjoy lessons as much as I had hoped (too monotonous for her, I think). The BO's daughter ( in the pictures) has tried her for barrels and she did alright, but I still don't think that's a good fit for her conformation. If there was endurance riding around here, I'd look into that, but as of right now there really isn't. I don't suppose you have any ideas?