When they get away--whose fault?
I hate the Blame Game; but at a recent sorting (just practice, all of us beginners) I carefully singled out a steer, yay--then it was my turn to guard the gate.
And two came at me from one end, and the other gal was herding her steer along with a stray or two--yikes! Which bunch should I have tried to block first? It was a mess!
Anyway, the other rider was pretty mad at me for "turning away" from the strays that were on her side. "Never face away from the gate," she told me, or something to that effect. But I had two coming from the other side! What would real sorters do???
I think the person sorting should take some of the responsibility of guarding the gate-- at least not overwhelm her and her pony!
its true,never turn a horse sideways or backwards in the gap.on a real cowy horse in the gap,make a jump at the trash,then tell your partner bringing a good cowto slow down,giving you enough time to get back accross the gap to help them,but if alot of cows are coming to the gap,your partner should come to the gap,push them back,regroup and go back to sorting.
Like Rob stated, you should never allow your horse to swing sideways or turn backwards while being in the hole (gate). If you are sideways, not facing the cattle, it is very easy for trash (strays) to slip past your horse's hip through the opening. You also have to be in position where your horse can freely move from side to side and foward towards the cattle.
In the situation you described a few things sound like the went wrong. But the biggest was lack of communication not who did what. It is the responsibilty of the sorter pushing the cow to first pull clean and second to be aware of where the other cattle are. Sounds like your team mate did not realize that there was trash coming up the other side at you, that they were focused on the cattle they were pushing. As well, when you are pulling and have a dirty, you need to make every attempt to sort that dirty off before you get to the gate not depend on your team mate in the hole to stop the trash. Until you are clean you do not push hard towards the gate. As the sorter you should also tell your partner which is the good cow as it is dificult to read a number on a cow facing directly towards you.
In your situation, in the hole with cattle coming from both sides, I say before you even make a move you need to let your partner know they need to pull up. Unless you are on an experienced cow horse the chances that you can stop the trash on one side and make the dive back to face the cattle being pushed towards you by your partner is very slim. Even on an experienced horse this is a very difficult move to make if the catle are coming with any speed. So basically you should tell your partner to pull up, quit pushing, as you stop the trash coming from the other side then swing back to face your partner and the cattle they are pushing, keeping your focus fully on the trash (strays). Your partner should, pull up and allow you the time needed and if unable to slow down the cattle in front of them help you in the hole then take all the cattle back and pull again. Never leave trash at the gate and if at all possible never sort at the gate.
Hope this makes sense. lol The team made the mistake, not one or the other.
thank you stillstandin and you made some good statements also.we just might make a sorter out of beling.
I guess I didn't realize how much attention BOTH of us need to keep on the REST of the herd. I think we just focused on the one we want. We should've talked before the event, especially as we didn't know each other at all.
Thank you for the explanation!
I've never even watched team sorting but the first thing I would do is write down that persons name on my "will not partner" list. There is nothing I hate worse than someone that intentionally takes the fun out of something I like doing. I used to be that guy sometimes but I have learned better since having kids.
A-MEN! Doesn't matter who's at fault in a situation like this, it's supposed to be fun and a joy stealin' sum biscuit is definitely not someone you want to team up with 2X.
Unfortunately you don't always have the options of choosing your team mates, especially in a jackpot situation after a practice. There are people that I would not choose to ride with but next thing I know I have drawn them up. I have learned to watch and listen as other teams go. Pay attention to the skills and weaknesses of the other riders. Note to yourself who blames their partners. That way you are prepared before you enter the pen. I try to encourage my partners to play the positions that I have watched them be strong at in previous runs. Be ready to cover their weak areas.
Yeah it is supposed to be fun. By being prepared you can help make it fun for all involved. Everyone likes to succeed.
stillstandin,you are so right.and kevinshorses,let me just make one little item clear.team sorting is a three man sorting in an open pen,and ranch sorting is a two man team in 60 foot round pens.
Thanks for clearing that up. When I do ranch sorting it's one man and one dog and 5000 acres!
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