Not sure how I feel about this....
So this is kind of a long story. I have two horses that I am using this summer to compete on, Selena and Ruger.
You guys pretty much know them, but I'll do brief backgorund anyway.
Selena is a 6yr old finished reiner, mostly finished cowhorse (In the sense she's not automatic but she will do what you tell her). She is started on barrels and getting pretty solid. She can be roped off of, blah blah blah, bt she needs an intermediate-advanced rider because quite frankly she's just a brat sometimes. She gets overly excited to do things, not out of nerves but out of adrenaline. We've worked hard to get her back down to competition state and she's done very well.
Ruger is a 3 (Almost 4) yr old who has been under saddle lightly for a year. He had thirty days last winter, then a summer of trail riding and milesmilesmiles, then another sixty days this fall and has been ridden lightly between then and the beginning of this month when I have put him back in training as my "summer project" per se. That's a whole 'nother drama story.
Anywho Selena is the only one who actually belongs to me. Ruger belongs to my Mom still.
So we have a barrel race and a ranch sorting this saturday. Selena and Ruger have both been to a ranch sorting clinic and did FANTASTIC, Ruger who only had his ninety days did phenomenal, he has a ton of natural cow sense and a lot of natural style too. He's just not really refined and gets excited, but not uncontrollable. He is however, easier to ride than Selena. Selena has more buttons and is more refined and well trained but she is so catty and so small that she'll leave you on your butt and will wind herself up if you don't keep her mind on you.
Anyway, my partners horse is lame. She needs a horse to ride. My Mom has decided she doesn't give a s*** about what I do with Ruger while he's in training (Whatever that means...) and is fine with letting someone else ride him.
My partner is a very experienced rider, however she has had an accident and needs a lot of confidence rebuilding. That being said I know she won't fall off no matter which horse I put her on. We aren't going to the sorting with the intention of winning anything now, we just want to get the cows through and get some experience.
I guess my question is, how would you handle this situation? My gut feeling is to put her on Ruger and have her sit at the "opening" to hold the cows since Ruger is going to be a lot calmer than Selena is. If it was me on Selena and her on her normal horse, we would alternate, but I get the feeling that won't work with Ruger being so green.
Sorry I just need to write my thoughts down to organize them. You guys can chime in, I'm just in the head scratching phase.....I don't want her to lose the opportunity to regain her confidence and I desperately need to get these two horses around cows so they can learn to CHILL. I don't have a ton of access to cattle, just every now and then at a barn and then whenever we go penning/sorting....
I would go with your gut feeling. Usually gut feelings are right. =)
If you don't care about winning - embrace the experience and allow Ruger out of the hole. The hole can actually be more stress for the green horse than pushing cattle.
Mls - So I've heard and I do agree but that's kind of why I want to put Ruger there...He's greener than Selena but I get the feeling Selena would spontaneously combust if she wasn't allowed to actually get out there and chase.
BUT THEN AGAIN, that could be very, very good for her. Hmmmm.
i agree with mls.the gap can blow a young horses mind.so let the young horse sort,and you teach the antsy horse some patience in the gap.
I agree with mls and rob.
I have not done that kind of sorting for competion, but even in a work situation the gate horse/guy has to be pretty handy, it can be a lot of pressure. She would be better off sorting in the pen and taking it slow and easy with him.
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If you are going to leave a horse in the hole for the entire run, the cutter has to be fast and efficient and bring each cut clean - OR putzy and quiet to extract only the number you want and not move any of the other cattle.
Alternating and commuication is your best bet with a green horse.
I am kind of agreeing with mls on this one but it is going to come down to you and your friend as to how it all ends up. Neither horse sounds like they would be able to handle the pressure of staying in the hole for the entire run. You stated both can get overly excited and your friend needs a confidence booster.
My advice is keep it slow and smooth and alternate in the hole. Keep talking to each other. Don't allow yourselves to get rushing as this will increase the pressure on both horses and on your friend. I have seen many people new to the sport make the mistake of thinking the hole is the best place for a novice horse when it is actually better to keep that horse moving forward through the herd. Problem here is the fact that you are taking two inexperienced horses that can get excited. Is there any way you and your friend could each ride with a more experienced sorter rather than with each other? You want this to be a great experience for yourselves and your horses, especially since both horses are new to this.
you know both horses to go with what you think will work the best
loveduffy,i'm going out on a limb and assume that you haven't done much sorting?
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