First Sorting - For Me & My Horse - Tips & Advice?
Title says it all -
in a couple weeks, my horse and I are heading out to try sorting for the first time. The people who own the barn seem very happy to have beginners, and told us to come on down, and they'd help us as much as possible. A warm welcome is definitely a nice feeling, however, I still can't help but be a litttttttle nervous. Especially since my horse has never, ever worked cattle in his life, nor really even seen a cow.
So, any of you seasoned sorters/penners/cutters/people who hang out with cows and horses often, have any advice for me, and my horse, and me riding my horse? haha.
um its kinda different in different places. some of the competitions ive gone to they will pair you up with a more experienced person and that person will either stay on the gate for you (some novice horses freak out when the steers running at them) and some will do the sorting and have you do the gate.
if you can do more then one round I would strongly suggest trying both with your horse do they can get the experience from both sides.
just remember slow is smooth, smooth is fast. don't go running in trying to cut them out all speedy. stay calm, and your horse will stay calm. just go in nice and easy, and the cows will be calm and easier to cut (hopefully).
also your partner will most likely be more experienced.
depending how they set it up you may be able to pick your partner or it may be random.
uuuum I know im forgetting a lot I haven't gotten to sort in like 2 years so its not completely fresh in my mind.
if you have a lot of questions you can pm me too if you want haha.
Thanks I appreciate the advice.
I think slow and calm will be my best bet for a long time haha, and something really good to remember when i'm up there and doing it i'm sure. & good advice about trying both the sorting and the holding stuff - we get two rounds, so hopefully I get to try both.
Apparently we can choose partners, but for the jackpot round we'll be paired with more advanced riders (which will be nice)
If your horse has never been around cows, you need to get there early and ride them around the cattle, let him stand there and get him used to the smell and sounds...if possible you really need to get him in a pen with some cows, you don't want his first experience to be in a round pen with him having to walk up to and through a group of cows....or have to have him step in front of a cow that is trying to get back to it's friends quick,fast, and in a hurry.
Ropinbiker, I was thinking the same thing. The people who own the barn told us to let them know if our horses have never seen cows, so I think they would be open to the suggestion of us/our horses getting a feel for being around/moving cattle.
What if my horse turns out to be terrified of cows? Should I just keep going slow and showing him them, or is there any other techniques you guys have used?
Also if there's room to just park your horse near the pens along the fence. Thatll get him used to all the craziness that goes on inside and let him just watch it and chill.
Great idea Roperchick, luckily Jingle (my horse) actually really likes activity, and watching things/people/other horses. I call him a "creeper" all the time. So hopefully he'll enjoy all the activity and stuff going on, and it wont stress him out too bad.
:D. Haha nice. Well definitely get pictures if you can!
Get there early and get someone o walk in with you and help push the cows. Once a horse figures out the cows move away, they usually get tge drift pretty quick.
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I think working slowly and staying calm is the biggest thing with sorting. And learning how to read the cattle. Horses usually figure out how to read cattle, too.
I guess if your horse is scared, you'll just have to stick with it. Maybe let him hold the line (or gate, or however they do it), at first if he's scared. Show up early to warm him up really well and take the edge off him so he's not as nervous.
Does your horse like to chase stuff, such as dogs? If so, that's a sign that he might like herding cattle.
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