Our First Ranch Sorting and Team Penning Clinic!
So, I am taking Shamus in my first sorting/penning clinic in 2 weeks! Its for beginners, and I am excited for the learning experience! So my question is, what should I work on for specifics to get him ready for the clinic?
Awesome! You are going to have a blast!
You're going to figure out a lot of things really fast as you start working the cows.
I find that having a calm yet responsive horse is the most helpful, even if they're not super quick or agile (mine's not). Some things that you can be working on are transitions, getting a good 'whoa' and having your horse move forward off of your leg consistently and in an eager manner. In the beginning I think that's all you really need. It might take some time for your horse to get comfortable around the cattle and during that period I wouldn't push him to do too much. Let him smell them and interact with them. I see a lot of people really get after their horses when they want them to cut a cow out of the herd but I think that adds a lot of stress to your horse right from the get go. Given a little time, a lot of horse's will figure out that it's a lot of fun to push the cows around and it's nice to let your horse learn that. It makes it a fun experience for them. Keep it stress free and I'm sure your horse will learn to enjoy it. Working cattle is the ONLY time that my horse isn't lazy. He loves chasing cows!
As you get more advanced, you can start introducing some speed, start teaching roll backs and more advanced stops but for now just keep it casual and enjoy yourselves. The more that you're able to interact with the cattle, the better you'll be able to 'read' them and the better you and your horse will be when you're working them.
Also, be cautious of how you're riding. It's easy to get wrapped up in the idea of pushing the cattle where you need them to go before you run out of time. Sometimes when that happens you can forget about horsemanship to some degree. I was horrified when I saw a video of one of my first runs and I realized that I was rushing and getting after my horse more than I meant to. I just got trapped in the moment but it was definitely embarrassing. Make sure to relax and have fun with your horse.
Btw, I'm still relatively new to the world of cattle sorting and penning and I have a lot to learn but one thing that I KNOW is that it's a ton of fun!
Did you go to the clinic? How did it go?
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. :lol:
He was a little nervous at first but once he realized that the cows would move away from him he was all over it. He was great at calmly going into the heard to cut out a cow, but the area we need to work on is keeping him on a line towards the cow and rolling back (as he wanted to circle instead of roll back on the cow), but I'm sure it'll come with time and the more experience I get in the arena. I have just about as much experience as he does in penning/sorting! But the clinician will be giving us lessons so I'm very much looking forward to having a good coach to bring us along.
You need to visit this thread on the difference between reining and cowhorse 'turn-arounds'. http://www.horseforum.com/horse-trai...d-spin-414178/
Then, if you drop down to my post (I think it is # 9) you will see Boyd Rice starting a 2 year old on the kind of roll-backs a horse has to do to work a cow.
1) Make the horse stop straight, shoulder to shoulder to the cow.
2) When the cow turns and goes the other way, back him up 1 or 2 steps, straight.
3) Roll him around slow -- never hurrying him up in the turn-around -- NEVER.
4) Then, when he is all the way around, hurry him up to catch up to the cow.
This is why a flag or a single cow in a large round pen work so well. The cow (or flag) is always there and the horse can always hustle and catch up to it without losing it back to a herd.
Any good cutting or cowhorse prospect will start speeding their turn-arounds up by themselves if they keep having to play 'catch-up.
If you back him up like in the video of Boyd Rice, he will stop making those little circles when he changes directions.
Thank you!! I will most definitely have to practice that with him.
So when you say should to shoulder do you mean parallel to the cow?
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