I'm going to my first ranch rodeo!!!
I can hardly wait for saturday to get here. To start the day, the Illinois State Horse Judging contest will be held (and I will be competing :D), and that afternoon I attend my first ranch rodeo and my second ever show!
I was just wondering if the ranch rodeo vets out there could give me some tips on sorting? I know the basic principle of it and I will be entering in the beginners sort. The horse(s) I will be riding are pretty cowy. Are there any tricks you use to help you in that class?
And if you know some of the tasks done in a ranch riding class, could you share some tips on those as well?
Thanks in advace for all who read and post!
Im sure someone at the show will help you with some of the details. Always look for someone who isn't going to be direct competition.
It sure sounds like a blast! GOod luck!
^ Thanks! I will probably only be paired witn my instructor and maybe my FFA advisor. I'm sure they can pick up the slack I make. I never really worked cattle before (I've ridden around cattle quite a few times though), so I am kind going into it blind.
I agree most of us friendly and willing to help out. I can give you a couple quick pointers. First, sometimes slow is fast. Take your time pulling a cow. Take it easy heading into the herd. Once you have spotted the one you want, point at its hip to make it go forward and head it towards the fence. Use the fence to help control the direction. Pressure at the hip of the cow controls foward motion and speed. If you horse goes ahead of the hip, closer to the cow's head this controls direction or possibly stop.
If you are riding a horse that is cowy and has done this before, trust the horse to put itself where it needs to be to move the cow where it needs to go.
Always try to pull clean, only the cow you want not a bunch, and keep your eye on the back of the head of that cow. Lastly, finish your cow. Just because it is heading in the direction of where it needs to go, sure doesn't mean it will actually go there if you take the pressure off.
Hope all that made sense...
And thanks stillstandin! It does make sense, I think my worst worry is not being able to find the right cow, or pulling the wrong one, or letting the wrong cow out.
Go slow until you find the right cow. Once you get it pulled from the herd, if you have a dirty (or wrong cow), keep your eyes only on the good cow. Let your teammate know which is the good cow so they can concentrate on the dirty. Talking to your team mates makes sure everyone knows what is happening.
When you are in the hole (gate) keep you horse moving at all times. This keeps you from being caught flat footed. As cattle are coming towards you let your partner concentrate on the good cow while you keep your eyes on the dirty, moving towards it.
Don't worry, you will do fine. And have fun.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Lots of folks will run into a herd of cattle waving their arms and shouting but that is about the worst way to go about it. If you just take your time and try to keep things moving slow, that makes it so much easier. If you are ever in doubt during one of the cattle events, just back away and take a moment to re-collect yourself before trying again. One thing I have found is much easier for me to help keep track of which cow I want is to look at the actual cow instead of just the number. Find the number that you want and then look at the characteristics of the cow; is it taller or shorter than the others, what color is it, does it have facial markings or leg markings, what do its ears look like, etc. It is so much easier to find a cow in a herd when you know it's a red, bald faced cow that is taller than all the others with long, slick ears and short horns. That's easier to spot than "Number 1" if they get stirred up or it gets back into the herd LOL.
You have definitely got some good advice. The only thing I would add to the "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" thing is to keep your body language quiet when you ride into the herd. Let the horse do the work.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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