Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Long Day

Today ended up being a lot longer day than I anticipated...but one of those days I wouldn't have missed for the world. Earlier this week, Wade asked me if I wanted to come with him to a team penning he and some friends have started putting on at the Wild Horse Pass Arena at the 'new' Rawhide Old West Town. These guys put on a weekly team roping there on Sunday and they decided to see if a team penning would take hold too. The turn-out was a little light, but once it catches on, I think it will be a success.
It's a jaunt from Mikey's to Rawhide...They are on opposite sides of the valley actually. I don't know the exact mileage, but it's probably 60 miles. When we got there, we unloaded horses, tied them off with their breakfasts and loaded steers in the trailer and headed to another arena with them. These guys provide roping stock for several of the local associations and we were delivering fresh steers to this other roping. When we get to this other arena (about an hour away), we dump that load of steers, load a  bunch of the 'practice' steers in the trailer and head back to the arena we are going to be competing in. When we get back, we dump that load of steers and run them through the chute so the guys can affix numbers to their sides.

(Whewww)...Not that any of that was hard work. Wade and The Rancher pretty much did the loading and unloading. I know when people have a system and I know to just stay out of their way. While the guys were getting everything set up, I started warming up horses. Frosty warmed up good, so I warmed up Wade's horse and then moved to Moon. Moon is still being a jerk. Not only was he a pill to warm up, the whole time I was riding Frosty, Moon was in the back pen, pacing, whinnying, pulling on the leadrope and half rearing on the fence. Although it was really my intention to just work Frosty lightly and focus on Moon...

I decided Moon could just stand back there and pitch his fit. He KNOWS better. But it did get me to thinking...So I texted Mikey and asked her to pick me up a tube of UlcerGard while she was in town working. Weeks ago, I had asked a friend to order me the powder Omaprozaline, which I fed to Moon most of last summer and noticed a marked improvement in his attitude, but she kept forgetting to order it for me, so I don't have any with me. :-(. Of course, I always worry about ulcers with Moon, but besides a crappy attitude, he usually goes off his grain and he has been cleaning up every bit of his hay and grain, so I'm not sure it that's the problem or not. We'll see because I gave him a 1/2 tube of UlcerGard tonight and that should calm his stomach. If he is still bonkers tomorrow at the barrel race, it's just the beautiful weather that is giving him 'spring fever'. 

So anyway...Frosty got his work-out and then some today. Holy crap did he work good...

He was only mildly hesitant to ease into a herd of horned cattle (which he has never done before) and when he locked on...He LOCKED ON! We got a lot of practice runs in. Because of the very few riders, I got to practice running some steers down the fence and turning them back (a la Working Cowhorse)...Frosty was ruu-nningg (Forest Gump accent) after those steers, I could push him past one and he was only missing the turnback by a stride. That is freaking phenomenal for a horse that until just recently was terrified of pretty much ANYTHING that looked at him. LOL. The last steer we worked was just a random unnumbered steer and it did NOT want to leave the herd. Frosty got down and dirty and worked his butt off to get that steer to cross the line. I had NO IDEA the horse had that much heart and try in him. He's always been such a big baby. I think my 'baby' has grown up. He was making some incredible moves on that steer and I could hear Wade and everybody watching, commenting and cheering him on. The big yella horse made me PROUD today!!!

After that, we were done. Frosty was done in.  He would have kept going if I had asked, but he was dripping and panting. I cooled him out, tied him in the the meantime, Moon was still being very unhappy in a separate pen....but was over his total meltdown. Standing there and letting him have his fit was exactly what he needed. While the ponies rested, we all headed over to Rawhide to have lunch. On the way out, we coerced poor Wade to take a ride on the donkeys...

ONLY Wade!!! OMG...It was too funny. He was doing the queen wave and posing for the tourists who lined up to take pictures. Meanwhile the rest of us were attempting to get him to reach up and rake the donkey with his spurs. See how long his legs are? They touched in front of the donkey's chest. LMAO...These guys are tooo freaking funny!!

You would think our day was done right?

Oh no. We had to load steers. Take that load back to the arena we had been at in the morning. Unload. Sort. Then strip all of the horn protectors off of all of the roping steers. Sort again. Pen everything. Load up a load in the trailer. Back to Rawhide. Unload. Pen. And thennnnn....We got to load our horses and head for home. We left the house at 6am, was on the run the entire day and got home at 7pm. I'm exhausted and this is how hard these guys run most of the time. Sheeezzz...I don't think I could keep up day after day.

It was the funnest day I have had in forever. I did good too. I didn't embarrass myself in front of Wade or The Rancher. Frosty did phenomenal...and even if Moon was a goob...he didn't destroy anything or start throwing himself down or anything. So all in all...It was a hugely successful day. I think Wade and The Rancher might even let me come around again. ;-)


fernvalley01 said...

I swear with all the good work you do I should send Phoenix down there if I cant go !In a perfect world I would have the time and resources for us both to come down for a season . between you me and Mikey I am bettin' we could make my "Fix " a contender"

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

It amazes me how much they can get done in a day. It's almost like they gravitate to hard work and wouldn't have it any other way. When I was at the ranch I asked the rancher if I could help, and he said, "We're just getting ready."

I took that to mean that if I didn't automatically know how to get ready for a cattle drive, it's best I stay out of the way, so that's what I did, but I sure felt useless. I couldn't help in the kitchen because I don't cook much, so I offered to wash the dishes, but Mercy beat me to it.

It's an experience seeing how good everyone is at what they do. The picture of Wade on the donkey cracks me up.

Shirley said...

Perhaps Frosty has found his niche? He wants to be a cowhorse, not a barrel horse! It's great that you have a place to work him on cows..... I see a working Cowhorse class in your future... There's nothing like the feel of a horse locked on to a cow.

Hope Moon gives you a good run today.

Cut-N-Jump said...

I gotta agree with Shirley. When they find their niche, they can be unbeatable. Shift the gears and let Frosty rip.

Love the mule pic.

cdncowgirl said...

Kinda sounds like Frosty would rather be a cowhorse than a barrel horse ;)