Monday, May 3, 2010

Our New Addiction

This year on our great new showing adventures we have decided to give reined cow horse a try.

Well, the boyfriend decided he wanted to do the reined cow horse shows, mostly so he could do something and not compete against me. I decided that if we were going to be spending gas money to haul all the way there and for hotels and stuff anyways, I would rather just bring my horse along, pay a bit of extra money and have myself some fun with it too!

And boy howdy is it FUN!!! The boyfriend is going down the fence, having done his first fence run ever in his life exactly two weeks before the first show. I figured since he had wanted to get away from competing with me I would just stick to the boxing classes this year, see how that went.

I guess I should give a little background on what cow horse actually is. There are three parts to it:
1. Herd work - basically cutting, taking a single cow out of the herd and keeping it out of the herd.
2. Dry work - basically a reining pattern, though cow horse patterns are condensed a bit.
3. Cow work - which also has 3 parts, boxing - keeping the cow on the end of the arena to show you can control it, going down the fence - pushing the cow down the long side of the arena and turning it at least once each direction, and then circling the cow - turning the cow at least 360 degrees each direction.

In my boxing class I only do the boxing part, not the fence run or circling. The cow work can get pretty crazy. I've done lots of boxing at shows and practice, so I've got that down. The rest of the work is often done at a full on gallop, balls to the wall, down the fence, inches from the cow who is (in theory) on the fence, with a quick dive around the front of the cow into the fence to get it stopped and turned. Then you have to launch back out to the side of the cow, keep it on the wall and run past it again for another turn.

Can you imagine what an adrenaline rush that is? Sha! Just a bit of adrenaline!

And then you get to circle! It's very exciting to watch and quite the rush to ride. I have done it a few times at clinics (read about that here and here) and it is just a blast! I'm itching to go down the fence, can you tell?

Anyways, the whole weekend was pretty darn fun. The shows are amazingly laid back, every one is super duper friendly and helpful and it's just darn good times. We had our second show of the season this past weekend and my last run, late Sunday night, was just a kick in the pants. I have no clue why, Midori was being a bit of a spooky dink, but I was laughing so hard at my silly horse that by the time I did my last stop on the dry work I paused and went...huh...I sure hope that was the pattern! I hadn't even really thought about it. lol

The boyfriend was nice enough to video it, even though he got distracted a couple of times and forgot to move the camera. I just have to post it because I had so much fun on it. We nailed our flying lead changes. And we even got some pretty nice stops in! For us. Remember, Midori was pretty much a drill pony up until about 8 months ago. I think our run is pretty impressive for lessons and one month of training! We've come a long, long ways! Still have a loooooong ways to go, but we're making progress so I can't complain!

Please note the scary, horse eating monster behind the gate that she is spooking at. You can see it when we walk in, the yellow thing poking up over the tarp. It was pouring rain and the cow guys were in full rain gear and hiding by the gate trying to stay out of the weather when they could. Apparently they were scaring a lot of the horses. Midori decided she wanted nothing to do with that whole end of the arena and I had to push pretty hard to get her down there the whole pattern and we bounced around a bit, but I guess that was probably part of why I had so much fun. I do love a good challenge with her!

Also, please note the nice shot of her fabulous ass after we finish our dry work and walk over to get our cow. Midori has a great ass, I've always loved it!

Our dry work score was a 68 and our cow work was a 70, total 138. Not fabulous scores in the grand scheme of things, but I was thrilled with them.