Friday, May 29, 2015

Riding in a Group and Moving Cows

We headed up north to hang with the gang known as the Downunder Brumbies.  We had rented the entire Bar SZ Ranch for the long weekend.  The Bar SZ was once the home of famed Quarter Horse Doc Bar and is located in a remote area of San Benito County.  The ranch was almost at capacity with forty guests and maybe 30 trailered-in horses.  The group had arranged for certified Downunder Horsemanship Clinician Jeff Davis to spend the weekend with us.  Last year it was a Brumbie helping Brumbie situation which is why I volunteered to do a little clinic on using a mounting block.  It's hard to compete with Jeff.

We arrived late Friday.  The temperature dropped substantially and we opted to socialize as opposed to having a night ride.  Saturday morning Jeff gave a basic horsemanship session.  To my surprise many of the guests were not familiar with the Method.

We watched for a bit then went for an hour long trail ride around the ranch. Jessie was a bit on the muscle and really walking with purpose (not relaxed) down the trail.  I did a number of yields, bending, backing and nothing seemed to purchase an effect.

The afternoon included some Team Penning.  First order of business:  get the cows.  About 10 or 12 of us rode out (including Jeff) to bring the cows in.  All the horses and the energy was fueling a frenzy.  Jeff was riding one of the participants' horses who had no prior knowledge of the Method.  I watched and did my best to mimic Jeff.  He stayed very calm.  We had an opportunity to chat on the trail and he gave me some great pointers.   Jessie calmed a bit but started softening a whole bunch.  The one exercise I've had problems with is the bending at the walk exercise and this was the main one Jeff recommended.

We did the Buddy Sour exercise.  We had twelve horses lined up on the trail and each of us got in a little work.  We managed to get the cows in and do the sorting.  It was a whole lot of fun.  I've posted a bunch of photos on Facebook.  I don't have any on this computer, but I will write another post about my mounting block exercise and the rest of the weekend soon.
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