It started out with a phone call yesterday to a lady down the road that owns a barn. I have spoken to her before but I never really understood her. She owns probably a 40 stall barn, with a nice indoor arena but has a couple boarders and has no interest in getting any more. She does next to nothing at the barn except clean stalls and feed cause she owns a salon in the next town over. To me there is a ton of potential that she is just wasting. Anyways I called her up to inquire if she would be willing to allow me to use her indoor arena in inclimate weather. Weather that sadly will be upon us shortly. She told me I should talk to her new boyfriend. That he is starting to take over stuff at the barn.
Today I get a call from Jim, the boyfriend, and he says, "how bout you come on out and talk to me?" I said great and the kids and I piled in the truck and drove the 1/2 mile down the road to the farm. We talked for a while and he seemed like he would be willing to let me use the indoor. YAY!! That will be great for this winter!!! So I am super excited about that. I didn't ask yet if I can bring some jump standards down but hopefully they won't mind. It will be great to not have to depend 100% weather and even better that my riding is not dictated by the footing. As soon as the weather turns to snow I usually confined to only walk trot because I will not risk cantering and slipping on slippery footing. And at that point jumping is way out of the question. So this would make a huge difference for us.
We continue talking for a while and he says some of his buddies are coming out to do some cutting and roping. I perked up and said I would love to come by and watch with the kids. I have never seen any of that in person before and I thought it would be so cool to watch but of course I thought it would be even more cool to do. So the girls and I came back about an hour later and the driveway was filled with trailers. We walk into the arena and there 6 or 7 horses 20 people and about 10 calves and cow. Oh and dust! He didn't water the arena so to say it was dusty is an understatement, I am still coughing 6 hours later. As soon as I walk up Jim says, "you want to go git yourself a cow?" I said heck yeah and he let me ride his horse and gave me a couple words of advice and sent me in. I had not a clue what I was doing but I sure as heck had fun trying. I cut a few calves away but I wasn't real successful in keeping them away. Then a lady asked my girls if they wanted to ride one of her horses and of course they are just like their Mama and couldn't turn an offer like that down. Once on she tells her that she can go right into the cows with him that he won't care. I told her to ride him around few times and she could go try. I took her up there and kinda told her what she was supposed to do and she walked through the cows a few times. I go to the other end of the arena and was talking. Next thing you know she has got a calf separated!! Dang girl you are putting your Mama to shame! She kept at it until I went and pulled her away after about 20 minutes. Cause I felt sorry for the poor old horse she was riding. It was an awesome experience and one I and my daughter will not soon forget. My Daughter was absolutely adorable. She was so stinking excited afterwards and says, "Mom I never thought I would be able to do something like that!!"
My wheels are turning now to take Steady out and introduce him to the cows. I love the idea of making him versitile and well rounded. I figure the better exposed to crazy things he is the safer he will be on a XC course right? And if you have ever seen the amazing movie Buck(if you haven't you need to. Its on netflix) there is a dressage rider on there that does the cow cutting with her very well trained dressage horses. She says they have to do alot of dressage movements in cutting and it gives them a reason and purpose in their work. They see a reason behind the things she is asking. Now that is a cool concept. They get together every Friday and I have a feeling it won't be last time you hear about me going cattle cutting. And next time I will be better prepared with a video camera and such.