Posts Tagged ‘cowboy

Adventures in Ranch Sorting

Last weekend we took a trip to Double Rock Farm to attend a beginner Ranch Sorting Clinic with Blitz and Boomer. You might remember that we’ve been to Double Rock before, where I introduced Boomer to his first cow.

Ranch Sorting at Double Rock // Painting Pony Adventures

Ranch Sorting at Double Rock // Painting Pony Adventures

Ranch Sorting at Double Rock // Painting Pony Adventures

Both ponies picked back up where we had left off last fall (before my knee surgery) and I think they both enjoyed bossing the cows around.

I noticed that Boomer really likes being able to move the cows with some speed, so I’m very much interested to try some team penning soon – which is a little bit more of a faster paced sport.

Below is a video of Boomer’s first time on the cows that day. I find the hardest part in Ranch Sorting is thinking ahead to where that cow might end up when you start to move it. But I know this will just improve the more we’re able to practice… if I could just talk my parents into getting some cattle on the farm!

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Boomerang the Roping Pony

You might remember that for my Birthday I wanted a lariat so that I could learn to rope. To my surprise my husband had already gotten me one – before I publicly announced on the blog that it was on my wish list! I had no big plans for the rope, it was more just for fun and a good way to desensitize the ponies to new things.

I spent the last few weeks roping things around the farm, fence posts, traffic cones, dachshunds, I even tried to rope the neighbor’s dog that escaped (unfortunately my attempt was unsuccessful – although we did end up catching the dog). Then I started roping things in and around Boomer to get him used to it.

Then just a few days ago I decided to try it while riding him. I wasn’t surprised to find that it didn’t faze him much, and I began using clicker training to teach him that the rope was a positive thing.

My first few attempts to rope while mounted were pretty pathetic. Boomer tolerated me while I roped his face, a couple of legs, and tail. I’m still not quite sure how the cowboys manage to the throw the lasso, hold the extra rope, and steer the horse at the same time. It’s not easy!

Anyway, here’s a few video clips of my first attempts at TROTTING and roping.

I could definitely use some more practice! Although I’m very happy with Boomer’s attitude towards it. Maybe soon we’ll work our way up to cantering! Yeehaw!

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I’m constantly learning something new. There will ALWAYS be something I don’t know, so why not try to learn EVERYTHING I can? It’s sort of a sickness I have, I want to try everything.

So while competing in the Extreme Cowboy Race was something totally new and different for me, I couldn’t leave it at just that. While at the expo I jumped at the chance to learn how to throw a lariat. After all, I could have been asked to rope a “cow” during the competition for all I knew.

I was sort of relieved we didn’t have to rope something, because I think I could use a little more practice.

I’ve added a Lariat to my Birthday wish list (which is tomorrow!) because it was so much fun I can’t wait to give it a try while riding a horse!

After trying my hand at tossing the lariat I made sure Boomerang was ready for roping too. During one of our schooling sessions in the indoor I practiced throwing a lead rope around his head, ears, and sides. Just to make sure that should I NEED to throw the rope in the race, he would be fully comfortable with it. You can never be too prepared!

Anyone else out there know how to throw a rope? Any secret pointers so I can look super cool throwing my lariat off an english saddle?

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Extreme Cowboy Race Winner

The winner of the 2011 Extreme Cowboy Race at the Horse World Expo was Wayne Yoder. He was actually the only rider to be undefeated the entire weekend too!

After the preliminary rides he was in first place, with me tailing right behind him by about 10 points. But after his amazing ride in the finals he jumped to a huge lead on his Stallion, Ornery.

Boomerang was fortunate enough to be stabled next to the winner in the barns, which meant I got to learn all about his “story”.

Wayne is a horse trainer from Ohio, where he trains between 12-14 horses a day with his business partner at Lonesome Hollow Stables. He works with problem horses, as well as starting young horses under saddle. When he’s not training horses his favorite thing to do is compete in Extreme Cowboy Races. Wayne said that at the Horse World Expo he was going on his 9th competition.

Wayne actually had his own rescue Stallion that he used to compete in the races, but a few months ago he died unexpectedly. He later discovered the horse had an abscess in his stomach, something that probably developed when he was malnourished years earlier.

Wayne’s friend Morgan, a horse chiropractor and masseuse, decided to offer him use of her Stallion, Ornery. The palomino stallion’s registered name was something like TC’s Golden Mist – but I can’t remember for sure, Morgan calls him Ornery or “Orn” for short. Orn’s story is also a rescue story as well. He was in a situation where his owner’s were not caring for or feeding him, the owner was forced to surrender their horses, and Morgan rescued the now 15 year old Stallion.

6 weeks ago Wayne started working with Orn, who’s previous experiences were mostly in trail riding. And this would be the stallion’s very first Extreme Cowboy Race.

I was immediately impressed with how quiet Orn was. He had never been around the applause and cheering (like most of the extreme cowboy race participants), yet when I saw the horse experience it for the first time – he was nearly unfazed.

Unfortunately I don’t have any videos of Wayne competing, but through most of his rides Orn was just as steady as ever. But what I was most impressed with was Wayne’s initiative to better himself and his horse through this competition. After the preliminary rounds, Wayne realized that there were some areas he could improve in with his horse while at the Expo. He set out and found a riding instructor that agreed to give him a jumping lesson after the expo closed for the day. So the night before the finals this cowboy attempted to learn the proper way to release his arms over the jump so as not to catch his horse in the mouth. And when I saw him take the big jump on Orn in his western saddle the day of the finals I was so happy for him.

Wayne, if you ever read this, I think you deserved this win! I know you were just as nervous as all of us, as we all huddled in the arena entrance breathing deeply. I wish you much success in your Extreme Cowboy Race endeavors, and I hope we meet up again soon!

Here’s an article I found on Wayne and his efforts to organize an Extreme Cowboy Race in his area.

Photos curtsy of Black Rock Photography.

Find out on monday what I did to better my horse and myself at the expo! I’ll give you a hint, it involved a lariat! 🙂

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