Hello, my name is Melissa and I am a cow addict!
I used to only chase cows once in a while, but then the barn that I haul into starting holding cow practice twice a week. It wasn’t long before I found that I couldn’t quit after only one cow. I mean, what if my first run wasn’t perfect? I had to give it another try right? Besides, for $25 I can take as many runs as I want.
$25, that number has a new meaning in my life now. I have a $25 a week cow habit. Stop and buy coffee on the way to work? No, that’s my cow money. I’ve stopped putting my money in slot machines. I can no longer give my cash to the casino, that’s my cow money. Of course if I won a jackpot, I would have months of cow money! But what if I lost the $25? That would be a week with no cows. I can only chase the dog for so long before she starts refusing to enter the arena.
At first I only went on Saturdays, figured I could get away with maybe twice a month. But then I started thinking about chasing cows during the weekdays. I would slow down when driving past a field of cows on my way into work. I kept thinking that if I turned the truck just right towards their shoulders they would move. The weekdays seemed endless, when would Saturday be here?
Yesterday I found out that I have hay coming on Saturday. I’m trying to figure out how to finish with hay in time to get to cow practice. It doesn’t look good. There are 18 tons that have to be moved off a truck and stacked. I have 2 that I am taking home, which means 2 trips, plus stacking time. Does Grace really need to eat this winter? Well, I guess she needs the energy for cow work. So maybe I could skip cows on Saturday, but go Wednesday night instead. I did tell my husband I wasn’t going during the week because it gets me home late. Maybe he wasn’t listening? I’ll just tell him I’m going out drinking.
My horse has been no help at all. I swear she knows the days of the week now. She jogs to the horse trailer on Saturdays, knowing what awaits her at our destination. When I unload her at the barn, the first place she looks is to the cow pen. When we get into the arena, she wants to walk right over to the cows; I think she trash talks them over the fence. As soon as the gate opens to let in the herd, her ears prick up, her eyes bright with anticipation. She no longer minds working close to other horses, just as long as there is a cow in front of her.
Grace has only gotten more broke since we started working on cattle. A few weeks ago at a Wednesday night cow practice (yes, I was there twice that week!) I noticed that she was not moving her shoulder fast enough. She would stiffen against my aids and miss the cow. We took a break from chasing the dog during the week and got down to business. I took a lesson and paid close attention to what my trainer was telling me. Before I knew it Grace was moving her shoulder off my leg and side passing across the arena, all on a loose rein. When we got back on cows this weekend, it all came together. She warmed up beautifully, excelling at all the exercises we practiced during the week. On my second run I had the chance to work a cow in the arena alone. After following it and then boxing it on the rail, we loped in a circle on a loose rein. It was one of the moments where it all came together at once. Grace was so good that I quit for the day on that second run. See, I can quit, anytime. See you at practice on Wednesday!