Thursday, October 21, 2010

Grace - The Cow Horse!

I found out (again) last night the I have the coolest horse on the planet! We changed things up at cow practice and did 3 person team penning, without pens, in a 100 x 200 sq foot arena.

The cows hadn’t really settled yet when we started, all they wanted to do was run. When Grace and I peeled one off the herd to move it down the wall it took off like a shot, with Grace in pursuit. Halfway down the rail it turned in front of us, arcing across the arena in an attempt to get back to the herd. I kept my eye on the cow and allowed Grace to catch up to it. She cut it off on the opposite rail before it could reach the herd,sliding to a stop turning and her shoulder into the cow. The cow started back up the rail and then darted across the arena, with its eye on the herd safely tucked down in the corner. I gave Grace the go ahead to catch up to it. Once again she slid into the cow, using her shoulder to change its direction to get it back up the rail. She repeated the maneuver one more time before putting the cow in a corner at the far end of the arena away from its herd. Grace kept her eye on the cow like a prison warden, not moving away from it until I encouraged her to move back towards the herd to get another one.

In the meantime, I was enjoying the most excellent out of body experience. When Grace was stopping the cow on the rail, I was very much just along for the ride. I had no idea my little horse had that in her. I’ve been watching working cow horse videos this week, and every time I see a horse slide into a cow on the rail, sit down and turn it with their shoulder, I wonder how hard that is to teach. In the middle of her working that first cow last night, I felt like I was watching one of those videos, only this time I was in it, along for the ride. It was so incredibly smooth, and Grace was incredibly bold. There were times I thought we wouldn’t reach the rail in time, but Grace made sure that we did. In 10 years I’ve never felt this mare sit on her hind end the way she did last night. It really feels like I just went out and bought a working cow horse.

I hardly slept last night because I was still geeking out about the ride. Every time I think I know this horse, she blows my mind again. 13 years old and I am just now finding out that she is a cow horse. I wonder if she watches working cow horse classes on YouTube while I am at work. How else would a pleasure bred horse know how to turn a cow like that?


  1. Awesome! Im so excited for you and Grace! Im itching to get back out to Cathys!!

  2. Very cool - sounds like amazing fun!

  3. Neat-o! It might be time for the "baby sliders" that Mugwump talked about some time ago, to see what she can do in those! Sounds like you have a real cowhorse on your hands :)