I really had hoped to have helmet cam footage to show you of today's cow sorting, but when I downloaded the 4 runs I filmed it was all of the arena ceiling. Looks like I forgot to tilt the camera down towards the cows. It's ok, this gives me an excuse to go back sooner than later it had been way too long since the last time Grace and I worked cows. I'm sure Grace thought we were off to another show today, since I did spend time washing her mane and tail yesterday. I believe she was pleasantly surprised today when I took her to an unfamiliar arena with a pen of cows in it waiting for her.
After a text conversation with Sarah this morning I had a plan for my warm up. She had seen my recently shot video and pointed out to me that my horse was not straight, not tracking up to her front end with her hind end. She recommended more leg when Grace evades my hand by speeding up, to push Grace into the contact and getting her to place her hind footfall closer to her front footfall. The more I thought about it the more sense it made. Once I was on my horse it was interesting to see that my first reaction to her evasion has been to completely take my leg off. Today I added more leg when Grace tried to blow through my outside rein and low and behold the mare stepped up underneath her and went straight!
We were one of the first in the pen when it came time to sort. There were corriente cows that were new additions to the herd this year. They were numbered 2,3,5,6 and 7 and they liked to hang out together. My first draw was number 6. Every time Grace and I got close to it the little bugger would dive in under a bigger cow. I tried to push it down the panels but it would turn back and circle the herd. I felt bad for my partner who didn't even get to leave the gate. I intently watched as other teams worked the herd. The corriente's had a big space bubble and those that took their time with them had the most success. Our numbers improved with each run, but we kept getting dq'd by either cow number 2 or 3 slipping through the gate. On our best run we ha 6 cows in before number 3 slipped past. I was thrilled with Grace, she was a little hot on our first run, but still under control. She settled with each run, got more focused and best of all was moving up beautifully from behind. It always amazes me how much cleaner her movement is when I put a cow in front of her. I lost count of how many times I petted her neck and told her how good she was. I am going to make it a point to get back on cows once a month and next time I will remember to tilt the helmet cam down.