Why yes I do have an indoor arena close to my house to ride in, but I don't have a nice place to tack up, nor do I have a nice warm stall to let my poor hot sweaty pony dry off in. What I have is a cold ass pasture or a cold ass barn, or stand in the wind next to my cold ass trailer. Suffice to say, I'm not digging it one bit! I know..."poor me". I'm sorry folks, I have to admit it, I am a wussy when it comes to weather. When I lived in AZ I thought 40 degrees was freezing! I know better now.
I really had wanted to join in the ranch sort, but I had never even seen one before so I wasn't sure what the rules were, how they work, or any of that stuff. There was a clinic Friday night, but I was still on the road with my unlame mare (oh yeah!) so I had to miss that. Since I had to miss the clinic, I figured it best that I don't just show up and say- ok show me now.
I did go to support my friend Kim, who went to the clinic and then entered one of the classes on Saturday. Unfortunately I did not get to see her compete because there were so many people entered the classes that were supposed to run an hour or two, ended up taking four or five. She ended up scratching and going home.
For those of you who don't know what Ranch Sorting is (like I didn't), here is how it works. Two riders team up on either 5 or 10 cows, depending on the class. The cows are numbered. When the announcer says go, he calls out a cow number and they have to sort out that number first and the drive it out the gate. Then they have to pull each cow out after that in succession. So if they start with cow 4, then it is 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, 1, 2, 3. If a cow slips through the gate out of sequence, they get a "no time". Sometimes they only have a certain amount of time to get all the cows out, sometimes it is the combined fastest score with the combined number of cows. Each class takes the top 10 and then they re-compete for the top five which is when they win money. So, I may be missing some information,because I only figured this out by watching, but that is the main gist of the competition.
I did however get some pretty cool pics. These first 2 are of a gal I thought was very good. Her horse flat out got after those cows, and I just really enjoyed watching the two of them together. In these two pics she was "guarding the gate". This gal, like many whooped and hollered at those cows. But she was really loud, and was a fantastic gate guarder.
One thing I noticed was that there were two kinds of horses here. Some were really hot all the time, and some were calm and cool until it was time to go to work. Can you guess which ones were the better competitors? Yup those calm cool ones. The hot ones, were too hot and couldn't seem to concentrate on what they were doing. I also saw a few riders that kept trying to keep their horses worked up by spurring and yanking them around a lot. As the day went on, their horses were mentally and physically exhausted, and never did perform well. I watched one guy whip/yank his horses head back and forth with the reins about 20 times in about 10 seconds trying to get him "warmed up". If I ever tried that with Trax, he'd face plant me so fast it would make my head spin. He does not tolerate crap like that.
This guy was also very good.
There were a ton of kids, and I mean young kids, competing. Some were just hanging out with their parents, but when the parents weren't riding, these kids were on the parents horses riding all over the place.
|Look at that seat!|
This next group of pictures are of a young gal who really caught my eye. Her horse was probably one of the best horses there, pretty thing who really took care of her rider. When they were waiting to compete, she was loving all over this mare, it was so darn cute.
|mare says" yes little girl I love you too"|
|Ears are up, she is ready to get down to business.|
|She was one of the few kids who managed to run a perfect score.|
I have more pics but will start a second post.