Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Less than Stellar

Once a month I make the 3 hour trip to Mormon Lake AZ to compete in a 2 man ranch sorting.  Last time I went my tranny was acting up and I ended up limping home.  We thought the problem was electrical, and while I didn't feel like a 3 hour trip with a horse in the trailer in the middle of summer was the best time to "test drive"  TC swore I would be fine.

So with fingers crossed I loaded up Melody at 4 am Saturday morning and we headed up north.  My truck did ok until we got to Pine.  Then I had to shut it down and let it sit for a bit so it could reset it's little brain and then we made in to the sort.

I got my girl all settled in...

...with her smorgasbord of hays and pellets.  I never know what is going to make her happy so I give her many options.  This time she chose a little bit of each item.  She has gatorade, water, alfalfa hay, alfalfa pellets, and grass hay.  She is a goof ball.  

I had some time before my class started so I went up to the stands and did some armchair riding.  

 We had some wicked clouds looming over head and was sure that my class was going to get dumped on, but it turned out to be just the right amount of coolness to make the day really enjoyable.

I have no pics of me sorting, or videos.  I'd be embarrassed to show them anyway.  I had a couple of good runs going, but anytime we got more than 4 cows, we ended up blowing out and getting a red flag.  I did have 2 clean runs with 2 cows each.  That did put me "in the bubble" for the second go, but both times my partner let cows through the gate.

I'll admit that my riding was less than stellar to say the least.  I could have done much better.  I had some really good partners who were kind enough to ranch hand with me.  They held the gate while I went and got cows.  It is slower that way, but since I blew out my first two runs right away, we all agreed that maybe it would be better if I stayed out of the gate.

I tried to be very careful about not bringing my partner more cows that they could handle.  I tried to go slow and easy to just pull out the cow I was after. Sometimes those cows were just bad.  Really bad.  However, I can't help but wonder what is different for me and my horse from last spring.

Last spring we would drive to Wittman every weekend, and it wasn't long till I was pulling down some 10 runs.  I mean we were doing really well.  Now I get up here, and I can't even hold a cow.

I am considering taking Melly back to where I got her from.  Not to sell her, but to get her tuned up.  Along with that, I would go down 2x per week and get some sorting lessons.  It would give me a chance to get some coaching on actual cows, from someone who knows my horse.  The price she quoted me is more than fair, and it is about an hour from my house, so I could get up early and go before work, and then just change my work hours to be a later day.

 I have a friend who has a cabin right by the arena so I stayed with them, and the next morning we went on a trail ride.  Melody is not a fan of trail riding, but I made her go anyways.  While I was waiting on my friends, I rode her up  through the trees.  She made it about 20 ft in, and then did the most gorgeous reining spin and hightailed it out of there.  Obviously it was a little too claustrophobic for her.  Either that or she saw a bear.  Lol

This was right before she spun and bolted

When my friends were ready, we rode out together.  Melody does much better in a group and I was quite proud of her.  She stopped over all sorts of things and even rode up into the trees.  We stopped and had a little picnic, before riding back to civilization.

This is her "I do not like riding in trees" face

My friends daughter and her horse Godlie

My friend and her two daughters

When we got back I quickly loaded up all my stuff and my horse and headed back down the mountain.  I made it most of the way through the big canyon between Payson and Apache Junction, and my tranny messed up again.  This time I couldn't get it to reset, so I called TC and he headed towards me,  I had an hour to wait so I sat in the trailer with Mel.  It was nice and cool in there, and just me being in there kept her nice and calm.  I laid one of my Indian rugs down and had a little nap.  It was a little smelly, but not too bad and before I knew it TC was there and we swapped out the trucks.

The plan was for me to limp my truck home and he would get the horse home and out of the trailer.  Go figure, my truck shifted just fine the rest of the way home.  I should have just sat longer before I called him.  Regardless it is going to a tranny shop.  I did some research and what is happening is that the TCM is putting the tranny into "limp mode" (not allowing it to shift out of 4th gear) because it either has low voltage, or I have a plugged filter, or something.  

So..... until I get that fixed, my lessons get set aside.  


But I guess I'll just keep riding until then.  


  1. I think you're pretty hard on yourself! But lessons are always good; there is always room for improvement. I really miss taking clinics. Haha Melly's face in the trees- "There's bears and lions and horse eating rabbits in dere!"

  2. you went you tried, and you showed her something new. I call that a win. We don't always have great rides but there is usually something to be learned . Too bad about your truck

  3. Sounds like you did alright to me. Clinics and lessons are great, but every time you ride you're gaining more experience. They can't all be exceptional, but if you're enjoying it and your horse is too, I call that a win! Been a long time since I've been here. Sounds like you're enjoying your horses. Nothing more irritating than truck troubles...