Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cutting and penning!

Jeez, I really wish my camera still worked!

Today I brought my friend J___ up to watch a local team penning event. J___ went to and then worked at a horse camp all summer for 6 years of his youth. I'm really hoping to get him back into horses. Perhaps because I do not live in the country, I don't often meet men who are horsepeople. Most men I talk to actually tell me that they are afraid of horses, or that horses "hate" them. I have a little theory that a lot of men are used to being the biggest, strongest thing around, and that they don't know how to deal with something that is bigger and stronger than they are. I could be wrong though!

Anyway, J___ isn't like that, and is a friend with whom I get along well. He's the type of friend you can get into a friendly shoving match with. Being a rather playful person once I come out of my shell, I can appreciate that.

So we drove up to Pope Valley together from the city of Richmond. He has satellite radio, so we listened to "blue collar radio" for most of the drive. I had no idea such a thing existed, hah. An hour and a half of Jeff Foxworthy types, each way. A little different from my usual diet of Rammstein and Siouxsie and the Banshees, but it was amusing enough.

Everyone who was just a part of the audience, and 4 of the people in the event, were from D&D Ranch, or guests of the ranch. I think there were only 8 or 9 riders total. It's a small town and it was the last penning event of the season.

I think I only saw a cow get penned 2 or 3 times, but I did see a lot of smiling, and I heard a lot of laughter. There were a number of people there who had never worked cattle before, and at least one person had never ridden Western before. Bo did a lot of teaching that day. It was a great deal of fun watching everyone run up and down the arena on their mounts, whether they were supposed to or not, hah! They all did much better than I would have. Would have loved to have tried it!

After the event, J___ and I went to the ranch, along with the rest of the crew, which included KizmetRanch, who was visiting for the weekend.

The ranch was so full of activities! People were trying all kinds of things. A woman rode the Little Bay Gelding English-style. She decided that he was an English horse, though J___ and I shot back that he was SO a Western horse, hah. He's in the Western camp for sure. I don't mind either style, though I have come to philosophically prefer Western because there is not constant bit pressure, and the horse (when ridden ideally, of course) has a loose rein and the ability to balance himself without needing help or extra direction. Oh, I'm going to get told by my English riding friends now, haha!

For cow work, however, you HAVE to be able to throw the reins away and let the horse make split-second decisions.

I got to see Kizim cantering, too! J___ got to watch a head-tying for the purpose of teaching rein cow horse moves demonstration. And Solomon, of course, was a sweet, good boy. J___ and I brushed him, fed him treats, and generally spoiled him horribly. Aside from some roundpenning and a bit of playing cow-horse (he nickered at me as we dodged around together) Solomon pretty much got to eat young green grass all day.

It was a pleasant day, spent idly at the ranch. I think I may be able to drag J___ up again. He lives in the same town as me, and it would be great to have a local horse buddy. Perhaps if he gets a job here soon I can talk him into taking some lessons... he would be a re-rider, with a fair amount of experience, but he has not tried reining, and he really enjoyed watching Magic (Bo's Magic, not the Arab) spin. I think it would be good for him. And hey, good for the ranch, too!

The weather, by the way, was perfect. Amazing how quickly the discomfort of summer fades from one's mind.

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