Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cow On!

On Sunday, we took DN3 to the Tacoma Unit for cow sorting. She joined the High School Equestrian Team this year, and sorting is one of the team events, so practice is needed. For this event, she is riding our mare Bailey, who, with Poco Bueno on her papers, is cow horse through and through. The horse enjoys it, and knows her business.

Cow sorting is an event which consists of two round pens connected together, ten numbered cows, two horses, and two riders. The object is to move the cows in numerical order from one pen to the other within a specified time period (usually 60 or 90 seconds). If a cow should slip through out of order, it is considered a "dirty cow" and ends the run. Moving all ten in order before time is up is the ultimate goal, but getting five clean cows beats having a dirty one slip through.

The riders take turns cutting the next cow out of the herd. When not cutting a cow out, the other rider acts as "turnback", preventing dirty cows from slipping through. On one of her runs, DN3 and the guy she was riding with moved all ten cows before the clock run out, with all cows being clean. There time earned them second place in the novice division.

I took Smokey along, just to get him out, and had no intention of working the cows. The last time I tried it was about four years ago, and frankly, I wasn't worth a darn. The fact that I barely knew how to ride at the time may have been a factor. Regardless, it didn't pique my interest, so I never gave it a second thought.

Through a certain chain of events, I was talked into signing up for a few "goes" in the green novice division. While Smokey isn't a cow horse, he is willing to try. Mrs. BR has had some success on him in the past.

My first two runs ended rather quickly, with one of those darn dirty cows sneaking past either me or my partner.

My third, and final run was with DN3.

That's 9, count 'em, nine clean cows. We timed out before the tenth cow, but I'm not complaining. We were both pretty stoked. Oh, and we earned second place in the green novice division. Not bad for a half Thoroughbred Quarter Horse with a hack rider, if I do say so myself.

I might have to try this again.


WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

Very cool! It's a lot more fun when you have a good run, right? Team sorting is a big deal down here too. I think it's a very novice friendly event in that it doesn't require skill with a lariat as in roping events or involve diving off a perfectly good horse as in bulldogging. LOL

Congratulations to the team on a good ride!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a good time! I've done the tiniest bit of cow work with our TB and TB cross and they really enjoyed it. I'll bet my Pie - working QH bred - would have a blast, as he's already got some working cow experience.

Laura said...

Fantastic video! Smokey is a beautiful horse.

Bag Blog said...

Is Team Sorting the same as Team Penning? We never tried it, but it sure seemed like fun. Back in NM some friends of ours were into cutting horses - high dollar horses. They were awesome.

Deb said...

Way to go BR! Cattle penned a few times and had a wonderful time. The most fun that I had on the back of a horse was cutting. To sit up there, drop your hand, and just SIT and let the horse do the rest is the most unreal feeling in the world.
I think you'll be hooked on sorting pretty quick.

Buck said...

Congrats on your placing and thanks for the enlightenment and the vid, which was way-cool.

That said... I thought you were gonna describe my typical Friday night at the bar when I read this... Cow sorting is an event which consists of two round pens connected together, ten numbered cows...

WV: hospoup. I kid thee NOT. I took a screenshot to prove it. Google: ALWAYS the freakin' critic about my comments.

jill said...

Well done!

Buckskins Rule said...

RunsWithHorses: Thanks! It is very novice friendly activity. Most of the people are just there to have a fun.

Kate: I actually thought about Pie when we were there. I bet he we be great at it.

Laura: Thanks, he is a good looking horse, isn't he? (I may be biased, of course).

Lou: It is similar to Team Penning, but not the same activity. Penning involves 3 horses/riders, and the cows are in an open arena. The goal is to sort 3 same numbered cows from the herd and move then to a pen. I haven't tried it, but I think it would be a good time, as it involves going fast.

Deb: Cutting horses are amazing to watch. Talk about horses that know their jobs.

Buck: You're killing me! LOL!

Jill: Thanks!

roughneckturtle/Jeff C. said...

Conratulations. Y'all looked good out there.

Video Interviewing said...

good and informative post. Thanks a lot for sharing these valuable knowledge

Kipp said...

...heck of a block there at the 0:36 mark on the clock. Was this Army cattle?

Jessica said...

We are all dying to try this with Lena and ?? We figure she'll get all 10 with smile on her face while Bar and Forrest try to figure out why she's so excited about all these weird lookin' horses!

Looks like a lot of fun, and yay for 1/2 TBs!! Go Smokey!