You read that right.
I, Misty the Percheron, am now a cow horse. Well, sort of. I can confidently say that I'm not afraid of cows and I like moving them about and manipulating them.
My Lady and I were scheduled to attend a 2-day clinic this past weekend. Saturday was "Ranch Riding and Patterns". But we missed it. Know why? Because it snowed!
It snowed so much that the roads got dangerous and My Lady loves me too much to risk my life. So we stayed home. That was fine with me, but My Lady was bummed. She stayed in bed and watched three movies and ate Fritos corn chips all day.
The snow finally stopped and the roads cleared, so we made it to the 2nd day of the clinic: "Introduction to Cattle". But it was very cold.
It was 26F/-3C when we rolled out of our driveway. 36F/2C when we arrived at the clinic.
Do you know what a cold metal bit feels like in your mouth at 36F?
My Lady wouldn't do that to me. There was a microwave in the rider's lounge, so she used this cute bit warmer that was hand made for us by Dreaming over at Living A Dream.
Thanks Dreaming. It worked great!
My Lady says it's also a handy neck warmer for the kink in her neck that she got from scraping ice off the windshield of the truck.
We warmed up in the indoor arena and then all of us horses and our riders gathered at one end of the arena while they brought 8 cows through the gate at the far end. My Lady wasn't sure how I would react, so she was going to dismount and stand on the ground with me. But she found her cowgirl spirit and stayed in the saddle. (She's learning that I've matured into a trustworthy mount.) I was very curious and had my head and ears on high alert, staring intently at those creatures as they came into the arena. But I wasn't scared at all. The cows walked in slowly and huddled in a little-cow-clump-in-the-corner.
Then the whole group of us, 10 horses & riders, walked up to those cows and slowly drove them around the arena, each of us taking turns at the front so we could be close to the cows. I like how they move away from me; it makes me feel empowered.
Then we paired off with another horse & rider and picked 2 cows to separate from the little-cow-clump-in-the-corner and we drove them down the arena wall.
After lunch we broke into two teams and tried to play cow hockey. The offensive team of horses & riders would try to drive the cows across the goal line, while the defensive team tried to block the cows and prevent the other team from scoring. But that got a little crazy when the cows un-clumped and started running this way and that, and some of the riders with more cow experience got competitive and wanted to chase them, and some of the younger horses got a little too excited. So our trainers switched us to a slower game. The cows re-clumped into the corner and each team took turns separating 4 cows from the little-cow-clump-in-the-corner and driving them down the arena and into an imaginary pen that was marked by orange cones. I did a good job of this because I can walk right up to those clumped cows, pick some out, and drive them calmly down the arena and not scare them into a trot. Slow and steady is the polite way to move cows around.
Cows are Cool,