It’s been wonderful to be home for a few days, but this week has gone by far too fast. Rich and I will load up the horses today and head up to Longmont CO (about 200 miles north of here) for a weekend of Versatility Ranch Horse clinic and competition. After having five days off last week, Dually was a little on the fresh side on Tuesday. Nothing about an hour of loping wouldn’t cure. Sure enough, by Wednesday, he was Mr. Mellow. And I am hoping that will carry through the weekend.
This morning I’ll give him another good work and then bathe him and pack up our gear and hit the road. We’ll be doing a clinic all day Friday and Saturday, working on cutting, reining, working cow horse and hopefully roping. Then Sunday will be a schooling competition. It’ll really just be practice for me since I’ll be the only Open rider (pro), so I’ll be a class of one—I’ll come in both first and last in my division.
Rich is really doing well with his new horse Diggs, although he’ll be showing Tucker this weekend. He did a clinic on Diggs last weekend and they really made a lot of progress, but he is not ready to show him yet. In the meantime, Rich is riding Tucker much better. I think learning to ride a more powerful horse and having to work at it a little, has sharpened up his riding skills and it shows when he rides Tucker.
It’s amazing how riding different horses will turn you into a better rider. It’s one thing about my job that I really love. I ride a lot of different horses—some good, some bad, some indifferent. I have no idea how many horses I’ve ridden in my whole career but I am certain it is in the thousands. At expos, since I fly in and fly out, they’ll set me up with various horse to ride and sometimes they are outstanding horses. I got to ride the star of Sea Biscuit last weekend. In clinics, I’ll generally get up on almost every horse there to help sort out a problem or show the owner what the horse can do. And of course, after over 30 years of training horses, there have been hundreds of different horses come my way of every breed, type and discipline you can imagine. It has made me a far better rider and trainer and it is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. I sort of feel sorry for the trainers that haul their horses around everywhere—they don’t get to learn from all the different horses that I do. Of course, they probably feel sorry for me (and I do have to admit, it is a real luxury when I get to ride my own horse in a clinic or demo).
I’ll try to report in over the weekend to let you know about the great new things I am (hopefully) learning this weekend about me, my horse and cattle. Until then…
Enjoy the ride!
I completely agree with you about riding as many different horses as possible. As a wrangler, I got put on any horse that needed work, so there were some summers that I never rode the same horse twice. Riding so many different horses not only increased my skill, but increased my confidence 🙂
On a slightly different note; I took Estes out for a bareback ride today on the mountain and got to try out how she’d do mounting on the trail. I dismounted to check her hoof and then had to find a place to re-mount. I led her over to a fallen log, where I attempted to re-mount (read: fell on my butt because I misjuded the distance) and she stood absolutely still even when I was flat on my back looking up at her. The next attempt was much better, but trickier. I had her step across the log so that her front hooves were on one side and her back on the other. She never even twitched while I gracelessly threw myself across her back and got settled in. She patiently waited for me to get settled and give her the “go” command. Thank you so much! The work you did with both of us during Horse Master has paid off in spades!
A horseperson once told me that if you have the opportunity to ride as many horses as you can, then that’s a good thing.
Over the years of your clinics and training horses, how many horses have truly caught your eye?