November 3, 2018 – Volume 13 – Issue 42
This is the final week of cattle here at the ranch before they head out early next week, and guests were lucky enough to be able to do one last cattle drive! The cattle were moved from the Belgard pasture to just below Randy and Dori’s place making the final trip to the scale house a little bit easier. The less stress there is on the steers, the better it is for them.
It has been raining a lot here (like everyday!), but the warmer temperatures
are still hanging on so all of the outdoor ranch work continues.
We had 5 returning guests this week and 3 first time participants. Roby was teaching again while Shayne and Des were finishing up their clinics with Buck in Spanaway.
On Friday morning, Roby commented that he couldn’t be more pleased with how focused this group was – he was really proud of the work they did and how hard they studied. Every morning they would arrive at the arena and wasted no time getting right to it practicing groundwork. And at lunch and in the evenings, the dialog about horsemanship continued. Watching Roby ride his mare Daisy in the evenings, was a real treat for the guests as well (and an opportunity to see one straight up in the bridle, as a finished bridle horse). He also answered questions about the tack that is traditional for this Vaquero style of riding, explaining all the progressions of bits, hackamores and even the Bosalita. This is so much fun when you have an environment where your passion is with you 24/7. We are a lucky bunch here at the ranch and to be able to share this with all of you.
This week, the neck ropes made a return appearance! Once there is a foundation of understanding about how to use the reins (with a feel), the neck rope can be a great tool. The
horses will actually get softer to their riders aids because the rider has to use a feel- they will never be able to just pull on their horse and get the desired result. This is evident in the beginning (horses leading their riders around!), but quickly changes to a dance when the rider begins to use a thought process that helps the horse move his feet with timing and rhythm. On Friday, they even played soccer –using just the neck ropes! It was pretty competitive from what I heard. 🙂
All of our guests this week; Federico and his wife Heli, Michele, Ann, Susan, Tina, Vicki and Marissa, were estatic about how the week went and how much they learned. As is so often the case, some came here with some fear issues from previous bad horse experiences, and they left with new found motivation and a major gain in their confidence levels. There were a few firsts this week—first time cantering, first time posting the trot, and most definitely, first time using only a neck rope to guide a 1000 pound animal!
It has been raining quite a bit here this week, and between jingling the horses in and out a few times a day, working outside cleaning up the winter pasture, and filling it in between with office work, I feel like I am in a constant state of changing clothes! I imagine snow will be here before too long, so I am grateful for the warmer temperatures we are currently enjoying.
Roby, Shayne and Des will be heading to Whitefish this weekend for Buck’s final and most advanced clinic of the year. If you are in the area, make sure you get to audit at least a little bit of it. For many of us this is a highlight of the year. I’ll look forward to seeing you there!
That is about it for now. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back Saturday night (“fall back”) and we will be back at you next week 🙂