Cow Nites

Each Wednesday, when there are cattle at the Trail and Saddle Club, Clifford Horse Training sponsors “cow nite.” These are fun-filled evenings at the club for club members. Last night we had our fourth and final for about a month. It was a great evening. We had an actual competition (for bragging rights only). The object was for teams of two riders to put the cow through a series of gates with each gate being worth a designated number of points, based on the difficulty of the gate. As the evening unfolded, I was amazed at the progress these mostly novice “cow hands”
had made in the past month. They were working together, communicating, pressuring the cattle at just the right time and backing off at other times, positioning themselves well and timing their moves. They were approaching the cattle in the right way that fit each individual horse. And….most importantly….they were having fun. The three teams that competed ended up with cumulative scores (after three runs) of 29, 30, and 31. Now that’s exciting! There was lots of good humor and there were plenty of cow jokes.

As I was driving home, it struck me what a variety of horses was present: two Arabians, one Haflinger, one Arab/saddlebred cross, one mustang, one quarter horse. Last week we also had a morgan and Lipizzaner. Who says a horse has to be bred a certain way to work cattle? All of these horses were doing their job, and some of them enjoying it immensely. I wish I had thought to take a photo of this eclectic gathering of riders. Next time!

Speaking of next time…the next cow nite may not be for about a month. John and Suzy Moon’s cattle will be going home tomorrow. Then I’m off on vacation for a week. Then it’s the NVRHA show and the club will be filled with cattle for that event. Then I’m off to southern California to compete in a show myself. THEN…I promise to get more cattle at the club and continue the cow nites. Watch for details in your e-mails, the T & S web site, and this blog.

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