Saturday, May 14, 2011

Roxie's Corner

Reporting from a horse stall in Chaska, Minnesota
and hoping that the wood shavings don't clog up my computer.  The barn cats are prowling around with evil intentions and I have to keep one eye on them while I type.

We arrived early this evening after two weeks in Sperry, Iowa, which is a great place for horses and dogs.  The humans seemed to be having a good time too. We took walks around the lake, through the woods and down to the shooting range, with occasional dips in the lake.  I can vouch for the quality of the food served, because Bets shared her lunch with me a time or two and it was yummy, although she could have left a bit more.  There is an ugly rumor going around that I hurried home from the shooting range because I was afraid of the gun shots, but don't believe it.  I think the barn cats must have started it, and as I always say, you can't trust cats.  The quality of the walks varied a lot: fast and fun when Arda was there to walk with us, poky and slow when Bets walked alone.  I didn't complain though--another thing I always says is, we dogs live in the moment and any moment spent "in the zone" as Cesar calls it, is good.

Gene parting one out from the rodear.  I was still waiting patiently.
I heard several people comment that the Foundation Horsemanship and Advanced Horsemanship clinics went well and all the humans and horses seemed pleased. Me, I was counting the hours until the Cow Working and Ranch Roping clinics, wondering, would Bob realize how badly he needed me to herd calves. I was holding my breath. Humans can be so unpredictable and illogical that you just can't count on them, but finally, at the end of each day he called me to come help get those ornery critters back in their pen.  Oh delight! Oh joy! Oh what an audience!  They loved me.

First I ambled nonchalantly down the arena until I was within striking distance, and then I went into my dreaded Border Collie Stalking Mode and those babies froze in fear, not knowing which way to turn.  Next they received a dose of "cow dog in your face" which made them take off like a covey of quail.  I was just getting ready for pursuit when he-who-ruins-all-my-fun shouted "DOWN" and I hit the dirt on my belly.  I waited patiently for the "OK" command which means I can get back into the action and it finaly came when the calves slowed down to an insolent crawl.  A few nips at their heels brought them back into line and after that it was just a matter of follwing them up the arena and directing their attention to the open gate of the cow pen.  They looked back over their shoulders once, realized that I was still on duty and went into the pen like good little calves.  Mission accomplished.  Of course Bob and Bets both showered me with GOOD GIRL accolades.

 For your edification I've included a couple pictures of the clinic from my perspective.

What a lovely view.

Bob observing my flawless technique.

UH OH!  Those cats are getting waaaaay too brave.  Time to put a little fear into them.  Bets will show you photos of the rest of the clinic--ho hum, just lots of horses and humans. The ropers are my kind of folks; they understand what is important in life, and they are working hard to get better and better.  Bob was so proud of all of them that he bragged to Bets about how well they did.  Of course he was proud of the horsemanship students also, but if there aren't cows involved just take me for a long walk. 

1 comment:

Equus said...

Dear Roxie,
Thank you for taking a moment away from barn cat patrol to write your blog. I really enjoyed it! I was sad to have to miss this clinic, but I'll see you, Bob, and "Bets" this fall. Until then I'll be talking to all of the humans that were able to go and practicing the things Bob's taught us.
Don't get any burrs in your coat,
;-) Teresa B.