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Lots of fun for everyone!!
First time for most of our riders to do a cattle drive, and they, and our horses never let us down.
7 full hours in the saddle to drive 84 head of cattle 11 miles made for a full day.
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Don called last week to see if we could move his cattle back home for him. Gary made a bunch of calls and 9 of us got together for a long, interesting day! Meet at the stables at 9 and headed out by 10.
Arrive at Don's pasture, unload all the horses, saddle up and ready to head out by 11.
The horses are all snorting and looking at the strange smelling critters. Takes them a round around the field before they start to settle in.
We round up the cows and try to get them through a gate that is in the middle of the fence. They DO NOT want to go through the gate. Get them there three times before they finally go through.
Quick tour to make sure we have everbody, then we are on the highway heading North. Pall and I block the south side while they head em out.
And we are on our way! Cattle are calling, calves are bawling, horses are prancing and everyone is excited. Doesn't take long and they all settle in. Doc takes up the rear and Steph figures out what cattle driving is all about.
Very difficult to move 84 head of cattle that a) do not know horses, b) do not know where they are going and c) have lots to eat where they are! That's Steph on Doc in the first pic and Lindey on Oakley in the second.
Lindey on Oakley. After the ride Lindey told me that she had never ridden longer than 2 hours at a time, and she had never cantered in an open field. So it was a big day for her. She said it was cool to see a cow take off out of the herd and just take off full blast after it without even thinking about it! Next pic is Natasha on Andee. She says he is one heck of cow horse, wanted to be right in the middle of the herd.
Our last stretch down this highway then we head cross the back roads. Less traffic here and a bit safer for all. Amy settled right in on Diego and holding the rear of the herd.
Amy's friend Phil, arrived from Nova Scotia only hours before and was thrilled to join us. He had only been on a horse a dozen times and was not to sure he could handle Charmer, but they did awesome!! Steph runs lead on Doc.
We have a mishap along the route and Gary is dismounted from Chester. Some Llama's spooked all the horses ('cept Pall!!) and nobody could get the cows off the fence from another herd of cows. Was some excitement for awhile. Pall and I got the herd moving with some yipe yieing and shoving and moved the herd out to an open field while Lindey checked on Gary and caught his horse. We decided this was a good time to stop for lunch!!
Franzi gives her best friend Seleena a hug and some scratches to reward her for a job well done. Lindey and Oakley circles the herd to keep everyone together.
Phil and Charmer help hold the herd steady. Gary takes a rest.
and then checks the new bump on his head. Phil and Charmer patiently wait for everyone to get ready to go.
Steph and Doc are ready to bring back the two that keep getting away. Andee is tired, as are most of the horses and riders.
Then it's time to head back down the road. A couple of cows headed south, luckily Tammy had a friend with a quad who herded them up and brought them back.
Lindey and Oakley pose for their picture! And finally we are at the major highway. Only a mile to go now. We have a police escort to cross the highway. Good thing, as there is some water along the ditch and half the cows decide they want to stop awhile. But no problem, Pall and I come to the rescue and get everyone moving again.
Takes a while for all 80 head to get accross the pavement. They don't want to leave the grass and water and the pavement is foreign to them, plus the vehicles are acting like a block. But we push them through.
Just a few more head to cross and SUCCESS!! We are on the home stretch!
Some of the older cows finally figured out where they were going and headed off at a brisk trot to home. Steph and Doc run guard along the highway.
Mom and dad followed along and got some of these super shots. That's Amy smiling as always when she is riding Diego! Pall joggin along.
Lindey on Oakley and Natahsa on Andee keeping the herd along the fence, away from the highway.
Gary on Chester, then me and Pall ready to head off a cow that still wants to head back!
And we are home, just around the corner and in the field. Andee says it's about time!!
He has no problem to push the last of them through with Pall and I. Chris and Amigo make sure everyone turns the corner.
And we all crash!! Those legs and knees just don't work like they did 8 hours ago!! Everyone is crying for a hot tub!! Maybe next year.
It was a SUPER day and I want to thank Don for asking us to this, and all our riders - Amy, Phil, Lindey, Natasha, Chris, Franzi and Steph!! Hooray for you all, you did fantastic.