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Me, TEAM PENNING, and other such follies!
In the mail today came photos of my Team Penning foray while I was at the R Lazy S Ranch… at first I wasn’t going to post them because I look ridiculous.
And then I thought that they were really pretty City Slicker funny and I should post them. So, here we go!
OK, so let me set the stage…
There were 10 teams of 3 Weekend Warriors each … consisting of all ages from 8 to 78.
BUT FIRST, ‘BUCKY’.
First of all, I wanted to say that when I came out to go Team Penning, I noticed that my saddle was on a different horse… a tall one. I was told that both of my horses for the week (Luna and Dove) were not as good as ‘Bucky’ at Team Penning. The Head Wrangler, Dan, said he wanted me to experience a ‘real rodeo horse’.
Hmmmmm. Did Bucky want to experience a ‘no confidence in a Western Saddle’ sack of potatoes who didn’t know the first thing about rodeo?
I guess it didn’t matter. Bucky and I were a team.
I later found out that Bucky was almost 30 years-old! He looked great and felt great… but I guess they only brought him in from pasture on Team Penning day. They said he loves it – and from what I could tell, they were right. I felt honored. Bucky was a gem, very alert and knew exactly what to do. Oh, and while we waited for the others to go, he napped. Very smart.
OK, back to the story…
One of the wranglers came over to all of us riders, who were full of anticipation and determination, and explained the rules. Basically, we were to separate three cows from the herd and bring those three to the opposite end of the arena and into the awaiting pen – quickly. We couldn’t touch the cows. We had to pick which team member was going to do what… either lead, middle or gate. It was important to stay at the cow’s shoulder because if you got ahead of them, they would ‘duck back’ and you’d lose.
Seemed easy enough.
I was chosen as ‘lead’. (Go figure.) None of us on our team had ever done this before. In fact, we called ourselves, TEAM CLUELESS Hubby and his team had applied warpaint to their faces. They were very serious. We, were not.
AND THEN IT WAS OUR TURN!
The wranglers gave us a demonstration and it looked even easier. Piece of cake!
The first few teams went… while we watched. Each one of them was a total BUST! Aside from it being hilarious and a total hoot to watch kids and grown adults (acting like kids) GO FOR IT, the entire event was equalizing and so much fun! Everyone was rooting for everyone.
Then it was our turn.
I was the lead, whatever that meant. Basically, I think it meant that I was to push the cows, separate our 3 and then direct the other two gals to make sure they were seeing what I was seeing.
So, that’s what we did.
And, to our amazement, CLUELESS got the cows into the pen in 1:16! Now, I’m sure many of you rodeo folks are laughing right now, but for us, that was incredible!
Now, if the competition had stopped after our first round, we would have won. Imaging that?! But, we kinda fell apart in our second round – leader confidence, I guess.
Anyway, I thought the pics were pretty hilarious of me because all 15 of them looked EXACTLY the same… It seems my only trick was to hold out my right arm like a mannequin and kiss at the cows. At least I’m consistent.
I have to add that although most of us were horrible at Team Penning, the cows weren’t. They knew exactly what was expected of them, especially the first two brown cows.
I swear to horsegods, after the first few teams went, those two brown cows would doddle off to the pen all by themselves. One actually walked all the way in himself. The other one would lay down and wait for the cowboys to get close enough with the last cow. I swear. This was one of the things that kept the entire crowd in stitches.
Truly, this Team Penning thing is harder than it looks, even with two totally trained cows who go in by themselves!! It was that third cow… such a challenge! I was hooked!
Anyway, it cracks me up to see how serious I was about getting that third cow… And how I never changed positions throughout all three runs. Arm out, Kiss, let Bucky do his thing!
Bucky was a saint.
A FEW MORE SHOTS… First Paco
Hubby and I took a few shots when the professional photographer was there. Unfortunately, it was pouring down rain at the time. Also, it was 8:30 in the morning, we were drenched, cold, and soaked because we weren’t wearing our rain gear because it was picture day. Sigh.
Anyway, it was great fun, even if the photos aren’t so fabulous. LOOK WHERE WE WERE! Gorgeous.
I was given Paco because all the wranglers loved him. Oooh I felt so lucky! I was excited! They said Paco had a great lope and trot! But on the way out that morning, he was stepping funny. I knew something was up. Once Wrangler Rob watched him, he agreed. So, we all went back to switch out horses for me (a bit embarrassing but I was glad for Paco that he got to go back).
After Paco, Wrangler Rob gave me Newell, one of his favorite horses. That is me riding him in the photo below.
OK, well, Newell is a TB with long legs and a long stride. I’m a short legged creature that cannot sit a Western saddle. Newell sent me rocking to the heavens when he trotted or loped. I swear I felt like he was catapulting me towards the sun… So, for me and my lack of ability to sit him, he and I weren’t a good fit. (I could see myself being left out on some trail somewhere, brushing off my britches and wondering what happened.) But, he was a very nice horse.
Hubby was very happy on Rose. She was half Walker and half Quarter horse.
All week, we had been visited by the new resident owl. He was awesome! He’d swoop down for a visit and land just out of reach. One of the visitors caught this image.