Saturday, October 25, 2014

School Holidays Part 1

The word holiday sort of conveys the feeling of relaxation and restoration, doesn’t it? Not so around these parts, with the juggernaut that is 2014 continuing, or so it feels, to gather even more pace.

After a very busy term, we finally went to our last session of netball training. During the last couple of days of term I also ventured out, attending the Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network Conference in Charters Towers. I wasn’t sure what to expect;  but the speakers were inspiring, although the workshops that I chose weren't quite as advanced as I would have hoped.

So, onto the school holidays. It had been on the calendar for a while that a free cutting clinic had been organised. Thankfully, a different location had been sourced at the last minute (easier for me!) so after rounding up kids and saddles and horses and swags and horsefeed and overnight bags, not to mention a few smokos, we loaded the truck and headed off.

IMG_5016Richard Webb was running the clinic. Cutting isn’t something that is high on our agenda of horse sporting events, however he came with a great reputation of being able to teach kids some great general horsemanship skills. And straight off the bat he had the kids doing things that I thought were well above their ability level.



{Georgie getting Redman to stay collected in the stop – he prefers the lazier version}

Both of the kids ponies are very well trained to a high level, however like all kids horses they don’t use their full range of talents unless the kid actually does the right thing at the right time. Straight away he had them all applying their leg aides and getting great results, with nose in and nose out of the circle. This may sound like gobblydogook, but I was amazed that the kids followed his instructions so well and were able to do as he asked. I guess its about simplifying  the process. They don’t have to understand it, they just have to DO it!


Although, as you can tell, the ponies did a fair bit of napping when they got the opportunity.

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After lunch the mechanical cow was introduced to the horses. Some were quite unfazed by this bit of flappy fabric on a rope drawn back and forth by a little pulley system. Some however, thought this was some fresh hell come down to earth to torment them and put on quite a show.

Redman wasn’t too worried although wasn’t too impressed with having to try and block the thing up all of the time.


Kate’s old pony Ben, who knew exactly what this cow was and what it did (and what was asked of him) chucked a tatny of a different nature, and unfortunately got away with it.  He was NOT going to chase that silly thing around, and expend any further energy, thank you very much.

The afternoon concluded and led into a BBQ dinner, with the kids all sleeping over.  At this point I left them there, even Angus who was managing to keep himself busy even without a horse.

The kids rode again the next day. I didn’t take my camera, and am kicking myself. They again had another lap at the cow in the afternoon, and I intervened and made Ben take his overfed attitude up to the cow. With spurs on Kate’s boots and some timely instructions from Richard, she had that old pony sit down and boogie like he had been trained to do in his youth. A great confidence builder for her as well. Ben, he heaved a big sigh of relief when he was allowed to walk away from it.

And so, we then packed up the saddles and swags and horses and feed and ports and kids (when I say it like that, it sounds so EASY and QUICK) and home we went, on a mission to be unloaded before dark lest any constabulary type person might enquire after the lack of lighting on my borrowed gooseneck.


Being a strapper for the kids is probably more exhausting than riding the horses themselves!

1 comment:

  1. Now that sounds like a good weekend Sharon. We use to have regular clinics at our place. Rob Hodgman was our go to man.


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