PostHeaderIcon Life in the Lucky Star FAST Lane

Lucky Star and I are coming along great.  We’ve had some great rides in the arena after our months of exile ground work and liberty work.

We generally ride in the arena about an hour. This coming up winter, dark and cold stuff going on.  I take him over to Pine Dell Farm and we have ground work, online and liberty and then we ride.


Last weekend we had a two day Cow Clinic. The first morning during our non-cow simulation exercises, Tony was trying to get Lucky to make quick turns. Tony was helping Lucky get the idea to move out.  Lucky decided to protest.  It felt a little different in the saddle, the saddle was moving in unexplained directions.  When Tony yells the words, “Bend his nose so you won’t get bucked off!” Alarm bells go off!  Lucky’s head was down and we were sort of bobbing around.  It’s Lucky’s imitation bucking.  He puts his head down, stiffens up his body and pretends to be a bronco.  I’ve seen this bronco imitation from the ground before.  I had to puzzle it out.  He looks the picture of a bronco, but there’s no buck.  His back feet might raise off the ground 6 to 12 inches at the most.

Come to find out, Lucky Star is giving me an hour to an hour and a half and then has the nerve to think he’s done.  He’s done, but I’m on his back trying to get him to move faster than a senior snail.

Lucky and I were doing a pattern – circling on the corners of the arena, stopping and turning.  I expected him to move out smartly after we stopped and turned.  Lucky got fed up with that concept and we spiralled down into an argument.  Luckily Tony was there and coached me thru it.  My job was to do whatever it took to get Lucky’s hindquarters to move and then ask him if he would like to go in a straight line.  “No,” Lucky didn’t want to move his hindquarters or go into a straight line.  About 10 minutes of arguing went by with Tony there coaching and finally Lucky decided that going forward on a straight line was a lot less work that arguing.

We went around the arena a little wasys going straight with some impumulsion and then it was lunch time. Cows were coming in the afernoon and surely, Lucky would get engaged, forget about balking and become a cow pony.

It was not to be.

The riders followed the cow herd aroung the arena and our goal was to “go slow”.  Lucky had no problem with this at all.  Riders and horses followed the herd around the arena, getting them used to us and the arena.

Then the cutting started.  When it was our turn, Lucky went right into the herd.  He certainly was not afraid of a herd of cows.  We got a cow cut out and Tony announced, this cow was a “dud”.  This was the cow that refused to move and my horse, Powder, picked him up by the neck.  Tony said his name is Dudley. Dudley was a perfect cow for Lucky.  We guided Dudley all over the arena.  One time Dudley decided to get back in the herd.  Lucky and I were saved by my teammates.  Dudley was not allowed into the herd.  Dudley waited for Lucky and I to fox trot up to get him out to the rail again.

Lucky and I were very successful at getting Dudley to go where ever we wanted. We let him back into the herd and I beamed with pride at my cow horse “in the making”.  We helped out with the herd after that, occasionally getting up enough speed to keep the cows in or the cow out.  The argument between Lucky and I continued, we hid it well and everyone knew Lucky wasn’t going to move fast.  His slowness and non-responsiveness was expected.

The day was done and life was good.

The next day started out about the same.  Lucky moved and then he didn’t.  We argued.  he moved…slowly.  Cows came.  Lucky argued.  We took out a cow other than Dudley and failed …  and then failed again.

Note about my personality.  I’m normally a laid-back individual outside and inside.  But, when I get frustrated and I don’t get to move fast, my left-brain impatient, order-giving, wanna move personhood emerges.

Sunday afternoon, I was starting to smolder inside.  I had not to go fast on Lucky and we were fairly useless with the cows.  We had failed at driving a cow because Lucky would not move.  Immediately I erupted and forced Lucky out to the rail.  We zipped down to the end and cantered around the end.  I was pounding on him enough so that he decided the thing from hell on his back should be obeyed. Tony yelled at me to come on back and get my cow.  I yelled that I was DONE!  I’m so done with this horse that I can’t come back! DONE!  I screamed.  Tony yelled some more and suggested that I make a try at returing to herd a cow.  “OH OK!  You want me back with this horse, we’ll just come busting in there and move some cows!”Lucky and I fox trotted over to the herd, he slowed down, went into the herd and cut a cow out.  Tony said, “Now Lucky can feel good at accomplishing something, rub him.”

My riding friends were all shocked.  No one there that day has ever seen me loose my temper.  It felt like I was letting a caged tiger out of his cage.

Here’s how Tony described my behavior later.
“Susan became emotionally violent and physically effective”

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