PostHeaderIcon Parelli Adventure-Jenny & Nova / Tony & Powder

Pat Parelli invited the Vaught family to come and ride with him for an entire month this summer in Colorado.  All the extended family are thrilled that the Vaughts have this great opportunity.  This is just thrilling.

The 2013 Spring went by and the great adventure was thought about.  Finally, real plans were in the working and finally, the making!  They left near the end of July and the first day of riding with Pat started July 24th.  I am very blessed that Jenny and Tony decided to take Powder and Nova with them along with four other horses.  They have to compete in the Missouri Fox Trotter 2013 Celebration.  They have to be ridden.  Working with Pat Parelli coaching them on cow work is my version of an a staggering opportunity for my horses.

The six horses get to stay in a small pasture that contains meadow and mountain.  It’s a long way from the Vaught RV.  The whole family is going to get a 30 day high altititude  workout in their riding and fetching horses to and fro.  Pat is a workaholic and so are the Vaughts. When they return from Colordao, they will be so physically fit and able to jog a full marathon everyday, but why would they want to?

On the morning of  their second day, the Vaughts were headed out on a conditioning trail ride in the mountains.  Pat Parelli was up and about riding.  He asked if they would also gather the cattle..all 64 of them including three bulls.  How fun can it get!

Nova and Powder were part of the group.  Nova has been a little nervous about being on the trail, and now she gets to be on A TRAIL.  Nova led and followed on the mountain trail.  And, of course Tony has to break the trail riding rule.  He and Powder leave the group.  Nova got a little ancy when Powder left, but Jenny managed to convince her that she was safe.

Then the cow gathering was implemented.  They found nearly all the herd and started gathering them back to the ranch.  Nova was placed in position and away they ambled.  All the cows decided they didn’t want to amble back to the ranch.  Instead they decided to head off in the direction that Nova was guarding.  All the cows turned and started on a direct line to Nova.  Nova is experienced with ten or so cows, maybe as many as 15.  Sixty four cows heading straight at her made her think, ” I want out of here!”  She telegraphed her desire to Jenny.  Jenny is a horse whisperer and read Nova’s thoughts loud and clear.  In her horse whisper voice, she told Nova, “Nova, you can do this!  Just put your ears back and look fierce!”  Nova trusted Jenny.  She put her ears back, way back.  Her head was ready to snake and mouth ready to eat any cow that had the audacity to even think about coming her way.  The cows thought… ooooooh.  That horse is not to be fooled with.  Let’s head the way that she wants.  The cows resumed their slow amble to the ranch for a day of cow work.

That evening started cow play with Pat coaching the Vaughts.  First Nova and Jenny worked with the electric cow…the one that runs up and down the string.  Nova has played with this kind of cow all winter.  The idea is that’s it’s the horse’s idea to follow the cow.  The rider’s job is to provide help with the speed, not help with the reins/mouth.

Pat decided Jenny was doing too much with the reins, so he had her close her eyes.  Can you imagine riding your horse with your eyes closed?  Pat has done this for a long time.  He has people ride at all speeds with their eyes closed.  He says it really helps to improve your balance.

Jenny used to have us ride with our eyes closed in our group lessons.  We never went faster than a walk.  Much time has passed and I think she forgot that training lesson.  Well, she had a great opportunity to learn it again.  This winter, Pat had her ride one of his cutting horses when cutting cows.  We have a video of that.  The one where it looks like Jenny is jerking around in the saddle…  She really did have her eyes closed, riding a top cutting horse, while cutting a cow.  my thought is “EEeeek!”  But I digress

Pat had jenny ride Nova with her eyes closed, while Nova was cutting the electronic cow.  When he was happy with that, he had Nova and Jenny go into the cow herd.  Usually the rider focuses on the cow to be cut out from the herd.  But Pat always has a better idea.  His idea is to let the horse pick the cow!  Nova went into the herd, put her ears back and snaked her herd at certain cows that interested her. Then Nova got to follow that cow and cut them out of the herd.

Oh the fun. On Thursday morning, the Vaughts were planning on heading out on their conditioning trail ride with their new job of gathering the herd.

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