Test Drive OOPE

Yesterday I spent the afternoon horseback, hunched against the Wyoming wind.  That is guaranteed to make my shoulders ache, but it seems impossible for me to ride in the wind without raising my shoulders and trying to protect myself from the blasts.  Luckily, the wind wasn’t the freezing cold temperature that it often is, and so, I suppose, it could have been much worse.  I only had one layer of grit on my face… not grit *and* ice!
I was test driving a little 4 year old mare, full of flash, and come to find out, more “spunk” than I was looking for in a new horse.
She has a good handle on her for a four year old, and she did everything I asked her to do, except BE CALM.
Yesterday’s objective was to get as many cows and baby calf pairs across a highway to a new (and greener) pasture.  This is accomplished by separating the pairs out of the main bunch.  I’ve taken pictures of this before.  It takes a calm horse and rider to do this, and Wild Blue Eyes just didn’t get it.  You can’t ride into a bunch of cows sidestepping, headshaking, and prancing, and expect the mommas and babies to stay together.
Too bad.
I might have liked her otherwise.
We sorted and sorted and lost control for a bit… so we kicked them out on the highway and across into a holding pen.  We re-sorted what we had and put the extras *back* across the highway.  We then trailed the 64 pair we managed to cut out the mile and a half to their new pasture, where we again matched pairs and then turned them loose.
I admit.
After hunching in the wind and riding a jigging nervous new horse (when I didn’t know whether she was going to blow or not) and then having to sort and re-sort and re-re-sort… it wasn’t a particularly fun afternoon.
I did enjoy moments…
Like Lucas not giving up on a wild calf and bringing it in a big loop back to the bunch… alone.
Like seeing yellow bells and blue bells…the first wildflowers of the year.
Like viewing these wide wild Wyoming skies in glorious blue-greys before the storm hit.
Like seeing fresh elk sign and wondering from which draw or hilltop we were being watched from.
Like riding a fastwalking horse and being a leader… I’ll give Wild Blue Eyes that much… she sure can travel the country!
So if you’re interested in a fastwalking, country eating, good handling young mare with TONS of flash about her… let me know and I’ll put you in touch with S.  But for me, I want that calm horse that’ll sneak into the bunch and cut out a pair without them ever realizing I was there.  That horse is out there somewhere.  I’ll keep looking

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