For those of you who don’t know Ember, she is a 15hh chestnut Quarter Horse (sadly, unregistered.) Over this past summer, Ember and I drifted away from the hunter circuit and decided to try different activities. Ember was bred to be a western horse, but just because she was bred to be one way doesn’t mean she was required to stay that way. Hence the jumping. Ember has an excellent “cow sense.” She’s very quick to react when working cattle and it makes her so much fun to ride!
We started dealing with cattle one day when the four-wheeler broke down. I was tired of the same-old, same-old in the arena day after day, and honestly looking back, I think she was too. I rode Ember out to the cattle pasture to check fence lines, while we were out we ambled through the herd just for kicks. Ember loved it! The cows didn’t scare her, she walked right through like it was nothing. Needless to say, I was super impressed. We continually went riding through the pastures checking out all the cattle and just enjoying our rides, rather than working hard for hours and neither of us REALLY enjoying that practice time. So we branched out, we began to rope cattle, cut cattle, go on LONG trail rides. It has really made all the difference when it comes to being back in the arena. Ember works harder, I don’t get so bored and annoyed with jumping. I highly recommend cross-training and trying different things just to get your horses brain in gear.
I learned a big-time lesson through this. Even though I am trying to succeed in one discipline, I can’t forget why I love horses in the first place. I don’t want to lose sight of the fun, exciting thrill that comes from just being around an Equine.
This bridle here on the left was a little reward for Ember (and myself ;P) for taking time off to just go on a trail ride or just groom for the night. Rather than work hard seven days a week.
Pictured below is my golden-doodle. Ain’t she adorable?!