By Patty Wilber
I just spent five days training at No Where But Up Performance Horses with Cody Crow, Garret Ashby and Emily Dahl.
I stayed with Emily and Kara (so I literally spent five days at the barn).
I am here to tell you that this is the kindest group of people, ever, and it is also the most outrageously amazing facility, ever. (Lap of luxury… someone fed, cleaned and even put blankets on and off my horses!)
I went to visit H and I took Lucy, Joey and Landon.
So, after going to the Appaloosa World with NWBU and H in 2020, and since he did not sell, it was clear that he should go again, and that Lucy should as well. Since I am teaching online through at least the summer, and maybe even into Fall 2021, I figured this was the year to go all in.
I can spend five days at a time to visit and ride H, get coaching on cows with H and Lucy, and bring a few of my training horses. I can also do my school work and I can do all this about once a month.
This was my second trip and my next one will be early to mid March…
Judith and My H.
I rode him in the indoor and outside around the barn Thursday night and we got along great. His softness and transitions (upward and downward) are much improved from last month, so that was fun to feel!
We worked the flag Friday and on Saturday and Sunday we did live cows.
Oh boy. He is so quick and so strong! I did not fall off, but there were a few moments where I used the reins for balance and I might have let out a squeak of panic! He is still going two handed, so not like I could hang on to the saddle horn!
At one point, Emily said, gently, “So, that might have been a good time to push on forward instead of stopping him.” Uh huh. Conceptually! I was just happy to still be on top!
Cody immediately noticed the improvement in her lope. I am still very thrilled about that lope fix. (Next chiro and massage is scheduled for Feb. 8.)
Our goals were to work the flag, work live cows, and try to make progress on stops and spins.
Live cows went great. On Saturday, she was even cow fresh (meaning her desire to work cows outstripped her ability to listen consistently) and she went for her cow by attempting to strike it with her front hoof! This is technically bad, but for Lucy this was good, because she is typically so low key. It was fun to see that fire!
On cows she worked a long time and went hard the whole time, with enthusiasm. She really improved her ability to stay soft in my hands and “rate” (stay in the correct position on the cow). It was fun to feel her just fold up under me and say “yes, ma’am” when I asked her to back off the throttle.
We also got to join three of the talented youth girls in the cutting pen, which was a lot of fun!
Stops went ok. I got some more tips on spins. Unless I am riding LT who just wants to spin and stop, I find both those moves hard to train, but we will get there!
He handled the new place and the busyness really well! We are still just getting his head together, and he had no problems whatsoever!!
Joey is pleasure bred on the top (I think it is the top and I am too lazy to dig out his papers to see) and cow bred on the bottom, so we wanted to work on the cow part a bit.
Tied to my trailer, Joey had a good view of the outdoor arena and when we put cows in there, and worked them, Joey was Not Happy. As you can see, he was not right on top of the fence. He had a good buffer zone. But he did NOT like all that cowmotion!
I put two of the used cows (animals that we had worked already) in the cutting pen, and took Joey to try to track them around. I opened the gate, and led Joey in. As I was turning to shut the gate, Joey shouted at me (via body language) “OMG!!!! THEY ARE COMING! THEY ARE COMING!!!!” and he shot backward. I turned just in time to see that we were, in fact, being charged by a little BULL. Not a cow. Not a steer. A bull.
I was able to fend it off, (three times!!) and ended up retreating and getting it out of the pen and away from us! Also had a bit of an adrenaline build up.
We then attempted to track the more docile heifer around, but when ever it stopped and looked at us, Joey would say, “OMG! she is LOOKING at me! DON’T LET her come any closer!”
Lucy, LT, Buckshot and H, when they first saw cows, wanted to go eat them. Joey…is much kinder than that!
That is ok! Not all horses have to be cow horses! Joey is going to excel at search and rescue and back country work, and who knows, over time, maybe he will dabble in some cow-less ranch horse events or develop a taste for bovine.
The most amazing barn has horrendous internet. I got work done, but not as much as I would have liked and what I did do took at least twice as long as it would have at home.
Next time, I might have to cyber stalk a local cafe from my truck or something.
(Cell service is also weak so I could not even hot spot my phone as a work around!)
I got to visit with Jordyn (who goes to Colorado SU) and Justin and Miriam (who is in vet school at CSU). That was super nice!
All in all a great trip, even if it is a 500 mile drive, one way, and the truck had a few (fleeting, thank goodness) moments of trying to overheat on the way home. (The truck is in for a check-up. The mechanic might think I am a worry wart, and he might be right, but I really do not need to overheat going over Raton pass next trip with a trailer load of animals. Also, Jim did not bite on my idea of him buying me a brand new 3500 4WD diesel for Valentine’s day. I am not picky about color.)
Looking forward to the next trip!!
(And an NMBHA show this weekend!)