Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Trying New Things: Sorting

So, to top off the most-horsie-longest-craziest weekend of life, on Sunday, Jingle and I (and Quiz and Caron) went sorting! Laura and Sarah came along, and Sarah took all these wonderful photos!

Jingle was an absolute.total.brat when I showed up at our barn to groom him, and it sent me into one of those "oh fuck, my horse is going to kill me today" moods.

Quiz is Jingle's for-real, bestfriend-girlfriend, so it's a big bonus that they know and like eachother.

Caron isn't so bad either! ;) This was the teammmmm on our first sorting adventure!

Sarah took lots of wonderful photos, including this one I love of my saddle.

The competition.

Warming up, Jingle was a dream. The nice deep cow-work ground is new to him, and he felt so nice floating through it. My horse was listening to me, and I was pleased.

Caron and I have never been sorting, and so we went out thinking that we were given our first cows number, and then called whichever one's we wanted. So, she grabbed our first, 6, and I called 9, the lady told us it was consecutive, so I switched and got 7, however, because I had gone after the wrong cow, we were stopped. So we were dq'd our first time.. even though they knew we'd never sorted before and said they'd help us with the rules.

Turns out that you are given your first cow and then it has to be consecutive. So, if I draw 8, then caron get's 9, I get 0, she get's 1 and so on and so forth... also, you are only given a minute. A minute can feel like a lifetime, but also a blink, all at once, when your sorting.

Jingle was honestly fricken wonderful. He's not very cowy, and I think was generally confused as to what we were doing, but he was listening to me. I asked him to turn, he turned, after our second round, we ramped it up and trotted and even loped a bit, and Jingle just followed along with me. Happiness.

Chasing a cow!

Caron pushing a cow out!

By our second time, we had "made" a friend, R, a higher level penner, who helped us out and coached us from the sidelines, and at one point helped us man the centre so that we could both go out and sort more. It was really nice, and awesome. Our second time we were also given a "mulligan", so after the 1 minute time was up, they allowed us to keep sorting until we had sorted the entire group of cows.

Love this photo. My horse is a superstar.

By our third time, with R's guidance, Caron and I were figuring it out. We only got DQ'd the first time, by the second and third we were getting points and pushing cows through! However, both of us kept in mind that we needed to be slow, steady and consistent with our newbie cow horses. There was a lot of reassuring our ponies, petting, keeping it slow... both of them did stellar.

Then we had our "jackpot" round, where your paired with someone else to ride with. Generally, if you are a newer rider, you are paired with someone with more experience. Here "R" and I are, discussing our plan of attack - okay, yep, I will listen to everything you say to me. Is what I'm saying at this point. haha

I like this shot - Jingle is figuring out some cow-sense, he's actually locked onto the cow here.

Shot of my favourite boot & spur strap combo.

I even let Jingle lope a little bit and he didn't lose his mind - success!
R and I got two cows through, and for a LONG time we were first in the jackpot since a lot of the other teams had DQ'd for some reason or another, we ended up coming in third - one spot out of the money! Not too shabby! haha

Here is Laura, aka "Team Bitch" staying with the horses and keeping them calm - love her!

Afterwards Sarah took some regal photos of my king ponyboy with the bluest of blue skies. Look how handsome he is!

I was SO. SO. SO pleased with Jingle during sorting. I am so impressed with how he well he can listen to me (when he wants) and simply trust me in unsure situations. I cannot wait to sort more, I think it's just going to be absolutely wonderful for the both of us!

Overall, It was a totally wonderful experience, we'll for sure be doing it again.
Going for most improved!


  1. When I bigified the pics I was able to pick out my favorite. # 16 when you and Jingle are in the middle of all of those cows. Look at his eye, he has that "I totally got this mom!" look in his eye.

    Or perhaps he is thinking, "I'm gonna get me a cow!"

    Either way, they are great pics and you guys look fabulous together. I'll bet you were just beaming when it was all said and done.

    We had a sorting event here not too long ago. I wanted to go join in, but ended up only getting to watch because I had to miss the first day. Trax is very good on cows, and I think he would do well in this sort of event. AND....I can put what ever kind of bridle on him I want. :-)

  2. Thank you! I was beaming for sure, proud horsie mama!

    You should definitely try it - it's a lot of fun, and I know out here most of the sorters have a lot of low level riders show up too, so there's always a balance between newbies and experienced riders - which is nice!

    Funny you should say that, I got a couple weird looks about my sidepull set-up, but Jingle worked just fine in it, so I was happy.

  3. Sounds good, I have only been sorting once and it was a blast! Sometimes giving a horse a job makes them realize what you are always making them do has a reason for it, lol, so asking him to turn and move when you wanted to move that cow probly made sense. Hope you go more you did awesome :)