Warm-up was pretty short and sweet for the morning class. A little groundwork and get on. Hindquarters/front quarters, a little transition work and we rode out to the pasture. LOTS of serpentines and bending around sagebrush. Tight circles and serpentines. First at just a walk but then also at a trot. The weather had cooled off a bit and there was a stiff breeze, but we were all pretty warm pretty quickly. After about an hour or two we ended up bringing the heifers back in and some folks worked on swinging ropes on a couple of them. I mostly worked on soft feel, backing, backing circles, going forward, etc. I also worked on a little loping in the arena since the roping was happening in the pen outside the arena. And since there was a crowd of cows, I also worked at Mercy approaching them with a good expression and not being too tentative. She spent the rest of the afternoon/evening tied to the high line (until after I finished dinner). She was the last one and FINALLY got quiet, quit pawing and for the most part quit grinding her teeth.
We were given a long lunch today so folks could go into town to visit King Ropes and Tom Balding Bits and Spurs. I rode with Ch and J to TBB&S and we got invited into the shop for a tour by Tom after we had done a little shopping. Nice man. Nice shop, but not real traditional. Very modern and streamlined and he uses mostly stainless steel and no silver. Looks nice, but may not have the same “feel” as some other stuff. At King Ropes, Ch ordered a rope since they didn’t have what she wanted in stock and I picked up a new pair of slobber straps, a braided rawhide stampede string and a Jeremiah Watt eggbutt snaffle. Previously I had picked up a few other things back on Friday. I was hoping to find a nice new headstall for Buena, but nothing caught my eye. I did get a mecaté on Friday and it will go nice with the bit and slobber straps.
We got back to the ranch a bit late. When I got into the arena to saddle Buena most of the group was already working on flying lead changes over a log. OKAY! I am so not ready for that, let alone loping! We eventually slotted ourselves in for our turns. Charlie and A were pretty much perfect. J and Bridger did OK. And I mostly just worked on loping out at speed with trying to get my aim over the log correct the first time! The second go was better, but mostly he said her head tossing was because she needs to move out more! She’s a bit cranky about it. After the lead changes over the log, we went out and moved the cows into the side pen for more of what we worked on yesterday. T went first, then Ja from Bozeman, then Buena and me. It wasn’t pretty, and again, I got real warm, but it ended much better! We tracked the heifer around the arena each direction and worked on a few turns. Just need LOTS more. Threw a few decent heel shots, and dallied off on one that caught a foot. Buena barely even flinched when it came loose. That was about it for today.
Dinner was EXCELLENT tonight. Some sort of ground beef macaroni stew thing with salad and Indian Fry Bread (yum!). I bummed a a beer off of Janet and another one off of D. Ja is going to pick me up some to repay folks tomorrow. We sat around the chuck wagon table again tonight and Buck broke out the last of his Patron sipping tequila to share. I thanked Buck and Mary at least a few times for the week and how happy I am with progress. I watched Reata try to teach J a sorta new shot on the roping dummy. Another good day.
It started to rain as J and her dog R and I walked back to the camp area. Just a heavy sprinkle, but we might not be so lucky tomorrow.