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Monday, August 16, 2010

Penalties: Back Fence & Switching Cattle

~I'm not afraid to do something new.
I learned self-reliance on the ranch.~
~Marion Collins 1903~

Last Saturday was the final cutting for the High Desert Cutters season. I didn't really mean yesterday's post to be a teaser, but I have to say thanks for all of the inquiries about the results!

Colt and I really weren't in the running for an award. If you recall, Colt had his lil' leg injury this spring and we missed the first, we just got off to a slow start. But, somehow it always works that way. If the third place person did really bad and I did really good, we might have taken third...but it didn't work out that way.

Here's part of the video that my friend Andi took for me. It shows two penalties that we received...see if you can identify them:

On the first cow I cut, you saw this:

Back Fence penalty: 3 points

When the cow that's been cut gets past the Corner Marker (to the left side of the marker) it's a 3 point penalty. It's pretty obvious...loosing the cow all together would be worse (5 point penalty), but Colt and I just weren't in the right position or quick enough to keep the cow out away from the back fence.

Then on the second cow, to my surprise, the judge penalized me for "Changing cattle after a specific commitment." I was wondering why my score was only a 61.

This lil' move right here made it look like I'd chosen the brindle cow.

You can hear my friends saying "what are you doing?!?"

In my mind I hadn't chosen a cow yet...I was keeping the cows in front of me and I was waiting for the last cow left standing. As the blond cow turned to my right, she was the farthest away from me, and so I chose her...thinking the rest were headed back to the herd.

Loosing another 5 points really hurt...literally...I was in tears when I read the judges sheet. I hadn't slept well the night before, stress, trying to do our best...and just plain emotional. It happens sometimes.

But, I learned a lot from that run...but I still have questions in my mind about how to handle it in the future though.

Colt seemed to have chosen the brindle cow...but I hadn't. Do I need to go with what my horse chooses not me? It seems to be a very fine line. My inexperience got me this time. Input from anyone would be appreciated.

I think we came in 4th overall...and this next year was our 4th year in the same class. Horses get to move up to the next class when they place 1st or 2nd in the class...maybe next year will be our year...but I said that this year...and I said that last year too... commitment to myself is to get on the ball this winter with training as much as possible. It's hard without an indoor facility and the wind is blowing the snow sideways...but we have some options. and I've got to take advantage of them. Both Gus and Colt will be shown next year! We've got a lot of work to do!


Cowgirl Rae said...

I'm sorry for the disappointment, I understand the tears too.
I see in the cow selection image that from the judges perspective it seem the brindle cow would be the choice because the gap and the cows on the right of the image appear to be moving together and spilling to your left. Blocking the brindle cow appears to be the logical choice. Of course one image can't tell the whole story.

It appears your hand is down cluing the judge you picked your cow. Being aware of your hand may alert the judge you have not yet committed. There again its only from that second in time captured on film I'm making that call.

Good job for even being out there. Remember you are paying that judge for his opinion that day, no more no less.
Id rather make honest mistakes and know it than get high placing knowing I botched it but the judge didnt catch it.

Breathe said...

Looks like fun - I'm a fan from afar of cutting - it seems like the gold medal of horse events.

Susan said...

I'm proud of you for getting out there and doing it!

CCC said...

I lead a sheltered life, I didn't even realize there were those rules being that I never compete (well, just with the weather and getting the job done in spite of what the cow wants).

It nice to win but . . . I kind of think learning is better. And then there's the dues we have to pay to get to where we want to be. Persistence pays. Just keep getting better, learning, and trying and it will fall into place when the dues are paid in full.

Don't be too hard on yourself, just think of the first time you ever rode a horse and where you are now.
You've improved that much. That alone is enough to give yourself a pat on the back (like I would if I was there).

lisa said...

The best thing I think is to make mistakes so you can learn from them and you learn what you really have to practice on! Then hopefully you get better and better and your horse does also and you can put more trust in your horse to do all the work for you. NOT like I know what I am talking about!;)

Linda said...

Too bad about what happened but every time you get out there you're learning something and so is your horse. It just looks like great fun and I envy you!

gowestferalwoman said...

Thank you so much for showing these shots and giving/getting feedback on them! Im learning little bit by little bit ~ and I can finally understand what youre saying! Yay!!

Maia said...

Girlfriend, you are the only one who's work I have looked at who has a shot in hell of having a photograpic career. You have what it takes in spades. Follow the advice I give you and then hopefully go for it. As Joni Mitchell once said, "you are a woman of heart and mind."

I so want for you to have this. You have so much native talent. I won't blather on forever. I can't make you want it. I just hope you do.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I hear ya on the disappointment...And the 'next year' thought too. I have thought for quite a few years now that each new year was going to be Moon and I's year. Ummm, not so much this year...AGAIN.

That learning curve is painful. But you have the talent and the gumption. You may never accomplish exactly what you wanted too on Colt...NOT that he isn't a good enough horse, but it's that darn learning curve.

Shirley said...

I can understand the judge thinking you'd switched cows, I thought so too. But I was looking at Colt watching that cow, and not at what you were asking Colt for. You didn't switch- you had never picked that cow. So I can sure understand the frustration.
The main thing is that you and your horse are learning to do something that you love, winning will come in time.

GreyDrakkon said...

Too bad with the point loss, that's very frustrating. I've always wondered how to convey to the horse just which cow you're thinking about cutting, especially after reading on Mugwump's blog about the time her horse thought she should cut a plastic bag!

Rhonda said...

When something means so much to you, it is emotional when you run into difficulty. I sure understand that. I enjoy all your videos, though, both the training ones and the ones showing cutting. It looks challenging and fun! Though I don't have experience with cutting, that might be interesting to see what happens when you let your horse kind of go with the cow it wants. Maybe like it seems you did - get it down to 2 or 3, then see which one your horse picks up on. Best wishes!

Patches said...

Oh those darn penalties. They can be such buggers, can't they? Sounds about like my year cutting this year. Disappointing, but it happens. All you can do is figure out what you can do better and get going on it for next year! I'm still a total beginner at cutting, not even coming out of the herd yet, so I have no clue what you could have done differently on that second cut. That is very frustrating and something I will need to keep in mind for myself in the future! :) The video isn't up, but I know the last one I watched of your run (June maybe?) you guys looked great!

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