Oh, you'd have LOVED to be a mouse in the corner last Sunday! We got the electric fencer replaced, and fixed the double strand of electric wire around the old house. So I decided to bring in Colonel Ray, as he is coming two and getting ideas... And who was in heat? Crem. Not my idea of a match made in heaven, much as I like both of them... So, W. the hired man and his friend are pounding away on the porch, and the wind is up, and the herd is SPOOKED. They won't come in. Finally we get them all in the pen, and while we're sorting, I tell W., let the first four go, then shut the gate. He stands there, lets seven go, and the stampede is on. He CAN'T stop them then. The colt goes back out with the rest, and they are thoroughly goosey now.
I take the other guy in the Accord and he lets me into the front field. I get around the outside of the herd, and honk. They run the wrong way. I catch them, and swirl around the outside, cutting them off.
Talk about HANDLE! I can't even CATCH them flat out in the truck in the pasture... and keep from banging my head on the roof. I whipped right and left, avoiding the ditches, the dips, the evergreens, the wild parsnip, and keeping the herd from getting back in any of the corners or escaping across the creek. I worked up quite a sweat, and so did they!
Canta and Louise were magnificent! Canta will let a car going 40 charge right into her face without backing down. She's quite a horse. Finally they got so they were working back to the bales of hay set along the creek. They were afraid of the man standing on the other side of the gate, and for the longest time, would turn back every time they got that far down the hill. He wasn't moving, yelling, or anything, but he DIDN'T BELONG THERE.
Once they got past that, it was not very many corners and wheelies before they were heading in. I was soaking wet, just as if I'd been chasing them on foot!
When he let me back through the gate, he said, "I never saw anything like that before."
Another neighbor pulled his pick-up into the driveway, so I imagine the story will be making the rounds. 26 head of horses running flat out is impressive without the herding aspect of it. The tails were up, the heads were up, and they were HOT. Sure would have made an impressive video.
Think "cutting horse" working bridle-less, going back and forth sideways in front of the herd to turn them. Except, in the Accord, I had to make really tight turns to get them moving right. When they were moving the way I wanted, I quit with the horn, but if they tried to turn off, I'd hit it again and drive right at the leaders.
This time, the sorting went well, and I caught Cariñosa, then led her and Colonel Jim, the three year old coming four, who is taller than she is, and the yearling coming two right into the front yard without anyone else breaking past. I hugged up most of the herd before I went back to the house and thought we were done for the day.
The guys went back to pounding after a lunch break... and Cariñosa, CR and CJ broke through the electric wire at the run. They were used to it NOT WORKING. W. got in his truck, and they followed him up the hill to the trailer. (They are used to eating out of the bed of the pick-up) The other fellow shut the gate W. fixed last month, repaired the electric wire again, and moved the stallion Omyno to the front yard, locking the three squirrels in the stud pen. We'll start with them on the 23rd, I guess...
The 23rd, the vet is due at 9 am to worm everyone and geld CR. W. said he'd come down and help. Hopefully, it won't be so windy. They're getting their water in the stud pen now, so they won't be afraid to come in any more. When we worked them this fall, we got done about 1:30 or two. There are two fewer now, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will go faster, as they were calm old broke horses. The unbroken youngsters are the ones who make things so INTERESTING...