Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My First Cattle Drive!

I was so excited when my friend Carla asked me if I wanted to go with her and her husband Don as they
moved their cattle from High Valley to the pasture near their home in Montour. Today was the first of the three day cattle drive. If you look at the picture above you will see me in the back on the brown horse named Big John but most of all you will see how beautiful the country was that we passed through.
Those of you that know me are asking yourself right now..where did she learn to ride a horse? I didn't! Oh... I have ridden a few times in my life and I have always loved it...but today was a little tricky. Originally, the plan was for me to ride the most gentle horse but because of a little confusion with saddles...I ended up on Big John. As we were driving up to High Valley, another friend of ours, Lisa, who has been on many more horses and cattle drives than me said..." I do not want to ride Big John". I thought..."I am so glad we get to ride Slick (the gentle horse)." When my turn to ride came up, I was told that I would have to ride Big John because of the saddle issue. I asked Kendra (who had been riding him) if she thought I could handle him...she said "yea, just hang on tight the whole time!" I climbed on board and almost immediately discovered that she had given me some great advice. Big John and I had some exciting moments and we rode for a long time down into the valley. Most of the time he was perfect...and I really grew to love that horse...but boy did he scare me a few times...I just kept thinking"hold on tight...don't let go whatever you do!!" He is such a smart horse. One time, the cattle started to separate and Darrell (another guy that was riding next to Big John and I) had to go get them back into the herd. I kept riding straight and tried to keep the cows moving when I discovered that 2 or 3 of them had stopped. I started telling them to keep moving..I don't think they understood my southern accent...and they would not move. Just when I wondered what to do to get them going...Big John started talking to them in horse language...loud and clear enough for me to worry that he was mad at me....but then I realized that the cows looked up at Big John and started moving! Horses are amazing creatures!
I am really sore, but loved the experience! I just wish Barry could have been with us, but he had to work.