Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cattle Working Clinic with Brad Cameron

Photo of Seven and my boot taken by a Newspaper Reporter who came to write a story about the clinic!

On Oct. 2, 3 & 4th a group of Mule riders gathered at Flintrock Farm in Reidsville, NC for a Mulemanship and Cattle Working Clinic by Brad Cameron. The Clinic was hosted by my good friends Holly and Bruce Fisher. The Clinic started with about 20 people in Mulemanship 1 Class at 9AM. Brad started everyone out with ground work and then exercises in the saddle to help build a foundation of training and trust with you and your mule. At 1pm the group I was in gathered in the lower arena to start working cows. A few of the mules were fearful of the cows and they where not even in the pen with us yet! Seven was calm and relaxed about the whole thing since we have worked cows before. Brad went over the basics and showed us some of the movements we will need our mules to do to work the cows.

My friend Deby Cochran brought her donkey Pauline and Alison who owns Pauline's sister Joy also came. Bad said this was the first time he had ever had donkeys in is Cattle Working Class. Both did really well!

He then let them into the ring and we took turns moving the whole herd around the outside of the arena. Brad paired me and Seven with the mule that was the most scared of the cows to give that mule support. Seven was more concerned with what that other mule was going to do next instead of the cows. Towards the end of the session Brad let me and Seven do some extra things with the cows so that Seven did not get board. He paid me a big complement by telling my I had a nice and well broke mule!

The next day we got to do some sorting of the cows and learned more how to ride to stay ahead and cut the cow off from the rest of the group. Seven caught on and was having a great time, me too!

On the third day we practiced working cattle out of a group and Jay Lankford joined in for some fun with us. His great mule Zip, who had done some cattle working before jumped right in. I saw the mule get impatient with a cow and reach up and kick at a cow with his front hoof!! Amazing! Jay said he has used Zip to load cattle onto trailers and that is when he started doing that.

Then they divided the riders into two groups and set up an obstacle course for us to herd the cow through. It was very entertaining to watch the cows cross a bridge, go over a small jump and be guided between black tubes on the ground. We had to work as a team to get this all done! After the last class was over I got to stay late and help load the cows on to the trailer for Jay to take them home!

No comments: