Should be lots of fun, except for the getting up at 4am part - that sorta sucks. And the fact that I will end up being the driver for the entire trip up and back. That's what Dad always tells me "he" had me for - to be his chauffeur.
I learned to drive the truck on the ranch at about 9 yrs old and began pulling the big gooseneck stock/horse trailers at about 12. I'm an old pro, but the hubby is still pretty new to the whole ranch life. Dad and I are in the process of teaching Michael how to pull horse trailers, but I'm a control freak and nervous about letting a "newbie" pull my horses especially since we'll be in hill country with gusty winds. Dad's a little braver than I am on that front, although I DO try not to hurt Michael's manly feelings too often by making him let me drive.
Team penning is a timed event that consists of a team of 3 riders, 30 cattle numbered 0-9, and a pen. Your goal is to put your 3 cattle into a pen at the opposite end of the arena in the fastest time. Sounds easy enough right? You have to take into account that cattle can be wild beasties and create a lot of havoc in a short amount of time. You have to keep all of the "unwanted" or "not your number" cattle at their end of the arena, opposite the end where the pen is. If one of these strays crosses the scoring line, you're disqualified. When you're running full steam around an arena trying to sort out the correct animals while not running into one of your team members, it can get pretty exciting and hairy.
But, it's lots of fun to participate in and also to watch. There is a lot of whooping and hollering as well as laughing. Most of the horses love it, especially ones like ours that are bred to be cow horses. Some, like Michael's horse Whiskey, are afraid of or ambivalent towards the cattle and might run the other direction. It happens, but Michael loves Whiskey & Whiskey loves Michael, so that's all that matters!
These photos are all of Dad and Cinderfella aka Fella or Yella Fella (yes, I have numerous names for the big critters too.) I will post some photos of my & Michael's horses as well as our beautiful Paint stallion - Sunday Sailor at a later date. I've got to get to bed EARLY tonight - it's a long drive in the am!