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Posts Tagged ‘Horsemanship’

Real Cowboy Work

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Jake on the right riding Jack in the middle of the competition.

Jake on the right riding Jack in the middle of the competition.

At the 2013 Grimes County Fair, Jake DeHaven competed with two friends in team penning and team sorting events. Unlike speed events like barrel racing, these events are a test of true working cowboy skills on horseback. In fact, the event was created to enable cowboys to showcase their horsemanship skills. Because one of the boys on the team is sixteen years old, they had to compete in the senior division.

In team penning, the contestants are given a number announced over the loudspeaker as the time begins. The number corresponds to three calves in a herd of thirty. They are to sort the three calves out and pen them in a small pen at the opposite end of the arena. The fastest time wins. Deductions are made if any other calves cross the sorting line. It is harder to do than to describe in writing.

In team sorting, the contestants are also given a number as the time begins. It is similar to team penning, as they have to cut the calf with the said number out. Then they have to go in numerical order and cut out the remaining cattle. For example, if the judge called #5. Then they would remove #5 and then 1,2,3, and 4 in order. The fastest time wins with deductions given for mistakes in the order.

This was Jake’s first time to compete in either event. It was a joy to see him out there giving it his best effort. There are so many factors in a successful run. The cowboy has to be focused and paying attention. He/she has to have a reliable horse with cow sense. Together they make up one team. Then add two more riders and their horses and the teamwork needed increases.

We are proud of Jake and the other members of his team. They brought home the 3rd place prize in the Senior Division for both events. Regardless of the prize, they gained valuable experience that can only translate into better horsemanship skills on the ranch. At home or in the arena, Jake can do real cowboy work.

2012 Fall Trail Ride

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

A number of horse trailers parked along the rocky road in the front pasture of Cross Creek Cattle Company made for an interesting sight for passersby Sunday afternoon. We were hosting the 2012 Fall Trail Ride for the Grimes County Jr. Deputy Sheriff Mounted Posse.

This is the third consecutive year we have had the pleasure of hosting such a fun day for the youth of our community. We had a wide range of ages and horsemanship abilities. From young beginning riders to older retired cowboys, the trail ride was enjoyed by all.

It was a beautiful, clear day. Our ranch manager, Lane, along with Kyla and Jake, who are also members of the Posse, spent several hours choosing a trail and clearing a path. They wanted to make it challenging and interesting. The trail ride crossed pastures, opened and closed several gates, went through heavily wooded areas, through deep, dry creeks, and up hills. They rode at the home ranch, which is our original place, for two hours.

Once every one dismounted and cared for their horses, we ate turkey legs and corn on the cob. The food was donated and greatly appreciated. Kyla baked four batches of brownies for dessert. Needless to say, nobody went home hungry.

Kenton and Cathey Holliday, the owners of Cross Creek Cattle Company, are proud sponsors of the Grimes County Posse. We are thrilled that our ranch provided a fun and safe day for horses and riders.

Annual Trail Ride

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

It has been a busy week here at Cross Creek Cattle Company.  We have had several customers come pick up their orders of grass fed beef.  It is always nice to visit face-to-face with people.  Many times we end up showing our first-time customers around the place before giving them their beef.  Almost always, especially for young girls, our horses draw attention away from the cows or anything else to see here.

Horses are beautiful creatures.  They move powerfully and gracefully.  Their size and weight far outmatch any rider, and yet they can be controlled with a tiny bit in their mouth and/or leg pressure.  Equine therapy has proven successful for people with injuries, disabilities, and even with the rehabilitation of prisoners.  There is something magical about the relationships between horse and rider.

Teamwork is one of the greatest lessons learned when working with or riding a horse.  You and the animal have to be in sync; together you move as one and work as one.  If you are not in sync with your partner, then it is obvious.  You fall off, your horse gets injured, etc.  We encourage our children to begin riding horses as soon as they can sit and obey our commands.  Learning about teamwork at a young age is important to us.  Children gain first-hand the knowledge that they are part of something bigger than themselves.  It takes the focus off of self, which is a key character trait missing in our society.

Just as important is taking care of the horse.  Feeding, watering, haying, grooming, mucking stalls, etc. are necessary elements of horsemanship.  Children learn responsibility as they care for the needs of another.  It is not all fun and games; some of the chores are downright humbling and nasty.  If you ask me, humble service is another great lesson learned from working with horses.

Cross Creek Cattle Company is a proud sponsor of the Grimes County Sheriff’s Jr. Deputy Mounted Posse.  Sheriff Don Sowell, Coordinator Sonya Floyd, and Drillmaster Lane DeHaven in addition to countless volunteers and parents work tirelessly as they encourage the youth of our county to promote horsemanship skills, leadership, and citizenship.  The youth gain even a deeper understanding of teamwork as they learn and perform routines on horseback.  Teamwork is no longer just between horse and rider, but extends to all the horses and riders on the team.  It is much more difficult to accomplish well.

The Posse is a fine organization, which welcomes any youth interested in joining.  We are always taking new members.  To kick off this new year, Cross Creek Cattle Company is happy to host the annual trail ride on our ranch.  It is a fun time of fellowship and food.  Of course, we have a trail ride.  This year Jake, Kyla, and Rheaghan, a fellow Posse member, charted the course of the trail.

Boy, are they adventurous! My husband had to make some easier/safer alterations to their proposed plan, but all-in-all it will be fun for the riders.  To make it interesting, we kept some logs laying in the path as obstacles for the horses.  We trimmed tree limbs so people’s hats won’t get knocked off.  The trail takes riders up and down creeks, which is always challenging for new riders and exhilarating for the experienced ones.  It will be a fun ride.

We are so blessed to get to live here on the ranch.  We get to enjoy daily what the ranch has to offer.  It is not always fun and games, but there are always life skills to be learned.  We are also happy to be able to host this event and allow others to see how much our ranch has to offer.

Horsemanship Camp, Part Three

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

This is the last installment of the Horsemanship Camp series.  The ranch sent my three oldest to the Texas Charm School and Cowboy College. Cody Johansson runs the camp.  Her goal is to empower youth with horsemanship.  I know that all three of my children gained knowledge, skills, and confidence.  They had five great days at her place in Field Store, Texas.

Today Clayton, my thirteen year old, will be demonstrating longeing and the human currycomb.  Clayton is becoming an accomplished rider, but has learned that ground work is just as important.  He enjoys working with his horse, Roxie, at the ranch.

I hope you enjoy watching him work with a horse named Mike.

Horsemanship Camp, Part One

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Cross Creek Cattle Company sent my three oldest children to Texas Charm School and Cowboy College last week.  The instructor is Cody Johansson, who wants to empower children through horsemanship.  My children had a great time and learned a lot about horses.  For the next three weeks, I will be posting a video of each of my children as they showcase what they learned at camp.  Ladies are first, so here is Kyla.

Kyla just turned ten years old last week.  She loves horses and has been working with them seriously for a little over a year.  Kyla attended the horsemanship camp hoping to gain more confidence working with such big, powerful animals.  I think that as you watch the video there will be no doubt that she is confident.  Enjoy!

Inspired by a Horsemanship Clinic

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Hey, it’s Jake again!  I am finishing the second grade this week.   I am really excited.  Today, I want to tell you how inspired I became after attending one day of a horsemanship clinic.

mary-for-blogOn April 26th, I went to Conroe, Texas to hear Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship speak and demonstrate horsemanship skills.  It was called the Walkabout Tour.  Mr. Anderson is originally from Australia.  I think he was born with a true gift, a gift of understanding horses.

I really had a good time.  Mr. Anderson was hilarious.  I laughed out loud on several occasions.  Several people from Cross Creek Cattle Company were there, too.  My PawPaw, Grandma, and Dad took me to this workshop.  We all enjoyed listening to Clinton and we all learned something, too.

He showed us how to load a horse into a trailer and how to get a horse to side pass among many other things.  He demonstrated both what to do and what not to do.  The what not to do demonstration was the funniest.

The most important thing I learned was how to load a horse into a trailer.  Some lady brought her 5 year old black gelding who had barely been halter broke.  Clinton Anderson longed the horse.  The he took the horse to the trailer and showed how most people try to coax their horse into the trailer.  You know, like people trying to reason with a horse saying, “C’mon horsie, we have to get in the trailer.  C’mon sweetie, do it for mommy.”  I was laughing so hard!

You cannot talk a horse into the trailer or bribe them with carrots every time.  He showed us to make the horse uncomfortable outside.  Then he would get it in the trailer and leave it alone.  He would get the horse out again, make it uncomfortable, load it, and leave it alone.  The horse soon understood a trailer was a good place to be.

My favorite part was when Clinton Anderson showed us his horse, Mindy.  She is really pretty.  She can do tricks like the Spanish walk.  If you don’t know what that is, it is a style of marching where the horse kicks its leg out in front of itself before stepping down.  It looked really cool!  Mindy could also do a one-legged bow, a two-legged bow, and a saddle bow.  She could play dead, too.

At the clinic, Clinton Anderson was selling horse equipment and tack.  I was really interested by the spurs he uses.  They do not have rowels.  They are just round balls attached to your boots that get its attention.  He was selling saddles without saddle horns.  He was also selling all his training tools.  You could buy gloves, training sticks, etc.

I feel that I learned a lot and understand horses more than I did before I attended this clinic.  I also learned that Clinton Anderson has a television program called Downunder Horsemanship that shows on RFD.  I highly recommend viewing his show and trying to attend one of his clinics.  You can check out his schedule here.  I am a better rider because of it.

Where is your Horse’s Love Spot?

Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Jake with Ladd

Jake with Ladd

Hello. I’m Jake DeHaven. I am in the second grade. I love to write stories. I hope you like this one.

I like horses because they are very fun to ride. My PawPaw teaches me how to ride. He is a very good teacher. The most important thing he has taught me is how to bond with my horse.

We have a 60’ round pen. The first thing we do is brush the horse. They love it and they lose their winter hair faster this way. With their lead rope attached to their halter, we give the horse some slack. Then I stand by its flank, which is by their ribs and thigh. We swing the rope to get them moving in a circle around me. This is called longeing. The horses have learned to obey my voice commands.

PawPaw has also taught us how to find a horse’s love spot. My horse, Ladd’s love spot is located on his head between his jawbones. The skin is jiggly and loose. I scratch it and his head will lower and/or his lip will curl. He loves it!

Other love spots can be a horse’s ears, its withers, and at the head of its tail. If you have a horse, try to find its love spot.

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