Thursday, April 26, 2012

Who knew?

On one of the driving forums I frequent, someone suggested using old milk containers as cones for practicing. Between us, my mom and my sister, I have amassed a large collection of milk containers. Almost 20 of them so far and I have been waiting to use them...

Sunday I got my chance. Sort of. I gathered my containers in a large tub to keep by the gate. I put water into each one- about halfway or so, to give them a bit more stability and keep them from blowing away.  I measured my cart, (walked it, 2 steps. Really technical I know)  and set out to design my course...

I set up a line of four as a serpentine to weave through, seven strides apart. Usually I can get through the first two without issue, the next one is a bit tricky.  The half gallon jugs worked well for this.  On the east end I had two sets of jugs as if a pair of in-and-out fences if jumping. They were slightly angled inward one this way  \ , one / that way.  There were another three sets of jugs/cones, one set as a straight pair, then the other two, staggered off to the side. On the far end I had one set of lone jugs. It sorta looked like this...

                  X                                                                        X

                       X                                                           X



     X                                 X           X

     X                                                  X         X





As it was set up, I could take them in either direction, use them in different order and alter the course as we went. I set them 3 steps apart, which turned out to be a bit wide, but it was all in fun so the good news is, I only wiped out 1 when we were driving the course. Knocked it over is probably more like it, because it will live to see more use. It was one of the jugs in the serpentine line. There was plenty of room to go wide, and use the rail, slip between each 'gate' and go on the the next as well as going through the two offset gates at an angle and straight line through them both. 

The serpentine could be woven from either direction, starting on either side, making it in-out-in or out-in-out. I could also go in the first pair, skip the middle one and out the last pair in a bigger, sweeping turn, instead of weaving it tightly. The two on the angle- I could take them in order or by themselves.  None of this I really had in mind when I set it all up. I did realize though, I need more milk jugs. I have 2 more to add to the collection already.

The beauty in all of this, I have some of the white plastic milk jugs. The shape of them lends easily to using a big, black marker and putting the dressage letters on them. Then I can set them out in the proper order and work on dressage too. I have also considered, draining the water out of them and using dirt instead. It wouldn't turn green and funky after a while so I will most likely do that.

It was almost dark when I finally got into the cart. What took me so long? Well, I had gone to pick up hay, pulled the truck around back and left the driveway gates open in the process. Stopped by the house to grab the harness and was intending to drive Kat. As I was lunging him, Betsy (the heifer we have) strolled over towards the shop where we keep the hay.  I tried to pull Kat up and we walked back over in an attempt to ward her off, without getting her wound up... but it didn't work.

Betsy wandered over to the ope gates and lit up. He tail went up in the air as she took off!  She bolted down the driveway towards the street as I clipped Kat to his lead rope and started walking after her. The neighbors cows have been moved to the other side of their property to let the grass grow and she was missing them. Betsy has been bawling her head off day and night the past few days calling to them.  She has a beautiful moo, but not so much at 3 am. She ran over to their place to see them. 

It took me a good hour to get her home. I had to get their cows into the barn aisle and contained, Betsy into their pasture and then headed back out into the pasture between us. From there it was another 20 minutes or so trying to herd her towards the front of the property and the gate going into the back. I have to say- she is a quick little heifer and will gladly run away from you rather than at you.  I hope it stays that way.

1 comment:

phaedra96 said...

Poor Betsy! She just wanted her herd and to have fun. Spoilsport!