Take Annie to a clinic full of cows having never seen a cow before when I've ridden her 5 times in the month of January and once in the month of February? Sure, what could go wrong?
First I started off with some visual aids in an effort to explain to Annie what a "cow" was and what "cutting a cow" was. I hoped that this was enough to not give her a stroke when she saw her first cow.
We didn't exactly make our figure 8. Moving cows around is a lot harder than it looks!!!
After that the cows were let loose into the entire arena and we were supposed to cut one cow from the herd and move them down the arena and through a set of barrels and back. First, cows don't like to leave their cow friends, second, cows move FAST!
Here is Annie's second time facing the herd of cows. She marched right into the herd and when they didn't move she started biting the cows. Not exactly what I'm supposed to be doing but Annie's change in confidence was amazing. It was really difficult trying to cut one cow out of the herd. They stay glued together and Annie kept trying eat all of them whenever they got within eating distance. We did eventually cut one cow out and then we had to fly down the arena after it to try and turn it back through the barrels in time. I had a few seconds to admire the amazing trot she was giving me with her rounded back and arched neck fixed on the cows.
On a side note I found it amazing that every single participant was wearing a helmet by their own choice and several were wearing air vests that they said they trail rode in on a regular basis. Great to see other disciplines making the choice to be safe with their heads.
I'm really glad I got talked into going to the clinic and it was a welcome respite from the grind of this winter.