Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Which is Cheaper and Better: A Shrink or a Roping Clinic?

Actually, I can't tell you from personal experience whether a shrink is better than attending a roping clinic, but I can tell that in the whole time that I have owned horses I have never needed the services of a shrink. Plus, I know what they charge, and it ain't cheap.

The reason I bring up this question is because, as all Colorado horse people know, we are heading into the deep dark tunnel that happens this time of year. It's called winter. Unless you live the life of Riley and have an indoor arena, winter basically sucks for horse people in our neck of the woods. The snow, wind, and icy footing (normal conditions for deep winter here) are a formula for disaster and injury. So unless we want to haul to an indoor arena to ride every day, it ain't happening.

But a day without riding is like a day without sunshine, as they say (at least horse addicts like me say that). So what's a zen cowgirl horse addict to do?

Did You Say Cheap Horse Activity? Invent a Roping Clinic
Well, zen cowgirls who don't want to go crazy will invent new cheap horse activities that have never existed before. My whole goal, on this blog and during this winter, is to come up with as many fun, cheap, mostly safe horse activities as I can so that as many horse people can have fun as possible.

So here's one I've come up with recently: a series of roping clinics. I know a pro roper who, aside from having won a ton of money and stuff, also has a fabulous indoor arena and lives about 10 miles from my house. I also know a bunch of crazy cowgirls like me who are pinching pennies and trying not to go stir crazy. So I call them all and ask them if they could like to participate in a series of inexpensive beginner roper clinics taught by this pro roper. I call the pro roper dude and I ask if he's interested in making a few bucks teaching a bunch of crazy cowgirls how to rope (we only know how to do penning, jumping, reining, and trail riding). He says, "Sure!"

So we're scheduling a series of beginner roping clinics in his indoor arena this winter. The curriculum will go something like this:

Session 1: Meet your rope.
Learn how to hold, swing, and throw your rope while standing on the ground. Learn to avoid hitting yourself in the head with your rope. Bonus: you don't need to haul your horse to this event because there's plenty to learn standing on your own two feet.

Session 2: Learn to rope a dummy.
After practicing throwing the rope for a while, it's time to learn to rope the Robo Steer, still from the ground, of course. Still avoiding hitting your head, of course. Again, no horse needed.

Session 3: Learn to rope on horseback.
Learn to throw the rope off a calm, gentle, caring school horse. Learn to avoid hitting yourself in the head in this new position. Learn to avoid hitting the poor horse in the head. Learn to rope the Robo Steer in this new position. Again, no horse needed, school horse provided.

Session 4: Learn to rope off your horse.
Hah! This should be fun! Starting with twirling a mere lead rope around and over top of your own horse, teach your horse to be comfortable with the lariat, with you on the ground or on his back. Yee-haw!

Session 5: Learn to swing the rope while your horse is moving.
Again, yee-haw! Learn to juggle reins and the rope, and swing the rope, while your horse is moving at various gaits. Learn to avoid runaways and whacking your head, your horse's head, or other objects in your vicinity.

Session 6: Learn to rope the Robo Steer from your horse.
Need we say it again? Yee-haw! Some horses will need help even getting near the Robo Steer, never mind following it. Then there's you--with the rope, reins, and black eye!

Get the picture yet? These clinics are fun, fabulous, and could generate reams of blackmail tape to be published on YouTube. I love it. In total, I'm quite sure that this activity will keep me from going stir crazy this winter, plus I'm sure I'll love it more than I would love seeing a shrink.

Do you agree? What similar crazy events could you come up with for your horse and your area?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Photo credit:

No comments:

Post a Comment