As The Pasture Turns: An update and an experiment

Betty and Ann have been coming along well, but lately it has been hard to find the time to work them and it is clear that I need to spend more time with them.  I have been picking stones from the pastures and hauling them away.  This proves to be a great training exercise.  You constantly start and stop; the weight slowly increases; and it requires you to let them stand free while you go picking.  They can dig in when they get together!  I also have a good obstacle course set up in the back yard.  There are plenty of kid’s toys to maneuver around as well as a tarp to walk over, a field of tires to walk through and a mound of saw dust to climb over.  All of these desensitize them and teach trust.  I also have a gate to nowhere set up to practice with.

As I have posted before Betty and Ann have very different personalities.  They are both quality animals just very, very different.  This is a big detriment to them being a team.  Betty is literally dragging Ann a large portion of the time and no amount of correction seems to work.  Lately, they have begun to “haul out” because of this.  “Hauling out” is when the two animals pull outward against each other.  It is ugly and a waste of energy.  I have decided to switch sides and put Ann on the near side and Betty on the off side as an experiment.  Their roles when turning are reversed so they need to learn to turn all over again.  This has confused them and set their training back quite a bit.  I do think they may work together a bit better, but only time will tell.  If all else fails, I may simply use them as singles and forgo the team for now.  I would rather have two good singles than one poor team.  Also, I am sure I will have other cows in the future to team them up with when necessary.