Ranch Clinic with Trina Campbell

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By M. Kay Turley

July 28 through August 8, 2018 was one of the best ten days of my life!  I was fortunate enough to ride with Trina Campbell and friends in her Ranch Clinic at Hat Creek Ranch in Wheatland, Wyoming. The clinic covered foundation horsemanship, H1 and H2 horsemanship, cow working, and ranch roping. On any given day, we had twenty-six to thirty riders. They came from California, Wyoming, Washington, Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, Georgia, South Dakota, Michigan, Arkansas (me), and Canada. What an assortment of backgrounds and abilities!  

We started the week practicing basic horsemanship on some colts, “sale” horses, and our own horses. When Trina had everybody sorted out, we went to gather cows in the big pasture. We circled them and rode around them to get both cattle and horses used to each other.  

On another day in the arena, we did exercises moving some “parts” around on our own horses – soft feel, front quarters, hind quarters, side pass, 360 turns, and backing.  And then we all swapped horses and did the same maneuvers on someone else’s horse.  We were to observe the horses and decide which was the best horse of all; we voted on that in the pasture the next day.  Denny was the clear winner!  

The following day, we went to the 200-foot round pen, which is about a mile from the barn, and gave all the horses the opportunity to go through a tire “contraption” by putting one foot in the tire and then pivoting.  Then we put in the other foot and pivoted, and then the hind feet.  Some of the horses had never seen such a “contraption!”  Trina helped those horses who lacked confidence, because patience is a big key to success!  

Another day, we rounded up the neighbor’s cow/calf pairs and moved them through an alleyway made by four riders.  The riders had to count cows and calves as they traveled through the alley.  I still don’t know how many there were.  Somewhere in the 80s!  We had to count really fast towards the end.  

One afternoon, we had several “seminars,” beginning with one on equine dentistry by Amanda Webb from Colorado.  She gave excellent demonstrations and was very educational about horses’ teeth.

Lee Robinson and Daniel Morris gave a talk on farrier practices, which was very informative. We had a great chance to ask questions one always thinks of after your shoer has left!

Dr. Jenny Knutson, DVM from South Dakota gave a talk on vital signs in horses and showed us how to check pulse rates, breathing rates and other vital signs.  It was really good information for every day riding use as well as for emergencies.

APHA champion Valerie Baker gave us a roping lesson on the ground, teaching us the proper way to hold and throw our ropes. She was very encouraging! As well as APHA world champion, she is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. [Read about her at: http://apha.com/news/lieutenant-colonel-ropes-in-world-championship-on-veterans-day/ ]

We also went for roping lessons one afternoon on a Heel-O-Matic roping dummy at the Tim and Kim Weyer’s ranch next door to Hat Creek Ranch. Tim is a top-notch team roper. Trina has be learning some techniques from Tim and helping him with some horsemanship tips for improving what he already does well. Fast Back Ropes are our new favorites!

One evening Dale Harwood, known as one of the greatest saddle makers in the country, gave a talk on the evolution of the wade tree saddles and the truth about many things in the horse industry from way back! A Wade tree saddle is a slick fork (also known as an A-fork) buckaroo style that is specifically built to be a working saddle. It’s designed for handling livestock and for maximum comfort during long, strenuous hours in the saddle.  Dale’s wife Karron and Philip Ellis, a local historian/rancher and past president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, chimed in with stories of rodeo, ranching, and life. [Read about Dale Harwood at: http://www.mastersoftraditionalarts.org/artists/131 and read about Philip Ellis at: https://www.beefmagazine.com/people/incoming-ncba-president-philip-ellis-rides-cattle-industry-s-brand]
Cathy Holman, long time friend of Trina’s and media personality for My Country 95.5, K2 Radio and TV, blogger at PrairieWifeInHeels.com, brought all her five children and Wyoming born and raised husband Dan. The kids climbed upon Auntie Trina’s horses and rode around with everyone.

One final note:  Trina is a gourmet cook.  Together with some wonderful ladies who also rode in the clinic, we had the greatest meals on the planet.  [Find recipes for some of the ranch cooking, and detailed instructions on how to cook them, at: http://yourinnercowgirl.com/category/ranch-recipes/] After dinner, some folks enjoyed playing cornhole toss, while others enjoyed socializing on the beautiful patio that wraps around three sides of her cute log cabin, along with a tiki bar. There was plenty of laughter and friendship! Indeed, this was one of the best ten days of my life!

Find out more about Trina Campbell at www.YourInnerCowgirl.com and read descriptions of the classes she teaches at: http://yourinnercowgirl.com/class-descriptions/

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