The bits between their teeth…

I spent yesterday doing one of my very favourite things… watching good riders and gorgeous horses show off their athleticism and ‘cow sense’ in a campdraft arena.

(For those new to this blog, here are a few examples of the sport, and a thorough description to get you into the ‘know’.)
draft_8245 e
I love local ‘drafts because I know many of the competitors – sometimes they ride beautifully, sometimes they have a bad run, but the thrill of the contest is always there.

draft_8242 eThe terminology usually gives me a giggle too – from ‘grabbing the bit’ and ‘cracked off’ to ‘the camp’ (which is actually an area of the arena where the rider selects his/her cow).  I don’t believe the family for whom this yard (above) was named was the slightest bit ‘camp’.  Heh.

draft_8225 eThis is a new idea (brought in over the past few years anyway) as the wearing of helmets becomes more standard – the helmet rack!  Riders deposit their felt hat and swap for their helmet while riding.  Then back over when they are finished their ‘run.  I love it…

draft_8187 eMy husband had four runs yesterday – for three scores which he was pretty happy with.  DRAFT _8198

This is Trooper… He adores the chase and is frighteningly nimble (one need exceptional knees when a horse changes direction abruptly!).

DRAFT _8199 E This photo made me giggle – can you see why?

(Hint: it’s all in the ears!)

This is his new horse Scandal…

draft_8218 e

He selected a bit of a cranky beast (cow) and she didn’t get a score ‘outside’ but Mr I was very happy with her.   She pinned her ears back and WENT for it.

After he had finished with his competition for the day, my husband took Dash and Violet aside and helped get their ready for THEIR draft. The Junior (for ages 8 to 12).

draft_8222 eViolet had been soooo excited – she was up at 4.30am to go in the truck with her Dad (quite something for a girl who struggles to get up on a school day).  Dash on the other hand, wavered between anticipation and nervous doubt.

draft_8240Violet’s Sandy had been well and truly ‘ridden in’ before the event, while ‘Pickles’ was bright-eyed and bushy tailed!

No-one gets QUITE as nervous however, as parents watching their offspring compete.

draft_8237 eThis Mama knows her stuff and was sharing her wisdom with her daughter for the Juvenile Draft (13-18 years) which ran first.

draft_8261 e

This Mama had her heart in her mouth watching her daughters compete too.

draft_8249 eThe waiting is never much fun…

Dash was first up in the Junior Draft.

draft_8258 ePickles was keen to get amongst it in the camp…*

bron 032 eBefore ‘bursting’ out the gates and onto the ‘course proper’.

draft_8259 e

While Dash is not super confident about his abilities and Pickles doesn’t take him in super close to the beast, he actually has great cow sense – he know where he needs to be and usually gets around the first peg and sets second peg up…

bron 036 eHe got 51 points and was  sitting in the lead for a while.

draft_8264 eViolet was very focussed on her run.

draft_8268 eAnd her gaze never wavered from her heifer once…

bron 038 e

She held the heifer at the front of the camp (just like she is supposed to) and called for the gate (okay, her mother may have done so too!).

DRAFT 041And they were off…

DRAFT bron 044 eCON-CEN-TRA-TION.  She got around first peg despite her heifer wanting to run the wrong way and ran out of time before she could attempt the second peg.

My concern is always that the kids remain in control of their horses and the situation – having grown up with campdrafting, I understand the potential hazards all too well.  We are so lucky to have two VERY trustworthy horses to look after our two – horses who WAIT to be told rather than taking matters into their own hands/hooves (or getting the ‘bit between their teeth’ and ignoring what the rider wants).

I know how good their horses are, but I am still not sure I breathed the whole time either Dash or Violet competed.  I think I called out a lot of ‘encouragement’.  I know I didn’t take many photos (the front-on ones* were very kindly snapped and shared by my aunt).

Other competitors, like the young man below who actually took out the event, I was fine to photograph.  Breathing is apparently integral to getting decent photos. Who knew?

draft_8273 e

This young fella had a cracker round and deserved to win.  He’s also one of Dash’s mates, so we all enjoyed his victory.

DSC_8281 eViolet was on a high for most of the day.

draft_8291 eDash got third in the end. He was delighted.


All the juniors got a ribbon – Violet came around 8th I think.  Her orange participation ribbon is already treasured.

We left Mr Incredible to camp overnight at the campdraft grounds (that word again!) – in a swag in the back of a truck.  Violet was miffed at not being allowed to sleepover too.  I decided to be the mean, responsible parent and take her home for a decent night’s sleep!  No popularity contests for me…

Speaking of which… I suspect it’s time to choose some calendar photos.

Get your voting fingers ready, my friends.  I promise it’ll be more fun that the Australian Federal election – think of me as your happy (bush) distraction!

7 Responses to “The bits between their teeth…”

  1. More than happy to vote in your election – more than an even chance there will be ones I WANT to vote for (rather than the current campaign).

    Loved the shots – ‘Salina has had a sleepover, but I will leave this open for her to enjoy.
    jeanie´s last blog post ..Home is…

  2. Your election guarantees satisfaction :)

    Love the photos, of course you couldn’t take pics while your babies were competing!

    Everytime I see that tv ad “I’m riding your daughters pony” I think of Violet and mutter,
    “She’s better than THAT!” :D
    Jayne´s last blog post ..August 25 On this day in Oz History

  3. Well done, Dash and Violet!
    debby´s last blog post ..Grandpa

  4. Campdraft meet! Great photos. I can understand why the steer/heifer – can’t see the underneath part, has the ears pinned back. Mr “I” and his new steed would put the fear of the devil into the beast.
    Good to see that young Dash did so well, Violet will get her revenge at the next meet, she has the determination look.
    Please don’t mention the elections, I will get a birthday present one way or the other, that I really don’t care for.
    I’d love to know where all the money in the promises are coming from – Mars???? Maybe Pluto would be more apt?

  5. Your photos take me right into the heart of the scenes. Thanks for sharing , BB, and best to the family.
    Lynda M O´s last blog post ..Changes are Afoot

  6. So mush action and fun. Well done to Dash and Violet and of cause Mr Incredible. Great photos. I think I look forward to your photo election rather than the federal one.
    Anne´s last blog post ..How To Park Your Ship

  7. The mysteries of steering a horse somewhat explained. The best horse does what it is told, not what it wants to do. Good on your kids for having a go and succeeding.
    Andrew´s last blog post ..Sunday Selections

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