No really. That's not just some figurative reference, metaphor or even a tribute to Yoda. I really got my ass kicked and I (still) have a bruise the size of Vermont to prove it.
Early on, my mentor told me to keep tight to the cattle whilst handling. If you're going to get kicked, and you likely will, you want to experience just a half strength kick. Being close to the animal means you'll never feel the full extension of the stroke.
Being close to the animal means you'll never feel the full extension of the stroke.
One more time.....Being close to the animal means you'll never feel the full extension of the stroke.
Yep, those are the words that went ringing through my head as a landed backwards after a short flight out the barn door.
Now that I'm an expert on this, having experience to go with my knowledge, let me tell you that the kick is a two-stage stroke.
The first stage is the pain. Stage one falls exactly on your thigh and it leaves a mark. Stage two, that's the power, it finds a nice squishy spot in your stomach and lifts you off the ground sending you roughly 5-8 feet, depending on the slope of the grade. Stage two is complex, it's where all that you learned comes rushing to your mind as the words "oh shit" fall from your lips.
Getting up, I glanced over and Mr sunshine shot me a look. I'm pretty sure he said, "oh shit" too but I could be wrong. Either way, I think he scared himself more than he scared me, because he ran for the far corner of the barn, while I laughed and rolled to all fours. Profoundly grateful for the chance to learn again another day.
Lesson learned; Announce your arrival to the barn, especially if you forget something and walk back across the open door frame whilst everyone is eating hay dressed with molasses and apple cider vinegar.