We sometimes have a horse or two and sometimes collie pups for sale although none at this time.
Flannel shirt, wool sweater, insulated jacket with my oilcloth slicker over top and I was still cold riding today. Checked one herd of around 500 cow/calf pairs in a very wet pasture. We are going to have to move them Wednesday or all the bulls they will be turning out on Tuesday will have foot rot for sure. I hate that field and it has made me cry, more than once, because I was so scared and frustrated. I’m terrified of my horse punching through and sinking up to his chest like what happened to my cowboy. Plus it is horrible to try to move cows out of that field around all the water and wet ground.
Then we moved 114 cow/calf pairs about 7 miles. It was a long cold, spitting rain, chilling wind day. In the words of Baxter Black, “It was a day that stunt men and daredevils would have stayed home,” but not cowboys, obviously. Home never looked so good.
Some old friends called up and invited themselves out for a visit. Funny how with certain folks it’s like no time has passed since you last spoke to them 10 years ago. Things change but they never do or maybe they do but the love you have for one another never dims with the passing of time. I like those kind of friends.
I heard an interesting quote at church today. “Friends are Angels with wings who reach down and lift you up when your wings can’t remember how”. I hope I got that right. I like those kind of friends too.
Meet Roxy, (daughter of Blue)
Meet Roxy sulking. (because she’s not working, aka having fun)
Meet Roxy eating cat poo
Meet Roxy having fun (aka working).
This was Roxy’s 3rd time moving cattle. My cowboy says she’s starting to get her side commands (come by, and away to me) already. Here, it’s on the job training (which takes a vast amount of patience from my cowboy, our horses, and the cattle but there’s lot of room and time). Cattle are so big they can be intimidating for a young dog but here they have lots of room to get away from mad mama’s who are mostly just bluffing anyway. Later they will learn to work in close in corral situations.
We have all (except for beautiful Bachgen) short haired Collies. For us it’s so much more practical with all the burrs and spear grass. When we had longer haired dogs we would have to shave the hair on their lower legs up to half way up their sides during the worst of the spear grass. Plus the dirt, mud, and manure just drops off them and they almost always look clean and track in much less when they come in the house.
I love rainy days. For me it means: sleeping in, getting to do girl stuff (aka: laundry& housework), and time to think or, at my age, reminisce. Today I was thinking about something someone said to me at the branding.
The someone was the mother to the boss and also the mother of of the other 9 children in that family. Her husband just recently passed on. He was an Alzheimer sufferer that this noble lady took care of till the end. There’s a real love story, eh? I admire her immensely. The black horse the boss is roping on is hers.
I was fussing with my horse and she came up to me and said: “You look better in your working clothes than you do in your Sunday ones. I can see why your husband fell in love with you.” I don’t think she’ll ever realize how much that meant to me. To me that was the best compliment I ever had.
I like to work. I’ve often told folks that they can quote me on my gravestone. It should say ‘Work is a good thing.’ That’s the one message I would like to leave to my posterity and anyone else, even those who might only have known I existed because of an old gravestone in an abandoned graveyard years into the future.
To me I figure someone really likes me (although I do like presents too) when they come and work with me. That’s why I love our other two daughters so much, both of them have rode with me and helped with our cow work. When you work with someone you really get to see what kind of metal they are made of. They are both, like my own 3 daughters, pure gold.
Some brandings are full of cowboys and some are full of family. This was a family type one, lots of kids, lots of chaos, but a fun day
About to start
Lucy, now called Jesse, is out of my good dog Blue. She now belongs to the folks where we branded today. She’s so sad to be tied up and not still working but her part this morning was done when we got there. Gotta love the work ethic of a Collie. She remembered us.
The boss going for another iron. He’s one of the best men I know (one of 10 siblings), giving instructions to the crew (family)
yours truly( I’m horrible at this, note the one hind leg. I usually don’t get to rope but the other ropers didn’t show up so in a pinch I’ll do I guess).
the two most handsome guys there. . .
almost ? This one is taken girls.
The boss roping his calves.
This was the happiest Grumpy was all day.
I was always told to count my blessings. One of the blessings of being a cowboy is to have cowboys for friends.
I am thankfull for so many things but today especially it is for good friends, folks who will come and give you a hand with your work when you’re in a pinch (like when you get dumped and sored up and it’s hard to climb up on your horse). My cowboy has a friend like that. Come to think of it, it should be him counting his blessings.
Before we got rained out we moved the 450 cow/calf pairs that needed to be in the right field when the bulls are turned out on Saturday. The cowboy that came to help is a not just a good hand, we call that type of a man a top hand. Moves through cattle like a hot knife cutting through butter, so smooth.
Lots of people like a pretty face, even on a horse but I always say you don’t ride their head. As long as what’s inside it is a kind and trusting what does it matter what it looks like.
We have a half brother and he has the same long face but can he run. It’s so effortless for him. I’m guessing by the way Kisses moves that she will be the same.
She’s 15.3 and a 3 year old. I haven’t measured her older brother but he’s problably at least 16.2 now. Both are out of some famous stallion that barrel racers would like.
I like this mare. Can you tell?
How can one person get sooooo tired. Hmm. Let’s see 7 hours and 40 minutes in the saddle, 41 cow calf pairs moved 5 miles, then 450 more cow calf pairs movedout of a 4 section field, with just me and Blue and my cowboy (nursing sore ribs from getting bucked off last week which I’m here to tell you made him not a lot of help and I didn’t even want him in my picture with that stupid hat) and Roxy the collie who’s working for him now. All I can say is: “Thank Heaven for Collies!” Oh and did I mention the calves we treated?
I’m not letting Blue get overheated again. He’s a working fool (and my best friend) just like my cowboy.
Last night, I got home from the branding, happy cause I got to rope, tired and dirty but with some fun pictures. I had just about finished putting them on this Blog when the power went out, cablam! I was too tired and disgusted so I crawled out of my clothes and into bed and didn’t phone the power company till morning.
Now I can’t even get into that account on my computer with all my pictures on it. And I’m even more tired and grumpy today, after another long day in the saddle (lunch was at 5:00 PM) plus I stupidly forgot my camera and could have taken lots of good pictures today. The porcupine nesting in a clump of buffalo berry bushes would have been awsome, the three cow arguement would have been interesting. I missed the coyote culpret and how Pashaw won out hearts today. Dang!
We took one of our 6 month old collie pups, Pashaw, her first time out with us. She was nervous about getting too close to all those crabby mother cows but she followed us. She stopped at one point and I couldn’t figure out why until I saw her run from the coyote that was stalking her. I ran my horse back and chased it off, the dirty rotter. She stuck a little closer to us after that.
We found some calves with pneumonia that needed treating and as usual my cowboys hat blew off on the chase and we lost the pup at about the same time. We called and called her on our way back to look for the hat. (I was really hoping my cowboy would remember where it blew off and he did.) When we found the hat we found Pashaw lying down right beside it, guarding it from the cows and hoping we would come back I guess.
My cowboy was so impressed he told me: “She’s a keeper.” I wasn’t surprised, knowing how much he values his hat. I knew she was a good pup all along.
Usually I sleep like a log. Not tonight: between my cowboy’s snoring and rotten collies barking at cows wandering by. And there’s a branding today to go to, my cowboy has been invited to rope.
For those of you in the US or UK this is the first weekend of summer here known as the May long weekend or Victoria Day so Monday, today, is a holiday though not usually for us.
Last year I got to rope calves too because the other fellow they asked got in a wreck and we had taken two horses. Pretty fun. I don’t often get to. I’ll try and post some pictures later today when we get back.
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to bed I go. “Nos da” to my cousins, Noella, Karen and Tom, in the UK and “Goodnight” to everyone else.