How it all Works

I’ll be so glad when Spring comes.

Ever wonder how cowboying all works especially when they are working  all alone out on the prairie? Here’s mine treating a calf one spring.

First you catch the sick one, in this case the calf. Sneaking is good. Note no one is upset even though this calf already has a rope on it. (he caught it by the neck first, not his usual but sometimes the long grass makes it too hard to pick up a hind leg) then used a second rope to pick up a hind leg. Then you wait to make sure everything is calmed down.

Closer is better so calmly you try to undally and ride up a little closer.  

You calmly and quietly get down.

Now you tie the rope to the horn. Till this point it was only dallied on the horn.

I didn’t get a shot of him tailing down this big calf but essentialy he just pulls sideways on the calf’s tail and because one hind foot is roped the calf tips over. Here, he is pulling on that first rope to encourage the calf to lay down on his side

He makes it all looks so easy but lest you think it is, just consider the proximity of this 1200-1800 pound concerned mother.

It takes a lot of nerve to do this eye level with a cow.

He carried a short (6-8 foot) chunk of soft rope that he uses to tie the 2 top legs (not like calf ropers in rodeos who tie three with a stiff little piggin’ string). He has to get up close and personal to do this, almost sitting on the calf.

He ties a couple of knots after wrapping the rope around the legs to secure everything. ( This turned out to be a pretty nice cow but they aren’t all like that.)

He’s taken the other rope off that was around the calves head and the calf is allowed to sit up if he wants. Note how calm Wilbur is. He’s been doing this since he was 4. He’s 14 now, treated hundreds of cattle, all old hat to him.

Even the dog has laid down while he heads back to his horse to get the needle and drugs to treat the calf. Nice and calm.

He carries what he needs in a small cantle pack on his saddle. I carry extras in a larger saddle bag set-up on my horse for days that we are that busy treating that we might run out.

He puts his knee on the calves neck to keep him from struggling and give him his shot. The picture is a little deceiving because it looks like he’s giving the shot in the shoulder when really it is in a little fleshy triangle shaped spot on the neck, kind of close to the shoulder.

He carefully and calmly puts every thing back in his cantle pack.

This was all going so nice we took the opportunity to let the young horse I was riding have a feel of holding a calf. I think this was his first time.

I have watched him do this for years and I am here to tell you that I have no shortage of  admiration for any man that has the skill and nerve to do what my favorite cowboy does to take care of another man’s cows.

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6 responses to “How it all Works

  1. yes, but how well did he handle the kids when it was time to give them cough syrup? 🙂

    that also was a very nice set of photos to go along with a very kind man 🙂

  2. So the momma cows… does he ever treat any of them when they were calves?

  3. Thanks for explaining all that. Great photos, too. 🙂

  4. Great post and wonderful pictures! I carry a long two inch belt with a roller buckle that I can tie things down with….I think I used it when we branded those calves at your place a “while” back. I can tie a head and front leg or two front legs……we both like it.

  5. With you on that one CCC! Admiration isnt really the word. I would call that shear Magic!

  6. That looks like very hard and physical work, but done slowly and carefully – no fuss, no muss. I’m sure the owner of the cows appreciates work done in a way that doesn’t stress the cattle – safer that way, too, I expect.

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