~If you live past birth, you'll make mistakes.~
~Rebecca Travis 1901~
Sometimes there just isn't a lot of time to make a plan and then work the plan. Farming and ranching are a very "spur of the moment" type of occupation. My Man and I get a phone call Friday night, and we help work cow/calf pairs out of the herd for two days. Then he has to go to the "real job" and I get to help drive the remaining single mother cows and pairs for two days going approx 27 miles. So, it's been busy to say the least!
With the weather being wet, I used my old Fuji camera, so the photos are not what I like, but it sure is a lot easier taking photos one-handed!
Monday morning came early to get Colt fed and myself ready. My friend and farrier, Pat, picked me and Colt up at 7 AM. We met "Bossman" as Pat calls him (the ranch owner) down by the Round Barn where we will be driving the cows to that day, and load our horses into Bossman's trailer and head back up to where the cows are at Princeton.
There were three cows with newborn's and a lame cow that we kicked out of the herd and got everyone else gathered up at the gate to go south. The air was cool and crisp with a lil' bit of wind...but the sun was shining! The gate opens up and the cows take off down the two-track at a brisk pace...in the right direction...it's starting out to be a GREAT day!!
|Crossing the desert.|
At the end of the two-track we cross a gravel county road and cut across the desert. With the snow and rain we've been having, the ground was thick and deep...mud. Colt did NOT like that feeling at all. I think he thought he was going to get sucked in, but he did a good job like the good boy he is.
Then we got back onto a paved county road and continue south. By then, some of the calves were getting tired. They were carefully caught and put into the trailer to ride the rest of the way.
|Pat throws the loop.|
|Nice catch of the heels.|
|Momma cow gets quite concerned as you can well imagine.|
|The trailer is brought up and the calf is loaded to ride the rest of the way.|
Momma cow runs back up to the herd looking for her calf! Pretty soon, she just falls in line with the others and occasionally looks for her calf...but she knows she needs to keep going.
One of my favorite parts of the ride is along Dry Lake. My Wordless Wednesday post has a nice view of the lake and the Round Barn.
|The cows and calves are nicely lined out down the county road.|
The cows know exactly where to go. They've made this trip (back and forth) for many years. It's nice when they line out and set a good pace. It's really hard when the cows spin in circles and won't go forward...good lead cows keep the rest of the cows coming along.
Traffic? Well, yes, there was some...maybe a dozen cars/pickups the whole day. The thing you don't want to do is plan a drive on a holiday weekend...then you have a mess!
|Happy cows! Hay is waiting for them when they arrive at the overnight lot.|
Another wonderful rancher has a lot with water that's located about half way. I guess everyone uses it, and it's greatly appreciated.
|Even happier calves are very glad to see their mommas!|
Then the big moment...the calves are let out of the trailer...it's so cute to see them mother up again.
We went about 14 miles this day (Monday)...the weather couldn't have been better!!! Tuesday, we finish bringin' 'um on home (of course another post).