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10/22/18 You will see a name change on the blog. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past few years, and I feel compelled to share my story.
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rural Thursday ~ Spring Branding

It's addicting...this brandin' thing!!

Saturday was brandin' day for Rancher Dan's calves. A lot of planning goes into making the day run smoothly. Last week we had gathered all the wayward cows and calves that were let out of their field by someone who had left the gate open...thankfully they were all still where they were supposed to be this time!

Rancher Dan's checklist for the day:

Doctoring supplies...check
Branding irons...check
Firewood & starter...check
Sharp knives...check
Gather up a crew...check
50 other miscellaneous things...check

We arrived around 9:30 and once the field is gathered and all the cows and calves are put into the branding pen...the fun begins!

Now, there are two ways to catch the calves...heels first or neck first. Rancher Dan prefers heels first, but the majority are caught by the neck first.

Setting Up to Catch the Heels
Colt works hard and steady to pull the calf for the heeler.
I was very proud of him...if my roping skills were better, we'd get done a lot quicker!

Ground Crew at Work
Do you think we have enough ground crew help?!?
Colt is very good to stand with the right amount of pressure on the rope
while the crew gets the job done.

Every calf gets vaccinated, both ears notched, and branded. The bull calves are castrated. Brands are registered with the State of Oregon and are unique in their style and placement on the calf. The ear notches are registered along with the brand too and are mostly for easy identification when your calves are mixed with another rancher's calves during the sorting process in the fall.

The Brand
The most important part...the brand...clean and easily read.

It's just as much fun to watch a branding as it is to participate...I enjoyed taking photos when I wasn't roping.

Throwing a Long Loop
Throwing a long loop.
The benefit of watching is noting what you should...or shouldn't do in the branding pen. Learning how to get the job done with the least amount of stress on the calves is the main goal.

Catching the Heels
Catching the heels.

Young Horse Learning His Job
This young horse is learning his job well.
I enjoy looking at all the gear the horses are using...nothing fancy...just good working gear.

Holding Steady at the Fire
Standing firm and steady while holding the calf at the fire
is necessary for every horse to get the job done.
This gentleman has a horse that is a half-brother to Colt. He didn't bring him, but wished he had because this nice roan horse was pretty tired at the end of the day. Hopefully I'll get to see the half-brother at another branding this year.

Last but not least is a photo of my dear friend Mary. She roped the heels on my cow at last summer's futurity...she's a gritty lil' thing and sure knows her way around a ranch...something I really admire.

Made the Catch
My friend Mary...I want to be able to rope like her...she's a hand.

After the last calf was branded, the horses are watered and the food was laid out on two tailgates...Gretchen does the BEST dutch oven over a fire. The perfect ending to a perfect day~

Come along on the Rural Thursday blog hop...see what else is happening in rural places around the world!


Elizabeth Martin said...

Great photos and post! You did a good job explaining things!
Wished I was there! The way we work cattle doesn't look half as fun! :) or as photogenic!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I've always wanted to be proficient at roping too, but alas, I am certainly not!

That's a big project - you all accomplished a lot!

Silvia-Maria said...

Schöne Arbeit, wunderbare Pferde,
so schöne Bilder!
Liebe Grüße aus Österreich

Nancy said...

I'm so impressed at the team work you demonstrate at getting the job done. So much fun to come to your blog -- never know what you will be doing next!

Thank you for sharing at Rural Thursday this week. xoxo

Shirley said...

Beautiful clear photos. What a good day for branding. I love the photo of you and Colt stretchin' the twine.

Reddunappy said...

Great photos!!

Wow that roan Appy looks a lot like my Emma! Bright Eyes bred??

Mikey said...

Love the brandings :) You and Colt look awesome! I think my fav part is the food. A good cook makes the branding.

A Quiet Corner said...

This is like I'm right there watching it in person!...I Love the teamwork!...:)JP

Candy C. said...

Great pictures! Looks like ya'll had a perfect day for brandin'!
I actually got to help with one once, lots of fun! :)

Cheyenne said...

WOW! How good is that!

gtyyup said...

Thank you everyone...it really was a gorgeous day for a branding.

@Elizabeth Martin~Ha! Maybe it's only fun because I'm a rookie at it! Nah...I think it'd be fun no matter what!

Translation: "Beautiful work, wonderful horses,such beautiful pictures!
Greetings from Austria"

Thank you Silvia!!

@Reddunappy~Hi Pam, I couldn't tell you the breeding on the horse...but he was BIG and a really nice horse...rock solid. His owner is a good hand too.

Terry and Linda said...

Part of your country looks sort of like ours. I have enjoyed looking at your land through your eyes.


Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Now this is the life! It's hard work for sure but what a great feeling it must be at the end of the day. Beautiful photo's. You are certainly and inspiration. Have a wonderful weekend there on your ranch. Maura :)

Anonymous said...

Such great working shots... I feel like I'm right there with you!

Hillbilly Goddess said...

AHHH branding.. my favorite. I can smell it already! Cool photos!

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