All the cows are home. Well, all the cows that are coming home at home. I’m like a momma hen with all chicks tucked under her wings. Ha! No… I don’t feel the need to have them all close under wing and my watchful eye. They are probably going to get out and make for more work for me. Hey honey, lets get them kicked back out ASAP, ok!
We brought the last of the girls home a week ago. On our anniversary, in fact. What better way could we have spent our anniversary than chasing cows?! They actually moved super well, which was kinda surprising. Remember a few years ago when it was kinda a disaster? I was busy reading stories to The Ranch Princess when The Rancher walked in and said my favorite words, “Are ya busy? Can you come help?” Even if I am busy, YES, of course I am going to help!
My job was simple- wait and turn the cattle onto the road and then follow in the truck and trailer. I was more than willing for that job because it was a very cold very foggy and rainy day.
You may be surprised to see the guys heading out on 4 wheelers when I mentioned that we had the truck and trailer. This is how we cowboys in Holbrook roll.. Haha! Actually, the debate of taking horses or 4 wheelers or motorcycles can get pretty hot between the brothers. All in good fun of course! Right? I guess a lot of that has to do with perspective. The Rancher, whose every day job is to get the work done, is all about efficiency. If there is a lot of cows to move or gather over a lot of ground, he may pull out the motorbike. Then there is the opinion that what’s the point in moving cows if you don’t ride a horse… That’s half of the greatness of ranching- work that REQUIRES you to ride a horse. Which is pretty much the best kind of work. Because it isn’t work. It’s play. Both opinions have valid points…
I’ll admit, that while I love any chance to get on a horse, there are those times that 4wheelers are just more convenient. Especially when that may be the only way that I can come along. A whole other OTHER perspective on this intense debate.
I cornered The Rancher and had him spell it out for me on how he decides if he loads up the horses or the 4wheelers.
The guys like to take horses as often as possible. They can get anywhere a cow goes, especially those rangy places. It means that we can rope and doctor anything we see, rather than having to come back to take care of it later. And of course, it satisfies a cowboy’s soul to sit up in the saddle in harmony with his horse.
So when do we take 4wheelers? We usually pull them out when its a quick push down the road and it would take almost as much time to get the horses in and saddled as it would to move the cows. (ok, it doesn’t really take that long to get the horses out, but you get the idea…) But you can see how it might not be worth getting them ready for just a little jaunt down the road.
It seems that the times The Rancher rides the 4 wheeler or motorbike the most is when there is a lot of territory to cover and not a lot of man power. I see this mostly the days where they are bringing the cows in off the range than just trailing them down the road. Or if he is out checking the herd during calving season.
A few years ago we had a really hard winter. Really hard. Acutally, we have had several hard winters over the last few years. But the year I’m thinking of was hard in the midst of calving. It was so important for us to be able to get around the cattle quickly so that if there were any calves that needed help, mostly helping get warm, we could get to them before it was too late. We didn’t hardly lose a calf to the cold and I think the biggest deal was getting around fast.
Where do you stand on this issue? Because it is super important… I know some guys that at more on the rancher end than the cowboy end and they do 4wheelers only. I know another guy that likes to use horses because they will do less damage to grasses and feed. And I even know another ranch that they don’t use horses or 4wheelers… They walk. As much as they can they like to do it all on foot. They aren’t too horse savvy to use horses but they are also concerned on the impact of 4wheelers.
Do you have an opinion? I want to know what you do at your ranch! Because… I’m a curious creature, and even though we all do the same thing- ranching, we all do it differently. But however you do it, keep doing it. 4Wheelers or horses, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we all find our own BEST way to get the work done. Be your best and rock on!
Until next time!
The Rancher’s Wife