Happy Landings - Home on the Range Blog at Allrecipes.com - 200545

Home on the Range

Happy Landings 
Oct. 16, 2010 8:44 pm 
Updated: Oct. 18, 2010 8:07 am
Its fall and that is the time that all the cattle on the ranch go thru processing, then weaning begins. I missed the processing, but had a good day on the 2nd day of the weaning process, so me and Wimpy rode out with #5 kid and started gathering cattle out of the very large field where they had pushed about 400 pair in the night before.

We got the bunch started on the west side of the irrigation ditch, and crossed over to push the bigger group to the North, towards the corrals. Three other riders met up with us on the other side, and Wimpy and I went back across the ditch and continued with the first group of cows. Things went pretty well, we got them all thru the gates, and headed down thru the ‘trap’. When it came time for them to pass thru another gate, the bulls all turned back and the whole herd started going backwards, with me, #5 and a cowboy all trying to get them turned back around, while boss and another cowboy held fast behind…finally they all started milling the right direction again and we made it to the corrals in good time.

We spent the rest of the morning sorting out the bulls, cows and calves into different corrals, the bulls were loaded on a truck and driven to the other end of the ranch, the cows were pushed out into a big pasture, and the calves were then run thru the chutes and vaccinated, and smaller or sickly calves were separated off to go to a pasture behind our house, while the others stayed in a field next to the cows, to be weaned. All in all, it was a great day.

This morning, we were up and at ‘em again early. I left a sore-footed Wimpy behind and grabbed one of my other horses, Tuco, who was feeling a wee bit fresh. Not to worry, he has never bucked in his life, but he needs riding anyway, as he is very “green”. He’s a tad herdbound and can be a little obnoxious when I ride away from the other horses to do our ‘circle’,but he has always been a pretty good boy, my biggest problem has been in sagebrush, where he often decides to go his own direction and we have some disagreements and near ‘parting of the ways”, but nothing ever too serious.

Our nephew is one of the cowboys here now, so he and I proceeded to ride down and start moving pairs toward the corral again. On the way, we were talking about getting bucked off, and how we land, getting hung in a stirrup, etc. He mentioned he always lands on his head (which he does) and I always land on my left side, which is worrisome, as I have broken those ribs and punctured the same lung twice. But that wasn’t my problem today as Tuco doesn’t buck, and said nephew was riding his really broke horse, ‘Bob’.

We long trotted about a mile and nephew went to push the cows on the West side, while I rode across the ditch and started kicking back the bigger group. Things were NOT going smoothly. His cows came across, two other riders had made it to the far side and the cows were wanting to all go the wrong way. I started back toward the fence where he and Bob were, as he trotted across another drainage ditch to turn some errant ones in the right direction. Tuco, being ‘herd bound’, tried to bolt, so I set him down hard. I saw Bob falter in the ditch, and nephew sailed over the ‘dashboard’ headfirst. I watched from afar, as he got up, remounted and continued. Tuco and I turned back around and went to head off some cows that were trying to head West again when all of a sudden Tuco started bucking…not out of playfulness, or being fresh, but with determination to get rid of me.
I don’t remember much about landing. I know I counted 3 jumps, as I consciously made sure NOT to jab him with a spur, as I pulled his head up…I also remember my foot being caught in the stirrup, and being pulled by the ‘come along’ on my reins before they came loose, and Tuco headed back for the ranch at top speed, minus a stirrup, bit, bridle and rider.

I had slammed down on my left side again, and was pulled about 6 feet before the long end of my mecate (a type of rein) came loose. I popped up to my feet, to reassure everyone I had not broken anything, and not long after, a 4 wheeler came to my rescue. Tuco, in the meantime, covered about a mile and a half of pasture in record time, and the Irrigator had found him and fashioned a halter out of what was left of my mecate and tied him to the fence.

Once we caught up to him, I saw that the left stirrup was gone, and the saddle fender was torn in half, my bridle was not only broken, but the metal ring of the snaffle bit was busted and was now a straight bar. Both pieces of equipment were rendered unusable without expensive repair. 

The good news is, nothing important was broke…apparently, not even my horse.
Oct. 16, 2010 9:07 pm
I LOVE your blogs AND the photos are outstanding. Makes me want to move to your ranch! Ride 'em, Cowgirl!
Oct. 16, 2010 9:10 pm
We went to the Farm and Ranch Museum on Monday and got to see all the cattle and learn about all the different breeds. It's only about 8 miles from us and we pop out there often to see the cattle. This time the cowboys were practicing roping steers.
Oct. 17, 2010 6:19 am
Oh, dear! You may have popped right up cause you were full of adrenalin, but how is your body NOW? That sounds like a nasty fall. I bet the morning after was no fun :( You have an amazing life, Petey. Let's keep it nice and long...K?
Oct. 17, 2010 7:40 am
Thanks! Feeling good mom! A couple days of swollen shoulder, but no harm done! Tuco might be in someone else's string though, next year! LOL
Oct. 17, 2010 8:52 am
Perhaps you should change his name to 'angel eyes'! hahah. Glad you are alright.
Oct. 17, 2010 9:08 pm
Great Blog Petey! And, glad too that you didn't get hurt in that fall. It IS so darned pretty where you live. Super pictures. Eee-haw!!!
Oct. 17, 2010 9:22 pm
Again - thank you Petey. I love visiting the ranch through your blog. Glad everyone is OK.
Oct. 18, 2010 4:39 am
thank you! It goes with the territory. I think I will stick with Wimpy. He's a bit more tractable!
Oct. 18, 2010 8:07 am
seeing your pics makes me miss home on the farm and wheaning times, I never missed the calves bawling for days until they were so hoarse in the voice they sounded terrible. I think Petey, you need to kick who ever takes the 4 wheeler off and start riding that. It does not need breaking in, goes the direction you want and IF you fall off, the landing is closer to the ground. HOpe you feel well and thanks for sharing the cattle call.
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden. forpeteysake.blogspot.com http://throughthedarkestvalleys.blogspot.com/
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
My cooking tragedies
A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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