Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Big Cattle Drive

We had a lot of fun this weekend, and the horses all did very well... most especially E's horse Rebel, and T's horse Tori. Those two ponies worked their butts off, they were the most experienced out of all of the ones we had helping, so they did most of the chasing of the strays.

Of course, Rebel gets a gold star, because right off the bat, the cows were nuts. Once we got them across the highway, it was all good, and everything went smoothly, but to start with, they didn't want to do anything that even resembled cooperating.

One of mom's precious Hereford crosses decided to go all evil and start ramming the horses... Rebel got hit a couple of times, and she crawled right up Monkey's butt, lifted him off his hind feet.

I gotta tell ya, I thought I was a goner. I looked back just in time to see her dropping her head to hit him, and I figured either he was gonna leave me there and head for the hills or we were going for an e-ticket ride together. I had time to think "oh, shit" and then she hit us.

I am so proud of Monkey, though. His only reaction was to kick her in the face and run forward a few steps, then go looking for more work. Spooky horse my ass!

Of course, another of the cows was being the shits and not staying with the herd, and E had to rope her and drag her back... Rebel worked his butt off hauling that cow around, until we gave up on teaching her to lead with the horse, and tied her to the pickup and let dad drag her around... but E and Rebel got her a long way... even if E did have to adjust his dally a few times....
I just love that picture.

S came with us too, brought her horse Diablo, and he and she did really well for never having seen a cow before. Farmmom got to ride Diablo for a bit, while the cows were being stupid and we needed another person that knew what they were doing, and it just made her day.

Once we got them across the highway things went better, they moved a lot easier and we got to where we were going... Long after I had figured, but we got them there.

E's camera was there too, and there's a bunch of pictures on it, I'm waiting for him to email them to me, and then I'll share some more. I don't know what all they got with his, but he said they got some good ones, so we'll see when he gets them to me.


Farmmom said...

I said it this weekend and I will say it again. Both the kids and the horses were fantastic. For kids that didn't know what they were doing it was amazing. I am proud of everyone and really appreciate the help. Both the kids and the horses worked their coon dog butts off.
That had to be the most fun I have ever had moving cattle. Those kids kept me laughing all day. These kids can come back anytime they want!

Horse Prof said...

I love a good day out working cattle. Nothing better for the mind and soul of rider or horse. Sounds like you had a great time!

Holly said...


so you're telling me it's not like on the movies?!

I have never worked cattle before, I've watched the arena stuff but never done anything like this. I have, however, worked sheep with dogs and those cute little woolies sometimes take a strong dog to work so I'm not surprised that cattle can be,ummmm....difficult too.

Glad it was a good time and you got the cattle where you wanted them.

Holly W

Farm.Dad said...

The kids and thier mounts deserve KUDOS . We had a bunch of inexperienced young adults , with inexperienced mounts dive into hell , they had to push cattle over a set of railroad tracks and a highway basicly at the same time . If you have to ask why this is a problem you have not delt with bovines lol . Other than a couple of issues ( one lost a high end cell phone , and the preacher among the bunch lost his vocabulary briefly( or should we say gained words he did not realize he knew lol ) ) all went ok , al be it with a lot of work on the kids/horses part . I just cant say enough how hard and well the student/horse combos worked , nor how well it worked with their limited knowledge. Recognition is due all concerned and will be paid , both public and private . Farm mom and i are plotting and figure bbq is in order for them , but the single vegetarian deserves special notice since she rode off from a $350 cell phone in order to help move cattle ... dont know what we will do there but gotta do something for her( after all she did cowboy up bigtime to ride off from that phone with no whines or whimpers ) . Farmgirl brought down a hell of a crew that is welcome back on the property for any reason , and if they need boarding for school holidays ( when your horse is supposed to go with you lol ) it is the least we can do . Good job kids , and i wont comment on e's skill with a rope other than to say he sure nuff gets the job done ....... LOL .

Fyremandoug said...

Sounds like You had fun... they just started a Ranch riding program
In Oregon for 4H and my Niece will start with the roping and hurding this spring. she just cant wait

Holly said...


Since i know nothing about driving cattle.....but I'm curious.

Was it the different substrate that makes them not want to cross rr tracks and highways?

Farmgirl said...

Holly, the railroad tracks were on a road... I think they look like a cattle guard to the cows, personally.

The highway... hard surface, they're not used to it, they slipped on it, and they seemed to think that the yellow middle line was raised... almost all of them jumped over it, and then slipped.

Farm.Dad said...

Holly yes its a substrate issue . the gravel road feels different than a field does , then you go gravel to asphalt ( the tracks crossing via a county road ) and never go back to any field untill you have to transition pure asphalt to cross the highway . The old cows all found this process of substrate transition shall we say interesting ? It was the major block to a smooth move tho lol .

Holly said...

I can understand how the cows might have been a little frightened of it and that makes it all the more wonderful that the horses and kids got the job done. I know how cautious I am of slippery surfaces and I KNOW them to be what they are!

Good on 'ya as they say. Courage and trust go a long way toward making a horse and rider partners.

BTW, excellent for Monkey who got rammed and didn't spook out from in under you! You've taught him well.

Holly W

Holly said...

what's a cattle guard? We don't have these in the east.....

Farm.Dad said...

Holly , Cattle like elephants are picky where and how they walk . a cattle guard is a structure similar to a deck that has gaps in it spaced so that a cow feels insecure and wont cross it . I refer you to for a couple of pictures to help grasp the concept .

Holly said...

thanks Farmdad! Looks like a steel grate. Is there usually a trench under it or is it set directly into the soil?

Farm.Dad said...

Holly usually there is a slight trench so that you can clean any debris that falls thro from under it . I have however seen ( usualy in Wyoming ) lines painted on asphault of rural roads preform the same service . Once a cow is " guard broke " she wont take a chance on anything that resembles one lol .

As a side note for any following along The phone was found yesterday and will be delivered ( by farmgirl ) to the rightfull owner today . The gods of luck smiled on S as i found the phone , and it is undamaged .

Anonymous said...

"what's a cattle guard? We don't have these in the east....."

Holly, We have 'em in the South.

One note on those... a barrel racing friend of mine told me about three or four years ago that her old horse cut the tendons in both his front legs in a cattle guard. She initially thought the horse was just being stupid trying to cross it. Thing is... and I thought of this and got back to her later on it... horses don't see 3D like we do or like a cow does. Horses see 2D, so they don't have depth perception. (This is also as opposed to mules, as I understand it, which explains why mules will do things a horse won't and won't do things a horse will.)

Good to hear the drive went so well. Sounds like a blast.