You know you've won, in life, when people pay you to do what you would pay them to let you do

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Waxing Poetic

"With that much ground to cover in a working day, do you take two horses out? Or just ride one and change horses every day?" Shirley asked this and I got waxing poetic on the answer so decided to make it a post cause it was so blinking long. 

It depends how hot or how hard we might think the day is. Sometimes we come home for lunch (at 4:00 PM which I always complain about) and get another horse and go back  out. If the cattle are at the south end of the lease it's easier to take two horses. Usually we ride one horse 1 day and 2 days off for them (no days off for me) in a rotation. 

Sometimes if I'm hurting or really tired or behind on my housework I get to stay home after lunch at around 4:00. Some times I don't go out till a little later. A five hour day in the saddle is the best for me but most are quite a bit longer. My cowboy often rides a broke horse half a day (when I'm not there) and young horse the rest (when I am there). Everyone gets the Sabbath off unless there's "an ox in the mire."

We usually have our own string of horses and don't ride the other guys or use the other guys equipment just like on the big outfits. (There is quite a difference in stirrup length between the 2 of us). There's a reason they do it that way; it's easier on our relationship and our horses.

Pic is my go-to horse for hard jobs I'm worried about, so sometimes he sees a little more duty than the others I ride. He's a long circle (high energy) horse with some problems but they have gotten less since I have been the only one to ride him. He still takes a lot of patience but I'm willing to try to be patient with him because of the trust I have in him. And he fits me, physically fits, it feels better to sit on his back than in my most comfortable easy chair. My other horses don't feel the same.

Like any working cowboys, we actually put our lives in our horses' hands, so to speak, on a daily basis. It's dangerous with so many variables (cow or bull, horse, dogs, cowgirl, cowboy), the footing (blowouts, sand-hills, badger holes, brush, bog), throw into that mix my 45 foot rope and his 60 foot one and maybe you can begin to get the picture. Trust is really important both ways. The horse has to trust me not to ask him to do anything stupid and I have to trust him to watch his footing and not go down with me and to hold the rope to keep me and, more often, my cowboy safe.

I consider it a real privilege to be able to work this hard even though it's not all romance and pretty days. The days I get hailed on, or have to ride in the rain, or in my snow boots and snowsuit, or fighting bugs and heat, or I'm just plain scared to do what I have to, I just tell myself, "Enjoy it! Remember you won't be able to cowboy forever". I hate to even think of a time when I won't get to do this. Sure there's bad days but the good days are soo good.


fernvalley01 said...

Its funny how we have that 1 good horse we "go to " before the others .I had one that I got so comfortable with I nearly wound up horseless when she got old ,I was so happy to risde her I forgot to get and up and commer going. Wouldn't happen with the kind of riding you do but...

Crystal said...

ya its funny, ya know cause thats why I keep coming back, even when the days are bad they are good. But a good horse sure helps. Thats the way I feel about Bailey, comfortable, and we trust each other, but surley not the easiest one around.

Shirley said...

Thanks for answering my question. So the next question is, how many horses do you have? I know there's Pic and Wilbur, and the buckskin that I assume are your horses, and the sorrel horse your Cowboy rides. Maybe you could feature them in a post!

Anonymous said...

Heck I'd love to come work with you guys just for a month. I think it sounds wonderful!

LindaG said...

Thanks for sharing this with all of us. Enjoyed it a lot.
Hope you're both having a good day! :)

gtyyup said...

I know what you mean about a horse "fitting" you. My Colt horse is that way for me...ridin' everyone else just isn't as comfortable...even my ol' time gelding that I've had for 23 years never (even in his prime) felt as good as Colt.

Great post...thanks for sharing!