Jason Van Tassel and I headed up to Wakii to “prowl” on the calves we turned out yesterday. That’s a term Ron Gill uses for checking cattle and Jason mentioned how he liked that term, and I Agee. My old boss at Sieben Ranch, Clark Atkinson used the same term.
I was worried the heifers would be walking the fences, as we didn’t get them out and settled as good as I would have liked the day before. We rode up where we could see them, and they were all bedded down or grazing and looking real content. We rode to them and they weren’t concerned at all. We did just the opposite of what I thought we were going to do. We got them up and drifted them up to water. Jason thought it would be good to prepare them for the gather for shipping in a month, by teaching them to move. Good thinking.
We just happened to be in the same pasture that started this whole process three years ago, when rode over a hill, the cattle saw us and ran like a heard of antelope, and we had a hard time getting them stopped. That day started this whole process.
We rode to the steers and same thing. They were real content and the grass was better in this pasture and they were all in the lush spots grazing or laying down. We picked them up and drifted them towards water.
We talked cattle and ranch and family and religion and morals and people and how it all tied together. It was a very relaxed and enjoyable few hours spent enjoying the results of what we set out to do three years ago.
We rode back to the pens and one of the “what nots”, small calves that don’t fit the bunch, that were still in the corral bawled and we thought he was needing attention, so we got our ropes down.
About the time we got one necked it started raining really hard, and two grown men, that had just been discussing how smart and what good stockman we were, were getting soaked, roping cattle that didn’t need to be roped, for no real reason but that we enjoyed it(even though I was not roping very good).
We were actually doing some good. The young horse I was riding needed it. He was got real good after holding a few calves. Jason and I got better at settling a calf on the end a rope by the proper release of pressure. Jason needed to do something he does not get to do much, as this style of roping is not very popular here. I got to rope with my “skin rope” which is the poniolo name for a reata, on my Hawaii tree saddle. When we were done we were soaked, muddy, and satisfied. A good hour spent.
I got a nice surprise when I got home. One of my favorite people in the world to be around was coming over for supper with his family. Bill Ferreira lived with us in Montana for several years. He has a life philosophy that I really enjoy.
He also happened to be the one that created the skin rope I used earlier. He brought some reins he is working on to show us. He is creating usable art out of the hides of the very animals that they will be used to help manage. It is to good of quality to hang on a wall.
Bill and his wife Ali, have twins that are 4 years old, and we really are proud to have them as friends. Bill was a great influence on our kids, and it is great to see him so happy. Ali lights up the room with happy!
Today was a much more relaxed and laid back day then the past ten. It was just what I needed.