Lets have a little fun. I have been getting pretty serious about all this writing stuff. It’s time for a funny story.
My daughter named a bucking bull after me a while back. She named him “Fun Hater” and that really hurt. I do like to have fun, but my fun may be different than other folks.
I spend lots of my life like I am right now – writing. I’m stuffed in an airplane with people all around me and not able to stretch my legs out. I eat restaurant food all the time. When I get home I have the need for freedom and the last thing I want to do is go to a movie or a concert to be surrounded by the same thing. A good home cooked meal, having my dogs around, and throwing a few loops at the roping dummy seems more important.
Getting horseback and riding through some good grass, moving some cattle, or just riding up and looking over the Musselshell River that runs through our place is about as good as it gets for me.
When I look around me and see the stress that all these people are under just living in the crowded lifestyle so many of them must live in, it’s amazing to me we don’t have way more problems in society than we do.
If you are lucky enough to live on a farm or ranch or have a rural lifestyle, enjoy it.
For several years we traveled the country doing horse clinics and demonstrations. Our children were home-schooled and most of the time had a geography lesson while doing other school work. This means we were going down the road in a pickup truck while they were doing school. We had lots of fun and met many good people.
One person that we met was Charlie Trayer. He was doing cow dog demo’s for Purina and we were on the same program several times. We all really liked Charlie and the Hangin Tree Cowdogs he was raising so we ended up with some pups. We had rope names for our dogs.
I named mine Lasso and Mesa named hers Roper. They had a lot of go to them. We decided we needed to get some goats to work our dogs the way we had learned from Charlie.
Goats were a little tough to find in Helena, Montana at the time. I finally located some, but the lady didn’t want to sell them because they were purebreds and she was going to show them. I think I ended up paying $250.00 each for five goats and she would buy them back when I did not need them anymore. That’s quite a bit of money to spend on goats, but I was going to get it back so it was no big deal. We really didn’t have anywhere to keep goats, but we did have a indoor arena, so we rigged up some pens and got ready to work our dogs.
We shut all the doors and turned the goats loose. We got our pups and we were ready to have our first dog training session. Mesa was probably 8 years old or so and always wore her Gus hat. She was what you’d call pure cowgirl. We cut the dogs loose and they did want to work. Lasso was a little older and he was aggressive.
They hit those five goats hard. Goats were running, dogs were barking and not listening, and there were way more things going on than I thought were going to happen. One thing I forgot to mention was the reason the goats were so expensive is they were little bucks. Lasso noticed this right away and would catch a goat by the balls and hold him. If you have ever heard a goat cry when a dog has it by the balls, you will understand the intense drama shaping up in our little father-daughter dog working session.
Roper was running madly after the goats. Mesa was trying to catch him. The goats could not outrun Lasso and he would get another by the balls and the screaming would start again. This did not go on for to long and Mesa said to me, “Daddy, I don’t think I want to work dogs on goats anymore.”
She got her wish, because when a goat finds that much pressure they will find a way out of it. The goats got out through a door and $1250.00 worth of goats headed for the Scratch Gravel hills of Helena. That was pretty much the last time we saw them.
Just a few years ago I had some heifers that belonged to Craig Wenger which I had calved out for him. We also had about 60 head of two year old bucking bulls I had purchased from D & H Cattle Co.
I had been out checking some cows on a young horse that only had a few rides on. When I got back to our place I decided to turn some chickens out to graze in a little hay field. (They were my wife’s chicken project, not mine.)
I was unloading my horse and saw that some bulls had gotten in with the heifers, and I was pretty sure Craig was not to interested in getting the bucking bull business, so I kinda hurriedly got on my colt to interrupt the bulls fun. I was pretty busy trying to get these bulls separated when my horse decided he was not really ready for bull sorting. He proceeded to try to buck me off.
While he was taking my attention off the bulls and getting my mind to riding I happened to notice a little action in the chicken herd. My dogs had taken the opportunity of my mind being occupied with the bulls and were having a fresh chicken dinner. Things were pretty busy for me for a few minutes. After the dust settled, the tally stood at 4 chickens dead, 2 heifers bred, one horse rode, 3 dogs disciplined, one wife mad and a great big laugh had a few hours later.
So you see I am not a fun hater at all.
~ Curt Pate