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Monday, June 30, 2014

More Fun at Branding

Last Sunday the 22nd was one of my favorite brandings, the one where I get to be on the roundup crew and just ride my horse all day :)  It was a little different, there were 4 herds this year instead of three but it didn't seem to take any longer than usual.  Pretty efficient way to get a lot of cattle branded in one day...I'm guessing around a thousand maybe a little less.

I got up early, around 5 so the ponies could eat before we went, I took Jess and we got there at 7 just in time to visit for a few minutes and then mount up and go.  The first herd comes in super fast usually but of course not this year, they just didn't wanna move and we had to push them the whole way in.  After they were in and cows sorted out we had breakfast and coffee before the rest of the crew came.  Mmm I love it when others cook :)

Then as they got started branding we headed out to the second corrals, I wasn't on the ball enough this year to get a ride with my neighbors and so I had to go all the way to corrals, usually I get dropped of just past the texas gate.  We headed west and got a bunch of cows moving and another group come from the south and joined us and just before the gate another group come from the north and they went in really well, they are getting used to that corral, its only been there a few years before they went the other way across the field.

We stayed there a while and waited had a couple beers, the rest of the crew came and they branded a bunch and took a beer break and then we had lunch and the gathering crew left.  We headed out to the third corrals and I was with a group that went to the creek, a few cows across the creek and 2 guys went to get them I stayed to push others up but I wish Id gone with them they saw a baby deer still wet, aww.  Anyways got them pushed up and they always get to the gate and try to rush back, well we were ready this time, we got them turned around and out the gate and into the corrals, a couple calves had to be roped in but that's pretty normal.

We sorted cows and the other crew came and we sat around for a while, the 4th set was using the same corrals so we couldn't be too fast.  Finally we went, pretty big field (about 4 sections) and it was mostly 2 year olds, they like to go fast so that was interesting but at least they moved well.  We got back a little too quick and had to hold them in the corner, we gave them lots of room and they were pretty good till we let the other cows out and then in they went.  Worked a lot better than I thought it would.  Not too many there so it didn't take long, I was tired and it was pretty sunny and warm and I was really tempted to go home but I waited it out and went back to the house for supper and boy was it worth it!  I was sooo full though.  Finally got home, fed the ponies and went inside and headed to bed, I cant do those 19 hour days very much anymore, whew.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wet Branding

A week ago Wednesday we had a branding scheduled.  All day it was kinda drizzly and so we asked it if was still on and she said it was cause she isn't branding and there was no other day close she could pick.  I was rounding up and boy did Jessie think I was crazy when i pulled her out of the trailer and put her bridle on in the rain.  But she was good.  It wasn't really cold out just wet.  We got the cows in and cut out some cows and it was a muddy mess in the corrals.  We took a break, I put Jess in the trailer and she was dry the rest of the time, not like the rest of us.

Everyone showed up and we got it done.  Then she had supper at the hall and I sure wished I had brought a spare set of clothes but I didn't so I was wet everywhere, except my head because I wore my togue.  I was laughed at but it was warm.  I wish I had a slicker tho, might have to invest in one.  One guy had one he got at the CFR, it was nylon and folded up into a tiny pouch it would be nice I could keep it in my trailer all the time.

By the time we left the hall after supper it had quit raining, of course.  But she was done and it was all good.  Much prefer a warm day than a cold and wet one, but it gave us something to talk about.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

More Branding

We headed to another branding this morning, feels like all I been doing.  We went on the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th, our on the 9th, 11th, 14th and today so far.  We still have tomorrow, the 18th, 19th, 22nd, 26th, and July 2nd.  Whew.  I went Friday afternoon and helped them move cows into a smaller field for today.  Then this morning they probly didn't need help rounding up but I was up since 5:30 so at 7 I decided I would go cause obviously wasn't gonna sleep.  So I took Jess and away we went.  It was pretty easy this first bunch then we got them in, cows sorted out and then had to wait for the rest of the crew.  We shoulda took longer getting them in I guess.  We did the first bunch and they went out to ride the second bunch and I was tired but I had my pony so I was gonna go out but then a neighbor girl who didn't have a horse wanted to go so I let her take Jessie.  She rides English most of the time so it was a little different but she did good.
(saw baby geese on our place on the way)

(dont know how I did it but this pic looks like watercolor if you enlarge it)

(runnin off to turn them)

(coming over the hill)

(getting closer)

(theres Jessie :)

(this bay horse look familiar?  Thats Fly, hes 5 now and he is going good, his owner loves him)

(Theres Jess and Fly again)

(Hes so cute)

(and just a cheerful horse)

(Fly at the trailer)

(see everything at a branding even a big truck hauling a horse trailer)

I got to take pics of them coming in since I wasn't out there.  We got them done and visited forever then I took Jess home since it was on the way to the house then went for supper and more visiting.  Finally I had to go home was so tired.  Had a nap and now feel like doing something again, but probly wont as tomorrow will be another long day.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Rushing Out To Pasture

So Shirley always gets theses wonderful shots of her ponies running and playing and I thought it must be because she has them locked up at night and they were happy to move around and be free.  Well the last few days (maybe a couple weeks, time flies) I been locking my ponies in the corral all day and letting them out at night hoping for some good picture opportunities.  None came.  So I took a video a couple nights ago and I guess maybe its cause I got all older broke horses, no silly ponies here wasting energy when they could be eating or getting scratches.  Not that I am complaining I like having no young ones around its makes my life easier for now.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Our Branding

Monday was our branding date and so we been working on cleaning up the yard and the house and cooking and working on getting everything ready for the big day.  Sunday night we headed out to another branding so we had to be ready before that.  I like that we go in the evening so we have all day to finish up small stuff.  I headed to Drum Monday morning for buns and Tim Horton's donuts (a regular for dessert around here) and we hadn't forgotten anything else so that was all this year.
 (roundup help)

 (High five)

(draggin in a little one for the kids)

(lots of wrastlers!)

It was cold and rainy and windy and just plain miserable but as long as it didn't pour we were going.  And so we all wore coats and worked faster cause it was cold but we got done.  Neil's sister volunteered to help finish up the meal so I could go roundup and so I took her up on that.  It worked well, I had pretty much everything done so as long as it was warm and served up when people started coming in she could make coffee it was perfect for me.
(working hard)

(Ropin one)

(I think this one is cool with horses going both ways)

(the branding pot is a few years old)

(coiling up)

Nothing ever goes as planned, lol.  We got them in and as we were sorting a calf got out cause I scared him when I went to move and slipped on a fresh cow pie and went down on my knee, boy did that hurt!  Flt like my kneecap moved sideways. OUCH!  But I kept on and we thought we just get the calf back in and go again, but as we were not looking he run all the way back to the far end of the field, so we had to grab our horses and lope out after him and about 3 cows and we got him back in - bad calf!
(branding smoke)

(Haha -HI)

(freshly branded lazy E over 4, right hip)

(Bringin in the second bunch)

(Me and Jess and Levi and his good mare)

(Jess matches the cows)

We did that bunch and then we had a bunch of cows in another bunch and so we went to get them, I didn't want to ride again as i was sure my knee would be sore but no one else wanted to take my pony and so I did and it wasn't bad, surprisingly.  They were only a mile away so it was pretty quick and all went well except the cow and her calf that ran through the fence into the hay field and we never did get her back but at least her calf was a heifer so no brand and vaccination for her but at least we don't have to worry about castration, might have to take her to the neighbors when they brand and so she can get done.
(Big Boy, Stoney)

(in the herd)

(weird the moon was up)

(calmly draggin one in)


(Smokey castration)

We finished and headed to the house for supper and no one even stayed late, but it was chilly and they all seemed to want to go home.  That was alright I was tired as well and so an early night it was.