Monday, March 21, 2011

Joyous Buddies

The weather was mild this morning as I led my horse out to make another cut of heavies.  Thunder, Max, and I have been making this sort together for several years, and we never tire of the thrill of working cattle together

Thunder and Max were especially eager this morning, after having Sunday off, and both were working the cattle harder than necessary.  But I couldn’t be too hard on them, hating to dampen the joy they both were expressing in the job.  After we sorted off the newest bunch of heavies we went on to cut out some pairs.
There is real satisfaction in leading such a team as this - Max taking his cues by watching me and listening, and Thunder reading my intentions by the position of my body and the movement of my hands – all of us in tune with each other and each contributing to the process in his own way. .  (This cowboy dance is described in more detail at

The horse-work is fun but there were the other tasks to be accomplished today: feeding and doctoring a sick calf, ear-tagging, feeding all the cows, and throwing up another section of electric fence to give the heavies more clean ground on which to calve.  Thunder couldn’t be any help on those jobs, but Max was always nearby, looking for a reason to jump in and heel any cow or calf that looked to be out of place.

The snow is mostly gone, and I was able to wear leather boots and work in my shirtsleeves this afternoon.  That’s a welcome treat, but sure not to last long – the forecast is for more snow.

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