Well how exciting is this? I finally got to do my first official “ranching” job. I helped move cattle! This is where I earn my stripes and put that Ranchucation 101 post to work.
It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. As long as I have my green horse AKA the 4-wheeler, I’m good! Ya see, there’s a pasture between our house pasture – where the cattle have been hanging out – and their new pasture. That part in between houses some yearlings that aren’t ours. If it were on a graph, it would look like this: Our Cows —–Someone Else’s Cows —– Our Cows. But before we moved them, the hubby and I had to clean up their accommodations. Again.
Remember that whole fixing fence post? It was one of the first posts and when I truly felt like a rancher in the making. Well, we did it again. Except this time, it was in 100 degree heat and I wore my rubber rain boots due to high grass and possible snakes. The lesson there is to fix the damn fence quickly. And wear sunscreen. And bring extra water and snacks. Because wow. That was hot!
Speaking of water, did I mention we had to muck out the stock tanks?
Ya see, there’s the right way to do things and then the “WTH????” way to do things. On this occasion, we went with the latter option. Usually, cleaning out a stock tank is done when the water is drained and basically all the algae and water bugs are gone and/or dead. You get in with a shovel, clean it out really well, and move on. But then there’s our way. Why not wait until it’s full of water, then realize it’s dirty, so you clean it out with your rubber boots and try not to puke in the process when you rake out rotting algae and black slime? So much more fun. If you’re a rancher, you’re probably giggling to yourself and wondering what were we thinking? Well, we weren’t thinking and you’re welcome for the laugh. Rookie mistake but still, it was fun to work outside and literally get dirty.
So the water is clean (at least as far as I could get the rake out in the middle of the stock tank) and the fence is fixed (most of it anyway; the damn thing still has the original wood posts!) and it’s time to move some cattle.
With the help of two real cowboys – they ride horses and know what they’re doing and stuff – my husband got the cattle walking from our house about a mile away, past the other rancher’s pasture, to their new digs. I was in charge of keeping that other group of cattle away from ours. I got to “push” them a bit away from the main road. The last thing you want are someone else’s cattle mixing with your own. It’s like having 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of salt: they taste very different but both go well with a margarita. Never mind.
Anyway, I led the other cattle out of the way and then followed behind our cattle. I was soooo proud of myself! I kept the other cattle away, we got our cattle on the right pasture, and no snakes. Or broken fence. The cowboys didn’t even laugh when I was taking pictures and told them about my blog. They were wearing glasses and cowboy hats but I know deep down they were impressed.
So how does a girl follow up with a proud ranching moment? She goes to the big city of Albuquerque for a weekend getaway with her mom and daughter to Starbucks and Target. That’s right. I’m still a city girl at heart.