Monday, October 12, 2009
Git along little doggies...
Dad's cattle up by the house had the entire section of land to roam and graze. Until I brought a new bronc into the mix this weekend. Appy had been roaming with the cattle. Appy hates to be alone, so he was quite happy to be a foster horse to this herd of cattle. However, now that Sugar is here, Dad decided to shut the cattle out of the 40 acres directly behind their house, and let the horses spend some special bonding time.
We had been told that Sugar was on a ranch at one point in her life, but buying a horse is kinda like buying a used car...You're just never sure what you're getting until you get it home and have it for a while.
As it turns out, she's pretty well we hoped for, if a bit slow to move. I was mounted and walked her to the corral gate. She immediately brought me directly to the panel and sidestepped to let me close and latch it with no prompting on my part. Call me impressed. I know some of you may not be impressed by this, but I can say, I myself have battled many a temperamental horse over opening and closing gates while mounted...
Then we headed out to the herd of cattle. She didn't even tense up. Now, honestly, this could be a good thing and a bad thing. My beloved horse Blue loved to gather cattle. Okay, Blue was not MY horse. He was my brother's horse. But I loved him, and I loved his flightiness, and David never truly appreciated him. Plus, when David was a teenager, he hated the farm and all things to do with it, so he hardly used him. So for all intents and purposes he was MY horse. So there. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Dave... But back to Blue: His whole demeanor would change when you approached cattle. You could feel every muscle bunch, and he was the first to run after a calf that tried to break out of the herd. This was a lot of fun for me as an experienced rider. However, I don't know how my little greenhorns would handle a horse that sprung into action of her own volition...Probably tumble to the ground. Just like I did a time or two...Or maybe more, but let's not go there.
She didn't even flinch when this red angus bull that you see to the left of the mottle faced cow started pawing the ground and bellering at us...I gotta say, I tensed a tad bit. It's been a few years since I faced down a bull on a horse. But we approached him anyway (I was not about to let my daddy think I'm getting yella in my old age.)
Of course, Dad & Appy were completely unconcerned by our plight..."Hey Dad! The cattle are over here! I know it's Sunday and all, but is it really time for a stroll?"
Well, there ya go. I showed him who's boss...He meandered away from us and toward the gate we were directing them to...Snorting and bellering the whole time.
Ummm....Sugar, don't look now, but he's doing that pawing thing again. And he's bellering again. Do you suppose we should take our time and let Dad approach him?
Sugar completely disregarded any hesitation I might have shown, and the bull relented and headed out the gate with his lady friends...
And we all arrived safely back in the corrals. Sugar and Appy were rewarded with a little sweet feed for their heroic efforts...Okay, Appy didn't seem all that heroic over there wandering around by himself, but still....I gave him a little smackerel or two just because he was there. And also because Popcorn said she was worried he would be sad because we are all oohing and aahing over Sugar. I would hate for him to feel left out.
And yes, Gentle Reader, I realize "bellering" is not a word... But that's the best descriptor I can come up with to describe the complaining from that bull.