The real pleasure of being a ranch woman is bringing along the next generation of cowboys and cowgirls. I want to announce a new series about the ‘littles’ called “Cowkids”, coming in March.
With the passing of time, I miss the way ranch life seemed to me when I was a kid. I remember the magic of the morning and how days and miles seemed to last a lifetime, only to wake up longing to do it all again. Cold, heat, wind, dust and mud only seemed to make it even more fun for us. (Folks, I’m sad to say, I don’t always feel that way anymore!) How better to look at ranching than through the eyes of the future?
I’m very excited to kick this off with an essay written by one of these rare young’uns! Here is a story by a little gal who is unique even among adults. During spring works on her grandparents ranch, she’d be up, dressed, saddled and waiting for everybody else. She could stay with it all day without complaining before she was even as tall as her horses’ knees. She has a bent for creative writing, and here she shares her view of the mornings before the work begins.
Enjoy her story, and watch for the next chapter about kids, cattle, and horses coming next month!
Pick a Mount
Today. The day when all the cowboys and cowgirls wake at the crack of dawn and pick the horse that will carry them to love hard work. When all the cowhands wake up, they rise to see all the beautiful, vibrant colors that God painted in the morning sky, consisting of pink, coral, deep blue, as well as dreamy purple, the colors that you can never imagine.
Today is really a special day, for when all the ranch hands gather in a circle, grasping a cup of coffee in their course, raspy, scarred hands, they tell a story of hard work and respect. Although you might think all the ranch hands are grown, however there are some tough young cowhands that know the true meaning of hard work. This is when all the ranch hands gather at the horse corrals to pick their cayuses (horses).
Crowding at the fence, they stare at the beautiful creatures that God created. Some may say that this is the hardest part of that day, for their noble steed may not want to be caught or chosen for the hard work ahead of them! Dodging and shooting across the pen, as if there was a cougar trying to eat them for its breakfast,the dust rises. It looks as if there is a thunder storm building. At last, the horses calm down, tired and out of breath, causing it to seem like they are breathing smoke.
Finally the cowboys, and cowgirls throw their saddles on their horse’s backs, in the western style. A cold piece of metal reaches to center of the cayuse’s tongue, causing the horse to raise it’s head in surprise. Then the cowboys load their horses in a grungy trailer, bouncing them up the long rugged road, carrying their noble steed to the hard work of the ranch life.
Written by Abby Morris, age 13.
[Abby used some terms that may not be familiar to you, like the word “Cayuse”. It’s just another word for horse. And while a good saddle horse is used to going to work, chances are he won’t volunteer. Abby talks about what it’s like to watch the cowboys select and catch a horse that feels good in the morning!
She also makes a reference to a ‘grungy trailer’. In modern ranching, it is common practice to load the horses in a seldom washed stock trailer and haul them to remote parts of the ranch where the crew unloads, mounts up, and spreads out to gather all the cattle in that particular pasture. It saves the horse to haul him at least part of the way and gives him a bit of a break when the work is done. This way you give him a ride home and not the other way around.]
Would you like to hear more from the cow kids themselves? I know I would! If you’ll leave a comment here on the blog, I’ll see what I can do about that. 😉