This picture sums up LT’s gathering attitude when I was riding her (even though this is AFTER we’d got a bunch in):
LT: where are we going and how fast? Me: don’t you ever get tired?
She walked so fast on the second gather of the day (it was a long ride), I got an actual blister on my bum. That was a first!
But she also moved bulls,
“u know he is stinky, right, mom?”
and worked in the pens.
She did a good-not Like Totally (LT) Awesome-but a good job in the pens
We branded the next day and I used Penny in the pens.
Penny is solid. No additional blisters!
The new twist to branding this year was the use of the Nord Fork.
A pin driven into the ground attached to a rope, which is attached to the inner tube which is attached to another rope and that rope is tied to the the Nord Fork.
This’ll be easy! Heeler drags the calf by, put the metal thing on its head and stretch the dogie out. Except it wasn’t that easy at first. And poor Tommy…the inner tube tore and the Nord Fork came hurtling at him and broke a rib.
Here is a video on how to use the Nord Fork!
Or this one. It is funnier (if you watch it with no sound. If you watch it with sound it isn’t really that funny–just informative.)
Here are a couple of pictures of our crew. (We also did what is shown in the second video!)
That doesn’t look easy. But once the guys got a rhythm, the Nord Forks did make the day go faster because we didn’t need as many people holding the calf while it was castrated (the bull calves), ear tagged, vaccinated and branded.
Bill (the ranch manager) and Casey catching and
I branded this one who was held by the heeler and the Nord Fork. I ear tagged all 133 ish of them (one backwards and one on the wrong ear, but hey.) Jim vaccinated everyone. He also took the branding shots, so he isn’t in any of them!
When we were done, we moved them out again.
LT found the whole thing much more relaxing when she was Penny’s side kick!
As usual, we really enjoyed ourselves!
Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
All but the blister on the bum, I’ll bet. The rest looks like I’d have thought it was great fun 20 years ago.
Oh, me too! Fun right now if not for, well, the whole malfunctioning body thing. Big adventures for you! Also, go, LT!
PS poor Tommy! That thing looks like it could break a rib, all right!
It was under so much tension when it was stretched and then the tire failed–what if it had hit him in the head??
That’s what I was envisioning with that tension. YeOWW.
That’s the scary thing with stretchy stuff & livestock. I have the scarred fingers (quick reflexes–saved my eye) when the pot metal snap on a nylon line broke and sent the broken end of the snap toward my face. (Spooked horse. TB ex-polo pony I had rehabbed for a guy–she came in looking like a dairy cow, all bones. Also sores. I put the nylon line back on her that day because he was coming to pick her up and it was what she’d come with, and she decided being dried off with burlap rubs was cause for a panic attack, stretched the line, and the snap gave way. Brass-painted pot metal.) Broke one finger, cutting it to the bone, cracked the next. I said things to the mare (softly, so as not to make the spook worse but heartfelt) but I was never so glad to see a horse leave. She was crazy when she arrived, clearly some bad memories, and I thought she was more better than she was by the time she left. (She hadn’t had a panic for over a month. Must’ve picked up some tension from me.)
I have never used stretchy lead or longe lines again. Cotton can rot and break, but it won’t try to kill you. I have fences; I’d rather something got loose in here than have to dodge sharp-edged metal at speed.
I also eschew stretchy ties. They really move if they break when strerched. Also no flat nylon leads. I know some one that lost her finger tips when her horse spooked and jerked the nylon through her hand and like a knife, lopped off her finger tips
I do have round nylon. That will burn bur not sever I hope
LT is gonna make a hporse one day. We are off to Lubbock in a an hour or so…
Yes! The blister was a bit surprising! And they leak. TMI.
Yes, they do. I remember them well, without fondness. If you keep riding, they’ll leak, and who’s going to quit?
That Nordfork is brilliant in design. And a long time coming. When was it first used/ introduced?
I have no idea about the Nord Fork. It was the first time I had seen it. But now I want to know…might look that up later! Off to Tx now, so will definitely have to be later.