One of the more exciting things I have done in retirement is to go on a cattle drive. This was no dude ranch thing, rather I was the tag-along on a working ranch with 12 or so cowboys who do this for a living every day. After unloading the horses from the trailer well before sun up, the cowboys immediately began making their horses move sideways to the left, then right, then backwards. Then they would turn around and around in tight circles, like athletes warming up before a big game.
I sat silently on Ted’s daughter’s horse names Babas, which is Spanish for Spit or Drool. I was told it is not the normal Drool, rather the kind you may have in the morning, running out of your mouth and down the side of your face. Sounded pretty harmless to me, but apparently these cowboys do not like to walk their horses. The worst is trotting which we did for the first few miles. Holding on to the saddle horn as tightly as I could I was unable to stop the ten pound camera and lens from bouncing up and down, banging into my hip and taking a picture with every bounce. I could not let go to either grab the reins hanging loose on the horse’s neck or the camera. My eyes were watering in the cold morning air and I was really worried about what I had gotten into. I was very happy when I had survived the roundup hours later and got off of the horse. However, I soon learned there were two more roundups…. Soon these professional cowboys had loaded up a few hundred cattle on two 18-wheelers bound for Nebraska. Next…. branding in March. I understand there is less horse riding involved in that. Here are some photos of the cowboys. If YOU Tube has not censored the video due to music infringements…. you can see more photos here:
I’m sure these cowboys have more than one hat, however, I think they take great pride in how dirty their hats are. They are caked by years of dust from the sweat. It puts my drugstore cowboy hat to shame. I am glad none of them saw my clean just purchased hat……