Drowsy Water

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bovine Adventures at Drowsy Water Ranch


Ahhh, the Bovine.

What a wonderful creature. Here at Drowsy Water Ranch, we have one or two of them to play with. In the winter, Randy Sue keeps about 30 mama cows down the road and a few younger "yearlings" up here at the ranch. They eat, a lot. And they moo. And then the food comes out. It sounds boring, I know, but really, they're great fun. The next blog or two will be about keeping cattle at a Colorado Dude Ranch--a fun but time consuming endeavor.

We'll start now, with the little guys that eat and moo and poop just a few feet from where I have parked my rear. (Please, no comments on my rear in relation to a cow's. . .brother John, that especially means you!).

A yearling is cow that was born last spring. Most of the calves born in the spring are sold in the fall to a buyer but, occasionally, we'll keep a few around here for one reason or another. Maybe the calf was too small to sell, maybe she was a little sick or hurt, maybe we need a replacement heifer, or maybe we want to keep a steer for team penning next summer. Whatever the reason, they hang out at the ranch all winter and are fed daily.

Their close proximity to us means they often become quite friendly. How many of you have ever been friends with a bovine? Probably not many of you. They are some of the funniest friends you'll have.

They wash our hands for us. . .
And give us warm kisses. . .
And they LOVE treats!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ranch Lessons

After having lived at Drowsy Water Ranch for the past year and a half, I’ve learned quite a few things.

I’ve learned that horses eat…a lot. And when they finish all the hay in a pasture, they have to be moved to another place with more grub.

Yesterday I went on a ranch field trip to help move all the horses from one winter pasture in Walden to another.

It was another lesson in my ongoing ranch education.

I’ve learned that it is really really really cold in Northern Colorado.

I’ve learned that things never quite go as planned. The initial game plan was to bring the trailers into the pasture, herd the horses into the corral, lead horses one at a time from the corral to the trailer (worming and inoculating as needed), and finally haul the horses to their new winter home. Seems simple enough, right?

Well, I’ve learned that it’s not…

Trucks get stuck and have to be shoveled out…

Horses push down gates and make a run for it…

And then you have to chase them down again…

I’ve learned that seemingly simple enough activities can last all day. All day in the cold. All day in the cold with numb fingers. All day in the cold with numb fingers and horses running every which way.

I’ve learned that ranch work can be long, frustrating, and physically exhausting.


But I’ve also learned that ultimately it’s rewarding; a hundred times more rewarding than it is trying.


I’ve learned that you can’t beat a day surrounded by friends (furry and human), with mountains all around you, a blue Colorado sky, pure Rocky Mountain air, and the promise of a hot shower when the day’s work is done.

I’ve learned that you can’t top companions like these…

Views like that…


Or catching a moment like this…

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