Singin In The Rain


Ever have one of those days where ya just rock out, things are going good, and you’re more productive than normal? Yep, that was my Thursday.

Everything kicked off a lil after 5, with a pot of coffee, and looming gray clouds. Hmm, really doesn’t sound that great, except for the fact that we’ve been horribly dry and hot since Memorial Day and our lows haven’t dipped below 80 degrees since early last week. 70 degrees and a slow, soaking rain was a welcome sight. As soon as it was light out, I was in the pastures checking cattle, and getting things accomplished.

You might not think my day was starting out well when I had a cow with a uterine infection to flush out and some other cows that needed a lil extra TLC. I was gathering some cows and a bull to sort off when the feed wagon wouldn’t start, which left me on foot, and right on cue the clouds let out a steady down pour. So I’m hoofin it, driving these cows up the lane to the corral, in the rain. Pistol is with me and this is a great opportunity to teach her a bit about driving cattle, and later about sitting still while I sort cattle in the pens. But her lessons are not quite finished for the day.

After I had those cattle taken care of, I saddle up Grulla and headed out to gather a few more bulls. (Remember this time of year I try to wrap up my cattle working by 9 due to the heat) The bulls are feeling good because of the cool, wet weather, so Grulla gets a good workout. The first bull isn’t too happy about separating from the cows and butts his head into Grulla’s rear just to show off. Grulla is feelin good by now. I get this one in corral and head to the second. This next bull showed he was onery earlier in the week, but I accredited it to the heat. He’s a lanky, lean Brangus bull. About 2,200 pounds in lean condition and in his prime at 4 years of age. Today, I barely get the bull separated from the cows and he knocks a good blow into Grulla’s side and just about knocks Grulla’s feet from under him. Now keep in mind I’ve got a bird’s-eye view of the situation here, and am preparing to bail off the side and plan my escape up a tree if the bull succeeds in his plans of avenge. Grulla gathers his feet just in time to get away clean, but not before planting a horseshoe print on the bull’s side. How’s that for getting back?

We have a go at this bull for a few more minutes, next thing I know Pistol (how has yet to get into the hang of working cattle with aggressiveness) has a lightbulb moment and is on the heels of this ole bull. She’s gettin right after him, drives him out of the ditch, and we’re back on the road to the corral. He gets a lil frustrated with her a bit, turns on a dime and Pistol shows her timid side once again. Now we’re in view of the pond and he’s got his sights set on the cool water. The bull dives right in, and wouldn’t you know it, Pistol is on his heels again. Now this is when I get nervous because I have seen dogs almost drown by bulls in a pond. So even though I was excited at her new-found attitude, I call her out before things get messy. After a few more brushes between the bull’s head and my own leg and Grulla’s side, I decided to call it quits for the day before someone got hurt. Doesn’t matter how good the boss thinks this bull is, he can’t be worth enough when someone gets hurt.

Despite all the mess Thursday brought my way, I had more fun than I have had in quite some time by sorting cows, and gathering on horseback, soaking wet, in the solitude of the ranch. There’s nothing quite like the sound of a good rain, just me, the dog, and my horse, in the middle of the pasture.

Just another day in my life on the ranch… How was your week?

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About Ryan Goodman (988 Articles)
Ryan Goodman lives in Helena, MT and comes from an Arkansas cattle ranching family. Since growing up on a family cow/calf and stocker-calf operation, he has spent the last several years learning about farming systems across the country. A graduate of Oklahoma State, Ryan is currently working on a Master's degree from the University of Tennessee. He works continuously to share his story of ranch life through community outreach and social media, all while encouraging others in agriculture to do the same.

2 Comments on Singin In The Rain

  1. Glad to hear you got some much needed rain.

    Like

    • Thanks. It was only between a half and 3/4 of an inch, but it sure made an improvement in my day!

      Like

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