Any given evening

Evenings at my house are often an adventure. There could be the first ride put on a colt. There could be bucket calf feeding. There could be dog or cat chasing. Or it could be as simple as watching the Royals play and supper. It can get kind of western at times, but most nights are tame.

For example, we got a black stud in July 14. He was still "in tact" and it showed. He hollered and hollered for our mares. Supposedly he has never bred a mare, but he definitely acted like he knew what to do. Admittedly it’s not my favorite kind of horse. A little bit of exercise and solitary confinement helped, but he still had an appointment with the vet to get gelded. By the time the appointment rolled around he’d made improvements in his attitude, but the gelding has helped even more.

The best time to start a colt is after it’s been gelded. They need to move around and get the excess fluid out of the new incisions and the exercise helps the healing process. It doesn’t hurt that a little of their "piss and vinegar" went away when the testicles landed on the ground. He’s had nearly a week’s worth of riding and I think he’s quickly becoming my husband’s favorite.

Slowly the boys are becoming accustomed to having all the different horses around. The youngest needs reminded from time to time not to run up behind the horses or to not get too close to them. The oldest can be left to watch the water tanks and shut the hydrants off. Hopefully he turns out better than his mother who often forgets the tank water is running.

A couple of evenings ago my husband asked me to ride his little bay mare so she’ll be ready to ride sooner rather than later. I thought I’d let my meat thaw for supper while I rode her. Everything went according to plan until I started putting hay out. My husband had rode out to check cows and had hurried back because one of them had wire wrapped around her foot. I’d just rode through them but didn’t see anything. Of course! He saddled another horse so he could rope the ailing cow. As he rode out I heard what sounded like a crop duster. It seemed like it was flying awfully low.

About 5 minutes later my phone rang. The plane had ruined Spence’s plans of gathering up that cow and in the process he’d lost his rope. My instructions "get in the car and bring me another rope. I don’t care which one." The pickup was still hooked up to the trailer, so I hopped in the Chevy Cobalt and headed out in the pasture. I took the trail to where the cattle were when I rode through them. Of course they weren’t out there! I saw my husband waving his arms and trying to flag me down across the pasture so I hurried as fast as I could to get to where he was. Luckily he’d found his rope while waiting on me.

By the time I caught up, he had the cow roped and was trying to get her down. Now, these cows aren’t big by no means, but she was having no part of being roped. Once he got her down, the horse decided she wouldn’t stand still. I was sitting in the car watching at this point and didn’t want to get in the way. He hollered at me exasperated and said, "I could use your help over here!" I made my way to the horse where I had to attempt to get on his mare with way too long stirrups. Not a pretty sight. Also not fun to try and hold this cow when your feet can’t even touch the stirrups! Luckily my husband is cow smart and the horse can half way work a rope, otherwise it could have been a wreck.

By the time I’d gotten back to the house, I had the remaining chores to do. Horses needed hay and grain. Calf needed fed still. Water checked and topped off. Oh and the water I’d left to run before was still running. So the boys I’d promised to make spaghetti had to make do with PB&J. We all went to bed late.

My best-laid plans sure didn’t work out, as I’d wanted them to. But we all have a story to tell now. Even that crop duster/hobby pilot who threw the wrench in things! Never a dull moment around my place.