Greetings from the sagebrush sea! Here at Reed Station, we have been riding sale colts, mashing pairs around, and teaching the art of cowboying to our new intern, Katherine. So far, she has mastered the basics: 1) tie every gate shut with a length of twine and/or piggin’ string, 2) if you ain’t a -cussin’, then you ain’t a-shoein’, and 3) rope first, check for sickness later.
Tilly, Katherine and I doctored yearlings the other evening. Once Tilly and I had the steer on the ground, Katherine, a vet student, veined the footrot victim. She did great, finding a vein on only the sixth or seventh try.
Katherine’s advanced schooling occasionally bubbles over, and as we rode through the pasture she rattled off terminology like “cerebellum,” “disdiadokokinesis” and “amygdala.” Tilly and I glanced sideways at each other, thinking Is that an internal organ or an animal?
Wanting to join in the conversation and appear intelligent, I said, “I saw an amygdala once, but it ran off into the brush before I could get a good look,”
Katherine then explained that the amygdala is a section of the brain.
“Oh,” I replied, coiling up my rope. “I knew that.”
As we rode from one pond to another to check cattle, Tilly and I discussed the dress, aisle decorations, reception music and cascading bouquet for her upcoming wedding. We stopped at one pond to count baby ducklings. You know, typical buckaroo stuff.
Back at headquarters, we’ve been working horses on cattle. Tracking cows on first-timer colts is like driving a a bumper car with no steering wheel, at least until the colt locks onto a cow and follows it with your hand down. I wonder what’s going through a colt’s mind when the herd splits in front of him. Um, um, um, um….the red one! And off we go, trackin’ Ol’ Red.
The sorrel colt I’ve been riding is starting to lope circles. We negotiate a bit as to where exactly they take place, but he is starting to consistently navigate balanced, recognizable circles. It’s rewarding to reach the point of traveling someplace with a purpose. Riding him no longer feels like trying to push a chain.
We took a break from colts and cows to attend Tilly’s bridal shower on Friday afternoon. In addition to two dozen teapots, the bride-to-be received a plethora of marriage advice, mostly conflicting opinions on whether or not it’s permissible to go to bed angry. The results were inconclusive.
The tasteful, elegant atmosphere was frequently alleviated by outbursts of plastic utensil throwing by Susan Wines.* Catholic ranch girls are an unpredictable lot, especially when served complimentary red wine.
With the Superior sale and horse show in Winnemucca this weekend, Tilly’s wedding the next weekend, then the Eureka County Fair, then the Stallion Stakes, then the Elko County Fair, then the Van Norman horse sale, the upcoming forecast promises plenty of heat and fun. Remember to hydrate (no, beer doesn’t count) and eat lots of watermelon. Until next time….peace out 🙂
*Name has not been changed.