Aaahh, it’s branding season! My husband looks forward to spring brandings all year, I do believe. Roping is his favorite job on the ranch, and branding season offers more opportunities to rope than usual.
Note: If you are the only guy who knows how to run the implant-gun, you may not get to rope much – just so you know. Don’t let anyone find out that you have skills other than roping, if you want to be able to rope! 😉
The first branding here on the ranch was the heifers. It was a small, quick branding. They branded in the afternoon, so there was no food involved. A friend of mine came up to watch us, and help a bit. That is always fun!
Then too, my ‘big’ kids decided that they wanted to get in there and learn to wrestle calves. I was all cool with that, I mean, go for it! Glad you have a little try! Learn all you can!!
I forgot how hard those babies can kick, until my baby girl (ok, so she’s my oldest – she will always be my baby!) was kneeling on a calf’s neck, and he was thrashing around. Suddenly I remembered how my husband’s hand looked, after he got kicked a week earlier at a branding. Painful.
Suddenly I was terrified that the kids were going to get kicked in the teeth, or stepped on, or accidentally branded, poked or cut with a the knife.
Which were all very foolish fears, of course, since the guys running the knife, needles and irons are all very experienced and handy. Not to mention very careful around the kids. But a mama’s heart… there’s no reasoning with it, I’m tellin’ ya.
It did make me feel a lot better when I saw a couple cowboys showing my kids the correct hand/foot placement to hold down the calf with. It is more about technique than strength, really. And my husband had explained it all to them, but since he had to hold down the other end of the calf – it was easier for the other guys to show the kids correct techniques.
I was grateful to these tough cowboys, who took the time to patiently teach the next generation. Even though it meant taking a bit more time, and letting a calf or two escape.