|Clay's stud that has gone wild|
The cows that we were going after had already been pushed through the last fence so I was hoping that they would have come some of the way on their own, but of course not. They were still right were we had left them the day before when we moved them on the 4 wheeler, and why wouldn't they be, there is so much feed and the snow had been melting so there was water for them to drink. We start gathering them up and off we go, Roger always wants to be the guide and in charge of the turning and directing of the herd, and this alone makes me have extreme high blood pressure. You see, most of the new hires have to take up the rear and eat the dust because they have no clue where in the heck the cows need to be going, but Roger must suffer from a high level of ADHD and will not pay attention to the cows wandering off from the rear, so for me it is easier to keep an eye on the cows from the rear and yell like and idiot when I need him to help. Herding cows is very stressful on me for some strange reason.....
....and here is the reason. I tell my assistant to go up and turn the cows so they can stay on the road - it is easier to push cows on a road instead of in 6 to 7 feet high grease wood and sagebrush - but once again I hear 'why there is a trail on this side', and this is not a question. I respond, 'Roger, they can not get off the cliff on this side of the wash, you need to turn them'. This request was in a normal tone, but by the time I get up to the road and see all the cows on the cliff and he is doing his best to make them move, my tone might have changed a bit. I tell him, 'Where are you trying to make them go, can't you see that they are about to fall off up there!' I take off, with my not so obedient cow dog Rusty, and ride up to the head of the herd, slide off of a 20 ft ice cliff and land on a huge rock in the bottom of the wash and Rusty lands on top of me, so I could turn the cows back. By this time my blood pressure is rising very quickly. I scream back to Roger 'BACK OFF AND LET THEM COME BACK AND THEN GET YOUR BEHIND BACK THERE AND TURN THEM WHERE YOU WERE SUPPOSE TO TURN THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!' I somehow manage to claw my way up the other side of the wash and start pushing the cows back, only about a mile, on foot in about a foot of hard snow. By the time I finally see my assistant standing on the side of the bank waiting for me, I was pretty much steaming. Being the nice person that I am and since he is my husband I try to be nice and asked him what he was doing there, then I inform him that he better get back to the road and stop the cows from going back up the canyon - ok, I probably wasn't very sweet with this request!! Oh yeah, the cows had went all the way back because that's just what cows do when they are left to decide on their own.
In the mean time Clay and Becky are waiting for us on the creek to help us get the cows across the creek. They arrived at the creek at 11 am and there were 3 cows coming out of the canyon, so they think that we will just be a little longer. Around 3 pm Clay climbs up the cliff to see if he can see us, if he only knew!! By about 4 pm I had finally made it back to my horse and decided that I will take off with the cows that are on the road and get them down to the creek before it is completely dark, while Roger was back at the fence trying to get the cows to start back down the canyon again. By 5 pm I had made it with around 120 cows, Clay and Becky were right there to help me get them started across the creek, so I then turn around and go back to see how far Roger has gotten his bunch, I round the bend and there he is in the dark with about 15 cows. It was dark and very cold, I was only wearing my hoodie, no hat or gloves...that's how heated I was from having my blood pressure raised to the boiling point all day!!
I now realize that we are going to have to do this again on a Sunday, but that's ok I must need the practice. On Sunday when we got to the creek, there were only about 25 cows there, they had all went back over night. I told Roger that he was going to be looking at the tails all day and I would be doing the steering. We made it to the creek with all the cows by noon and had them marching down to the Leech place by 1 pm, just as Clay and Becky were coming back to help us again. Roger said to me 'that went pretty good today, don't you think?' I had no comment!!