I decided to go out and haul in some wood for my wonderful wood stove. I put on my lovely green with pink lined carhartt (no boring brown for this cowgirl) snow-pant overalls, my pretty purple and pink snow boots, my rainbow coloured scarf and black jacket. I was off to the wood shed.
When I got there I looked over and saw my cutest ever colt Raffy eating hay a little ways away. I wandered over to say hi. I looked around at the cow herd checking to see how everyone was doing. hmmm…..I did not see my Diva Longhorn Annabelle. I searched the area a bit more and in the distance I saw her enjoying a hay bale buffet in the fenced off hay pasture. %$#@!!
I had two choices. I could ignore her, she has a trail that she takes and ends up in the yard waiting for someone to open the gate for her when she gets thirsty, or I could go chase her out now and enjoy my fire that afternoon. hmmm… now.
I trudged through the snow drifts along the fence and headed to the hay pasture. I need to clarify something here. I am really very good at keeping myself out of harms way when I am dealing with my cow herd. In my years of ranching I have been chased, ran into, kicked, squished and ran over. I do not like it.
Now I am really very good at always having an escape route. Even if I have to walk an extra mile around, I will do it, it is important to me to have that escape route. I am not that athletic which is also why I prefer my horse, he keeps me safe.
As I trudged along creating a trail and having that fence right beside me to climb over if need be. I opened the big brown steel gate to the hay pasture. I worked my way around the bales to the best spot to chase Annabelle. she is a little tricky, you have to have the right chasing angle so that she will go the direction you wish her to. I did my yelling and a little cussing to get Annabelle moving. all was going exactly as planned, until it did not.
While I was urging Miss Annabelle to get out, a couple of her friends wanted to get in. now, if things had gone as planned, Annabelle would have walked out the gate just as two of her friends were walking in so all would have been chased out, the gate would have been slammed shut behind them and I would have went to enjoy my fire.
Did not work that way. Annabelle ducked off to the left and headed for the trees. @%$#&!!! and while that was happening Wendy and Clara got in. Luckily I got to the gate before all the rest of their friends made it to the bale buffet also. dammit!
I was standing on the other side of the gate in the cow pasture pondering what to do when I heard running. I looked up and all the cows were headed my way. YIKES!!! I scrambled through the snow and got myself over the barbed wire fence. I realize that if it was a stampeding cow herd that puny barb wire fence would not stop them. Thankfully, my herd was more of a jogging one. So, I was pretty sure I was good.
More trudging through the snow to the yard to get Bessie the best bale truck ever. my heart rate was up by this time with all the excitement and exercise. Good thing I had a bit of a walk for the cool down. Even though there were some cuss words involved. Almost a hissy fit.
I warmed up Bessie and drove over to the hay pen. Hmmm… can I get this gate open, get the truck through, get a bale, get back out without all the cows getting in too. nope!! Plan B. I drove to the other hay corral close to the house. this is where the kids bale fort is. I loaded a last years bale. (not wrecking the bale fort) I drove it all the way to the big corral. time to trap Annabelle and give her a new home with bigger fences. All the cows followed just like I wanted. Yipeee!!! I unrolled some bale for them, it did not want to cooperate.
Sometimes the bale unrolls backwards better, or you can drop the bale drive around and reload it from the other side so that it unrolls driving forwards. That is too much work for me, so I like to simply drive backwards and unroll the bale that way. except that this week I got the truck stuck doing that because it got high centered on the pile of unrolled bale. %$#@@*&!! So, I made a half-hearted attempt to put the rest in the bale feeder, got mad, gave up and simply dropped the bale for them to fight over. Locked all those cows in that corral.
I drove back to the hay pasture opened the gate with no cows to bug me. loaded a bale, chased Annabelle, Wendy and Clara out. There was a lot of jumping, and hollering involved. As you can imagine they were not so eager to leave. got everyone out. Cut my bale string wrap. That is another of my cowgirl stay safe tricks. I always cut the netwrap strings when I am in the hay pasture or corral BEFORE the cows are able to come over in their eagerness to eat.
I followed Annabelle and her posse to the corral. trapped miss Diva. wahoo!!!! She did not look happy, too bad. She is having a time out and living with the bulls in a steel fence. More snow drift trudging for this endeavor. Alleyway has not been used. I got a great workout and outsmarted my cows.
Wahoo!!! I let all the other cows out, fed them their other bale and mission accomplished. Drove back to the house, and had lunch. Damn!! In all the excitement I forgot to get the wood.