Lost Eleven

It’s time to move the yearling heifers to the home place.  We knew when we leased this gorgeous pasture, that it was going to be difficult to gather… too many trees, shrubs, springs, trails, roads…


we were right!

We started off bright and early… and had a flat tire. And we (meaning the boys), had quite the time breaking the lug nuts loose and then getting access to the well-mudded spare tire under the pickup bed.

I was hoping it wasn’t a Bad Sign.

Then, we arrived on top of the Big Horns, and Victoria unloaded her horse, grabbed her bridle, and stated, “I only have one rein!”  Since it was dark when we loaded, we weren’t sure if she ever had it… but her slobber strap was still attached…  hmmm… so, it was baling twine to the rescue! She quickly braided three lengths together and she was off.

We split up on the bottom side of the pasture and I got the deep creek bottom since Dally and Eden were with me.  It was quite the adventure.  Panama hasn’t ever had to climb over so many downed logs, push through little aspen groves, and cross so many boggy areas, with tons of rocks thrown in for good measure.  I was down deep in the trees, trying not to think of bears with all the chokecherry bushes around, when in the middle of a pile of rocks (why?) were three heifers and another one in the timber above them.  By the time I turned my horse around and got back to them, they were gone.  Gone.  Capital G.  GONE.  I couldn’t hear crashing in the brush.  I couldn’t see farther than 25′ because of the thickness of the timber.  I got off Panama and staggered around on the steep sidehill, hoping 1.) NO BEARS and 2.)I didn’t twist an ankle!!!

No bears.  No twisted ankles.  No heifers.

logging trail(This is an easy peasy logging road… but you can see how thick the trees are on the sides)

I couldn’t find them!  I gave up and rode up the hill to meet up with everyone.  We threw the different bunches together and came up 49 short.  Seriously.  Obviously we stink at cowboying in forests.

We trailed that bunch out to the lane.  And went back.  Second time through a couple hours later… now we were only 11 short.  Good enough.

Out  the couple miles to the lane… and onward towards the home pasture.  My dogs got quite the workout chasing them out of little stream bogs… Finally, we made it.

With unloading the horses and a bull, I was sitting on my couch at 8:45.

LOOOOOONG day.  Gonna do it all over again tomorrow to find those lost eleven.

P.S.  Matt found Victoria’s lost rein in the middle of the road.  It must have went over the edge of the flat bed and we drove over it and pulled it off the headstall.



Lost Eleven — 5 Comments

  1. “Cowboying in the forest” must be 10 times the work – ooph! I hope Eden and Dally were a big help, and that you find the strays tomorrow…with no bears around.

  2. Half of our canyon pasture is forested, with a lot of hawthorn brush mixed in. The cows would eat/break/crash their way through the brush and had paths everywhere. But you know how tall a cow’s back is, compared to how tall you are on a horse. Which is why we gathered on foot, and why I finally got myself a good dog to help. 🙂 Glad you had Eden and Dally to help! And good luck today finding those last 11.

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