Monday, February 21, 2011

Cattle Herding

I like my posts like I like my men - photogenic and short on words.  Just kidding Mr. Palindrome.
On the serious side, way back in July, when we were visiting Mr. Palindrome's parents in Colorado, we went on a cattle drive.  Three weeks later, my mother-in-law was in the hospital recovering from a massive stroke.  While I've been wanting to blog about it, it was hard to remember a time before the stroke.  It's still hard.
This experience was hands down the best time I've had with my husband's side of the family.  We thought that we would show up and tag along trying to keep up with a crew of real cowboys while they did the hard work.  Turns out there was one cowboy and five of use city slickers.
We took off into the wild blue yonder to move a herd of wild cattle from one pasture to the next.
I pulled a Marlboro Man here and caught my horse's ears while looking towards the stray cows I was supposed to round up.  I was happy to be riding, but a little more than intimidated when our cowboy guide yelled that I was letting some cows get away and I'd better "git along and go get 'em!"  It was like a foreign language to me.  I looked at him and thought, "Huh?  He wants me to something something get a cow?"
Sometimes our quest took us up the hills.  Thank heaven above that my horse was a better mountain climber than me.
I've never seen my mother-in-law more in her element.  She studied equestrian sciences for a while back in the day and she was a natural compared to the rest of us holding on for dear life.
The day was a perfect 65-70 degrees with partial clouds.  It gave an all new meaning to "God's Country" - the air was noticeably clearer, the sky bluer - everything pointed to being closer to heaven.

I especially bought some distressed skinny jeans to tuck into my newly purchased vintage boots.  Mr. Palindrome wore a polo shirt.  That's how we city slickers roll through the Rockies.

I totally thought that working dogs were a movie myth that Disney made up to capitalize on Babe.  Well, I believe that it was a real thing back in the day, but I never would have guessed they were still being used in modern ranching.  Spike was just like the movies!  He ran along with the horses and when one of the cows would stand their ground and not want to budge, he'd run up behind them and bite their legs to get 'em movin'.  See, I even picked up a little cowboy speak!

I want to say that it was around $90 a person.  While people from the west would laugh and that silly Yankees for paying to do other cowboy's work, this silly Yankee was tickled pink to fork over the moolah and play cowboy for a morning.
For a little live action clip, we have a shot that Mr. Palindrome took while riding.  If you go on a cattle herd and you spend $90 hard earned buckaroos, and you want a video clip memoralizing the event, I highly suggest that someone take video while they're horse is standing still.  Or off the horse.  You know.  To minimize the puke inducing bounces and all.  If I was cool, I would have set this "Home on the Range."  Please imagine I'm cool and video editing savvy.

Do you think our cowboy endeavors are laughable?  Would you want to have the city slicker cowboy experience?


  1. Oh my goodness, that looks like so much fun! I had no idea that you could pay to do something like that! I'll have to look into that - there must be something close to me! Looks like you guys had a blast!

  2. What an awesome experience! I have to admit, as someone who rides English, even I would have been out of my element, so I'm impressed that you were able to do actual cowboy work.

    Quick note, though - wear a helmet next time! In my 10+ years of riding, I've fallen and hit my head once, and luckily the helmet took the brunt of it. I hate to think what would have happened otherwise! (I know this is hard because cowboys tend to think they're above helmets, but trust me, no one is.)

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your mother-in-law.

    I'm a total city mouse and would have paid to do a cattle herd too!

  4. Glad you were able to share such a happy memory with J's family. Looks like a wonderful day!