Shipping Day on the Ranch

Cowboy is a breed tougher than nails and strong as steed.

We recently shipped our yearling cattle to the auction. We raise black Angus cattle. We run them on leased land in different parts of the state. Some carry our brand, the 7U, and others carry our son Clancy’s brand, the TX. Still others are our son Ty’s and some are my brother-in-law’s cattle, but they all are Goswick cattle. Willy enjoyed being a Cow dog and watching over the herd.

For days the cowboys gathered their cattle, branded the pee wee calves, doctored any that needed doctored and hauled the yearling calves to the ranch headquarters to be weaned off their mamma’s milk. This process is called ” Fall Works” in ranching terms. We kept the weaned yearling calves in the shipping pens at Fain Ranch until the day the truck would arrive to haul them to the sale. These yearlings were very curious to meet Willy.

Willy was thrilled to know that the very next day a big semi truck would be backed up to this cattle ramp and the excitement would begin.

He took it upon himself to sit on point, making sure the cattle stayed where they belonged until the truck arrived.

After a good nights sleep, we were up bright and early on a crisp fall morning. The truck had arrived and the cowboys were horseback. Let the loading begin!

For those of you who don’t know, here is a run down of a typical shipping day. When the time comes to be loaded they are weighed and sorted off in groups according to size and weight. (Each section of the livestock trailer, or cattlepot, holds a certain amount of cattle and the weight of the cattle has to be carefully arranged so that the trailer’s axle weights are balanced.) They are then herded into the lane and up the loading ramp into the trailer.  There are two floors and several pens/compartments within the trailer.

Willy enjoyed every minute. He watched every move the cowboys made and stood by the gate to make sure they didn’t try to escape.

Willy especially enjoyed his vantage point above the lane where he could “oversee” the cattle without being in harms way. It was a great day! It all went smoothly and the cattle were on there way to auction in no time at all.

Until next time, Long live cowboys!

“There’s a hundred years of history and a hundred before that; all gathered in the thinkin’ goin’ on beneath that hat.” – Baxter Black

 

 

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Patriotic Pup

Happy 4th of July!

Willy and the rest of our family are very patriotic. We love our country and love to celebrate our independence. I think Willy likes the family BBQ best though. He and his buddies are “ground sweepers” at that event.

We went all out for this photo shoot! We couldn’t help ourselves. We even talked Willy’s pal Rusty into a few poses.

Here where we live is home to the World’s Oldest Rodeo. Prescott, Arizona and the surrounding towns have birthed some of the greatest rodeo cowboys of all time. Rodeo is part of our family heritage as well and several of our family members (including one of my sons) have competed in the past and some are still competing in this very rodeo today. I think Willy makes a great looking cowboy, don’t you?

Although we love to have fun on this holiday, we are humbled by the sacrifices made by our United States military, past and present, that allow us to continue to live in freedom. We are not only a rodeo family, but have family who have served and are currently serving in the US Military. Willy LOVES his military uncles! So to all veterans and active duty, we salute you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Willy wore his best patriotic tie to honor those who fight for Flag and Freedom.

As you and your loved ones celebrate our country’s independence, and enjoy all the festivities, don’t forget to thank those you meet who have served or are serving in our military, because without them you would have nothing to celebrate.

This past week has had its share of intense, gut wrenching moments as we stood at a distance watching our beloved mountains burn in the Goodwin Fire. The fire knocked on the doors of several houses on our family’s 5th generation ranch headquarters, coming within 200 yards of one. Thanks to our brave fire fighters, all homes and structures were saved. But the fire continues to burn as I type this.  Times like this make you realize just what matters; what truly has value. Things can be replaced – lives can not. Just one more reminder that life is about those we love – so live well and love well.

In light of those who have already lost their homes to this fire and those still in its path, I’d like to close this post with some of the lyrics from Lee Greenwood’s song “God Bless the USA”.

If tomorrow all the things were gone
I’d worked for all my life
And I had to start again
With just my children and my wife
I’d thank my lucky stars
To be living here today
Cause the flag still stands for freedom
And they can’t take that away
And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA
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