Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Friday, June 8, 2012

A Good Cow Pony

A good cow pony is more than just transportation in the ranching world.
It is partner, confidante, shelter, and yes, even protector.
Dad's horse had been superbly trained.
By him.
Calving season is a rather exciting time of the year.
For at least a couple of reasons.
Because new babies are appearing in the fields.
And I don't care what you think, new baby calves are cute.
And because you are getting up close and personal with warm, furry creatures who outweigh you by several hundreds of pounds.
See? Exciting.
In an unpredictable/ohmygoodness sort of way.
Most cows on the Stringam ranch calved between January and March.
Without ceremony or fanfare.
In the field.
Calves were tagged and given their newborn shots within a few feet of where they were born.
I should mention here that Hereford cows are docile and easily managed.
Except when they have a newborn calf nearby.
You've heard the stories about getting between she-bears and their babies?
Well, Hereford cows would kill to have that reputation.
Actually, they would have to kill to get that reputation.
Just thought I'd point that out.
Because it really has nothing to do with this story.
Moving on . . .
Hereford cows may not be the black-leather-clad, chain-toting members of the bovine family, but they can still be rather aggressive when their babies are in danger.
Or when they think their babies may be in danger.
As when people are around.
My Dad found this out the exciting way.
He had come across a newborn calf, lying 'hidden' in the tall grass.
Dismounting, he straddled the calf and prepared to vaccinate.
And that's when Mama noticed him.
Suddenly, a thousand pounds of red and white indignation were breathing down his neck.
And I do mean down his neck.
I know this will sound funny, but when a cow is threatening, the best place to be in the wide-open prairie is 'under' one's well-trained horse.
Really.
You crawl under your horse and no cow will come near.
Hastily, Dad pulled himself and his captive under his horse and continued with his work.
The cow snorted and fidgeted, circling around, trying to find the flaw in this scenario.
The horse kept one eye on her.
Constantly turning to keep his hind quarters directed towards the irate bundle of hair and aggression.
This worked for a few moments.
But finally, even the presence of a larger, stronger, and infinitely smarter creature didn't deter.
She charged.
Remember where I mentioned that the horse kept his hind quarters towards the cow?
That's because that is a horse's 'dangerous' end.
Always loaded.
And ready to fire.
He let fly.
With both barrels.
He caught the cow in the head.
In mid-charge.
Now a cow's head is composed mostly of bone.
They can be hurt.
But it takes a lot.
This kick merely stopped the cow for a moment.
She shook her head, confused.
Then looked around.
What had she been doing?
About that time, Dad finished with the calf and let it go.
It trotted over to its mother and the two of them hurried towards the nearest far-away place.
Dad stood up and gave his horse a pat.
“Good boy.”
Then mounted up and continued his ride.
Another rather mundane day in the life of a good cow-pony.
What would we do without them?

10 comments:

  1. What a remarkable life you have led. Such rich memories narrated in such a matter of fact manner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Delores! I so look forward to your visits every day!

      Delete
  2. Whoa. I was visualizing all of that. Just another day at the ranch, eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To me these things are absolutely normal. I didn't know until I started sharing them that, to others, they weren't. I'm just as fascinated by your adventures! :)

      Delete
  3. Haha, now there's a disturbing mental image!! It's amazing the terrors and tribulations of farm life - and city folk wonder what you do all day!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. We survived! Barely! When we're not scrambling out from under horses, pulling calves, hauling hay, chasing cows, or any of the other million ranch duties, we're usually just sitting around with our feet up! :)

      Delete
  4. Diane, You are remarkable! Tell me when you are ready to pre-launch your next book, and we can do another podcast for you!
    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  5. Diane,
    I always love when I come across your posts on NOBH! It's like I'm transported to a different place and time. Thank you for giving a window with such a clear view of what life is like on the ranch. I am always enthralled with what you share. :)
    Love and God bless,
    Christy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Christy! when I first started blogging, I thought everyone had the same childhood experiences as me. I've discovered differently. It's so fun to read about all of the different lives!

      Delete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

All of My Friends

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and .ca and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?