Uh huh....it's like that. And stayed (and got, in turns, better and worse) for several days. Yuck I say! It's too early!
On the other hand, it sure makes rounding up cows easier! Few inches of snow and some cool nights and they are quite sure the ol' tractor must be rolling out bales for them. Wishful thinking.....
As mentioned in the last post, we sold two liners of steers via the video sale in Williams Lake. Mum and I usually go in for that sale, but between homeschooling, a hunter coming in and looking for cows, I figured I best stay home. I did watch it live by my computer though. This modern world.... We got a fair price and were happy with the sale. Now we just have to get the cows rounded up and hope the calves meet our projected weights!
Storming over the mountains.
The other reason I felt I should stay home is that we (mum and I) had taken much of the week before and gone to a Curt Pate Stockmanship Clinic. What the heck is that....I can hear you ask. Well, we have a young lady here who has become part of the family, despite the fact she has a Swiss passport. She is currently taking the Applied Sustainable Ranching program through Thompson Rivers University. To make a long story short, the program hosted Mr Pate, and as hosts of an international student, we were welcome to attend.
Eli said he hoped we would finally be able to figure out how to move a cow by the time we finished the clinic. A few cross eyed looks may have been exchanged at that.
Beginning of October compared to mid October.
It was very interesting. And I absolutely gained some knowledge. Sometimes hearing a familiar process broken down by detail can bring about an entire different level of clarification, and from there, the smallest adaptations in technique can make quite a difference. Many wouldn't really care I guess, but those tiny details are whats fun to me. And along those same lines, he gave me words, phrases and ideas to be a better teacher myself and to really explain how and why we do what we do when working with stock. How one person can get a miserable, cranky old cow in the barn with hardly a missed step (and not appear to be doing any more than wandering along behind her), and then next person has the gentlest old grandma cow so riled up she is running calves over and trying to smash fences. But alright, I'll leave that alone. I can feel I'm loosing some of you already and those interested in such minute details can find a much better writer than me to read!
It was also a reminder that there is ALWAYS something to be learned, no matter who you are! I certainly gained more than a few awesome tips regarding horsemanship over the clinic, and I was also surprised to watch a few of his choices and methods. Not that there was anything wrong with any of it (especially if you are six feet tall and a strong built man), and certainly the job got done, but I guess I somehow thought that many of the techniques that I have been taught over the years were more or less standard procedure. Goes to show, there are many ways to skin that cat, and I need to get out more often! But if Mr Pate ever asks, tell him that if you wrap your latigo three times (instead of two) when you are cinching a horse for the first time, it won't come loose, even if you can't get it tied off before he goes to bucking!
Okay, I'm really leaving it alone now. Sorry. Get me talking cows and horses especially and I can go on all day long. As anyone who has ever spent time in the round pen with me knows too well......
So back on the ranch. The boys and I have hit the books fairly seriously and are pretty dedicated to our school routine. Well, I'm not sure dedicated is the correct word. More like I'm determined and still the boss. Haha. They've been coming out riding with me in the afternoons, grumbling and growling (who isn't, with this snow), but secretly having fun. It's great to have them with me. There is nothing quiet about the ride (especially with snowballs to throw!), but entertaining anyhow. Luckily they have such great (patient) horses and as long as I remember dry gloves and lots of snacks, we are good to go!
Jackson has somehow snared Grandma's top mount "Ruby" and of course Ben is finely mounted on the one of a kind "Rea".
We are about to move all the cows we've been gathering (on to our hay meadows) to one central spot. Once counted in to there, we will really know where we stand with our numbers. I'm feeling pretty confident that we are getting close to where we should be. There is always a few old coots that stay out to the last minute and make us search every nook and cranny, but I don't think too many this year.
PS As of this evening, most of the snow is gone again. Hurray!