A push comes to a shove

We keep a small herd of Angus-composite beef cattle on a 640-acre

We keep a small herd of Angus-composite beef cattle on a 640-acre “school section” lease here in the Wet Mountains. These cattle are raised to very high standards using no antibiotics or growth hormones. They live on high-altitude grass and forage, mountain spring water, natural sea salt and minerals and nothing else. They are not fed grain and not kept in close confinement. This year we are in the position to offer some of these cattle for sale. We have animals available for pasture-harvesting by the local meat shop, as well as certified calves and cows and heifers bred to our certified Angus bull. Contact me through the comments on this blog for more information.

In recent years I’ve been playing with using my large-breed “saddle” donkeys to help me with the cattle, convinced they can do some types of work just as well as a horse. For the most part we’ve done pretty well.

Recently two of our heifers got through the fence onto Bear Basin Ranch so today I saddled Laredo and went over there to move these two strays back where they belong. I opened the gate on the upper end of our pasture, then rode around until I located the heifers, one solid red and the other solid black. They were downhill from the gate and against the fenceline. I figured between Laredo and my dog Sam it would be a cinch to keep them pinned against the fence and drive them uphill to the gate. The only problem was, these heifers wouldn’t budge.

Laredo actually bumped both of them and they would hardly move. Finally I drove Laredo harder toward the black heifer. We were both surprised when she turned, lowered her head and drove it into Laredo’s shoulder. There was a feeling of being off-balance, then he spun out of it and bolted downhill. I managed to get him under control in short order and avoided getting tossed.

We did eventually get the heifers moved back through the gate, but I have to admit the unexpected shove did get my attention. As I rode away the heifers were headed back toward the main herd.

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