MemoryLaine | The American Rancher: The every winter Olympic Sprinter...

The American Rancher: The every winter Olympic Sprinter...

February 13, 2018  •  3 Comments

"It's not the Olympics. It's called practice for spring calving season. Everyone for themselves"

Good morning friends, While I sit and drink my morning coffee, I've been trying to find the motivation to go to the gym. It seems I really love tacos, beer and carbs. Who doesn't? As I turn on the tv to watch the morning news inspiration fills the airways with the hype of the Winter Olympics. Go USA! But have these athletes ever experienced spring calving season? It seems all of us ranchers become a little more athletic than what we let on. I mean who knew you could hurdle pickup truck doors when a mad momma is chasing you? 

As you climbed out of the pickup to tag that fresh new baby calf, you face death in the eyes. You're preparing yourself for a war. You have the tag gun ready, you're already scouting out your exit strategy, and you make sure you don't step in a big pile of fresh cow patty on your way. You're about to be face to face with a mad momma. The competition has started. That calf lets out a little bellar, and next thing you know you've become a ninja. Ducking and swerving to just get that little earring in before that tiger stripe has your lunch. That fire breathing dragon also known as a mad momma is hot on your heels and you're the next contestant for the hurdles, as you go flying through the air in through that pickup window. (You left that window down for a reason). Even Superman would be jealous of your flying skills.You just claimed the gold for the truck door hurdle event. 

But unlike the Olympics you have more than one event you can enter. I mean spring calving season just started, and every scenario has to have you prepared. Have you ever seen Pole Vaulting with a sorting stick? Yes, it should be a thing. I mean that sorting stick has you looking like a Jeti, as your flying that thing through the air to keep that momma at a distance. You swoosh, and holler, and jump around like the pasture is lava. If the sorting stick doesn't detour her, maybe the fact that you look like a loon will keep her at a distance. In the case she isn't impressed with your moves, you can always use that stick to pole vault your way to the bed of the pickup for cover. At this point you definitely have a spring in your step, and you can already imagine yourself up on the podium representing the U.S.A., with people cheering for miles! 


So here I am, on this treadmill, dreaming about carbs. I'm not training for the Olympics, but I need to increase my endurance. My motivation? Number #19. As I'm running on this treadmill all I can imagine is this waspy, high headed rip chasing me as my short little legs go as fast as they can.  No, I'm not a distance runner, but I need to up my average for the sprint division. The short meter races are the most important event in the Winter Ranching Olympics. You have to be fast.Honestly, if you ever see me sprinting you can be rest assured there IS something chasing me, and you should run too! But I'll warn ya since my legs are so short, I do not play fair. It's every man/woman for themselves out here, and I'm not above tripping or clothes lining you if you're faster. It's spring calving season, and we've all just become athletes. I'm already out of breath just thinking about it! Good luck out there my friends, go for the gold! 


Number 19, I'll be ready for our race soon. Maybe I'll even take up Yoga just to get more flexible at going through fences. 





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Ma’am you hit the nail on the head when you “Know” the number of the enemy! Mine was #44, and our last ditch effort to tag and care for that long eared humped witch’s offspring involved me in the bucket of a front end loader, a lariat and my father driving said tractor.

Since Momma could not see her calf and just me she took to hitting the front tires of the John Deere in attempt to knock me out the bucket. My loving father, sensing her distress started LOWERING the bucket so she’d see the calf and quit hitting the tire. Ya remember that dinosaur movie where they lowered the steer into the Dino cage? I know how that dumb steer felt in its final moments, especially when I recall she bit my boot trying to pull me out.

We’ve since moved on to a UTV calf catcher and the Brahmans seem to tolerate it. I keep them fat and sassy so they can’t jump over the cage and get too me. A few are more challenging then others to catch their calf but on a whole the majority know if they drop a calf and follow it they good to the trap with feed troughs in it.

Good luck this spring and May the odds ever be in your favor!!!
FJ Thomas(non-registered)
Love seeing the pics of ranch life. This was a great post! My other half works cows on a regular basis and there's nothing like a mean momma cow to make you move!
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