- November 4, 2019
- Jolyn Young
Trailer loading is an essential skill for a working cowboy. Oftentimes, cattle need to be caught and loaded into a stock trailer way out on the range, far from the convenience of corrals and a loading chute. But with enough knowledge, a rope, and a horse, a cowboy crew can load bovines with very little equipment.
First, a cowboy must identify the animal that needs to be loaded.
Here, Hector is tracking the target yearling through the brush.
And he did draw a knot on ol’ blacky! Check out the curl on that head loop.
Then, Hector waited by the side of the road while the other half of the crew loaded another yearling. The stock trailer is located just behind the cowboy looking over his shoulder on the bay horse.
Even this far from civilization, sometimes a working professional still finds himself in que.
Once a yearling is in front of the open trailer door, the cowboy runs his rope through the bars of the trailer and re-dallies. He then rides his horse toward then front of the trailer, encouraging the roped animal to jump into the trailer.
Once the yearling jumps into the trailer, another cowboy (or cowgirl) shuts the gate.
Then, someone grabs a long metal hook and uses it to retrieve the rope from the loaded cow.
Because you really don’t want to stick your arm in there and say, “Here, moo-moo cow. Can I pretty please have my rope back?”
That would probably not end well for your arm.
Here’s the sequence of events from another angle.
First, we start with a roped yearling.
Then, the cowboy (hi, Jim!) approaches the back of the trailer. Mark (white hat, black horse) holds the slack on his heel loop, which will come in handy here in a minute.
Jim ran his rope through the bars of the trailer while Mark held the yearling still with a heel loop around both hind legs.
Then Jim rode forward (you can just barely see part of his roan horse’s hindquarters here) while Mark popped his dallies and the afootback Hector encourages the yearling to jump into the trailer.
It worked! The yearling is successfully loaded! Yay! Woo-hoo! Happy dance on the flatbed!
Just kidding. Cowboys don’t really do happy dances every time they successfully load a bovine into a trailer.
But that would be kind of awesome if they did, right?
About Jolyn Young
Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit www.jolynyoung.com....