A Day on The Ranch

Posted in: Ranch Life

This fun day happened in February a couple years ago. It’s kind of typical for the way things go sometimes. Whether you ranch or not, I’m sure you can relate to the curve balls life throws at you.

It’s not unusual for me to look out the windows of my house and see horses. What makes today’s sight especially unusual is that they were RIGHT outside my window.  They’re not supposed to be in the yard.

What does this mean? It means that I get to gather the gone-astray saddle horses and put them in a different pasture than they were in — until I have time to sort out the fencing debacle that had caused them to be out in the yard.  This also means that I get to rectify this situation before I head to the sale barn — which was my plan this February Day.  It was “take-the-odd-load-of-calves-that-didn’t-make-the-truck-in-the-fall”, to town day.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it yet, but on this particular morning, it was about -9 outside.

If you’ve never had the privilege of getting to ride on an ATV, at a -9, you’re missing out.  I jest! I jest.  Most of you reading this are thinking, “Holy cow! Glad it was you and not me!”  Riding an ATV in winter is why Carhartt stays in business, friends.

south dakota cowgirl photography, equine photography, ranch life

By the time I got my coffee downed, and was ready to go to town for the day, the saddle horses had scattered to four different locations- including the neighbor’s pasture.  As I was on a schedule, I had to kind of hurry through some things.  This is how the morning from here on out went down:

1. Start the pickup I’m taking to town.

2. Check the fence in the pasture where the saddle horses were supposed to have been.

3. Gather the escaped saddle horses and put them into two traps (only because this was the easiest thing to do).  You have to adjust to fit the situation!

4. Head to the corrals where the calves were kickin’ it,  and sort off a mama cow, a wild stallion, and a bull from the calves.

5. Go back to the house to get the now warm pickup that I was taking to town. Plus it had the trailer hooked to it (because at ALL costs I avoid hooking and unhooking!) and if you’re going to load calves, a trailer is a good thing.

6. Back the trailer to the loading chute.

7. Load calves.

8. Air up the trailer tires because they were low.

9. Fill up with diesel.

10. Drop the calves off at the sale barn.

11. Make my once-monthly stop at Wal-Mart.

12. Fill up with diesel.

13. Drive home.

14. Do not pass go, do not collect $100.  Go straight to the John Deere and feed some hay to the saddle horses that are locked in traps with no grass.

15. Head to the house to unload all the groceries.

16. Clean the kitchen.

17. Cook dinner.

I flew solo for the activities of this day; it’s called being a cowgirl!

And that my friends, is how life sometimes goes on a working ranch. It’s a life I wouldn’t trade for all the money in the world.  You laugh, you cry, you shed blood and tears, and every morning you wake up knowing there’s not a chance you’ll ever be bored!

Happy Trails!

Posted in: Ranch Life

About Jenn Zeller

Jenn Zeller is the creative mind and boss lady behind The South Dakota Cowgirl. She is an aspiring horsewoman, photographer, brilliant social media strategist and lover of all things western. After a brief career in the investment world to support her horse habit (and satisfy her...

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