Could you make it on a real cattle drive?

Preacher

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Raised on farms until my mid teens. Would I want to do that? No way!

I have some friends who live in OK. They don't have kids and have a great marriage, but they like to do things that the other doesn't. So one year the hubs decides he is going to Montana to work on a dude ranch for two weeks. Bunkhouse living, driving cattle, the works. He loves it so much he decided to do it once a year for the next decade.
He pretty much got to the point that the people who owned the ranch treated him like one of the hired hands that worked there full time.

Last year he was moving some cattle and his horse either spooked or lost its footing and he was thrown off. Apparently they found him about an hour later when his horse came walking in without him. Concussion, broken shoulder, collar bone, three ribs and some pretty good cuts on his arm and hands from the fall. He spent ten days in a hospital in the middle of nowhere Montana with internal bleeding as one of the ribs nicked something and they could not find it until they opened him up. His wife drove the 20 hours back home, worse time of her life as she said anytime she hit a small bump he would moan in pain. All in all he spent 10 days in a hospital, and three weeks recovering at home before he could go back to work. And that was not the worse part of it, his insurance tried to not cover it as he was doing something that was not in his typical day.
 

teletimetx

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Raised on farms until my mid teens. Would I want to do that? No way!

I have some friends who live in OK. They don't have kids and have a great marriage, but they like to do things that the other doesn't. So one year the hubs decides he is going to Montana to work on a dude ranch for two weeks. Bunkhouse living, driving cattle, the works. He loves it so much he decided to do it once a year for the next decade.
He pretty much got to the point that the people who owned the ranch treated him like one of the hired hands that worked there full time.

Last year he was moving some cattle and his horse either spooked or lost its footing and he was thrown off. Apparently they found him about an hour later when his horse came walking in without him. Concussion, broken shoulder, collar bone, three ribs and some pretty good cuts on his arm and hands from the fall. He spent ten days in a hospital in the middle of nowhere Montana with internal bleeding as one of the ribs nicked something and they could not find it until they opened him up. His wife drove the 20 hours back home, worse time of her life as she said anytime she hit a small bump he would moan in pain. All in all he spent 10 days in a hospital, and three weeks recovering at home before he could go back to work. And that was not the worse part of it, his insurance tried to not cover it as he was doing something that was not in his typical day.
Similar event happened to the brother of one of my long ago good friends; this was over 30 years ago. Also in Montana; horse he was riding spooked, he fell off and hit his head on a rock. No bueno. He died somewhat later. The kind of stuff not included in the romantic image of trail rides.

When I was young and even more stupid, I might have done such work. But no. I have/had 3 chilluns to provide for and not much room for being a "cowboy". I do have a few shirts with pearl button snaps and fancy stuff on the collars and such. Yeehaw.

For folks who still have some hankering, the Houston Rodeo has organized trail rides every year, about late February to the first week of March or so:
  • In January of 1952, the first Trail Ride took place with four men from Brenham, Texas.
  • One year later in 1953, 80 people signed up to start the Salt Grass Trail Ride. By 1954, 800 people were participating.
  • Today, more than 3,000 riders saddle up from all directions, including Louisiana.
  • 11 Trail Rides participate in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Downtown Rodeo Parade.
  • Approximately 1,300 miles are covered by all Trial Rides.
  • Longest Distance = 239 miles: Mission Trail Ride begins in San Antonio, TX
  • Shortest Distance = 71.5 miles: Valley Lodge Trail Ride begins in Brookshire, Texas.
  • All Trail Rides are led by Trail Bosses, who a responsible for ensuring safety.
  • Many of the horses on the ride are rescued animals. The Texas Independence Trail Ride has such animals, as well as three century old wagons.
  • Many of the trail rides include family members and generations of all ages.
  • Some trail rides distribute scholarships to area students and visit schools to share the history of the Show and trail rides.

No cattle. Bring your own shovel. Now git along, little doggies!
 
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Just-Jim

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The dealbreaker for me would be sleeping on the desert floor, exposed to everything. I live in the desert on horse property and I don't go outside at night without a flashlight. 3 rattlesnakes just in the past 2 weeks. I have no idea how anyone could sleep on a blanket with their head on a rock, in the dark back in the day, as I see in old western movies. Thank god for zip up tents!
 

Toto'sDad

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Man I can kind of relate to this, having had the wonderful experience of an out house, in the middle of winter -10 deg etc. when I was a kid, and nothing but newspaper for insulation. You betcha.... it's a real cold seat, that's for sure. To sit on it in those temps... well.... that something you just sorta have to experience in order to gain that skillset ;)
When we lived ANYWHERE but California when I was a kid, we had an outhouse. I'm pretty sure ANY of my grandkids would just as soon go in their drawers as to use one of those, though I doubt they know they ever existed. Snow in the winter, snakes in the summer, I much prefer our ensuite for my nightly stroll to accommodate my call of nature.
 

Toto'sDad

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When we lived in Arkansas, we made sure the well and outhouse were well separated. The inconvenience presented by both having to carry water, and an even longer stroll to dump, whatever, I miss not at all.
 

Toto'sDad

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Them cuties back there in Arkie had the same kind of bathroom arrangements we did. I noticed right off when we landed in California almost EVERYONE smelled better. When my momma would go to prodding my stepdad to take a bath in a washtub back there in Arkansas, he would whine, it's only been three weeks or so since I had a bath. Besides, I ain't done nothin' to get dirty! Taking a bath in a galvanized tub is not quite like hitting the shower.
 

blowtorch

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That crow couldn't fly and his name was Mr Crow, and he'd steal lug nuts from the hubcaps my dad had placed them in while changing a tire.

Somewhere I've a picture of my dad holding a shotgun leveled at Mr Crow, and that bird is looking up expectedly like it's a feeding tube or something
 

Fretting out

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If I had to….yes

Would I want to? Not really

Other than riding horses/horse skills, I’m basically a skilled laborer so I could put up with most
 

Toto'sDad

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That crow couldn't fly and his name was Mr Crow, and he'd steal lug nuts from the hubcaps my dad had placed them in while changing a tire.

Somewhere I've a picture of my dad holding a shotgun leveled at Mr Crow, and that bird is looking up expectedly like it's a feeding tube or something
I hope he didn't shoot him!
 




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