I had plans yesterday.  I was going to stay home, catch up on laundry, do some spring cleaning, and listen to good music.  My husband took my youngest with him to the farm to do chores.  She is my busy ornery child, so I was thinking about how much more I was going to get done without her help.  They had 3 calves to tag and then move momma and baby to the other pasture.  We have a pasture we calve all the cows out in and then we move them to another a day or two after birth as we feed them differently according to their needs.

Heading down the road.

They weren’t gone 20 minutes when the phone rang.  Our neighbor needed to move some cows down the road, just over a mile.  He always helps us, so we are always glad to return the favor.  I love our neighbor, not only is he always willing to help, he is so kind to our girls and is always helping them with their horses when he can.  His cows are also slower movers than ours are, so it was a perfect time to let the girls ride and help.  So I quickly threw on my jeans, a sweatshirt, and my new tennis shoes.  I got my other daughter dressed and was going to take her to the farm so she could go with them.  I was going to drop her off and have the house to myself for the morning!  I should have known better…

The girls on calf patrol.

When we arrived the horses weren’t ready to go like I thought they may be.  I jumped right in helping to get everyone ready to go.  I caught, brushed, saddled, lengthened stirrups, and gave Briez reminders on how to ride a horse.  They were ready to go fairly quickly.  I thought I would follow them out the 1/4 mile lane to the farm, pass them on the road and get right home.  I should have known better.
Our neighbor is always saddled and ready to go way before we are.  He had ridden down the road to meet our crew.  As I went to pass them so I could get home he called out and asked if I would follow them and take pictures on foot for a project his son had.  His son is also one of my favorite neighbors for all the same reasons his father is.  So, of course I was happy to do so.  I drove up a bit to talk to his son and get a plan for what he needed.  He had a camera and I had mine.  I drove a half mile up the road to where we would go about a tenth of a mile to the pasture.  I parked there on the road and waited then walked in.

I walked down to the pasture, reminded Jas that Harley will follow the neighbor’s horse and run as fast as the neighbor’s horse does.  With a 4 year old riding him I thought that was a bad idea, so I had the girls wait with me while the guys went and gathered the cows.  Skyler is capable of helping but terrified of doing the *wrong* thing, so she chose to stay too.  Gathering cows with young calves is always entertaining.  Meaning it takes much longer.  I took lots of pictures while we were waiting.  I thought they would gather, I’d take pictures as they went out the gate and I’d be on my way.  I should have known better.

Roping one to be tagged.

OK, now that the calf is tagged they’ll just take the cows out and start down the road to the new pasture, right?  Of course not!  While they tagged the baby the other cows took the chance to scatter all about the pasture again!  So, I took more pictures.

I could see the end in sight now.  The cows were coming and heading out the gate in the right direction.  Almost all of them were out the gate when one little calf decided he wasn’t going to walk anymore.  I went over to rub him and encourage him to go find his momma.  As I did that he decided it was a perfect time to pee.  Right into the mesh over the toes of my new tennis shoe.  I decided not to hold it against him, I should have known, and been prepared!

Tagging a calf.

Once again, the cows scattered just outside the gate since we lagged behind urging little guy on.  Just as I was once again thinking I was about to go home Harley decided he wanted to help with the cows.  Briez is very unwilling to tell her horse what to do.  She won’t even pull back hard in an attempt to stop him.  She just cries.  The horses don’t like crying, they really don’t.  Jas yells at me to go get her and take her home.  And that is what needed to be done.  So, Briez, Harley, and I got to walk. all. the. way. back. to. the. farm.  That left my car at least 3/4 mile away from me.  OK, fine.  I’ll put Harley away.  When the rest got back from moving the cows Jas would run me down to my car and I’d get to go home.  I should have known better!

When Sky and Jas arrived on their horses I helped unsaddle and put the horses in their pens.  Blue Blue likes to roll when he is sweaty.  It makes him happy.

Now I was expecting to go back to my car.  Jas asked if I would stay for a bit and help him tag the 3 calves and move them to the other pasture.  I didn’t know that he hadn’t done that yet.  I stayed and helped him.  I actually enjoy everything I got to do, I just had other plans.  We noticed that one cow hadn’t completely cleaned, so we made a plan to get her in the chute and *help* her out with that. 

Four and a half hours, one peed upon shoe, very wild tangly hair, and a sun burned face later I finally got a ride back to my car.  Now I could go home and at super hero speed accomplish my plan for the day!  I should have known better!!!  I got home, ate, and promptly fell asleep!

End of the day.

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