Calf Horse Extraordiaire
Not the roping kind, he couldn’t rope a dead goat.
I don’t know what that would mean I just liked the way it sounded.
I love it when my four-wheeler-riding relatives need horse to get a job done. I try to be nice about the horses natural superiority. Not.
Last year it was a very sick calf stuck in the pond. They were plotting all sorts of convoluted plans for retrieving the little guy. After listening for a bit I pointed out that my horse could go in the water. And so moving slowly and watching carefully for barbed wire we waded into the pond dropped a loop on the calf and drug him out. Unfortunately he died anyway, but I enjoyed being useful.
This time a tiny baby calf crawled out of the pen with its mother and into the pen with the yearlings. They, yearlings, are rotten curious creatures and were chasing the poor thing all over. They called me, I caught Coyote.
Coyote used to be a top notch first rate calving horse. Not that he isn’t still good, he has simply changed professions. He has saved my hide more times than I can count and his unique skill set makes life so much easier. Today he was not feeling useful, he was hot, temperature and temperament, and wanted to go home.Therefore he decided to be terrified of the yearlings sniffing his butt. Prancing and skittering sideways the whole time we brought the baby calf and half the yearlings out the gate and up the lane to the circle.
Once there we easily sorted the yearlings off, returning them to their pen, until only the calf remained. We then quietly and as easily as Coyote could manage since it was in the same direction as home requiring much fit throwing pushed the calf towards his mother. The calf ran pushing hard against the feed bunks until finally he hopped in and crawled through into a different pen of yearlings. I may have cussed him a little.
So we rode into the pen, spooking from the yearlings and pushed them out into the circle. Is this sounding familiar? Yeah same routine different pen. This time as the calf ran down the lane pushing against the feed bunks Coyote and I dove through the still open gate into the pen and galloped down the inside of the feed bunks alongside the little fart head. We were headed towards home and I’m not sure Coyote knew there was a calf we were working, he was just going home as fast as possible. He didn’t know or didn’t care that we were doing so down a concrete slab covered in an inch or so of manure. Just enough to create a good slick slime. At the fence I hauled him to a stop and watched to see if the calf would crawl back into his original wrong pen. As he continued on I turned Coyote who proceeded to discover the cement as his legs splayed in every direction.
He stayed up of course and we again followed the calf down the lane. As my father-in-law opened the gate into the pen he belonged in his mother stood just inside calling him frantically. He pushed against the fence trying to get to her until he reached the open gate whence he turned and ran as hard as he could the other direction. I love cattle. We followed him nearly back to the buildings until he reached the closed gate then pushed him hard back to where he belonged. This time he plunged through the right gate.
Coyote walked back to the barn lathered with sides heaving. I felt bad for him in this beautiful warm weather still with his winter coat and planned a good currying. First I had to relieve my mother-in-law from her baby sitting duties. So I tied him up and pulled my saddle and bridle with a promise to return quickly. Inside I rescued my mother-in-law from a crying baby checked said babies diaper loaded her in the back pack and headed out to finish caring for my horse.
Only there was no horse to be found. His lead rope was tied to the fence, the halter in a heap on the ground. Looking off towards their pen I could see him waiting for me at the gate. He looked at me over his shoulder as if to ask what was taking me so long. I hurried to let him in, if he doesn’t want brushed I guess that’s his call.