It’s not easy to wrangle cows. First we had to find a County Road 387 off of the main highway in Kremming Colorado. Then we had to drive 4.5 miles on the gravel country road to the ranch. But we finally found our way to the Rusty Spurr Ranch. After being assigned horses and given a short lesson on riding, we were given our mission: to move cows from one field that had water and grass to another field with water and grass. OK, maybe the mission was put into place for people like us willing to pay money to think we were doing something useful.
However, the cows weren’t as enthusiastic about being moved as we were about moving them. Try moving a cow with a suckling calf. Neither are very excited to move. But we were encouraged to yell, shout, scream, wave our hats and hands…whatever it took to get them doggies moving.
If the cows weren’t excited about moving, let’s talk about the horses who have done this many times before and wished they were back at the barn and that we were gone. But hey, we’re paying, not the horses so we’re the bosses. In addition to yelling at the cows, we were encouraged to kick the horses with our heels to keep them from eating grass and to keep to the task at hand. If we kicked them hard enough, kept the head reigns tightly held and pretended that we were the boss, the horses half-heartedly did what we wanted most of the time.
As we became more comfortable on the horses, we started out into the field to get the cows. The cows hate us, the horses hate us. My bladder on a horse for 4 hours makes me hate the cows and horses. I’m not sure if the dogs that always seem to be around cows and horses hate us or if they are slightly smirking about how inept we are. But in spite of the resentment of the animals, the staff seemed more welcoming. They had incredible patience with us and were continually encouraging us.
At the end of our 4-hour “ride”, our voices was hoarse, our thighs were tired, and our horses were cranky. But we ended up getting rid of weeks of stress and frustration by yelling at the cows and horses while moving the cows to the new pasture. Mission accomplished. And you know what, we’d do it all again. It was a great way to spend some time in beautiful wild Colorado country on horseback…certainly unlike anything we’d experience in San Francisco where the only wildlife are the sea lions at Pier 39.