Wake up, have breakfast, grab a raw hide lasso and after a couple of failed attempts on the training post it's straight into the corral to do it for real!
The Cowboy day is as follows; Let the calves be with their Mum for a small feed to get the cows all juicy like, then you milk the cows. You then lasso the calves and tie them to the corral for the day whilst the cows go out grazing. This is to get the calves used to being in the corral. Come evening let the calves feed again once the cows are back before lassoing them again so they may roam and graze during the night. They aren't going to stray far from their Mum.
It's great fun trying to lasso a moving mooing target. I didn't get one straight off but Ian got a couple round the back legs and I then got the head - Tag team! I never thought I'd be doing bare foot either! Then I got a big bull by mistake and the others made me ride him! Luckily he was tame and didn't try too hard to damage me!
Lunch and then off with Collette and her Farther (Paula) to go net fishing in the creeks. We grab a bicycle each and head off. The bike ride is really difficult on the Savannah because you're following these little ruts / tracks which are often sandy and are a Bitch to correct when you veer off course even slightly. Collette look the rear and basically laughed at me all the way there and all the way back ! We found these isolated pools of water from a drying up stream and strung a fishing / tennis net across the middle to catch fish. We then went in with casting nets to get the rest; think spider webs with lead weights around the circumference. These things are seriously heavy and I was impressed by Paula's ability to fling it out far with just the flick of his wrist.
Back at the ranch and it's time for a round up. Some cattle have strayed and need to be brought back. I'm given a horse, Rambo! It only has one ear, it lost the other fighting! I also get a Jaguar skin saddle, ye hah! So Francis (a Vaquero), Ian and I ride out. Bear in mind I think I was 12 when I last sat on a horse, and then it just ambled along. When it looks like I'm comfortable we try a trot. Ouch. All of a sudden my balls and tackle are being slapped up into cavities I'm not supposed to have. Once I've re-arranged myself we try a quick gallop - yeah! Wow! Another hours ride and we find the cattle. We radio in and are told in no uncertain terms, "Round em up Cowboys!" So we do. The 3 of us split up, keep the cattle hemmed in and drive them back to the ranch, culminating in a full gallop for a good part of the way. We drive them straight into the corral. It's a beautiful feeling! You've just brought all this cattle in from the fields on horseback!
Work isn't over yet. We tend to our steeds, grab some lassos and head back to the corral to put those calves out for the night. I get my first calf in a head shot. Awesome!
Next it's time for a bathe in a beautiful scenic river spot just down the way and back to the ranch for dinner. It's Chicken curry, outdoors in the light of a full moon. I'm telling ya, days just don't get any better than this!
Posted by Steve Eynon