Moving on the Mountain
We have been lucky this summer to have mild temperatures, 80's and 90's mostly, and we had quite the cool snap for a week or so, then came the heat. The temperatures have been climbing for the last week and it topped out this weekend in the 100's. Not our favorite kind of weather. We are, however, very fortunate to live at the base of the beautiful Big Horn Mountains. And a short, hour-long drive brings the promise of cooler weather and gorgeous views.
For the past week or so we have been getting the mountain pasture ready for cows. Fixing fence that has been demolished by oblivious elk. Starting tanks and making sure the water is ready to go. Putting out salt and mineral to keep the girls healthy and happy. And again, fixing the fence that the inconsiderate elk have demolished. We go around the fence but it takes more than a day or two to get it all up, partly because half of the time we come back to a spot we put up yesterday, and it's down again today. Luckily sometimes we get to see the massive herds of elk, and their beauty reminds us they are for more than cursing while we pick up the mess they leave behind.
Once the pasture is ready to go we move the pairs across the road from our leased pasture to the big Greet Ranch mountain pasture. This year was different than previous years for one (or two) reasons: this year Quinlan and Lorelei got to help. Quinlan has become pretty independent on the ponies and is quickly becoming an old hand at moving cows. This was Lorelei's first big ride and while she is making great progress her age is slightly prohibitive and she still needs a little help. We set out early and got the kids set up on Jackie and Jaycee, (cutsie matching ponies need cutsie matching names). We kept a halter and lead rope on Jaycee for Lorelei just in case she needed to be led on her pony. Both of the ponies are pretty good at just following along, but sometimes they get their own ideas about who they should follow. For the most par,t Lorelei got to pilot her own pony behind or beside me while Quinlan went with dad to help gather the trees. When Daniel caught up to Lorelei and I, I was impressed with her ability to get her pony stopped and turned around. Apparently Jaycee thought Daniel's horse would be better company than mine. While the day consisted mostly of her following, she did get out on her own a few times and kicked some cows up for me. Meanwhile, Quinlan spent time with Dad honing his skills and gaining some speed.
All in all the day went pretty well and the kids did great. Quinlan gets more and more experience with each ride and soon little sister will be hot on his heels. With the cousins building their riding skills, these two ponies are going to get enough use for four horses and arguments over whose turn it is to help ride are not far off on the horizon.
With the cows up top there is no small amount of maintenance that will go into keeping them happy and out of the neighbors' pastures. We are lucky that our job takes us to such beautiful places and with cooler temperatures coming the mountain will provide even more refreshing weather to work in. Are you impatiently awaiting cooler weather and fall, or are you wishing the warm weather would last all year? Let us know in the comments! Also, it was Brandon's birthday this week! Have to say a Happy Birthday to the best dad and husband a family could ask for!
By Megan Greet