Thursday, January 12, 2012

Morning Chores

After one last sip of coffee, I donned my full Carhart winter gear, Muck boots, hat, gloves, and pulled my fleece quarter-zip up to my chin. The thermometer said nine below zero. Today I followed along as Pete did his morning chores. Whenever he leaves to go out of town, this is our drill. I'm reminded each time how many pounds of grain and, or hay each group of horses and steers get each day. I told Pete, "I've got it covered. You know how good cheap help is." He quipped, "As good as it costs."

The routine today and tomorrow is relatively simple. Grain to the performance horses, brood mares, our stallion, Riggs, and the babies plus Hercules the goat. Every few days Pete does quite a bit more, filling the feeders with round bales for all twenty-five horses, and when needed, snow blowing the ranch driveway, barnyard, and in the deep of winter, feed trails.

So, I get to push the "Easy" button tomorrow morning. That is with one caveat: the roping steers went down river the other day and ended up at the neighbors. I told Pete, "The only thing I worry a little bit about is the roping steers heading out." Reassuringly he said, "Don't worry. Now that it's so cold, I don't think they'll go anywhere."

As I write I like to think he's right. But on a rather consistent basis, when Pete leaves town, something happens at the ranch, whether I'm on watch or not. So, I'll be watching and hoping this still and frigid day remains a quiet one. If there's excitement, I'll keep readers posted.

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