The Taussig family (of whom Caitlyn Taussig, our cowgirl-singer, is one) and Latigo have a wonderfully neighborly relationship. They loan us up to 30 cows in the summer, and we pasture them and get them used to people and herding with our Friday cattle drive and team penning activities. In the winter, they board our horses down the hill in their upper pasture. Our herd gets hay and attention all winter long while we keep the ranch running. It’s a beautiful relationship.
However, we have to get the herd from the ranch to the Taussig’s and back again, and we have to do it twice a year.
Anytime you’re dealing with loose horses, there is an element of risk, and eighty horses thundering down the mountain is another animal entirely.
In the winter, we’re often dodging snowdrifts and blowing clouds of steam into the clear blue while our horses’ hooves pound down snow-packed roads. We dress warmly, beanies, gloves, and wild-rag silk scarves to keep the chill off until our muscles warm to the business of posting a trot downhill… for seven miles.
Spring is always a gamble. It might be snowing, it might be muddy, or it might be absolutely perfect.
Spencer usually takes point at the head of the herd. With his long whip, he can encourage the more enthusiastic horses to slow their pace and keep to a safer speed. Two riders at the back can get stragglers to keep up with their comrades, collect any horses who might stray off the back road between our ranches, and generally take care of any other emergencies which might arise.
A beautiful sight.
The horses came up the mountain yesterday, Spencer in the lead, Randy and Jon keeping everyone together, and the rest of the wranglers busy with trucks, flagging, and fences. It was a perfect day for it. As you can see for yourself.
Don't forget to check Latigo on Facebook, Pinterest, & Instagram!
<< Previous Post