Day 2. We are loaded up and even the horses seem excited to be working another day. Just before leaving the Lodge, Ida called to say Boulder Animal Control had called her, saying some people had reported cows grazing on their septic field. The number of animals and location made it a pretty sure bet it was the missing-in-action cows we were looking for. We met her at the same spot, loaded our horses into her trailer and headed for the mini division they seemed to have found.
Today, it was only Ida, Bill, Elisa and me. The others had gone to a Halloween party the night before and didn’t want anything to do with collecting cattle. I think it made it easier, because we had meshed into a pretty good team and didn’t have to watch out for the non-riders. Also, the horses seemed much more at ease, now knowing what was expected of them. Audubon seemed to like the company, Washoe had calmed down around the cows and the other two just wanted a job to do.
When we got to the little division up behind Jamestown, there was a young girl waiting for us, maybe 10-12 years old. She had been “keeping an eye on the cows” and told Ida exactly how many and what colors they were. Later, Ida laughed in delight at all the information. Obviously the girl felt she had a very important job to do, and left quite happy. Bill and I rode at the edge of a small lake while Elisa and Ida followed the girl’s directions to locate the cows. They drove them back toward us and we soon met up and headed them homeward. Again, we headed right into the thickest part of the forest, as it was the most direct route back to their pasture, which was between us and the trailer. According to Ida, cows don’t like to follow roads and it’s much too difficult keeping them out of the fencing on either side. After the previous day’s experience, we agreed. As we came to fencing between pastures, the cows would just push through any loose area they came to and we would have to find a way to get the horses through. Ranger won’t go anywhere near a fence that looks like wire, so that meant dismantling one completely! We also had to keep a close eye out for rolled wire on the ground, where old fences had been taken down, but the wire was just left lying around. Again, the cattle didn’t care, but horses don’t like getting tangled.
Once we got the cows back to their regular pasture, they seemed to remember their way on back to the trailer loading area, so all we had to do was follow and keep them moving. They were getting pretty tired by this time and wanted to stop a lot. This day went very smoothly and it only took two hours to get the job done. We were almost sad that it was over; it was such a great ride time. It also ended our riding for the season. The following week I had my shoulder X-rayed due to the fall I had taken while on vacation. No fractures, but the doc said stay off the horses until it was healed, as a safety against re-injury. Bummer! What a great way to end the season, though, with a dream come true.