Moving the Cows

We were moving a herd of cattle down country roads to new pasture. The herd was getting tired. Once again, I was riding Mary Lou. I was pushing the cattle, my X and my son were in side roads ahead of me, to keep them going straight. My son was about 7 years old at this time.

When the cattle got even with the guys, they pushed on my X, moving him back down the road. I got to the crossroad, about the time he managed to turn the cattle and they were heading back my way. My son yelled at the cows, and got most of them to turn up the road where they were supposed to go.

One old Angus cow was on the fight. She was bellering and pawing up the dirt with her eyes on my son. The moment she put her head down to charge, I jumped Mary Lou directly into her path.

The cow had her head down, which put her directly under my horse, and the force of her charge took us all down in the middle of the road. Once again, I found my leg under my horse as we went skidding along. Once again, I was riding the old Hamley saddle. That saddle was a god send.

I can remember seeing the cows face inches from mine as she tried to bull her way up and over me and my downed horse. Snot was blowing from her nostrils, sliming me as she shook her head in frustration. I can remember the exact brown and red color of the whites of her eyes.

Luckily she was old and she tired easily. She wasn’t able to get traction with her hind hooves in the gravel and she finally gave up. Mary Lou got to her feet, and I got to mine. Mary Lou had scraped her knees, I was none the worse for wear.

My X was screaming at me because now we’d have a vet bill for the horse but my son was ok so I was happy.

There are times in this life when you don’t have time to think, you know you have to act. I couldn’t possibly let my seven year old son fend off the cow by himself. I forgot I wasn’t on Lucky, my good old cowpony, he could have withstood the charge of the cow for he was used to such things and knew how to brace himself.

When you’re working cattle, a good cow horse is worth it’s weight in gold, for he can save you a lot in time and injuries.

Moving the Cows

Donna Ridgway

Vaughn, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

A story of ranch life.

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