Branding Irons

I remember dad waking us boys up so we could saddle up and drive the cows down from the upper pasture. He would be at the corral getting a fire built so we could brand the young steers and dehorn some of the cows so we could load them up on a trailer and run a few to the auction pens in in Alamosa, N.M...The stench of the burning hair gets right up in your nose and hangs there a while.Then after working our herd we would ride on over to my Uncle Phils and help him out with his herd,ear tagging, branding , vaccinating and such. It was a life that demanded hard work and my dad was a stern man that took hard work seriously.He passed this ethic down to my brothers and I. Cowboyin was a tough life, I mean with fences to mend,herds to move bales of hay to stack in the hot sun, Had to get the bales stacked and covered before the rains hit.A good way of life thats almost all gone.Cowboy is in my heart and in my veins...
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1 Response May 7, 2012

Been there, done that, and miss it! We are in the same age group and it's been many years since I lived in the country and worked on a farm/ranch. We raised a few hogs to butcher, but I worked for a dairy farmer and he also raised beef cattle as well. We put all our hay bales in barns, hot as hell!! I've pulled calves, castrated newborn bulls to make them steers, dehorned cattle (amazing how much blood squirts out till you put the powder and purple spray on them). I even worked at a sale barn as well. We call what you call an auction pen , sale barns here. I really miss it and regret that my boys missed out on that. We're taking a trip next month and I'm going to take them to the farm I worked so they can see the place to go along with the stories I've told them.