Where's the song ~~ "Don't let your daughters grow up to marry a Cowboy" ?

​​​​​​​Life is tough! Requires hard physical work, long, long days of pain, dirt, and broken fingernails.​
​Days of frigid cold & scorching heat; through the dust & mud; daybreak into the darkness of nite~~​
​the heart & body becomes toughened & weathered replicating leather!​
​A forever constant factor for a real Cowboy's Wife is tons of sweat, oceans of tears and a constant 'drought' in the wallet!​
​​​​​​​​​IF​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ she wants to spend anytime at all with her Cowboy, she must do as he does, you become partners!​
​​​​​​Kick off your boots, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and envision yourself in my life!​
​... It really isn't that bad! There are many rewards to be had to make it a great lifestyle! ...​ ​​​​​​​

Monday, September 8, 2008

Let me reiterate...

Why I chose W.O.W. for my identity!
Today, I’m truly "Worn Out Woman"!
A "Weary Ol' Wife"!

Having spent a wonderful day at our County Fair,
we were settled into the cozy comforts of quietness last evening

Cowboy was deeply involved with his reading and I was tidying up after finishing 99.9% of my canning for the year. My kitchen has been in disarray for weeks and the laundry has backed up to mountainous proportions. I won’t even talk about the dust that’s settled within every nook and cranny, one of the farmers could come inside my home and plant several acres of wheat!
All was calm...
Every critter inside and outside had been fed, watered and tucked in for a peaceful night~ hours ago.
I could hear coyotes howling in the distance, they do that frequently.
I could hear Tess and Millie barking, they do that frequently.
I could hear some horses whinnying, they do that frequently.
Nothing to fret about...

Cowboy, sitting in his “parlor” as he calls it, being closer to the front part of the house….
…..began hearing too many hooves beating the dirt!
He set down his reading, turned on the porch lights.
The stars were plentiful in the heavens above and a half moon lit up the back hillside behind, not the front where things were going crazy!
What’s that saying? “Hear no Evil…”?
Well he was hearing plenty of Evil! There was way too much commotion happening beyond where the eyes could see!
Grabbing the flashlight to count eyeballs, he was met with only dust! Too much dust!

“Hey Ma…better get your jeans and shoes on, think we have a wreck in progress!”

No, No, No! I’m tired of wrecks! You deal with it Pa!”

“BARB! I think I’m going to need your help, please, like now! not later!..”

(I truly detest those words, that urgency! I’ve heard them, dealt with them too many times in my life as a Cowboy’s Wife! If I never have to hear them again, it will be too soon!)

Cowboy had already climbed in his boots, garb on and disappeared into the black nightmare, by the time I headed out the front gate.
I could hear the thundering of hooves, I could barely see the gleam of the flashlight through all the dust!
To the left, that gelding was contained but having fits up and down his fence line.
To the right of me, that gelding seemed to be fine, just had a calm quizzical manner about him as to what was happening beyond.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Saturday, two young fillies arrived. They are sisters, one being a one year old, the other a two year old. They have never been halter broke. (Remember this…NEVER HALTER BROKE… never been handled by a human!).
I asked the lady when she arrived, how on earth she got them loaded in the trailer. As it turns out, she had with her 2 fillies, in the trailer, a 25 year old sway back gelding, their ‘friend’. She loaded him in first and the fillies just followed! That is exactly how they came out of the trailer too, and into their temporary corral.
The corral Cowboy put them in is 36’ x 36’ x 6’ high.

A safe place for them to settle in.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Bro, the stallion that belongs to a lady in Hawaii, has been here since April. He is very well mannered; quiet minded and behaves himself around the ‘ladies’. Bro has been tied at the hitching rail alongside 'ladies', never has there been misbehavior, and there have been plenty of fillies in season around here.
When Cowboy went north back in July to gather cattle, Bro went with him.
He hauled in the trailer with 2 ‘ladies’ for 5 hours.
He spent 5 nights with the ‘ladies’ on the other side of his paddock.
He has been quite the gentleman the whole time he’s been here.
He is kept in his own safe place away from all the other horses with approximately ¼ acre to call his own.
But…he is a stallion!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
As I walked into the dusty darkness, I had the ill sensation that Bro’s Place was the center of where all hell was breaking loose!
I saw hints of light, heavily filtered by dust, streaking one way and then the other.
Cowboy was hollering, yet I couldn’t be sure what was said.
(Hopefully, it wasn’t directed at me because it was NOT nice!)
I knew better, after all these years, all these gut wrenching ‘accidents’ to say very little. I’ve learned to read between the quiet and the not so quiet.
I am well versed in what my job is to be.
I am extremely capable of implementing new descriptions to my job on a split second's notice! Every chaotic occurrence has it’s own unique job…and I know them all, all too well!

I really, really, really hate my job!
When things go SO wrong, it is never by light of day, for us, they seem to lay in wait until long after the sun has set for the day.
Why should this night was to be any different?

I turned back, got both vehicles running and positioned with their headlights so what was happening, what needed to be done, could be seem…at least by me!
I was not about to go into that wild arena of dust, with the testosterone and hormones raging~without some lights!
I’m not a very big person, and I did not have a death wish of being mistaken as sagebrush and getting myself trampled on!
If they couldn’t see me, I would at least see them and know when and where to get out of their way!
As I climbed through the fence, I was not aware yet, as to how these two fillies ended up in Bro’s Place. Cowboy had gotten there just as the fillies crashed through the fence, so he knew where all the down wire and hazards were.
My instinct told me, absolutely NO breeding was to take place!
THAT was top priority for the first half hour! ... The second half hour!
Into the third half hour!

Running, hollering, more running, more hollering!

I didn’t know Cowboy could run so fast anymore! Heck, I didn’t know I could!

“They are coming at you!” .. “Watch out!” .. “@#!!#@!”..
Finding rocks to throw was futile…there are none! Running and swinging the rope I’d grabbed out of the truck out of instinct ~was all I could do.
Who knows where the flashlight was at this point. It would only have been thrown had I known it’s whereabouts.
Our adrenalin running on high, we were operating on instinct, from the stallion ‘talk’ and the pounding of hooves; the splat sound of hooves striking from the 2 year old when Bro would get close to her (as she wanted nothing to do with his ‘love intentions’);
the squealing from Filly1 as he approached her.
More hollering! More rope swinging! More running!
We did all we could do to prevent a breeding from taking place!

Bro was having no part in becoming the gentleman we knew he could be!

He had ONE thing on his brain and it had nothing to do with a human being!

Being caught and haltered was NOT in his plans!

“Where are you now? ”....

"Watch out!"....

“Head them towards the gate, if they come your way…it’s open, we’ll run them towards the corral!”

Yea right!
I kept hoping one of these 4 legged critters would get tired…because I sure was!
It's been going on past a full hour. The two year old came close enough to me, alone, so managed to scare her toward the open gate. She was getting tired.
I know I was beyond tired!
I was to the point of finding a gun!
And I’m not sure which breathing being I would have shot first!
Stallion, Filly 1, Filly2 or Cowboy!

Did I tell you how much I hate this job?

Ok, Filly2 was out of the gate…into the open space, which luckily I had double checked and all escape routes had been closed off.
I ‘directed’ her as calmly as I could toward the corral she needed to be in.
Yippee! One down, 2 to go!

“I got her!” ...I yelled, although through my hoarse (not horse) vocal cords, Cowboy hadn’t a clue what I said.
I hoped, that with the barnyard lights on, he could see that she was contained, and that I was all but collapsed.
I hoped that he would not need my assistance any longer.

“Where ya at?” ...I heard.

“Where the heck do ya think I’m at, in bed where I should be? Maybe I’m in another world, where I wished I were!” ... he couldn’t hear me so I felt safe to say anything I wanted.
Including, “I’m quitting!” (for the one millionth time in our years together).

I knew better though….so I headed back out to Bro’s Place, to the farthest corner…
Somewhere in the middle, I could see that the dust was beginning to settle, that Bro was slowing in his flow of testosterone, and Filly1 was pretty tired, I could hear Cowboy talking softly (that is a good sign I prayed). I positioned myself, knowing I might have to kick it in gear (if I had one left in me) to head them off in the other direction.
I’m tuckered. It is 1:25 am! This has been going on for over an hour.

I hate this part of our life!
Anger, frustration, heavy legs, and a tired heart were weighing heavy on me as I prepared for any quick change in the hormones or testosterone levels that was filling the air I was breathing. I was fighting back the tears. I’m a Tough Ol’ Bird, remember? I kept telling myself.
(And do you know how many times my pinkie got hit and smashed this night? I wish someone would cut it off now!)

I barely heard as I was wallowing in my self pity, “I got him!” ... Cowboy yelled!
Finally…Bro is caught.

Now, we still have this Filly1 who has never been handled.
She was confused and alone. Hesitantly, she began to follow Bro and Cowboy.
I lurked behind at a safe distance to help ‘guide’ her in the right direction. Once beyond the gate, I scurried, Cowboy slowed down so I could get a head and open the corral where Filly2 was. Sweat and steam pouring from his pores, Bro was tied to the hitching rail. Filly2 whinnied and Filly1 carefully found her way into the corral with her sister.
I locked the gate.

We stood there, leaning against the barn.
Covered in dust. Spitting dust.
Peace. Quiet. Clean Air. Exhaustion for all.
We prevented a breeding from taking place...Hooray!
NOW what?

We made a quick assessment of the horses. Bro had a few marks where Filly2 had planted her hooves warding off his intentions. Filly1 was just plumb tuckered. Filly2 has a few scrapes and cuts. She won’t die over night.
(She should have gaping wounds! )

We assessed the fillies escape route, and hence the damage beyond.
One of fillies (and we are guessing it to be #2) had managed to mangle one of the panels of their corral for the means of escaping.
Once free, they could have gone where we’d still be chasing them today!
Or they could have gone through the back fence up to where our horses are.
We’d still have had a wreck, just different and not as urgent.
But, luckily, (?) they chose to go courting instead! They went to Bro’s Place!
In their attempt to entice him, to tease him, they managed to totally disassemble his fence!
Fence posts and all, for about 100 yards, needed fixing before I could curl under the warmth of my covers, lay my head down and count sheep!

I really, really hate my job!

I volunteered to shut the vehicles off, and to gather the fencing supplies needed as I didn’t want to be ‘in charge’ of a Stallion coming down from a testosterone high!

“Are you SURE that’s all I need to bring?” ...I asked TWICE!
I backed the truck up to the garage, loaded some T posts, the roll of smooth wire, the fencing pliers, a hammer, and two pressure treated posts.
Oh, I’d better grab the shovel and post hole digger while I’m here even though Cowboy didn’t say to…instinct?
I just know these things.
I hate having to know these things!
I just want to go to bed!
I ran inside, grabbed my huge mug and filled it with coffee!

I drove to the far end of Bro’s Place, as that is where we (No! HE..) will begin the repairs.
I sat on the tailgate, the coffee was soothing as it trickled past my “bitter tongue”.
Composure is returning to my body. But I am NOT helping! I will watch and I will not talk.
Please, don’t talk to me either. I need some peace and quiet.

“Barb? Did you bring the fence clips?”

Remember, I asked him TWICE!

“You didn’t tell me to!” ...

“You brought the shovel, hammer and digger… and I didn’t tell you to!”

“Yea, but I knew you’d need it!” ...

“Yea, and I need the clips too!” ...

I began the long trek back to the garage afoot, so he could continue working.
It seemed like 5 miles I was going to have to hike at this 2 am hour, although it really wasn’t.
About 75 yards away I turned and screamed in my now meek voice...

“I QUIT!!”...

“What’d you say??”
… is all I heard.

At 3:10 am, Cowboy pulls out of the gate from Bro’s Place. I remain on the tailgate.
Cowboy unties the now calm and quiet Bro, the same Bro we’ve grown to know… not the Stallion we saw tonight.
They walked out to his place and he was turned loose. He immediately laid down and rolled. I’m sure with all that dried sweat, he needed a dust bath.
I need sleep!
I need a new job!

Cowboy came back and sat on the tailgate with me.
He wrapped his arms around me and held me tight, kissed my cheek and said

“Thank You…..again!"
"I do love you, you know that, right?”

I told him I’m too old for this stuff!
I hate this stuff!
I don’t want this stuff in our life anymore!
That's all I could say.
And I cried.
"I know... and I'm so sorry..."


Anonymous said...

Believe it or not but I know exactly how you felt! Having stallions is a constant worry. Whatever goes wrong can turn into a nightmare in a split of a second. I'm glad that you, cowboy and horses are all safe and well. You can't ever be in control of everything. We once had too escaped mares running up our yard one day which caused one other horse to jump over the fence and all together they also went "teasing" our stallion. Luckily it was day and we managed to catch them before more damage was done and we were also glad the owner of the two renegates helped reparing the fence damage! We also went "mare" hunting one X-mas eve ... two fillies on the run in complete darkness and heavy fog(not ours) and two stallions here ready for action ... merry x-mas!
However, I insist, you should write a book! (if you find the time in between incidents)

wordmama said...

Good gravy Barb! I will never complain about a last-minute writing request again after reading your ordeal. It's funny, but even after reading the trials and tribulations of being a cowboy family, I still held it as a kind of fantasy in my head. This post smacked of reality! I'm glad that everyone is okay - though I'm sure you're still sleep deprived. Big hugs from this Canuck for being such a strong partner and a damn fine cowboy when you need to be!

Christina said...

(((((Hugs)))))) I don't know what to say.... you are better woman than I, weary or not! Christina

earth heart said...

You are officially my hero! I don't know too many women that could handle your life, myself included. Sure glad it all ended without injury...well except for that poor pinky. Hope you can get some rest now.

Linda said...

Too bad we didn't live closer, we could have our own little support group:) I dislike chaos especially middle of the night chaos.

Patti said...

Wow. Crazy. But you know that's a really good story! When you're not chasing stallions you should work on your book.

terri said...

To a city girl, that sounds kind of exciting, but I can tell you were at the end of your rope.

Wanna trade lives for a while?

LL said...

Hmmm... Been there. Repeatedly. Only not with studs. Many many many times with all other critters. And it could have been worse WOWie... it could'a been a blizzard or sloppy wet rainstorm. (Been there too)

Oh... you sure sound like my mother when you type like this. ;)

Midlife Mom said...

What a frightening ordeal! I don't know how you do it, I think I would have pulled a bag over my head and sucked my thumb! You have my utmost admiration!!!!

Elliemae said...

Life is never boring with critters...especially horses. I can just picture you with heavy eyes, drinking your coffee on the tailgate while cowboy mends the fence. I'm sure you were tuckered out after that fiasco!

Rue said...

Good morning Barb :)

You poor thing. I've been up in the middle of the night chasing horses... pigs... goats... dogs... you name it during my 8 years on mom's ranch. Although I never had to deal with a stallion. My mom likes things "fixed" LOL

I hope you get some much needed rest :)

DADR rue

oregontribal1 said...

Oh you poor woman! Been there once or twice myself!
I really feel for ya, I wanted to cry for you-hope you get some much needed rest!! It's okay to say you quit; and then get back on that horse and ride some more....:) Just don't ride too far away. I'll need to keep in touch. Teresa

JennyLu said...

Barb- I am so sorry. I laughed when I read this post. I've been there to my dear. Only for me it was on the HOTTEST damn day of the year. I think with my patience anymore, I would have brought the gun with me when i turned on the headlights and I would have shot one or two or maaybe three horses. Prolly just the fillys tho, big boy sounds like he's been good before. And you must love him or you'd have QUIT louder. ;)

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Sending a big ol' Tennessee hug! So sorry for such a tough night...it would absolutely overwhelm me. Y'all deserve a break!

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Hope you get rested up. I absolutely love reading your blog, what great writing.

Anonymous said...

My heart skips a beat when i hear horses running in the dark and well can i remember trying to catch up horses who have escaped. I love the way you wrote up your midnight adventure.

RazorFamilyFarms.com said...

What an exciting read! I'm very glad that all was resolved and the horses weren't hurt aside from a few scuffs.

When I had horses, I fixed a few fences in the middle of the night and it NEVER gets fun. Nope. Everyone is exhausted and cranky, the evening is cold and generally you are underdressed, and of course things end just in time to feed all the animals breakfast.

I apologize for not coming around much lately. I've been a rotten bloggy friend. Company's gone and I've almost completely recovered.


Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

all I can say is Wow what a night !

Alex said...

Hmmmm....my dream is to have a farm house with horses...should I think twice???

I hope you're having a good week. :)

Mrs Mom said...

Madame WOW, and you richly deserve the WOW part, as it is a title of honor in all honesty, ... I don't know what I would have done, aside from exactly what you did. Deal with it, fix the mess, and only THEN cry and cuss out loud for all the world to hear.

Hugs to you from the Southland- where we don't have studs!! ;)

DesertHen said...

Oh my...I was on the edge of my seat while reading your post! Like you, I do not like the chaos that can happen in the middle of the night on a farm or ranch......I would much rather sleep! Glad all turned out okay.....it is okay to say I quit.....I do it all the time...then get right back in there and keep going. Hope you have gotten some much needed rest since the "midnight episode."

Renie Burghardt said...

You poor woman!

I think you should write a book about being a cowboy's wife. It just might be a bestseller, then you could both retire and lol around the beach in Hawaii, or whatever strikes your fancy. Seriously, Barb!



PK said...

You need to add an 'F' to the end of W.O.W. and change your wording to say, "Woman of Wondrous Fortitude". I've dealt with horses getting loose, stallions (okay, one stallion I raised since birth), cutting my horses from other boarded horses without any manners, but hardly all three at the same time. W.O.W.F. - your new name in my book! Hope you're rested up, I'm still resting from my second elk hunt. Take care...

Shirley said...

I'm with everyone who says you should write a book! It's the way you tell a story; it puts us right in the middle of the action- and that was some action! I'm very careful with my stallion and like to keep electric fence as well as high walls between him and mares, especially mares who come in for breeding. I really don't want him getting hurt.Somehow, I don't think anything would have kept those two fillies in; they seemed hell-bent on destruction!

Train Wreck said...

First of all didn't I tell you to NOT board Studs after the last near death incident!? And what is the lady plan on doing with these young fillies, if at their age they have not been handled? Babies should be handled from day one and have halters shortly there after? Idoubt you are too old for anything, other than being LL's mom! Tired yes, old no! I am glad no one was hurt. I knew he would ask for something you did not bring!! he he! I know all about that!! Great story, so where can I get your book....

Train Wreck said...

First of all didn't I tell you to NOT board Studs after the last near death incident!? And what is the lady plan on doing with these young fillies, if at their age they have not been handled? Babies should be handled from day one and have halters shortly there after? Idoubt you are too old for anything, other than being LL's mom! Tired yes, old no! I am glad no one was hurt. I knew he would ask for something you did not bring!! he he! I know all about that!! Great story, so where can I get your book....

Train Wreck said...

ok what the h#@! I posted, and there was nothing! I thought I messed up on those dang mangled letters! Now there is two comments?!! sorry!!

Mikey said...

Wow, I leave for 3 days and look at you! All kinds of heck breaks loose for you!
Good job on catching those renegade mares!
And your pinky... oh, that took my breath away looking at that. GOT.TO.HURT.
You've got my sympathy and prayers for quick healing

Sage said...

{{hugs}} hope the pinky is recovering well.. sounds like a horrendous event well managed by you and Cowboy..

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