Soapweed's Ranch Ramblings
The writings of a Nebraska Sandhills cattle rancher!

Nov 08, 2005

Mrs. Soapweed and I have participated in quite a few team pennings through the years. We have even managed to each win three belt buckles while doing it, and this has been done pretty much using the same gentle cattle working methods we use at home. Some of the "real" rodeo hands downplay team penning by saying, "it's all in the luck of the draw on what cattle you get." Well, it is, but no more so than in the "real" rodeo events. Luck tends to be what you make of it.

A few years ago, I furnished thirty-six cows and thirty-six calves for a ranch rodeo. Because of furnishing the cattle, I got to "make up the rules" for the rodeo. The first event was team penning, but it had one wrinkle to it that I've not seen before or since. It was "pair penning" which meant that each of the twelve teams had to sort out the three cows with the proper number, and also the three calves that belonged to those cows. The cows and calves were each double tagged with easy-to-read numbers, so finding the right critters was easy. Getting them sorted and penned was the hard part. Have to brag a bit, but our team won that event--maybe because we've had more practice --but we didn't win the most points to win the rodeo.

The next event was the calf branding. Only one horse and one rope were used. All three members of each team had to each catch a calf.

The third and final event was wild cow milking. I never could see pedestrians getting mauled and stomped on to milk a darned old cow, as it might be "raunchy" but is not a bit "ranchy". Once again I made up my own rules. It was a head and heel deal, with the third person doing the milking and running the bottle to the judge. I think a cow milking of this nature is just as fun for the crowd to watch, better shows off good equine abilities, and is darned sure more realistic and user friendly to the cow-people participants.

We had another fun event separate from the ranch rodeo compiling of points. It was called "wild cow barrel racing". A two person team had to work a cow through a cloverleaf barrel race pattern. Mrs. Soapweed and I lucked out and won that event, too. Anyway, it was a pretty fun rodeo, and would have been better yet had the temperature not been on the wrong side of a hundred degrees.






Copyright © 2005 Steve Moreland
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