all points considered whilst sitting at the breakfast table………
1 – Everything – ranching- is heavy- especially the feed, from mineral blocks to protein tubs. Just sliding protein tubs from one position to another requires full body strength. Further, a bag of cattle protein cubes weighs 50 pounds. That’s a little less than half my body weight and perhaps a little too much information. However, if you don’t injure your back picking it up who needs weight training?
2 – Getting into the tractor is great for stretching, especially when you just clear 5’ in height. It takes a while to get your balance in order to hoist yourself into the cab. In that position you are almost in warrior pose. Personally, I only drive the smaller tractor, ‘Clementine’. But even so, simple tasks, like feeding hay, require opening and closing at least two gates in any one of our pastures to deliver the bail and then you have to do the same to get back.
That’s a fair amount of yoga…. at a stretch( see the pun).
3 – We use a number of Polaris’s to get us around the ranch. For whatever reason we find ourselves stepping in and out an inordinate amount of times to check fences, water gaps, water pipes, cattle and pastures , etc,.
Just taking a picture requires a knee bend or a crouch which constitutes an advanced stepping class, without a doubt, a workout!
4- Even though we use a Polaris to drive around, we still walk a lot. Herding the cattle, we often find ourselves closing a gate behind the last straggler having left our wheels at the far end of the enclosure. We try to stay calm with the longhorns so walking is mainly what we do but from time to time we do have to pick up the pace.
Distractions also happen easily at our age. There’s nothing like a coyote siting, a flock of wild turkey or deer or even a burst pipe to set us walking in a different direction to the transportation.
5- With regard to burst pipes, most of ours are underground, but we do get the odd rupture and we do have temporary water troughs above ground here and there. Fixing a pipe is like playing a game of tug of war, with the exception of a team’s backing behind you. It requires an exercise of full body strength, especially in winter. In the same vein, maintaining damaged fences usually amounts to an equivalent workout.
6- And finally, meditation. Clearing one’s mind after a workout is just as important. Of course, we do have to mention actually working the cattle. Catching a calf, positioning an uncooperative cow or simply encouraging the herd along can be strenuous, not to mention, hazardous!
Granted, we may not achieve the cardio-vascular routine necessary to improve our physical condition, however, peace and clarity of mind is a step we never overlook.
Watching our longhorns grace our fields as they graze and ruminate fills our souls and warms our hearts.
It’s probably not enough to burn the calories of our full country breakfast, but, what if we discard the fat of the bacon?
SERIOUSLY, my favorite task is anything to do with Clementine. I love driving the tractor! Plowing, shredding, or moving hay.
What’s your favorite task? GVRlonghorns@gmail.com
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Each one of our Longhorns brings something special to the herd. As a community they are fascinating. We learn more about them everyday. We never imagined how much joy they would bring into our lives. We also enjoy hearing from you. Let us know what you think of our blog and if you are also lucky enough to have cattle, do they behave similarly/differently or in ways that stand out?
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Disclaimer: All material noted above is based on our hands- on experience as ranchers, as well as our observations of our own cattle over the years. We have done and continue to do extensive research in order to maintain our herd‘s optimum health. However, all opinions and statements made on our website are meant as guidelines only. We are not qualified statisticians/ veterinarians and urge you to consult a specialist with your concerns.
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