I am posting this for my future reference, or perhaps my children, grand children or anyone else who gets into these situations.

I saddled up Woody, my older, cow eating, raging bay, wild man of a war horse. We’ve went to lots of battles and always won, but we have gotten a few scars while doing so. He is still my favorite horse in all the world, tho’ like me he has his faults!

He is 20 yeas old, real good shape to almost too fat, and only been rode a couple times this spring/summer. Nose flies are bad so I had placed a torn off sleeve from an old shirt over his nose in an attempt to help him out a little. He saw no humor or use in this attempt. He just flipped his nose as if the flies were still bothering him. So at the gate I took it off. He seemed to appreciate that.

I went to move a couple little bulls who I had left behind in a pasture when we moved the heifers out earlier, as the bulls had sore feet and were thin, so I left them to heal and maybe fatten as they were not going to be doing any breeding anyway, in the shape they were in.

After I got them moved across the road, I followed up to see where they had gone after I had closed the gates. I discovered the heifers had come back in to the pasture I had turned these little bulls in and while looking at the cattle found a little yearling bull who was kind of peaked and looked like he could use some antibiotics. Just so happened I had some in my saddle bag!

Now, you need to know that Woody will run to cattle. His idea of rating one is to charge to one, get about 2 feet from his hip and stay there no matter what the rider does that is maybe still on his back or the landscape! Any attempts at trying to discourage this behavior is ignored or maybe acknowledged with a mere shaking of his head! I trained him this way.


I am not real sure, now.

I build a loop in my good enough, 5 strand wrapped around one strand of nylon, cotton rope that I have been assured will out last 3 nylon ropes of equal size, that I love to rope with and again I notice one strand is showing wear about a foot or so from the hondo, but it will sure work and last long enough to get this little job done.

I build a loop, we get to the bull damn quick and I throw a perfect double hock heel loop.

I know!

I was shocked myself!

Of course Woodrow makes no attempt to slow down and allow me to jerk the slack out of the loop, so the bulls runs on out of it. No big deal, I build another loop, we get to him damn fast and again I throw a good loop and even manage to snag one foot in the double hocker I throw and keep it on for a micro second, but again, Woodrow does not slow his headlong rush, even with me encouraging him to do so, so I lose that foot.

I build another loop, silently mutter to my self about training on horses when they are younger so as to not have to put up with this BS when they are older, we again run to the slightly tireder, tho’ gaining in health, it seems like, bull.

This time I manage to keep one foot, but have a nest of rope around the saddle horn with part of Woody’s mane in it. No big deal, we just follow the little bull until I get the knots untied from the 50 foot of rope that is wadded up around the saddle horn. Of course by the time I get everything untangled the loop on the bulls foot falls off.

I get the loop re-built, we run up to the bull and I stick one on the right hind foot (which is my favorite foot to rope single, evidently)Β  and this time I keep it and get the bull laid down on his left side and ride up close enough to lift his right hind foot in the air and dally and tie off to the horn, leaving about 4 feet of rope between his foot and the saddle horn. I step off and go to tie the rest of the rope on the opposite side of Woody to the bulls same foot, so as to keep Woody faced up. About that time the bull somehow manages to get to his feet, my saddle turns on Woody’s back slightly and Woody doesn’t like this. Woody tries to turn away from the bull while I am encouraging him to stand still, hanging on to the tail of my Macarty coming down from the snaffle I am riding him in. Woody manages to get turned the opposite way and starts to drag and kick at the bull at his right flank. The bull falls down again and about then……. that weak spot in the rope broke!

Soooo….. in hind sight, here are some observations I made from this situation.

1 – When going to rope a critter of any size, never, ever, over pad, on a slightly fat horse!

2- When you see a weak spot in your rope, fix it or get a different rope, at that time.

3- Train on your horse when he is YOUNG, so as not to have to put up with his old age silliness. (Lord knows that’s bad enough in humans let alone horses!)

4- Never assume your cinch is tight enough, re-check it before the battle.

5- On a hot muggy day, after a wreck with livestock, a cold beer tastes damn good, even if you seldom drink beer.

6- Sick bovines are seldom as sick as they seem when you are going to rope one, in a pasture situation.

7- If you are not a buckaroo and do not ride the kind of horse they do, where a singe rigged saddle is sufficient, always use a back cinch and collar. (Luckily, I observed this rule in this instance)

8- When attempting to rope and doctor cattle by yourself in the pasture, carry a second rope. ( I broke this rule in this instance. Dammit!)

9- Do not post these types of observations on the world wide internet as you are sure to get all kinds of free advice as to what you did wrong, and no body needs that, when they have ALREADY went thru’ the wreck! No. They need that BEFORE the wreck!

10- Do not put the torn off sleeve of an old shirt overΒ  Woody’s nose to help with nose flies. He does not appreiciate it. Just let him suffer. I am sure it is good for his soul, just like suffering in humans does.

11-Most important, when dealing with equines and bovines and most people, be prepared to have a good sense of humor. No one wants to see a grown man cry!