Not sure if this is what people want to read…but maybe some youngster will gather something from it.     

When I was young..when branding calves..we just caught them by hand and threw them down and held them. We learned the best and easiest way to do that at a very young age and mostly wrestled the smaller ones.. leaving the larger ones for the bigger boys and men. As we got bigger, we could wrestle bigger calves.     

When I was about age 11, some of the neighbors we helped, went to using a calf table. We younger boys were delegated to pushing the calves up the race or chute, to the calf table. So some brandings you wrestled and some you tabled.     

Then heeling and dragging calves out on a horse to waiting wrestlers came along. So we had three different ways of doing the same job. Then we learned to use a Nordfork to hold he calves with, thereby using a horse to hold the calves. Then we learned heading and heeling, where two horses and riders catch the calves by head and heels, the calf is laid down by the ground crew and the head rope is moved to the front feet so the horse and riders could hold the calf.     

We all became proficient at all the different ways. Who you were helping dictated how the work was done.     

I was very good at pushing calves up a chute and preferred that job when using a table. And any time cattle of any size were pushed up a chute for any reason..no matter calf, yearling or cow..and I was part of there crew, that was where I usually worked. I liked it and seemed kind of handy at it and I wasn’t handy at all with a vaccine gun! Heck, just ask my neighbors!     

But…I also got my feet stomped on a lot..while getting good at pushing cattle down a chute, especially where I was in the chute behind them. And even after I was good at it..accidents happened…and I got my feet stomped on.     

Fast forward to today..at 63 years of age. I am setting here recovering from surgery to fix my left foot. The doctor said she had never seen so much arthritis before. I am sure it is from all the foot stomping over the years..bones getting cracked and healing, leaving more and more bone, healed upon cracks.     

This is a long way around to say this….I don’t care how anyone gets their stock worked. There is a good argument for each style. But…..I never ever got my feet stomped on unless helping while using a chute.     Odd… ain’t it? Take care of your body.. it’s the only one you get!

2 thoughts on “

    1. I preferred there Nordforks or heading and heeling, if you had the right crew.. like most things. some people can make anything work, there can screw up anything, no matter how simple.

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