A Cowboy’s Faith: Annual gathering brings submission

buchmanhead“A cowboy just can’t have too many good horses.”

“It was another wild horse roundup.”

Bureau of Land Management roundups of mustangs from government rangelands have received considerable media coverage, of which we were reminded as gathering our mares and foals from summer pasture.

Airplanes are often used to drive Uncle Sam’s wild horses into canyon traps when population assessment efforts are undertaken.

Of course, calling ours in with a feed bucket would be the easiest way, but they’re too smart, or maybe not so intelligent, for that. “The cowboy way” then is for mounted riders to drive those seemingly outlaws into a corral.

However, the herd stallion, with his two handfuls of mares and spring foals, doesn’t take liking to strange horses coming around his girls, so to speak, and there is high risk of danger to cowboys and their mounts.

Thus, we’re guilty of modern roundup methods, sadly some semblance to the way federal administrators work, and call a four-wheeler into action.

One can even envision the whirlwind effect from the sky, as a noisy mechanical cart speeds through dry grassland draws, into the fallen leaves of timber, toward the catching place of which the horses most beware.

On-foot assistance is required as mommas, babies and daddy come at a fast canter, tails in the air and heads even higher, down the hillside to the nicely renovated steel pen. But, the Flint Hills is their home, and regular trails are known better than human trappers, so escape for half of the band was easy in the first attempt.

Ones that were captured calmed quickly, and another roaring engine chase brought the remaining number in as well.

It was really nothing new for the mature ones, which soon pacified their young, and loaded into trailers for a further soothing ride to headquarters.

Aware of what was still ahead, the broodmares, and crop, unloaded in fashion not unlike a herd of cows with calves.

Neither maternal nor young appreciated separation as foals went to new ownership, likely to never see closest relatives again. Soon, their dams were nonchalantly grazing winter pasture, with recurrent cycle another year.

Reminds us of Luke 19:30: “At your entering ye shall find a colt and bring him hither.” Then, Mark10:16: “Gathering the children, He laid blessings on them.” So, Second Chronicles 27:6:  “They repeated this for the strength was rooted in steady and determined life of obedience.”


Frank_BuchmanFrank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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