I took a picture of myself today, smiling into the sun and you wouldn’t know from the looks of it that my butt was bruised, my ankle was so sore I could hardly put weight on it to trot, and at that point we were only half-way into a 5 hour day on horseback. We split up to sweep a few washes, looking for those 3 dang weaners. I was on Emma Grace, which made me nervous for half the morning, and you know she doesn’t like being separated from the others, so it was quite a struggle to get her down that crickbed. But we did it… slowly but surely, and wouldn’t you know we stumble upon a cow! I become so thrilled and EG seems to notice that we’re now part of this kind of cow moving sport. We had a brief stare-off with the creature while I tried to determine if it was angry or just bitch-faced. I decided EG could take care of her and myself, so we moved forward causing the thing to turn around and move in the right direction. Here we go traipsing through the wash, pushing this buddy toward the gate. Little did I know, Paul was above me on the ridge watching (and laughing about) the whole thing… and he informed me that it was a BULL, not a cow. THE bull!

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Anyway, bull got away because I’m a rookie… but that lead us to finding the 3 missing cows! We were moving all over those desert hills and EG and I were going up and down slopes I never imagined myself daring to take on on a horse! Even going through brush and under (some) branches! We got the elder cow through the gate but were freaking outsmarted by the 2 little ones – all 5 of us and the 2 dogs, goddamnit. And who knows where the bull went!

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Well, it was getting late so we gave up on the cows and went on to push the older cow over to Murder Camp. Turns out the bull went through the gate on his own and so we took him too! Eric met us there with the horse trailer and we rode back in the bed of the Ford, watching that Arizona landscape fly by in our blue jeans, cowboy boots and hats, with dirty nails, bruised butts and sore legs… and smiles of satisfaction and a day well spent. Your worries and such change in a lifestyle like this. My largest concern is somewhere along the lines of falling off this horse onto a cactus or getting clotheslined by (another) juniper. Inhibitions are gone, my face might have dirt on it, I don’t smell a whole lot better than EG, and there isn’t a whole lot that matters more to me than finding those 3 cows. This is the way life should be… instead of us worrying about so many stupid things. What a great day when I can say that my only “disappointments” were not being able to see the moon rise due to the clouds, and not getting closer to the birds and cottontails running across the desert.

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