The worst thing about branding season is when it ends. We are always excited when a mid-summer branding comes up, even if it's only a handful of calves that need to be done. Yesterday I got a text from our friends up the road. They had 14 calves that needed to be done and they wanted to make it a day for the kids.
So this morning, we finished up our hay chores, loaded horses, kids and sunscreen and headed up the road. We unloaded the kids and horses and made adjustments to the things they were using.
The youngest bonus daughter borrowed my horse and saddle. Before I lengthened her stirrups she had climbed into the saddle. She put her feet in the stirrups and said "Mom. You're short!" Yes, yes, I am...Once I dropped her stirrups about 19 holes from where mine sit (maybe it was only 5) she then commented on the comfort of my saddle. "Yes, well. Don't get used to it," was my reply. Kids these day...
Anyway! The girls and Weebeast, both of our friends' boys and their cousin all got to rope. Husbeast was the chief header and they would all come in and heal calves behind him.
The best part about it was that they got to rope without any pressure, learn a little bit more and get a feel for things.
Weebeast actually roped on his pony a couple of times. It was her first trip into the branding pen and she did pretty well! She did get a rope around her foot and it made her jump. But as with the kiddos, we know what needs to be worked on before their next one.
There were a few pinched fingers, a couple of rope burns, maybe a bad word or two, but mostly the kids left with smiles on their faces.