I'll tell you something about living in the country. I can't get anyone to delver a pizza but I can get two cowboys with two horses out here to get a bucket off a heifers head in less than an hour!
I bring the cattle in every now and then and feed them in the round pen. It makes it easier when I have to put them in a trailer if they associate the round pen with food. I fill up some buckets and the trough, lock them in and then come back and let them out awhile later. I've been doing this for close to three years in the same round pen with the same buckets and it's no big deal. Except for this particular day when our 1 year old heifer got her budding horns firmly hooked over the handle of a 5 gallon bucket while eating.
"Well, shoot," Except I said something other than shoot to Garth and Vera, my cattle dogs, "this isn't going to be easy."
Here's the challenge; it's 98 degrees out at 1 in the afternoon, it's Memorial day, and I'm the only person on the ranch.
I called Don at the Tavern.
"Hey, um, Big Red's heifer from last year has her head stuck in a bucket, I tried to separate her from the others but now she got out with the rest of the herd and now she's running around with a five gallon bucket hanging over her head." I say in one big breath when he answers the phone.
"Well, shoot," except he said something other than shoot, "that's not going to be easy."
If you're wondering what a heifer with a bucket on her head looks like...here you go...
"She can't eat, she can't drink," I said, "she's got a few hours before it becomes a real critical problem."
"Yeah, but what if she sticks her head in the pond to try and the bucket fills up and drags her under?" Don said.
So that started a series of strange phone calls on my part. First to the vet, then to the County Ag office (closed of course) then some postings on FB then a call to the local cattle auction house down the road...Bingo!
The guy who owns the place said he'd make a couple of calls and wouldn't you know it...Cowboys!
Now I have a big ol' quarter horse, a ranch saddle and a rope...but I ain't a cowboy. I trained horses for 14 years! If you want a horse to do a pretty passage (a high stepping trot) or a levade (a low, controlled rear) I can do that. But something practical like rope a cow, ah, yeah no.
I pulled the quarter horse over when they showed up and pointed out the finer points of the working ranch horse. He sighed and walked away.
The guys had that heifer roped at both ends, stretched and the bucket off in less than ten minutes. The horses didn't even break a sweat.
After posting the video and story on his Facebook page Don was flooded with messages from women asking if this was a new service provided through Uber.
Not yet. But I think we're on to something.