Horsin’ Around 12-28-09
Fort Collins, Colo.
My neighbors down the road run about 100 cows and seem to have plenty of hay to feed them through this rough winter. However, they also have three strapping boys in high school which from what I can remember is a heavy financial pull on the economy of the family. Oh, I know they enjoy their boys and have plenty of help feeding and breaking water for the cows.
Never the less, with the drop in cattle prices, all ranchers are having a hard time making a go of it. I know some of my rancher friends have sold off most of their cattle to hang on, oh yes, that has been the ranching business for as long as I can remember. I know there are ranchers in West Texas that are rolling in wealth – I went to school with a bunch of them. But when it got down to it, they made most of their money when oil was discovered on their ranches.
Pat Stratton is a banker and I don’t know how much of a cut he has taken but when I talked with him, he said that his bank had not made the risky loans other banks had so they weren’t hit as bad as many other banks. However it is still hard raising three strapping boys by feeding, clothing and providing transportation to and from sporting events and so on. Then when they become of age, they need a car or truck. I could go on and on because I raised five kids myself.
Doris got busy and put her artistic talent to work, and then discovered folks wanted what she made. She began placing these articles around at Christmas time and then at craft shows. Doris got so good – her work was called for around in many places. I don’t know how long she works to produce her art works. But they fit in almost everywhere.
Oh she is not just an artist but I have watched her vaccinating calves, running a squeeze chute for cattle, working cattle on horseback or driving their truck to summer pasture. Oh I’m sure I’m painting Doris Stratton as a “Super Housewife” but she is typical of the ranch women I have known all my life and I admire them all. I have eaten the meals she prepares and seen the house they live in; they are both wonderful.
Prior to his retirement, Roger Thompson was a CHA certified instructor of advanced Western horsemanship and beginning English riding.
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