The young bull, the old bull and the one there in the middle | TheFencePost.com

The young bull, the old bull and the one there in the middle

Penny Pfeiff Olney Springs, Colo.

The dynamics of several generations working together always fascinates me … and nowhere is that more prevalent to me than observing a young man, his father and grandfather. Watching my son, husband, and father-in-law during branding brought the analogy of the young bull, the old bull and the one there in the middle. While there is a common thread and way of doing things – each brings his own source of knowledge and way of doing things.

The young bull – the grandson – brings a young man’s strength, energy, and enthusiasm to the project. Not only does he bring the knowledge he has acquired from other generations he also brings new ideas and ways of doing things that he has learned in the “world” out there. His education has made him focus on new and different ideas that the others may not have been exposed to. He has his own way he believes the job should be done. You can see him trying to step up and lead but still not completely confident to take full charge. And though he has not taken complete control there are times when he is almost challenging the older ones because he feels strongly about his beliefs and ideas. He is positioning himself to one day step into the next role but at this point in time he respectfully waits until he is ready.

Then there is the old bull – Grandpa has been around cattle as long as his son and grandson’s ages combined. So while he has days that he feels he is out to pasture – his wisdom and willingness to help cannot be replaced. He knows the ropes but also knows his limitations and so he willingly steps back to the job of running the gate and chasing the calves in. He knows to let the more physical work be done by those with fewer miles on their bodies. However, he still knows what needs to be done and so he is ever eager to jump in and help. His focus on getting his job done right sometimes can lead to that eagerness putting him in the way of possible harm. But just his presence seems to bring a calmness that should the need arise he will know what to do.

This leaves the bull left in the middle. The man in the middle brings with him the lessons his father has taught him and tries to combine those with the innovations of his son while maintaining his own ideals and decisions. He must walk a fine line to bring these worlds together and sometimes the pressure and stress puts him in what can be intense situations as he takes the weight of the situation upon his own shoulders. The love and respect and desire to protect those who have come before and those who have came after him puts him in the position to still lead but do it in such a way that the others know that their input is needed and valued. It must be noted though that he takes a deep sense of pride in watching his son take on more responsibility and in his father who still continues to be such a strong man.

The three seem to combine their differences to get a job done. However, the one who is observing (that would be me the mother, the wife, the daughter-in-law) and who is attempting to assist in getting the job done sometimes gets caught up in the stressfulness of it all. Those familiar with farming and ranching know that often when working with animals it seems to change generally easy going calm individuals into these intense creatures. While it seems that these three seem to almost read each other’s minds – there turns out to be one who doesn’t get the memo (again that would be the mother, the wife, the daughter-in-law).

There is a saying within this family that the Pfeiff’s are so right they have two right hands. This can sometimes be a problem when the hands you have been dealt seem to be “left.” While I survived the whole event – I was happy to observe from the first pen and have my little place in the shade of the trees passing through one calf at a time … and just releasing them into the hands of the young bull, the old bull and the one there in the middle.

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The dynamics of several generations working together always fascinates me … and nowhere is that more prevalent to me than observing a young man, his father and grandfather. Watching my son, husband, and father-in-law during branding brought the analogy of the young bull, the old bull and the one there in the middle. While there is a common thread and way of doing things – each brings his own source of knowledge and way of doing things.

The young bull – the grandson – brings a young man’s strength, energy, and enthusiasm to the project. Not only does he bring the knowledge he has acquired from other generations he also brings new ideas and ways of doing things that he has learned in the “world” out there. His education has made him focus on new and different ideas that the others may not have been exposed to. He has his own way he believes the job should be done. You can see him trying to step up and lead but still not completely confident to take full charge. And though he has not taken complete control there are times when he is almost challenging the older ones because he feels strongly about his beliefs and ideas. He is positioning himself to one day step into the next role but at this point in time he respectfully waits until he is ready.

Then there is the old bull – Grandpa has been around cattle as long as his son and grandson’s ages combined. So while he has days that he feels he is out to pasture – his wisdom and willingness to help cannot be replaced. He knows the ropes but also knows his limitations and so he willingly steps back to the job of running the gate and chasing the calves in. He knows to let the more physical work be done by those with fewer miles on their bodies. However, he still knows what needs to be done and so he is ever eager to jump in and help. His focus on getting his job done right sometimes can lead to that eagerness putting him in the way of possible harm. But just his presence seems to bring a calmness that should the need arise he will know what to do.

This leaves the bull left in the middle. The man in the middle brings with him the lessons his father has taught him and tries to combine those with the innovations of his son while maintaining his own ideals and decisions. He must walk a fine line to bring these worlds together and sometimes the pressure and stress puts him in what can be intense situations as he takes the weight of the situation upon his own shoulders. The love and respect and desire to protect those who have come before and those who have came after him puts him in the position to still lead but do it in such a way that the others know that their input is needed and valued. It must be noted though that he takes a deep sense of pride in watching his son take on more responsibility and in his father who still continues to be such a strong man.

The three seem to combine their differences to get a job done. However, the one who is observing (that would be me the mother, the wife, the daughter-in-law) and who is attempting to assist in getting the job done sometimes gets caught up in the stressfulness of it all. Those familiar with farming and ranching know that often when working with animals it seems to change generally easy going calm individuals into these intense creatures. While it seems that these three seem to almost read each other’s minds – there turns out to be one who doesn’t get the memo (again that would be the mother, the wife, the daughter-in-law).

There is a saying within this family that the Pfeiff’s are so right they have two right hands. This can sometimes be a problem when the hands you have been dealt seem to be “left.” While I survived the whole event – I was happy to observe from the first pen and have my little place in the shade of the trees passing through one calf at a time … and just releasing them into the hands of the young bull, the old bull and the one there in the middle.

The dynamics of several generations working together always fascinates me … and nowhere is that more prevalent to me than observing a young man, his father and grandfather. Watching my son, husband, and father-in-law during branding brought the analogy of the young bull, the old bull and the one there in the middle. While there is a common thread and way of doing things – each brings his own source of knowledge and way of doing things.

The young bull – the grandson – brings a young man’s strength, energy, and enthusiasm to the project. Not only does he bring the knowledge he has acquired from other generations he also brings new ideas and ways of doing things that he has learned in the “world” out there. His education has made him focus on new and different ideas that the others may not have been exposed to. He has his own way he believes the job should be done. You can see him trying to step up and lead but still not completely confident to take full charge. And though he has not taken complete control there are times when he is almost challenging the older ones because he feels strongly about his beliefs and ideas. He is positioning himself to one day step into the next role but at this point in time he respectfully waits until he is ready.

Then there is the old bull – Grandpa has been around cattle as long as his son and grandson’s ages combined. So while he has days that he feels he is out to pasture – his wisdom and willingness to help cannot be replaced. He knows the ropes but also knows his limitations and so he willingly steps back to the job of running the gate and chasing the calves in. He knows to let the more physical work be done by those with fewer miles on their bodies. However, he still knows what needs to be done and so he is ever eager to jump in and help. His focus on getting his job done right sometimes can lead to that eagerness putting him in the way of possible harm. But just his presence seems to bring a calmness that should the need arise he will know what to do.

This leaves the bull left in the middle. The man in the middle brings with him the lessons his father has taught him and tries to combine those with the innovations of his son while maintaining his own ideals and decisions. He must walk a fine line to bring these worlds together and sometimes the pressure and stress puts him in what can be intense situations as he takes the weight of the situation upon his own shoulders. The love and respect and desire to protect those who have come before and those who have came after him puts him in the position to still lead but do it in such a way that the others know that their input is needed and valued. It must be noted though that he takes a deep sense of pride in watching his son take on more responsibility and in his father who still continues to be such a strong man.

The three seem to combine their differences to get a job done. However, the one who is observing (that would be me the mother, the wife, the daughter-in-law) and who is attempting to assist in getting the job done sometimes gets caught up in the stressfulness of it all. Those familiar with farming and ranching know that often when working with animals it seems to change generally easy going calm individuals into these intense creatures. While it seems that these three seem to almost read each other’s minds – there turns out to be one who doesn’t get the memo (again that would be the mother, the wife, the daughter-in-law).

There is a saying within this family that the Pfeiff’s are so right they have two right hands. This can sometimes be a problem when the hands you have been dealt seem to be “left.” While I survived the whole event – I was happy to observe from the first pen and have my little place in the shade of the trees passing through one calf at a time … and just releasing them into the hands of the young bull, the old bull and the one there in the middle.

The dynamics of several generations working together always fascinates me … and nowhere is that more prevalent to me than observing a young man, his father and grandfather. Watching my son, husband, and father-in-law during branding brought the analogy of the young bull, the old bull and the one there in the middle. While there is a common thread and way of doing things – each brings his own source of knowledge and way of doing things.

The young bull – the grandson – brings a young man’s strength, energy, and enthusiasm to the project. Not only does he bring the knowledge he has acquired from other generations he also brings new ideas and ways of doing things that he has learned in the “world” out there. His education has made him focus on new and different ideas that the others may not have been exposed to. He has his own way he believes the job should be done. You can see him trying to step up and lead but still not completely confident to take full charge. And though he has not taken complete control there are times when he is almost challenging the older ones because he feels strongly about his beliefs and ideas. He is positioning himself to one day step into the next role but at this point in time he respectfully waits until he is ready.

Then there is the old bull – Grandpa has been around cattle as long as his son and grandson’s ages combined. So while he has days that he feels he is out to pasture – his wisdom and willingness to help cannot be replaced. He knows the ropes but also knows his limitations and so he willingly steps back to the job of running the gate and chasing the calves in. He knows to let the more physical work be done by those with fewer miles on their bodies. However, he still knows what needs to be done and so he is ever eager to jump in and help. His focus on getting his job done right sometimes can lead to that eagerness putting him in the way of possible harm. But just his presence seems to bring a calmness that should the need arise he will know what to do.

This leaves the bull left in the middle. The man in the middle brings with him the lessons his father has taught him and tries to combine those with the innovations of his son while maintaining his own ideals and decisions. He must walk a fine line to bring these worlds together and sometimes the pressure and stress puts him in what can be intense situations as he takes the weight of the situation upon his own shoulders. The love and respect and desire to protect those who have come before and those who have came after him puts him in the position to still lead but do it in such a way that the others know that their input is needed and valued. It must be noted though that he takes a deep sense of pride in watching his son take on more responsibility and in his father who still continues to be such a strong man.

The three seem to combine their differences to get a job done. However, the one who is observing (that would be me the mother, the wife, the daughter-in-law) and who is attempting to assist in getting the job done sometimes gets caught up in the stressfulness of it all. Those familiar with farming and ranching know that often when working with animals it seems to change generally easy going calm individuals into these intense creatures. While it seems that these three seem to almost read each other’s minds – there turns out to be one who doesn’t get the memo (again that would be the mother, the wife, the daughter-in-law).

There is a saying within this family that the Pfeiff’s are so right they have two right hands. This can sometimes be a problem when the hands you have been dealt seem to be “left.” While I survived the whole event – I was happy to observe from the first pen and have my little place in the shade of the trees passing through one calf at a time … and just releasing them into the hands of the young bull, the old bull and the one there in the middle.