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Date:9/23/2014 10:50:57 AM
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Day 23--Crossing the River part 2
Whoopie, Ride 'em down Pookie" I hollered as the bull charged through the millin' herd at the water's edge, and out into the open grasslands beyond, followed by half the herd. Susan and Kacey light out after the herd at top speed, cutting cows back towards the river. The panic of one cow runs wild through a herd, it becomes a dangerous game for both riders on their horses and the herd itself.
" Cut her off Zippy" Rio yells over the thunder of hooves. Zippy maneuvers her horse into the herd, and swings the horse towards the river, turning a fleein' heifer and calf, several others follow her, as they slow their pace to a fast walk in the right direction.
"Giddiy up" Sky slaps Chief on the shoulder as he lunges out of the rushing river, after the runaways. Pookie let's his rope fly, catching the bull by the front leg. He tumbles forwards to the ground, giving the riders time to get in front of the stampede and turn them back. Pookie holds the rope taunt with his horse preventin' that bull movin' for a spell. Finally with the herd slowin' and turning towards the River, the bull staggers to his feet as the rope slacks. Pookie is joined by Gus as they haze him back into the center of the herd once more.
"What expert horsemanship!" I yell across the River to those responsible for stopping a stampede. We'd managed to hold the herd already crossed calmly in the sea of grass. "Ok, let's get' em over" I yell and wave my ok, as the herd is once more pushed into the water and swam over.
It takes a goodly part of the day to move our herd across the river, what with strays, them gettin' bogged in the mud on the banks and needin' pulled out, and the water pulling weaker ones with the current. Finally with the calves swam over across saddles, the herd is put to graze as the horses and Dragon wagon prepare to join us.
"Alright, let's get the wagon over" Sky and Jenny-Lynn help the ferry man roll the heavy vessel onto the raft,. It's goin' be a slow process to carry first the wagon, then the supplies across the rushing river. The ferry is pulled by heavy rope cables strung shore to shore. It is hard, difficult work, but surely as not it is finally finished. As Kaji, Lizzie and Mikey help re-load the supplies the remuda is driven from their oped corral towards the river.
" OK Boss, let's have'em go" Peppino calls out to Chuey on the opposite shore. Chuey raises her cowbirdhat and the push begins. The horses are herded for the bank and quickly out into the moving waters. We don't give'em time to rethink this. Horses are good swimmers, but some still flail wildly and have to be roped and pulled to the banks, amongst the screams and high shrill fearful whinnies.
Sugar sees a white gelding pulled under the current, tossing her rope over his slender neck as he comes to the surface further down stream. She clicks to Thorin who lunges for shore and up the grassy embankment. The gelding pants heavily.
Trail Boss Chuey 245908
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