In late winter here on the California Central Coast ranchers traditionally gather often to “ride the ranches”. They help each other out with the big chore of rounding up the cattle and working the Fall calves.
“Ranchers just help each other out.”
The cowhands bring their favorite cow horse or arrange to borrow a cow horse from the rancher. Leaving as the sun breaks over the horizon, the cowhands ride out to where the cattle tend to hang out and herd them to a corral or holding area. No matter what the weather – in the heat or chill – the cowhands go to work on the calves; roping, branding, earmarking, vaccinating, de-horning and castrating the Fall calves. This is a big job that requires many experienced hands.
“Riding the ranches” brings the ranchers together, forging new and old friendships through the shared work of caring for the livestock. Keeping the western lifestyle alive, these rugged men and women carry on regardless of circumstances. This year at Grieb Ranch one cowboy got kicked in the chin and had to get stitches. He returned to finish the work and enjoyed the BBQ that always follows the dust, dirt, smoke and sweat of “riding the ranches”.