Colby Cunningham and his partner Allen Willis are building a beautiful ranch on Rose Prairie in northeast Oklahoma. We were fortunate to be asked to drag calves there last weekend.
When we met to get instructions in the morning, my horse started looking sideways at something and Mike’s horse (see earlier blog post) started threatening to quit the scene. The grass was moving and finally, a potbellied pig waddled out. He has an ear tag.
“Oh that’s Cheeto,” partner Allen said.
It seems Colby first saw the pig from afar. Thinking it was a feral hog, Colby got a rifle. “When I got him in my scope, I could see he had an ear tag, so I figured he was some kid’s pet.”
The pig was either adventurous or looking for a home, because he took up residence with a set of first calf heifers – 250 pairs.
Where the cows go, so goes the pig. Even if it’s a three-mile gather to the dragging pens. When we got them in the pens, Cheeto stayed even though it was close quarters for a small pig on the ground. He’d find a spot, root around a little and flop down on his belly. Some of the new mamas don’t care much for the pig. They put their heads down and went to him blowing snot. Cheeto would retreat a little, but he didn’t leave. He just picked another spot, rooted around a little, and flopped down on his belly again. That cow herd has a pig, whether it wants one or not.
When we arrived, Allen was driving from his house leading his horse behind his feed truck. Not just any horse. Allen is a big guy. His horse is a Percheron. Allen drove the sook truck for the gather, then worked mugging calves for every set but the last one. I have to say I was wondering how it would work roping from such a big horse. Works fine for Allen. He hardly missed.
The best endorsement for that big horse is what happened after the dragging. Allen’s very small daughter, braids down each side of her head, came by us saying “she needed to ride something.” Big horse was already in the halter, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have stopped that future puncher if there was nothing on the horse’s head. She scaled that giant horse like Mount Everest and took off for parts unknown. Her mom Heather said they don’t worry about turning the kid and horse loose on the ranch to roam at will. That’s worth more than any amount of money.
There’s nothing like working with good friends who are capable hands. Chance Cunningham is riding a young horse in a partnership with uncle Joe Bob. The colt is nice, but after dragging a few head he got the rope under his tail. Of course he started bucking. Chance quit the rope to ride the bronc and it might have been soon over, except the loose tail of the rope got under the horse’s tail again. That’s when he went to bucking for real. He bucked toward the mugging line and two cowboys still holding a calf didn’t stop him. He mowed right through all that and still gave it a good try before Chance finally got him gathered. Good bronc ride. Chance’s face is wrong side out, red and peeling cause he’s been searching for cattle lost in the recent blizzard in the panhandle.
Every calf dragging produces fond memories and some good stories. I’ve been to a few. I’ve never gathered a pig.

4 thoughts on “The pig and draft horse dragging

  1. Oh Kathy!!! You nailed it!!! Thanks again to you and Mike for the help and of course the good laughs.

  2. Very good read, you are a great cowgirl and an awesome writer! Your welcome at the homestead anytime!

  3. Good story. You never know what is going to happen around the Cunningham ranches. I keep saying I’m going to get a go-pro camera. I’m pretty sure we would all be rich by now and I know some people think I’m full of it will I tell stories.

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