Me and Scout

Me and Scout

23 April 2012

Crow Ranch Work Camp and Bucking Horse Ride

It's been an interesting couple of weeks here at the Crow Ranch.  We have had our second Crow Ranch Work Camp.  This time, we had three young gentlemen, former students from my Leadership Development Corps days.  They are now 9th and 10th graders.  A great bunch of guys they are.  I am pleased to note that there are kids out there that work hard, are respectful, sensible, and well, clean. 

The night they arrived, we got settled in, Anna went to go buy groceries and we watched the movie "Signs".  It may be kind of a tradition now, as we did this last time.  The next morning, we started off with a devotional based on the movie.  I had done a similar thing back when I was the Discipleship Coordinator at Clear Lake Baptist.  That day we repaired the tank lot fence.  Good hard work.  I will have to remember to include rubber boots on the list for next time.  Those poor boys got muddy.    Not that they cared.  In fact, I think they probably enjoyed it.  We went to bed early as the vet was coming the next day at 7 for that day's job.

The second day was our big job.  We still had the heifers in the pens at the time and they all needed branding, a brucellosis vaccination, and some of them needed to be dehorned.  The vet had a busy day planned, so we had to be working by 7:30 to 8:00 and be done by 9:00.  We decided that we could not make the vet wait while we branded and that we would do the vaccinations and dehorning first.  Then, after he was gone, we would run them through again and brand them.  We had a lot of help.  In addition to Alex, Jarrod, and Daniel, we also had Dad and Melissa.  A good crew.  Melissa scribed, I drove the cows down the chute, Daniel worked the blocking gate.  Anna tended fire.  Alex and Jarrod worked the chute.  Once again, the boys impressed me.  They were quick on their feet, focused on the job at hand.  I'm also proud to say that they had a good time.  Work of this nature hones the reflexes, works the muscles, and builds confidence.  It's the kind of thing that young men need.

After we ran them through the first time, the vet left and we just did it again.  All in all, we worked about 19 head twice.  That afternoon, the boys, Anna, and Melissa took a break.  Dad and I decided to mess with Sarge.  I had been working with him a little, but not much.  We got him saddled without too much issue.  We snubbed him up to Scout and I even got on a couple of times without issue.  I guess it was just going a little too well.  Dad was on Scout and I reached down to slip my off side foot into its stirrup.  That spooked Sarge enough that he pulled back, although instead of reaching the end of the lead and having it give a little it just stopped.  Now, the reason you snub a horse up to a mature horse when you are doing this is to make sure that the young horse can't buck or shy, or move around too much.  Scout is not the best horse for this.  When Sarge hit the end of his lead, Scout started bucking.  This made it scary for Sarge.  So, now Dad and I riding two bucking horses tied together.  If you want father-son bonding this will do it, but I wouldn't recommend it.  Dad held the lead in place till I could get off (which didn't take long).  Then we had more problems.  Parents don't listen sometimes.  I told him to let go an get off, but he wouldn't do it.  In fact, he couldn't.  The lead wrapped so tight that it wouldn't come off the horn.  I started trying to undo the lead from Sarge's halter.  It finally came loose and Dad dismounted/rolled off before Scout bucked him into the big pecan tree.  No one was really hurt.  Dad kind of cut his finger trying to get the lead loose, but nothing serious.  Right after that, I got a call from Anna, "What is going on out there?"  She and Melissa had been watching the whole thing so that took some explanation.  Scout and Sarge calmed down pretty quickly, so we did the rest without Scout.  Just Dad on the ground.  I got up and down a couple of more times and walked around the yard.  No problems.  Since then, I have worked with him some more, but really need a second person to hold the lead while I saddle him and get on.  What I have been doing is leading him up to a couple of cinder blocks and stepping up on them.  He is definitely getting better.  One of my goals in life is to be as spry as Dad when I'm in my sixties.  He won't let himself get old.  I will do the same.

That night, we had our devotional by the fire.  We talked about moral actions and Christian behavior for young men.  How they should look and act differently than the rest of the world.  How the Bible paints a different picture of manhood than the world.
 The next day, we had our last devotional, then just drove around the place looking around.  We ended with moving a pile of brush over to the burn box, then we chillaxed until parents arrived.

How I would love to do this more often.  How I would love to make this a regular thing and it expand it.  I would love to have a horse for each of them to ride.  Praise God that He promised us that if we are faithful over little, we will be ruler over much.  I intend to have them back in the summer.  They get a lot of work done and they get great experiences and I hope they get some discipleship as well.  Daniel also cleans my guns!  I was a little hesitant at first, but his parents are cops.  When his mom showed up to take them home, she told me that he cleans their guns all the time and that he does a good job.  Definitely will have them back.  We are also going to have Nathan's kids here for awhile during the summer too.


  1. Sounds like an awesome program. If we do not have horses when Brandon gets to be old enough, we'll have to see if you are still having these. He loves animals. Makes me think of the movie the Ultimate Gift.

  2. It's not yet, but it will be. When Brandon's old enough, we should be good to go.