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This painting depicts a typical scene in the life of a cowboy which occurs each spring. The new calves are sorted out and each one is branded, doctored, castrated and on some ranches dehorned. A cowboy rides quietly among the cattle and heels the calves one by one and drags them to the fire where the flankers and the rest of the crew put the calf on his side and hold him while the branding takes place.
Some ranches use squeeze chutes which are very efficient for handling a lot of stock, but a lot of them still prefer the old way. Cowboys still like to stay on a horse as much as possible! It's hot, dirty and hard on the back and some ranches will rotate the cowboys around every half hour or so which makes it a lot easier on everyone.
It's hard to believe, but there have been instances where more than two hundred calves have been processed this way in just a few hours.
- James Reynolds
This Piece has been Signed by James Reynolds