Not Enough Cowboyin’

When Good Enough is Better

by amy elizabeth

Forced by a back injury my ranch chores have been on the slide for months, the stalls went from getting cleaned two or three times a day to once, sometimes not at all. Water troughs that have always been dumped every other day are now being overflowed to freshen, and dumped once a week. My horses aren’t sporting a clipped bridle path anymore; actually, any optional grooming to perfection has come to a screeching halt. It has been difficult for me to accept that TBN doesn’t have that cut above the rest look anymore. But, lately I’ve noticed something far more important than a tidy curb appeal.

Because Arizona is so dry, the ground quality is definitely not to a horse’s advantage. It hardly ever rains, the footing in my pens consists of crushed cinder block and granite, it holds the heat, and doesn’t easily retain moisture. My horses hooves are accustomed to these harsh conditions, but I’m far from satisfied that in the long run there won’t be some price to pay.

Every time the farrier comes, I start soaking the horse’s feet three days before, just to avoid his white knuckled, eyes popping out of his head look when trying to squeeze the nippers. But that was not the case yesterday, and I didn’t soak the feet this time either. What changed?

Since slacking on my chores, or cowboy cleaning, as I used to say, I’ve turned a few chickens lose in the barn and put them to work spreading manure. The footing in the pens has significantly improved, and so have my horse’s feet. Overflowing the water troughs has also helped by adding much needed moisture to the ground.

Once again, I am reminded the cowboy way is what it is for one very important reason… IT WORKS. There’s been too much cleanin’ an’ not enough cowboyin’ at TBN, and I’ve traded in my shovel… for a rope.


About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author, antique dealer. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm.
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6 Responses to Not Enough Cowboyin’

  1. Kate Kresse says:

    Simple, eloquent, wise….wonderful post.

  2. I’m searching for that “enjoy life more on my terms”. Sometimes pain forces the change, sometimes fear, or a look at the future. Got to enjoy the journey NOW!

  3. tbnranch says:

    Nature does indeed have a way of taking care of things, I just added stubborn old folks that won’t slow down to it’s long list of miracles.

  4. Rita A. says:

    Great post. Sometimes “nature” has a better way. Glad you have “relaxed” a bit.

  5. I always wondered how you kept such a spotless ranch! I guess you can say that back injury of yours finally free’d you up so’s you could enjoy life a bit. At the same time that’s great therapy. I think I’ll write to DR Phil and tell him my friend just got cured of OCD by injuring her back, which forced her to maintain her place less, which forced her to have a few minutes more to enjoy the things she got. Good read my friend, keep cowboying. Why don’t you hire me to do your chores…oh wait.. I’m more physically screwed up than you are! Ha ha!

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