Going over to Canada was like going back in time and forward in time all at once. Things have progressed so much in the world - especially in our little New Zealand - but is it all for the better? I'm not convinced. The people in Canada seemed to have their priorities straight by doing most things the 'old school' traditional way.
"If you want to get it done in a hurry - this ain't the way to do it, but if you wanna have fun then you've come to the right place" - was what I was told when we went to our first branding and boy was it fun!
Everyone has their job and each is just as important as the other. The ropers take turns heeling calves, patiently waiting for the right time to throw their loop and then drag their catch towards the ground crew who administer medicine, put rings on the bulls and wrangle any wild beasts that kick their legs out of the loop.
Sure things might get a little 'country' at times, you're definitely not gonna go home with clean hands, but you'll definitely go home with closer friendships and a big smile on your face. I'm not a fan of progress for the sake of progress. Some things are good just the way they are. Older saddles are more comfortable, dirt roads are a lot more fun to drive on and old friends are the easiest to be around.
So if you'll excuse me I'll be out practising my heel loop until the next time I get the chance to go brandin'.
No animals were harmed in the making of this blog post. There were a few bruised shins on the ground crew though...