Monday, October 27, 2008

Arkansas Visitors on a Mystery Tour

Two busloads of friendly folks from Arkansas visited the Cross Shield Ranch Tour today and enjoyed their stay, despite the wind and threat of rain. Francis Custom Tours of Arkadelphia, Arkansas brought the tourists to the Cross Shield Ranch. There were 93 in the group, including the drivers and tour guides.

The sun shone and warmed us up as we watched Don Long train a young colt, and after nearly two hours of patient instruction, he was able to mount her and ride her.
Some of Stonewall County’s real cowboys, including Billy Wayne McMeans, William Gholson, Jeff Flowers and Michael Martin worked together to gather, brand, vaccinating and ear mark the young calves. Cliff and Travis Alenwine and Neil Allen joined the local cowboys to help with the work.
Steve and Eileen Cochran explained about the need to vaccinate and mark the calves.
Michael Martin and Jeff Flowers demonstrated horse shoeing while Eileen spoke on the importance of a good farrier in trimming and balancing the horse's hoof and the placing of shoes to the horse's foot. A poorly shod horse can suffer permanent damage that makes it unable to perform the tasks needed of a ranch horse.
Eileen’s sister, Helen Alenwine, and her border collie did a cow dog demonstration to show the importance of the ranch cow dog in collecting the cattle.
The group was served a wonderful meal of sausage, beef brisket, beans, potato salad and much more, and were able to get their fill with many having seconds and thirds. While they enjoyed their meal, a musical group from Colorado City played oldies and country music that was enjoyed by all.

There were 93 in the group, including the drivers and tour guides. Since this was a “Mystery Tour,” the travelers didn’t have any idea where they were going. One lady told me that if she’d known she was going to a Texas ranch, she’d have brought her cowboy hat!

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