It's 3 a.m. and I am wide awake, jitters running through me anticipating our trip to pick up a new (relatively intimidating new breed) steer. I laid there contemplating all of the choices we've been making and the work we've been doing - the farm does at times keep me up at night whether its actual animal care, ideas popping into my head, or worry that strikes - team "no sleep"!
Even though we are passionate about what we're working on, there are still moments of concern for making the best choices for our family, and hoping we are doing right by everyone, feeling frustrated by mistakes and unfinished tasks, wishing there were simpler solutions for things - no different (I think) than any other family's fears.
I finally gave up on the idea of rest, and got up around 5 to start the coffee ritual - wrote down about a 100 things running through my head and mustered the courage to get on with things, leaving fears behind.
The Homestead Husband and I took off for the day on a road trip "date" (yes, this is "quality time" in our definition). The sun started shining, and my previous concerns turned into wonderous excitement for making what once felt like a pipe dream, into a reality (something I've become fond of doing).
We're aware we are a tad crazy - I think you'd have to be, to be in our position - we also have an eye for things that are a smidge... extra.
Registered Texas Longhorn
Because we can't just raise a few cows for beef - we obviously need to select the most extra, outrageous cattle there are - it's just in our nature. I can see our folks sighing, shaking their heads, knowingly, now...
Our operation is fairly "boutique" for the time being. As a result, we have the freedom to take on unique projects, which is why our herd has a variety of beef breeds.
Later down the road, when we can obtain the right heifers for our breeding bull, then we will begin to have a more consistent stock. In the meantime, we are putting our skills and knowledge to the test, learning about cattle handling with a hands-on approach. We feel that we will gain a lot of confidence and experience from raising everything from herefords to longhorns.
When we arrived at the farm to pick up Bentley, we were provided a tour of the herd, and got to meet his mother.
When they opened the doors to the herd, my jaw nearly hit the dirt - these cattle were colorful, majestic, and awe-inspiring. Every one of them different and stunning, some with horns that twisted, some with black and white spots, others brown and brindled. All ages, and all beyond beautiful. In that instant - all my earlier concerns disappeared as they warmly approached us.
I looked at the Homestead Husband and we knew in an instant that this was a slippery slope and there was likely no turning back after what we'd witnessed. I like my cattle as flashy as my cowgirl boots, what can I say?
Having a longhorn is a dream that never seemed remotely possible (because we never thought we'd find any close to us that were attainable) and we used to laugh about the possibility of the idea a couple years ago...
But, opportunity presents itself in funny ways - you have to keep your eyes open to the possibilities, and be willing to move with the ebs and flows of life as they come. It was exciting to meet another family that was so passionate about the breed and we are so thankful they were willing to share that with us - I don't know if they realize how much it meant!
In my heart of hearts, having a quarter horse and a longhorn living on our ranch makes my cowgirl soul, sing. I adore our fuzzy highland, our bull, the little donks, and every other critter residing here, but sometimes it hits different.
We look forward to making a return trip for a second longhorn cross calf later this Spring, just before we move a couple of our steer out for processing (making room).
Whatever direction we end up taking - I know it won't be boring.
I can't wait to watch Bentley grow up!
Wanna see more from our road trip?
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