Have you ever ridden a cow? I thought I might have been the only kid to give it a try until I saw a video of a girl riding a cow like I used to do when I was a kid. I watched the short Facebook video a time or two. This girl had perfected a childhood game of ours and it stirred up many memories of days gone by.
I loved our new home on the farm and especially the animals and nature. I still do. I remember I much more preferred the white-faced Hereford cows to the Holstein. There’s something about those all white faces with big blue eyes and their remarkably, long eyelashes that I adore. Still do. We visited our small herd daily. Often times we would greet each other by touching noses and inhaling and exhaling, as they paused a moment from grazing or chewing their cud.
One day, seeking entertainment we found it in the cow pasture. My older sister Debbie and I decided to try and ride a cow. We didn’t have a pony any more; she was too ornery, so why not ride a cow. “You go first,” I told her. “No you first,” she insisted. She was a bit scared to go first not knowing what might happen. I could tell, so me being a tad more daring than her, decided to give it a go, after all, I fell off that trickster, Shetland pony of ours many times when she would run off with me then throw her head down and put on her brakes at Mom’s garbage burn pile (no Rumpke back then) and over the top I flew. So I said I’d do it.
Debbie helped me up by creating a stirrup with her hands. I don’t know how she knew all these cool tricks. It was a whole lot higher up than on our pony. But the cows didn’t mind much at all once they knew what we were trying to do and that we weren’t giving up getting on top. They didn’t mind me kicking to go either, because they wouldn’t go. We tried several others but they, like the first one, all just contentedly continued grazing. A step here or there which was a little scary sine there wasn’t anything to hold on to like our pony’s mane. “Well, this is boring,” I told sister. We had one left to try, but she was huge with calf and being kids we felt that we shouldn’t try her.
Then we talked it over and decided to try Big Red anyway since we were small little girls. She moved more than the other as I struggled to get up that high. Then she walked off without a nudge. Stopped to graze. Then her steps became fast, and when she looked back at me, seeming a bit agitated with me for still being on her, she began trotting a little, I was all smiles, until her trot got faster and her head swung around in a mad circle. I decided right then and there that I’d had enough fun for the afternoon and I slid off before I got bucked off like in the rodeo. “Wow, did you see that? She was about to buck me off,” I shared my wisdom of getting off before that happened. What would we tell Mom if I came in with a broken arm?
As we tried to head for the house, more fun was created when the cows kept following us around like we were their leader. When we would run ahead, they would run too. When we stopped, they would stop and graze some more. Our herd was very friendly and curious. It really was quite fun. Who needed toys? In fact we had few toys. A bike and a baby doll. We didn’t need toys to entertain us. We had the best fun that warm afternoon in the pasture field of our youth with a herd of cows. Only a few weeks later, sure enough, Big Red gave birth to a darling baby calf with a snow-white face and big blue eyes and long curly eyelashes.
In the girl’s video clip I mentioned, she actually used a saddle, a halter bridle and has a jump set up. Sure enough, she trotted that cow toward the jump and would you believe, it jumped it. Wow! Why didn’t we think of that? Probably, because we didn’t have a saddle or a girth large enough to fasten to one of them, other wise, we probably would have.
Living in the moment, like a curious kid, and sucking up all the details with no distractions, are the best moments, equaling the best days of our lives. Pause soon and suck up one of those “living in the moment, moments.” If you decide your moment is to try and ride a cow, do share the moment with me. Lol. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Lisa Estep for the lovely photos of your grandparents cattle.