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Branding Etiquette

Branding Etiquette

I haven’t written a blog for a while, but it’s not a lack of thinking about it.  Somewhere between running after twins, being a mom, being a wife, calving, running a feed store, volunteering for Nebraska Cattlemen, FFA, and Fairboard I really don’t have much time. 

Today, finally, I have a few moments to write my thoughts down. 

I love this time of year! I love seeing all the calves.  Even though this spring has tested our spirit and our strength, I am thankful for the moisture we have had, and love the branding season and the community it brings.

My thoughts are really about Branding Etiquette.

What happens in the branding corral is amazing, and I wanted to write it down.  There is an etiquette in every culture and the branding corral is without exception. I know that I may have missed some, and there may be some you will not agree with, and some you may not have experienced.  I am open for you to share your thoughts with me.  Some rules are spoken, some unspoken.

I will never forget my first Nebraska branding.  I was amazed how well people respected each other, the traditions that had been passed on and just the amazing feeling of being there.

So with that I have decided to write my version of Branding Rules!!

1. The owner brands the calves.  It’s the top job.  The owner is the boss.  They also delegate who should rope and for how long.  They also delegate who should cut and give shots,etc.  Always wait to be asked to do your job.

2. It’s an honor to be asked to rope at a branding.  You should respect the other ropers.  Help them out.  Dragging one calf with two roped back feet is better than dragging five with one back leg.  Take your time.  If you can, pull your calf to the wrestlers closest to the branding pot (So branders don’t have to walk so far).  If you high hock a calf, try to get the rope down.

3.  The brander gets first dibs on a calf. They have a hot iron which cools quickly. Shots and cutting can wait.

4.  You are expected to wrestle at branding if you can. You should not ever let your calf up until he is done.  Watch for the ropers, don’t stand in their way.

5.  Brandings are really not a place for colts. (Unless they are ready and won’t get someone hurt)

6.  It is a nice gesture to bring something to the branding for lunch.

7. The men/women that helped in the branding corral eat first.

8. Make sure you thank the lady of the house for lunch.

9.  You are in charge of your own kids at branding.  If you want to rope or help out, then make sure you have someone to watch them if they are not old enough to help themselves.  It would be disrespectful to expect, or even ask the ladies preparing lunch to watch them.

10.  Leave your dogs at home.

I am sure that I have missed some but I wanted to at least give what I was thinking.  I am very blessed to live in a community were there are still traditions and morals.  I am thankful that Cody and I have the opportunity to pass on these to our kids.

My branding Kitchen 

Branding~ A time for Friends!
Cary & Ryder~ Starting them Young! (Look how little Ryder looks, this was a year ago)

I love this picture.  Why? Cause this picture shows the old and the young.

Ryder and Me.  A year ago.  I really miss this horse.

Everyone has a job. 

The young and the old.  We all love our PAPA!

Cade branding 2012

Reata and Tripp.  I was wishing this day that I had 3 pairs of Chinks, 3 kids horses and 3 hands.  I was watching our friend’s little boy Tripp, he is 10 days older than the twins.  They all wanted to ride and they all wanted a hat and they all wanted chinks.  So we had a lesson in sharing that day.  I love that they all want to ride.  It makes my heart sing!

Cody and Levi

This is my new horse.  I would not trade him for anything.  We are becoming very good partners!!

He loves to pull calves, and I love to rope them!
This picture shows what goes on at branding.
Talking.  Branding is a time to catch up with your neighbors.  I love to hear all the stories. 

This is another picture that I love.  In this picture we have the young and the old. Learning how to hold a calf is so important.  At every branding the kids get a little better and better.

I love that this horse is so calm.  Makes it really easy to rope a calf.

This is our neighbor, John,  He is 81 this year.  He is a 3rd generation cattle rancher.  He told me the other day at his branding that he appreciated me and how I was raising my kids.  My heart needed to hear that.

Ryder.  He loves to ride and he loves his Hat.

This is another picture that I love.  Cody is telling Cade the Rules.  Cade did so good roping.  I was one proud MOM.  To tell you the truth I had tears in my eyes.  They grow up so fast but I glad that we have a new generation of cowboys.

Ryder watching from the fence.

Cade pulling in his calf.
Being with friends is so important!! Miss you Megan.

Kason bring in a calf at our “little” branding. 
I am closing you with a invitation to add your comments.  We are branding next week so I hope to have more pictures to share.

This Post Has 0 Comments
  1. Nice blog, Naomi. I agree whole heartedly with your comments and will add a couple of my observations.
    1) each community is a bit different so keep your mouth shut until you get the lay of the land
    2) while it is a branding the vaccinations, castrations, dehorning if needed,and treating any sick calves require skill so assign those jobs accordingly
    3) women make the best branders they make sure it is done right

  2. Nice job and I love the pictures. I know people who don't like brandings they worry the jobs aren't being done right. Oh yee of little faith.
    Brandings are a great place to meet new people. People you only see once a year. Guess we should call them branding friends.
    Older men don't need to wrestle but I don't know how you stop some of them…they still think they are spring chickens.
    Melody is right when you go to a "new country" follow their rules,but be willing to help where ever you are needed.
    Lastly, you said this in #4 I am just adding a little. Some tall, roper, I have know for 35 years, gets disgusted when he has to stop dragging a calf because someone is not paying attention. If there are looky-loos tell them to stay out of the branding line or whatever we call it; wrestlers row, etc. They can watch and take pictures but they should never step in front of a horse or be in the way where the calves are being drug to the fire. This is especially true if they are dragging big calves. Personally I think a roper has a right to run over people if they are in the way. ( I know, I know I am radical). Which means I should have horse hoof prints on my body from visiting and not paying attention. Tall roper to wife, "Boomer look out."

    I'd like to know the rules for people who use calf tables. I have never been to such a branding but I suppose they are much the same except for #4 the "Boomer look out" rule.

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