Life on the Ranch
Nestled deep in in the foothills of Golden Colorado, at 8500 ft. is the log style ranch we call home. Wild Horse Ranch is as an ode to my husband's great, great uncle Jack Morton. Jack was a pioneer of the Calgary Stampede and as legend has it, quite a character.
We purchased Wild Horse Ranch in July 2017 with zero experience as ranch hands. By that September, my husband Alex and I were rescuing horses. Subsequent months were spent bonding with our horses and unwinding their sad pasts. Many joyful moments ensued (and also numerous injuries as the combination of wild horses and inexperience collided!).
We wanted to try a hand at raising cattle, and decided to welcome a (growing!) family of Highland Cows to the ranch that serve as the inspiration behind Red Cattle Mercantile. But first we had to get them to the ranch ...
When Alex set about separating our three (profoundly horned) cows from a herd of more than one hundred cattle, he held a large metal gate to block the path of agitated cows. They simply trampled the gate and nearly pancaked my husband underneath it (fret not .. he's still here to tell the tale!)
When we finally arrived with our cows at the Ranch ... we opened the gate and let out three angry and confused cows. They zagged East instead of West and completely missed the buffet of sweet mix, grass and water. With ample amounts of fear; they raced East. Through a fence and into a pasture where we have the less than trained horses. Things went from bad to worse when the horses began to chase the cows. Our new Highlanders crashed through more fences, and then went into the night at a speed I did not think possible for cows. They were gone — Alex and I were cattle ranchers for less than five minutes.
Word got out in the valley about our missing Highlanders — reports from neighboring ranches abut broken fences and eaten gardens. Days turned into seven weeks, and Summer faded to Fall.
Suddenly the Highlanders appeared on the edge of our property. The next morning their horns were clanging on our windows as they ate our potted plants. The cows literally came home! Alex tempted them to their pasture with sweet mix, and they followed.
With liberal use of sweet mix the Highlanders remain with us today and are the heart of Red Cattle Mercantile.
Last year, we added a bull named Harry to our herd. During the winter, Harry did his job and impregnated our three girls. This spring, we added three bulls that we call the "Three Amigos" since they are always together. They run around, kicking up their heels, butting heads and even napping together.