Grit Blogs > Green Eggs and Goats

An Unexpected Homesteading Skill

 Rope on Fence 

My Rope Stands at the Ready!

Roping.  I never in my whole life thought I would know how to rope something, or even NEED to rope something, besides, they only do that in the rodeo, right?  But suddenly, although I am no expert, I am finding it to be one of my most useful homesteading skills! 

I sort of learned by accident.  After we finally determined that we have moved too far from our old church to travel back there every week, we started church shopping.  On a whim, we decided to try out "Cowboy Church."  In case you aren't familiar with it, Cowboy Church is a new movement wherein your church experience is tied in with ranching.  Basically, it is a come as you are service.  If you have cow poop on your boots or dirt on your shirt, no one cares.  They baptize people in their choice of horse water trough or in the river.  It really is a cool place.  Unfortunately, we came to realize that we weren't quite "cowboy" enough to fit in there, so the search for a new church continues.

Anyway, they often held events at a nearby arena, and the pastor's son is a championship roper.  He was always willing to teach anyone who showed the slightest interest.  Our son, then 5, was absolutely enthralled.  He had a lesson one night and then begged me to take him to the feed store the next day to get a "real" rope to practice with.  Since I found this to be a much more engaging pastime than playing DS, I caved and we ended up getting one kid sized rope for him and one grown-up sized rope for daddy.  He roped everything in sight for about a week before he decided he was done roping.  So, except for Eric occasionally roping me when I wasn't expecting it, the ropes just sat around most of the summer.

Then we got new goats.  But not just any new goats, a Nigerian Dwarf buck and a mixed breed weather for him to be friends with.  They are very sweet goats, but they are pretty scared of people.  They can also get out of our fence.  I have seen them find holes that the other goats wouldn't dream of trying to get out.  They can slip through rails into the barn and then into the back yard (rather than the pasture where they belong) and I've seen the shrimpy little guy even jump right over a 4' high fence with barbed wire at the top.  So, basically, not only can they get out, when they do get out, I can't catch them.

 Goats Out 

The little guys and a Lamancha were out. This is our neighbor's driveway, our pasture is to the left of the shot. 

Enter the rope.  I never thought I would need to rope anything until I had these crazy little goats!  As it turns out, though, it is a very effective method of catching the little boogers, and I'm not as bad at it as I originally thought!

Having roped them a few times now, the goats are on to me.  Now,  if they are outside the fence, all I have to do is approach them while holding the rope and they dash straight to the nearest opening.  

So really, I don't even have to rope them anymore, they know I will if I have to, and I know I can if I need to, and that's all that seems to matter!  (Besides, it's super-fun, but don't tell anyone!)

Have you ever tried to rope anything?

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