Last fall I discovered my talent as a “Snapshot-ographer”.  I even blogged about it RIGHT HERE. Now I am taking my craft to a whole new level. I call them “Hip-Shots”.  Basically I lack ample coordination to focus and shoot whilst simultaneously paying attention to my my duties of assisting TH with the cattle.  I could get wacked by a steer. So I hold my little pocket camera about hip level, aim in the general direction of the action, and push the button constantly. I am literally “shooting from the hip”. I must say I’m getting pretty good at it. Here are my first ever published series of “Hip-Shots”.
 These are never before seen photos of operating the gate in the sorting alley with TH.
 First a little background….. We have a pen of cattle that need sorted and separated for various reasons.  We do this quite often. Weekly, daily, (sometimes hourly).

First Puncher and I move them up into the sorting alley.
Then I tie up Puncher away from the action. The alley is pretty narrow and crowded and I don’t want repeat of last fall. Nor do I want to get wacked myself while the cow is aiming at Puncher.
This is where I  become my own “CowDog” and things get a little sketchy. TH has the cattle at one end of the alley. He fires them down to me one at a time with a shout of  “IN” or “BY”.  Sometimes there’s a vague hand gesture. Sometimes neither. I am supposed to use the swinging gate to send them one of three directions that he has shouted to me. Whilst not getting wacked.
OK here we go. Ready?  Directions set in my mind. “IN” is to my left. “BY” is past me. What about to my right? What is that? Oh well, just watch and wing it. We do this all the time.

Double signal; a hand gesture and shout. I can’t hear him. The wind is blowing 30 at our backs.What’s a two finger salute mean?

He hollers “IN” and “BY” or was it “BY” and “IN”?  Oops I’m on the wrong side of the gate. No, wait a minute, maybe not.

I was daydreaming. Oh no! Too fast.  I hope he said “BY” and “BY”. We shall see.

No place to run. No place to hide. The gate is my shield.

He’s going “BY” no matter what. There’s no stoppin’ you now.

These are all the ones I let “BY”.  I have to bring them back and re-do some because of miscommunication. There are some “INs” in here. They all look the same to me.

“Bye Bye”

Not sure what I did here. He just said bring them back……. again.
TH is walking out to re-sort a few. Maybe that’s what he’s doing. He’s not really saying. Some were supposed to go left “IN” and they went right “Maybe?”

I know TH really well. I can tell by his body language he’s thinking ……
“I just love my wife so much! She is so hot! What a cowgirl! I am a lucky man!”

I love you too TH! 
Love,  Cowgirl Red           aka   Terah
PS  TH hardly ever yells at me anymore when we work cattle together. He knows he married a show horse, not a work horse.


  1. That was dang funny! Husband Jim knows that if he yells at me, I will drop whatever I was supposed be be doing (and yes, maybe I was doing it wrong) and physically attack him! How are we supposed to hear those orders that get blown away in the wind, and understand those hand gestures (of which no two are alike!)? Thanks for the laugh!

  2. OMG! Your life is so challenging!! You have me on the edge of my seat with your stories of contests and daily life on the ranch–no lie! I think your hip action shots were fantastic! More! More! :):)

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says

    Keep shootin em from the hip girl. You can do it. I am sure your hubby was thinking all those sweet things about you at that time too. Such a nice feller…all those expletives were for the herd.

  4. Cowgirl Red says

    Cat, I'm prone to violence too. Lately I prefer to take away some of his priveleges.

    Rita, Thanks, you always make my day.

    Lisa, Yes I'm sure they are. Sometimes he forgets himself.

    xoxo Terah

  5. Catherine... says

    Lol, that's a girl, shoot from the hip… I'm sure the two fingered gesture was the "Victory" sign…
    Ps.. well done you and Puncher in the doggie/Cowgirl cattle roundup competition.. love your stories… oh Root check time…. 🙂

  6. Peggie Arvidson says

    Love these hip shots — and yes. that is precisely what he was thinking. Show horse, NOT a work horse. I'm remembering that one!

  7. pluckychickenheart says

    Brilliant! Shooting from the hip! Your hip shots are better than any I intently focus on for hours. You have gift. Is TH a Leo? SB is and therefore he is ALWAYS right. He just suffers us fools. Whtevs. They know they hit the jackpot with us. :o)

  8. Hi,
    I love both your photos and your comments to go with them. I am so impressed with all that you are able to do at one time. I know this city girl would be in alot of trouble. Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I will be back often to see what is happening in your life.

  9. I came here from Ginny's site. I wish my older sister blogged. You and she would have a lot to talk about. She and her husband run a cow-calf ranch in central Florida. The scenes remind me so much of her pictures.

    She got started via horses. She and her husband met through cutting shows (I guess that's what they are called) and she continues to work with their younger horses. They use horses primarily in their work with the cattle.

    It was a joy to see your site and the pictures because they reminded me so much of what my sister does. Thanks:~)

  10. Such wonderful ranch scenes. Life – for you – looks challenging and busy..but oh-so-interesting and fun!

  11. Susan Reep says

    Terah, thanks for commenting on my blog – because now I've found you! I love your blog and your personality and the hip shots and I will be checking back for more. On my blog, when I get to the part from Merzouga, you'll see hip shots from me too – but I'm on a camel. Bouncy, uneven, grumpy beasts.


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