AMY KIRK: Bachelor's discoveries on couples and ranchesThe key to ranch couples’ harmonious teamwork is based on, you guessed it: a good set of corrals.
By: Amy Kirk, The Daily Republic
Not long ago, I picked up a worthwhile tip for enhancing marriages of ranch couples from whom else but a young bachelor.
At a recent conference where I spoke about communication between spouses in and out of the pasture, I shared some heart-warming stories (the kind that needs an antacid) of my husband and I working cattle together. While enjoying a banquet dinner after my presentation, the young married couples at my table exchanged some of their own husband-and-wife cattle working stories, which thankfully, confirmed that my husband and I are still normal. The bachelor seated next to me also participated in the conversations when it pertained to cows. After listening to couples’ stories that they both remembered differently, the wise bachelor spoke. He interjected with his marital wisdom and I had to agree with him.
The key to ranch couples’ harmonious teamwork is based on, you guessed it: a good set of corrals. According to the bachelor’s findings, he concluded that happiness among married ranch couples when working cattle together depended on the corrals used. My husband and I have worked in enough non-couple-friendly corrals that we can attest to what all other corrals can do for a husband and wife’s relationship needs.
You may not think of bachelors as marriage experts but it was clear that this single farmer/cattleman had devoted some time and thought to his blind study’s findings. His study mostly pertained to cows’ behavior patterns in certain corral styles during handling, but there was evidence that while helping out on a friend’s or neighbor’s ranch, he had noted married couple behavior patterns in different corral styles also. Most likely, his conclusion was a direct result of having to wait for the husband-and-wife team to finish fighting before the work could resume, which is standard among normal ranch couples handling cattle.
When the job of getting cows to maneuver through corrals goes smoothly, efficiently and quickly, there’s calmness and a satisfaction that resonates between spouses. I instantly liked this guy’s theory and wished my husband and I had his bank account. A good set of corrals like the ones he talked of and probably owned could solve all our problems except for the wayward-aims-at-the-toilet issue I keep bringing up to the males in my household.
It never really occurred to me that some of the quarrels my husband and I get into could have anything to do with our corrals. I just always assumed that when cows balked, a cow got by or a bunch scattered during a sort, it was my husband’s fault (and vice versa).
The wise man’s hypothesis on the root of ranch couples’ cattle-working problems made perfect sense and I have since wished a long time ago that our outfit had the kind of corrals that eliminated bickering. It’s hard to say how much marital spatting our friends and neighbors could have been spared from witnessing, had a good set of corrals been in place to make sorting, loading or running cows up the chute go easier.
As much as I enjoyed being enlightened on how to minimize marital arguments, it was apparent that this nice-looking young man still had a follow-up study to do.
Otherwise, he would know that most normal ranch couples either can’t afford upgrading with state-of-the-art corrals or they argue about them.
Amy Kirk and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth-generation cow/calf operation near Pringle. She blogs at ranchwifeslant.areavoices. com.