Hello, my name is Don and I am a 4- wheeleraholic. Yeah, that’s right, I said it! Yes my 4- wheeler is beat to shit and my horses are fat. But, I would like to think that I am a traditional cowboy. I often find myself in the 4- wheeler saddle instead of the traditional cowboy saddle. Like most good addicts, I can justify my actions of why I choose a 4- wheeler over a horse. The main justification is time. I complain about how long it takes me to catch my horse, hook up my trailer, saddle up my horse, and then warming him up so he does not buck me off again. On Sundays during football season, I don’t have a lot of extra time. I love to be home before 10:00AM to catch the NFL games. My Honda Rancher seems to enjoy the challenge of quickly running up and down the hills and across the creeks to make it home just in time to watch Tom Brady grasp that well- inflated football.
I am ashamed of my addiction so I try to keep it a secret. I have a small pasture that borders Interstate-5, and when it comes to checking cows there, I go into disguise on my 4- wheeler. I cannot bring myself to wear overalls, but I do wear a King Ropes baseball cap so that the traditional buckaroos traveling on I-5 just think that they are seeing a farmer who has a few cows. I do have a few Junkie friends that also utilize their 4- wheelers more than their horses, one has even taken it to a dangerous level. This Junkie is able to pin 3rd gear roping calves while steering with his left hand and roping with his right hand. He has got in so deep that he has been able to rope coyotes while traveling at up to speeds up of 40mph. While this may be a YouTube worthy moment, his contemporaries and counterparts, in his geographical area, struggle with this practice. They believe that cowboy tradition, and a thumb throttle, do not necessarily co-exist!!
The debate between tradition and technology in society is something that will go on forever. This is a healthy debate as long as we appreciate the long lasting cowboy tradition. But, we should embrace new technologies to improve some of our lives. That said, this has been a busy spring gathering, branding, and processing calves. Some days I look back at my trailer, with a 4- wheeler tied up next to a horse, and wonder how I still was able to achieve my 30 day chip of being horseback? Nonetheless, I will continue to hide my tracks, and justify my habits, and only hope…for a full recovery.