Here’s a photo of a cowboy roping in a branding pen. I captured this image on a ranch west of Calgary, Alberta in the Jumping Pound community. The cowboy gets his rope ready to pursue the next calf. The mud knot in the horses tail is a vaquero tradition still practiced in buckaroo country. It will keep long tails from tangling in ropes, and out of the mud and brush. Here’s the steps to show you how to tie a mud knot.
Ranch brandings take place in the spring. Cowboys round up the calves, and give them their brands and shots. Afterwards, they go out out on fresh green pastures with their mothers until the fall. Similarly, the branding crew retires for a large home cooked meal, some cold beverages and some downtime to share stories. In short, sometimes the socializing will go late into the night.