Amen brother, amen!
The system that Soapweed came up with is based on using a snubbing poet with a fork at the top.
The feller that told me about it now lives down near Soapweed.
He said they had an old cowboy who wouldn't or didn't care to work with others or maybe he just couldn't get good help, invented it or at least showed it to him. He had a well trained rope horse and would have about 20 calves in the corral with the forked snubbing post. He'd double hock a calf and slid the rope into the top of the forks and then ride on by untill the calf was snubbed up short. (just as in Soapweeds excellent pics)
Then the feller would step off from the horse to let the horse keep the rope tight. The feller would brand and work the calf and then step on the horse and release the calves and then do it all over again, until he was done. Seemed like maybe he'd do about 20 or so as they were born so that when he was done calving he was done branding.
We used this system on a small buch of calves, but my boys were small and they would just stay on the horse for control and hold the calf. I didn't have any horses who I would trust to keep the rope tight. Didn't work too bad at all and sure beat a table.
Looks like Soapweed has improved on the system and if people keep using their heads they may even improve on what Soapweeds got done. No offense Soap!
Of course some people don't have the knowledge or skill to know that a horse can be a damn fine tool. You can tell a lot about a worker by his tools and the shape he keeps them in!
As far as nordforks, or calf forks as they are called around here, if you've got some folks who know enough to slip a little rope once in awhile and then back their horse or ride forward to retighten, the forks work a lot better. I've been told that if you use motoercycle or maybe even bicycle inner tubes to attach the forks to the pin, that there is way less chance of over stretching a calf. All tho' I've seen a bunch done and nothing got hurt, just using regular tubes and common sense.
As for me, the perfect branding is holding both ends of the calf with horses, but then I like to have fun!