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After Ranching, Then What?

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Cody-n-Nancy

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This thread would be basically pointed at the older seniors of ranching. I would presume that there are former ranchers that, due to age/health reasons, have to stop working a ranch. I know there are those that would rather die while doing a roundup, but for those that simply say "enough is enough", what happens to them? If they absolutely can no longer do ranch work, what's next?
 

Cody-n-Nancy

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I was just wondering, because, even though wife and I weren't into ranching, there are those that, apparently, think our seriousness about PRCA rodeo should be over. I bought my Permit in 1984, but only done rodeo on weekends being that I had a full-time job working for electronics manufacturer. Around 1999, sold my horse and jumped out of any competition and Jackpots. When I met my wife in 2000, I still had my PRCA membership, but was working in the arena for Stock Contractors I knew. Now that I'm almost 73 and she is 74, a number of people think we should kick the entire rodeo thing to the curb. We most definitely don't want to do that! But, we can't afford to buy house/property, so there are those that think "how can a serious rodeo fan live in an apartment?" Well, we do.

Not only do we have a serious interest in PRCA rodeo and following the Top 15, we also have a major interest in ranching/farming. We can't do it, and won't, but the very high interest is still there.

Actually, I knew one FFA farmer in Indiana, that graduated the year after I did, that left the family farm to become a lawyer. And, basically, after I left my step-parents farm, joined the Navy and later got my Honorable Discharge, I never went back to the farm.

So, that's the reason I wondered about old, possibly not so healthy, ranchers. Not ready to die at all, but definitely ready to let go of the ranching life.
 

Faster horses

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To quote webfoot: "The ones I know of who completely quit and walk away due to age or health the next thing is a grave with a nice head stone."

He nailed it.

We retired from a full-sized ranch, but we downsized. That was to keep Mr. FH alive and going.
We lived far from our family for over 40 years and I wanted to get closer to them or we would probably still be on the ranch we sold. We loved ranching, we still love it. You don't just stop and do nothing.

Ranchers.net is a community. We know each other even if we have not personally met. We have been blessed to have met several of the members here and not one was a disappointment. There is a common thread that runs deep in ranching communities, but until you are a part of it, you would never understand.

You are only as young as you feel. If you want to keep doing what you are doing, don't let
anyone guilt you out of it.
 

deff

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Both my Dad and older brother moved to town when they retired and thrived. Our town is filled with retired ranchers and coffee clubs so they rediscovered old friends to hang out with. Walking on level ground and sidewalks was easier than hills, snow and mud so they began driving less and walking more. Both seemed to delight in coming out to inspect the ranch and gleefully head back down the road after informing me of the problems they discovered that I needed to deal with!
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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I was just wondering, because, even though wife and I weren't into ranching, there are those that, apparently, think our seriousness about PRCA rodeo should be over. I bought my Permit in 1984, but only done rodeo on weekends being that I had a full-time job working for electronics manufacturer. Around 1999, sold my horse and jumped out of any competition and Jackpots. When I met my wife in 2000, I still had my PRCA membership, but was working in the arena for Stock Contractors I knew. Now that I'm almost 73 and she is 74, a number of people think we should kick the entire rodeo thing to the curb. We most definitely don't want to do that! But, we can't afford to buy house/property, so there are those that think "how can a serious rodeo fan live in an apartment?" Well, we do.

Not only do we have a serious interest in PRCA rodeo and following the Top 15, we also have a major interest in ranching/farming. We can't do it, and won't, but the very high interest is still there.

Actually, I knew one FFA farmer in Indiana, that graduated the year after I did, that left the family farm to become a lawyer. And, basically, after I left my step-parents farm, joined the Navy and later got my Honorable Discharge, I never went back to the farm.

So, that's the reason I wondered about old, possibly not so healthy, ranchers. Not ready to die at all, but definitely ready to let go of the ranching life.
And here we go again!
 

Cody-n-Nancy

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Both my Dad and older brother moved to town when they retired and thrived. Our town is filled with retired ranchers and coffee clubs so they rediscovered old friends to hang out with. Walking on level ground and sidewalks was easier than hills, snow and mud so they began driving less and walking more. Both seemed to delight in coming out to inspect the ranch and gleefully head back down the road after informing me of the problems they discovered that I needed to deal with!
This is why I figured that not all will continue to run/work a ranch or farm and definitely will stop doing rodeo.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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You couldn't think of a better reply that this! LOL
Tell us what you do now.
If you want to know what I or others over 50 do now, just look around, visit, read, and participate in all the many threads where many members, one as old as 80, keep us updated on what is going on at their ranches. I share about my rural walks as that is all I have going that is relevant to ranching.

Continual repetitious reminiscing makes a forum become stale. We have several highly accomplished ranching members here, even rodeo stars. No rancher is hung up on glory days and takes each new day doing what they can. I see this forum being about what is going on presently. The past is best left to poetry and song with an occasional story.

One of our best storytellers a senior rancher, Soapweed, died several months back and not many could face death with the courage he did. That is a real ranching story you missed. The only true retirement for ranchers comes after death.

There are hours and days' worth of interesting reading on this forum for any that are truly interested in the ranching way of life.
 

Cody-n-Nancy

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If you want to know what I or others over 50 do now, just look around, visit, read, and participate in all the many threads where many members, one as old as 80, keep us updated on what is going on at their ranches. I share about my rural walks as that is all I have going that is relevant to ranching.

Continual repetitious reminiscing makes a forum become stale. We have several highly accomplished ranching members here, even rodeo stars. No rancher is hung up on glory days and takes each new day doing what they can. I see this forum being about what is going on presently. The past is best left to poetry and song with an occasional story.

One of our best storytellers a senior rancher, Soapweed, died several months back and not many could face death with the courage he did. That is a real ranching story you missed. The only true retirement for ranchers comes after death.

There are hours and days' worth of interesting reading on this forum for any that are truly interested in the ranching way of life.
Well, there are some, like member "deff" dad and older brother that "toss in the towel" and move into town. Come back to the ranch to check things out, but that's it.

I would think that not every single rancher in America is so hardcore that they wouldn't think about their health and decide to leave ranching. I knew farmer friends, back in Indiana, that their parents stopped farming and moved. Their kids took over, so their parents could have a relaxing kick-back retirement.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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I think you missed Deff's point. While they moved to a rural town they were still around ranching friends and that way of life was still there. They were still participating in the ranch although not doing the hard physical work.

The point I was making is it is rare for any long-time rancher to move to a big city and make a complete change in their lifestyle. Sure some may do it, but very few.

As FH said, one has to have lived the ranching way of life to understand why those that love it despite the hardships of old age, refuse to move to a big city and change their lifestyle.
 
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Cody-n-Nancy

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I think you missed Deff's point. While they moved to a rural town they were still around ranching friends and that way of life was still there. They were still participating in the ranch although not doing the hard physical work.

The point I was making is it is rare for any long-time rancher to move to a big city and make a complete change in their lifestyle. Sure some may do it, but very few.

As FH said, one has to have lived the ranching way of life to understand why those that love it despite the hardships of old age, refuse to move to a big city and change their lifestyle.
Perhaps you need to read his reply better.

This is what deff wrote: "Both seemed to delight in coming out to inspect the ranch and gleefully head back down the road after informing me of the problems they discovered that I needed to deal with!"

And, as he also stated, "Our town is filled with retired ranchers and coffee clubs so they rediscovered old friends to hang out with. Walking on level ground and sidewalks was easier than hills, snow and mud so they began driving less and walking more."
He wrote above "retired ranchers", in town.

This doesn't sound at all like doing any kind of physical work. Sounds more like a simply visit to see how the ranch is doing and point out any problems.

And, I'm not talking about moving to a "big city", only a small town or small city.

Actually, I asked the question and deff answered it the way I thought it might be. Not every rancher wants to drop dead working on their ranch. Some get to be 70 plus years old and, for whatever reasons, have to call it quits. Note the word "some".
 

Faster horses

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Perhaps you need to read his reply better.

This is what deff wrote: "Both seemed to delight in coming out to inspect the ranch and gleefully head back down the road after informing me of the problems they discovered that I needed to deal with!"

And, as he also stated, "Our town is filled with retired ranchers and coffee clubs so they rediscovered old friends to hang out with. Walking on level ground and sidewalks was easier than hills, snow and mud so they began driving less and walking more."
He wrote above "retired ranchers", in town.

This doesn't sound at all like doing any kind of physical work. Sounds more like a simply visit to see how the ranch is doing and point out any problems.

And, I'm not talking about moving to a "big city", only a small town or small city.

Actually, I asked the question and deff answered it the way I thought it might be. Not every rancher wants to drop dead working on their ranch. Some get to be 70 plus years old and, for whatever reasons, have to call it quits. Note the word "some".
You just keep picking at a scab.
Everyone is different. Every ranch is different. Every area is different.

Mr. FH hates town, only goes when he HAS to and then it is early in the morning.
Some have coffee friends, some don't. He doesn't. Deff's father does. To each their own.

Ranching for many has been isolation, especially in the west. Those people
don't need to be around people. When they retire, they find something they like to do.
Mr.FH has projects right here that keeps him busy and happy. He irrigates. He puts
up hay. He makes things. He's busy. He will be 78 years old on July 4th.
He just made a grapple fork for our littlest tractor. There was no time clock and he
enjoyed doing it. He made a worthwhile, usable piece of equipment. It works slick.

Maybe it's making something, maybe it's enjoying family and
participating in family events. Maybe it's travelling. Maybe some have hobbies.
Maybe some don't. Maybe some like to keep on working, just not as hard.

I think you have found the answers to your question.

Like gcreek has said, "I like my fellow man the best when they were
scattered some." That says a lot. Some don't want to move to town. Some do.
And it's all okay.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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I was just wondering, because, even though wife and I weren't into ranching, there are those that, apparently, think our seriousness about PRCA rodeo should be over.

So, that's the reason I wondered about old, possibly not so healthy, ranchers. Not ready to die at all, but definitely ready to let go of the ranching life.
I made the comment, "Here we go again." because of your starting a thread asking about what real ranchers do when they get too old for hard ranch work and after a couple of great answers, you attempted to direct the thread into a rodeo discussion. It is your thread and you can do what you want, but don't expect others to participate when you post your rope a-dope-threads.

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