• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Branding pictures

Help Support Ranchers.net:


Well-known member
Feb 11, 2005
Reaction score
northern Nebraska Sandhills
The first picture is of Saddletramp branding, and I am using the knife.

The second picture is of Saddletramp getting ready to secure the rope by clamping with the vice-grip handles.

This picture shows Saddletramp ready to clamp the rope, and Galen Valentine is the roper on the paint horse.

This is a calf locked into position for the ground crew to commence working.
These are a few pictures to demonstrate our branding gizmo. We did 116 calves yesterday. A friend asked when it would be a good time to come borrow my horse-drawn "Little Dickens" big round bale feeder (which is like a horse-drawn Hydra-bed). I told him to come yesterday, and he could get in on our branding. He did, and the rest of our crew was Saddletramp, Mrs. Soapweed, and me.

We made a few innovations that helped. We put about 40 calves at a time in the actual branding pen, and the rest are held in an adjacent corral made with portable panels. One problem is for the roper to detect which calves are "available" and which calves are already done. We put a chalk mark on the opposite flank, so it is easy to tell the ones that are branded.

On the bunch last week, Mrs. Soapweed had a pouch strapped around her waist which held two vaccine guns and the implant gun. Yesterday, we used a small kid's toboggan and slid it into place after each calf was captured. This contained the vaccine guns and other parphenalia, and was much handier.

Anyway, the deal seemed to work real well. The day was 60 degrees and no wind, so all in all, our job turned out to be a lot of fun.
What the heck is that thing? I've never heard nor seen such a thing before? Not knocking it at all, but looks to me like if the calf was a fighter at all it would be kinda hard to get him "locked" in that thing. What do you call it?

Back home we used the Nord Forks...not sure if you heard of them. They work slick, but the guy has to hold them tight with the horse. You can go through several 100 head in a day. Sure is easier on the crew using them.

I like the paint horse...I have one that looks like its twin!

take care
Great pics!

Looks too dry for my liking.

Cannot believe how nice and clean you guys look in the pics.

Showered and a white shirt!!!!

When it happens here, there is mud and sweat and dirt everywhere. You guys are coming to my place next!

Add some class to us dirt dogs in the ring.

The advantage of our deal over a Nord Fork is that the roper isn't compelled to wait until the calf is processed. When the calf is locked into place, the roper is free to grab another lariat and go catch another calf. With any luck, he has another one snagged and ready to pull into position when the first calf is done. In essence it saves one person. No matter how much a calf struggles, they are fairly immobilized with both hind feet elevated off the ground. This is not as hard on a calf as a Nord Fork, because it is just the weight of the calf for pressure rather than a twelve hundred pound horse keeping them stretched out.
Looks like quite a rig. One question though... how do you keep all the folks away? Branding smoke around here draws quite a crowd. I'll make sure to take pics when we do it here in a few weeks, you won't believe the fence sitters!
No coolers and No Dogs. We pet our dogs while we sip our refreshments back at the house. :D :D :D
You guys look very organized. Don't you love it when a good plan comes together and everything works smoothly?

I couldn't help but notice some white on the calf in the last picture. What happened did a neighbors bull get in the pasture? :wink:

Those are great pictures of a dying art. At least around here anyway!
Thanks for the pics. Very intresting. As for me I use a head catch and mud everwhere. By the way I noticed your catch pin ain't in the shade. I recomend you plant some trees.
Soapweed I went back to look the pics over better and I noticed you are just like me, A rancher with a "middle aged spread" must of made the same mistake I made and married a good cook. :wink: :cowboy:
Hey Soapweed,

I have been thinking about your branding "wheel", and was wondering if there was a way to eliminate the vise grip. I know you said that it is hard on ropes, and I wondered if you could rig up something simular to an eccentric as a brake. Setting it and releasing it might be the hangup. I was thinking of an arc brake lined with a piece of pickup tire for traction.

You may be entirely happy with the way it works for you now, but without seeing your invention, I just had a brainstorm.

Happy branding! We use calf wrestlers, and sometimes nord forks. We won't brand for 5-6 weeks, that is if we get some moisture to keep them around.
The first prototype was a lot harder on ropes than this new and improved version. Even though we are using old ropes anyway, we've done 230 head without wrecking a rope yet. There is more rubber that meets the rope on this one. It is fun to release the calf once it has been processed. You just flip the clamp on the vice grip, the legs fall down, the calf feels free and kicks once and is gone. We're then ready for the next calf.
GREAT PICS Soapweed. I assume that Mrs Soap was handling the camera?
How tough is it to set up your "portable snubbing post"? Do you have to dig very deep?
Oh, and my but that Saddletramp is a handsome feller! Makes you see why Mrs. Saddletramp married the old duffer! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

PS. I know he can rope as well as he writes, but is he any dang good at fencin'? :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Great photo's, Soapweed. Spiffy looking crew, and "invention", too.

I can see we need to get with the paint cans for our ugly portable corrals before branding time. Not gonna happen!

We use the Nordforks and get by pretty well. Think we won't be branding before close to the end of May.


Latest posts