The longer we linger in Mexico the more we learn that Mexicans can and will turn anything into a fiesta, and that includes branding day in Lagos de Moreno.
It was all hands on deck for branding day at Rancho San Cayetano which is worked and occupied by Juan Alcaza and his lovely family. In addition to raising cattle, Juan’s beautiful wife, Lupita, helps run an equine therapy program for physically and mentally challenged children at the ranch.
On this day, roughly 50 cows needed to be branded. It’s a job that calls for many helpers so Juan put the call out to his cowboy buddies, including our friends Pancho and Lena from Hacienda El Ahito, local rodeo stars, horse trainers, and working cowboys. It was all hands on deck to tackle this necessary annual chore.
Eric got busy taking pictures and video of the action and Karen tried to keep the cattle running in the right direction once each one was let out into the branding area. Then the “professionals” took over.
Watch their amazing work in our video, below.
To be honest, the crew of charros had mixed success rates with the ropes, urged on by Juan Alcazas shouts of “La cabeza! La cabeza!” (The head! The head!) which is where the first rope needs to land.
The second rope needs to catch the back legs, then the cow is tipped onto its side and the branding crew (lead by Lena) kicked into high gear, giving the cow as fast and efficient a branding as possible.
The number being branded onto each cow will help Juan identify it. During branding each cow’s physical characteristics were also meticulously noted down along with its new brand number. It’s like a cow census.
Once all of the cows had been branded, we retired, dusty, thirsty and hungry, to the lovely hacienda on Rancho San Cayetano where a huge barbeque of beef and chorizo satisfied the hunger part and free-flowing tequila satisfied the thirsty part. No one really minded being dusty.