The Gruesome Side of Ranch Workamping

Life And Death On The Ranch

“Gruesome” is a poor choice of words, actually, at least for anyone actually interested in workamping on a ranch.

NOTE: My intention with this post is neither to be gratuitous nor grotesque. In fact, Rene spared us all by not taking any truly gruesome pictures.

I’m only sharing this to inform potential workampers that not all workamping jobs are alike, and that when ranch workamping you may be asked to do certain things you’d rather not.

dead horse disposal ranch workamping

The first time Rene wrote about life and death on the farm, we had nothing to do with the disposal of the dead livestock. This time was different.

We all knew Jane was not well the night before. You can imagine Rene’s surprise, however, when she returned from walking Wyatt to discover a dead horse in the corral next to our RV site. We also knew there was a full horse ride booked for that morning, in about an hour. What we didn’t know, was that the wrangler already knew.

How to Dispose of Deceased Livestock

We also wondered, how exactly does one dispose of a 1,500+ lb animal in a matter of minutes? One person does not, and it takes longer than that. So the first step is to hide the body from guests and riders.

Then, you must use the right tool for the right job. In our case, an excavator, chain and dump truck.

Ford Dump Truck and Excavator

At the risk of getting gruesome, I did learn something important should I ever have the misfortune of having to do this again. Do not scoop up a dead horse with the bucket of a backhoe. And while joking about using the thumb on the excavator may be OK, actually doing so is not! Let’s just say a chain around the neck is much, ummm… cleaner, though not a pretty sight.

The truth is, the facts of life and death on the ranch, are… well, just the hard cold facts of life. For some.

After helping to move the horse away from the barn where guests would soon gather for their ride, I suggested we cover her up. “Sure,” Larry said, “That might bother some people.”

Workamping with Ford Dump Truck and Excavator

The dump truck also provided for a much more stealth operation than taking the horse up the hill on a flatbed trailer. Especially considering we passed the riders on their way back down.

Still considering a ranch job?

Consider subscribing to Workamper News! That’s where we found our job at Vickers Ranch, which we’ve loved every summer for 7+ years! Well, except maybe for one certain day…

Rest in peace, Jane.

Rainbow over Gold Hill at Vickers Ranch

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2 Responses to “The Gruesome Side of Ranch Workamping”

  1. Now that’s a tough assignment, but part of life on a ranch.

    What caused the death?

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