Ranch Ramblings ~ with Niki Flundra

Chasing Cows, Kids & Dreams 


It’s the time on the ranch when we can reflect on the year. Being a rancher has many positive aspects, but it does come with its challenges!

I have developed the deepest respect for ranchers. Their passion is to care for the grasslands, water, and not just their animals but all of God’s creatures that thrive because of their stewardship. It is not only honourable but also necessary to provide sustainable food. Land that could not be farmed can still provide sustenance because of the willingness of a rough-riding cowboy (or cowgirl).

When I met my husband, we each had our rodeo lifestyles in common. Him a saddle bronc rider and me a rodeo trick rider. I did not grow up on a ranch, although my dad had some cows when I was little. My dad got out of the cattle business to pursue a career in the fireworks and pyrotechnics business, but that love of animals he introduced me to never left me. I followed in my dad’s footsteps into the world of pyrotechnics at live events and in the film industry and continued with my trick riding, so when I moved to the ranch, the learning curve was steep. I knew all about fireworks shows, bullet hits, blowing houses up on movies, and suicide drags off the back of a fast-running horse — but not too much about ranching.

I made a promise to myself when we got married that I would learn all the facets of ranching and be proficient at most of the jobs. Thirteen years later, I am most definitely still a work in progress.

I still marvel at all the things a rancher must be capable of! It’s not just cowboying and fencing, but the bookwork, the mechanics, the vet work, dang near needing to be a mathematician to figure out the grazing rotations based on grass lengths, not to mention calculating feed supplies for the year. I’m here to say there is more than I ever imagined to this ranching gig, and there has been more than one occasion when throwing in the towel crossed my mind. The –30C days when nothing goes right, or a job that proves long and difficult. But my dad always said I was “double-bred stubborn,” and it’s proving valuable.

I hope that by sharing these stories, they won’t just be told, but they will truly be heard by people who haven’t had the chance to know the benefits the ranching community brings to the table through their hard work, grit and determination