How Do You Get To Higher Ground?

How do you get to higher ground?

A couple of weekends ago I was fortunate enough to help my daughter, Mika, and my son-in-law, Hardy, move cattle from their lower pastures to the top of their summer range. It was a glorious day to move to higher ground!

Mika and Hardy are the real deal. They are excellent ranchers. Plus, they are outstanding horse trainers. I trained horses for a living and now, I send everything I raise to them. They make great horses using them every day on the ranch.  And of course I think this, but it really is true, they are great people.  You would love them!

horses, cattle, God, Higher Ground

My daughter, Mika, and son-in-law Hardy

They had moved 200 head or so the day before so our goal was to move another 100 to 150 head up on our drive. First thing was to gather the cattle from the lower pastures and hold them while we ate lunch and our horses rested a bit.

I don’t have a wide angle lens so it will take me 4 photos to show you the cattle we had gathered

Higher Ground, horses, cattle, colorado mountains

Cattle settled and resting while we ate lunch

Photo #2:

cattle, horses, rodeo, mountains, Colorado

Photo #2

Photo #3 –

horses, cattle, Colorado, mountains

Photo #3












Finally photo #4

cattle, horses, mountains, Colorado

Photo #4

Some of the cows decided they should shade up with us!

cattle, horses, picnic, colorado, mountains

Some of the girls decided to have lunch with us in the shade!

We had them all around us while we ate! It was so funny!

This little one kept playing peek-a-boo with me behind my horse, Roanie, and never got scared or ran off.

Cattle, horses, calf, mountain, colorado


After lunch we headed up the mountain. A couple cowboys or cowgirls would take a little bunch and start up the road to the top. After they were started the next little bunch would head out. It took several groups to get the entire day’s gather heading up the road to higher ground.

For those of you that are not familiar with some of the terminology I used here please let me take a little bit and explain some words I used here, and will use in the next couple of posts.

  • Gather – The cowboys and cowgirls ride their horses and scour the hillsides, pastures, in the brush, creek bottoms, etc. and “gather” the cattle into one area.
  • Drive – Move the cattle from one place to another
  • Head – A cow, or the total number of cattle.  Example – “I have 20 head” means the person has 20 cows.
  • Summer Pasture – The cattle will move to higher ground in the summer and graze the pastures there during part of July and August. This is a good thing because they eat down the tall grass that would be fire fuels and could destroy everything if it burns. In addition they act as natural fertilizers for the grass, and it has now been proven that their hooves act as aerators for the soil allowing air to get into the ground and actually keep it much healthier.
  • Cowboys and cowgirls – The talented horsemen and woman that take care of the cattle and have incredible skill in animal husbandry. In other words they know when one is sick, or getting ready to calve – have her baby, they even know where the cattle hang out when it’s hot, or cold. They can save a nearly dead calf (baby), make sure a young new mother learns how to take care of her calf, and know when toa call the vet. They have big hearts and live by the “Code of the West”. Check back for that post!  It will be coming soon and it’s a good one!
  • Dude – the rest of us on horses that are trying to help and are working on developing our cowboy and cowgirl skills.
  • Riding Drag – The riders that bring up the tail-end of the cattle drive. A dusty, dirty job but one that requires skill as a horseman, good cow sense, and experience. This postion keeps the cattle moving and brings along the slow, injuried, and young.
  • Trail Boss – The cowboy in charge – Hardy

This is just the first in a series of posts about moving to “Higher Ground”. I hope you will come back because it’s just starting to get good!

Have you ever moved to “Higher Ground”?

What do those words bring to mind for you?







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  1. Lou August 5, 2013 #

    This is a great picture story! I live in the city and have dreamed of being a cowboy (or girl) my whole life! I love the picture of the calf peeking out from behind your horse. It is so cute! And I love how you are framing the story around moving to “higher ground.” I can’t wait for the next one!
    God bless you for writing these!

    • Kristi Ross August 5, 2013 #

      Thank you Lou! I am so glad my posts are being so well received! Thank you, Kristi

  2. Michael Strickland August 6, 2013 #

    Words are hard to say right now!

    The joy of living comes from a heart of thanksgiving. I am so moved by your heart Kristi, it truly moves me to higher ground. More and more I look forward to connecting with your heart and soul. My Spirit see’s Christ the hope of glory inside you.

    Your words are your heart that is filled with Gods love. You are truly uplifting. Your thoughts are your pictures that reflect your beautiful soul. Your Spirit is filled with love. I do see through your eyes and I find joy in the life you share.

    God is everything to me, all around I’m so thankful to be apart of His beauty as I’m sure you are to.All I can say is wow!

    What does higher ground mean to me?

    Truth… Psalm 25:5
    Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

    Humility… Proverbs 11:2
    When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

    Peace… Isaiah 26:3
    You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
    *trust in God, and His peace will fill us.
    *God fills our heart with peace when we pour out our heart to Him.

    Higher ground… God’s love is great and higher than the heavens. His love is unimaginably huge. Psalm 108:4
    For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

    Living in a world of higher ground means to me is a wheat kernel must die in order to spread its seeds and give birth to new plants. In the same way, someone willing to give up their very life in the service of Christ can plant seeds of faith beyond what they ever could otherwise.
    John 12:24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

    Thank you for sharing your heart Kristi, may our Lord shower you with health and prosperity, love and joy.
    God Bless, Michael

    • Kristi Ross August 6, 2013 #

      WOW Michael! You have touched me beyond words… and I am rarely without words… Thank you Michael! That response lets me know I am on the right track! I have been so unsure of myself and this website project. I want to touch people for the Lord but didn’t know if I really had anything in my head that others would understand, like, or enjoy, let alone be moved by. Thank you for such a moving comment! You are the wind at my back pushing me onward!
      Thank you, and may God richly bless you!

  3. Willa August 7, 2013 #

    Kristi, thank you for sharing who you are and what is important to you. And for teaching others along the way. One never knows the words that will impact. I spent my career in natural resources conservation and it was a challenge sometimes helping those who had no experience see the benefit of proper use. As you know, land doesn’t get better if left totally unused and untended. It actually creates hazards – like wildfire as you so aptly pointed out!

    I also want to say, from a composition point of view, I loved your use of “the dictionary.”

    • Kristi Ross August 7, 2013 #

      Thank you Willa! Every time we interact I find it so interesting how we “connect”! I am so thankful the Lord brought you into my life, Sister! You are a treasure! And I’m so glad you “see” what I’m trying to share from the other side of the spectrum.
      God Bless you my friend! Stay warm! 🙂

  4. Mina August 7, 2013 #

    “Higher ground” wow mom I think ur moving to higher ground. You can take a day to day task, scenery you drive by everyday, or a simple conversation with someone and you can change it into such a though provoking story. You can write things that make people want to be a better person, myself in particular. Thank you for reminding me of Gods beauty and blessings. You make me inspire to do something great in this world just as you are right now – moving higher

    • Kristi Ross August 7, 2013 #

      Mika, you touch me so deeply! I am glad I am impacting others, but when you say my words are effecting YOU, that means the world to me! I am humbled and deeply grateful. You know how I am doing it, maybe better than I know myself! One small step at a time. Thank you my wonderful daughter! God bless you!!

  5. Trish August 12, 2013 #

    Wonderful story! I went on a couple of cattle drives with my granddad up on Horsefly when he and his lifelong friend, Bus, moved cattle. I cherish those experiences with him and they are some of my best childhood memories. Your perspective in moving to higher ground is thought provoking and causes me to look around and see the work of the Father in my life. He is moving. You are part of that.

    • Kristi Ross August 14, 2013 #

      Morning Trish, I replied on the 12th but must not have hit send!
      Thank you, Trish! I’m so glad my story is reminding you of your sweet Grandfather! He was a wonderful man! I am also so thankful that my Higher Ground Story is “thought provoking” and is reminding you to see His handiwork in your life! And I am humbled, but honored to be a part of that! Your comment made me smile on of those deep and content smiles.
      Thank you and God Bless my friend,

  6. Dana W. Hawk September 5, 2013 #

    Kristi – Wow! You are a great author and story-teller! You go, girl! :)D


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