Low-stress wife handling

Written by Connie Wood – Blina Station

Jim Lindsay, Eat Your Heart Out.

She lowers her head, shakes it a little and a bit of snot comes out as she snorts and stomps the ground with her foot. He’s not sure if its fear, adrenalin, or pure fury that’s got her shaking like that but she’s proper bailed up and not moving!

He runs at her, losing his temper a bit and she lets out a bellow and rushes towards him. He jumps out of the way and she just misses him. He decides to go with the momentum and runs after her, but cops a kick in the leg for his effort.

He’s tapping in to the low stress stock handling course he did with Jim Lindsay many moons ago. Not saying a word, he starts to walk his lines to break her in and calm her down. Back and forth, don’t walk directly at her, in fact don’t look directly at her or she might crack and charge him.

Try running a few friends back to her in the backyard to help things along, being in the company of others might calm her down and get her to come along nicely.

I’m not sure about the rest of you rural ladies out there, but my husband will often compare me (his beautiful, patient, talented wife) to his bovine breeding stock. Not the most complementary of comparisons, no matter how much you love your cows.

So here are some words from a second calf brahman heifer to assist other men on the land on how to handle their pregnant cows, ahem, wives.

Women in the bush can already be unpredictable, strong willed and a little stubborn. Add hormones to the mix, a volatile pregnant woman can become surprisingly agile for her size and much like a ‘spirited’ brahman cow, she can cover small distances in a short amount of time, so you got to think quick or else you might get kicked… or headbutted.

Dealing with women is not dissimilar to dealing with cattle in many aspects, it’s all about pressure and release. If you humbug her too much, she’s liable to lay down and sulk, refusing to get up.

So, similar to yelling in the backyards, wielding a big stick or using a jigger – a few phrases to avoid when handling a pregnant wife are:

  • “What. Have. You. Been. Doing. All. Day?”
  • “Can. You. Even. Be. Fu@#ed. Cooking. Me. Dinner?”
  • “Are. You. Sure. You. Need. All. That. Chocolate?”
  • “We. Should. Put. You. In. A. Feedlot”

So, you’ve inevitably stuffed up, you’ve probably looked sideways at her and done something to piss her off and now you’re a bit snookered as she’s bailed up, bellowing and getting ready to kick.

I suggest that you tap in to the teachings of Low Stress Stock Handling.

Shorten the yard. I suggest pacing the hall way, living room or bedroom. Working your lines from side to side on a 45-degree angle, preferably with a bar of chocolate or a cup of tea (because she can’t have any BLOODY WINE).

Don’t make eye contact or she may make a run at you. Approach with caution and patience, definitely do not be tempted to raise your voice, or wave a tea towel in her direction at this point… or at any point really. Certainly, do not whistle at her, gallop your horse up her arse or crack the stock whip in order to get her moving.

If you must make noise, speak gently but preferably not at all. It may help to stand quietly in the same room as her and slowly (but not creepily) walk from side to side. I recommend just starting by moving around in another room nearby, walking from side to side the entire time…. in a zig zag formation… do not walk directly up to her else you are liable to blow the entire thing and end up with a tin of tuna or a boot thrown at you… just ask my husband.

 If looks could kill.

Don’t forget that a stirred up pregnant woman has a reasonably large flight zone and very good peripheral vision, so work her eye, coming in and out of her flight zone- pressure on, pressure off.  You may need to do this a few times in order to quieten her down and get close to her again.

If all else fails, try running a few friends back to her in the backyard, I mean lounge room, to help things along. Being in the company of other bovines (women) might calm her down and get her to come along nicely. Remember this could also backfire, as they might all turn against you and then you’ve got a lounge room full of females bouncing around getting ready to smash you against the rails.

No matter what you do, don’t mention anything about how big her boobs or bum have grown, not a word about body condition score, supplement (lolly) consumption or re-conception rates… and certainly, do not compare her weight gain to that of a feedlot steer…. else you run the risk of your wife turning back in to that cracker cow in a heart-beat.


Oh, and a box of Lindt chocolate, a bunch of roses or a new campdraft horse never goes astray either!

 Happy wife, happy life.