My first experience with sitting on a tractor involved a brief set of instructions from my husband that went something like this: "Sit here and use this lever to move the bucket up and down and if you move this lever from side to side it will tip the bucket forward and back. Now practice a few times. Ok we are good to go. Now I'm going to get into the bucket with a chain saw, large half-moon window and various tools and you are going to lift me up two stories so I can install this window on the front of the barn. Whatever you do, DO NOT touch any other thing on this tractor!" REALLY ARE YOU KIDDING ME. This was my first introduction to equipment. Thank the good Lord he survived my coming out party and so did I!
I have moved in equipment baby steps over the last six years starting with a small tractor and bush hog mowing to various other activities involving our small tractor. I eventually made my way into our mid-size tractor and the operation of that tractor with a post driver attached to it in order to drive posts along a fence line. This new activity was fraught with a long learning curve. It was a bit dicey in the beginning trying to line up the driver in the exact spot where my husband wanted the next post driven. These escapades usually erupted into shouting matches of frustration on both sides with me reminding him I knew how to go in reverse very fast! Ha Ha if you get my drift. Over time I increased my skill level to the point that we actually got the job done without a whole lot of fuss.
Every year I get more and more comfortable with what it takes to be a rancher and what I need to do to get the job done but there is one piece of equipment I have avoided like the plague; our very large, cab tractor. Frankly, this mammoth land rover scared the pants off me! It might have heat, A/C and a radio, but even with that going for it I wasn't going to go within a mile of it....until this past weekend. Yes indeed, the Princess Rancher graduated to the "Big Boy". I was actually able to sit quietly, not say a word and receive instruction from my husband on how to drive it and use the bush hog to mow our large front field. The hardest part I came to find out was keeping my mouth shut, the rest came rather naturally. So there you have it! I can finally say that I run with the Big Dogs!
I have come a long way in my equipment life and I am proud of it. If you take baby steps you gradually conquer your fears, meet new challenges head on and empower yourself as a woman to learn to do a job that is mostly done by men. I am living proof it can be done. Bring it on!