Former Eastern Girl Takes On Job Of Cattle Wrangling
In Arizona where men have bossed the range and liked to think they bossed the women, things have taken a new turn and women are invading the exclusive domain of men, cattle wrangling.
Up in Pepper Sauce Canyon at the G-F Bar ranch, Doris Dayton, University of Arizona senior, is riding fences, driving cattle to fresh watering holes, doctoring animals, shoeing horses, and even helping to build a screened porch.
It all sounds like the accomplishments of an Amazon, which Doris is not. It might lead the unwary into thinking of her in terms of a very husky number with muscles that would be the envy of a physical culture ad model. The unwary, let into such an opinion, would have a fine shock at seeing a small, very attractive brunette just as much at home on a dance floor as on a horse…one who can wiggle a mean conga, besides.
In a country facing a serious cowboy shortage, Doris is doing all the things a cowboy would be expected to do, although she claims she doesn't do her jobs as well as a cowboy.
Shy of Shoeing
Of all Doris' accomplishments as cowhand, shoeing horses is probably the most unusual for a woman. For some reason or other she doesn't like to be known as a girl who shoes her own horses.She admits to it with a great reluctance and says, "But don't tell anyone I do it, will you?" Anyone who tells must feel like a fine betrayer.
When the need arises, however, Doris is not overwhelmed by the prospect of going out to the corral, roping any horse in the lot, sticking a bunch of nails between her teeth and proceeding with the job of shoeing, with the horse standing […ley] by on three feet…and sometimes not to dociley.
She says that no one taught her. She just watched it done a number of times and then came a day with a ride to Mount Lemmon in the offing and Doris' horse had lost his shoe. She had a choice of shoeing her horse or staying at home. She wandered about for a little while, wondering whether or not she could turn the trick. Finally she decided that wandering and wondering would get her nowhere fast and the ride to Mount Lemmon would be off if she didn't get busy at her task. So she found some horseshoes, nails and a hammer and went to work. It turned out not to e as hard as she thought it would and she has been shoeing her horses ever since.
Treats Pink Eye
Out on the G-F Bar, Doris has even been treating a calf of pink eye, grabbing him when he hides in a corner and dropping methylane blue from an eye-dropper into his eye while he wriggles and bucks in the dusty corral. When questioned about it, she said the treatment had been effective and no other infections had occurred, but when they found the first, Doris and Bill Hubbard, from Eagle Rock, Calif., who is also working on the ranch this summer, proceeded to give out with a large scale pink-eye treatment to protect the herd.
Although she was born in the east and spend the first half of her life there without learning to ride, Doris' father, Paul K. Dayton of Oracle, decided she should learn to ride like all western children…bareback. She learned rapidly, but she claims it was only because her first horse was spirited and she either had to learn rapidly or continue falling off, which was becoming pretty painful.
Her reward for learning to ride was a western saddle, rather an anti-climax to bareback riding, but more comfortable. She had no actual riding lessons except her father's advice "Stick on " shouted from the corral fence.
Has First Lesson
When Doris started at the University of Arizona in her sophomore year, however, she had her first riding lessons from Major Delmor Wood, formerly assistant professor of military science and tactics at the university. There she used an English saddle for the first time and found it even harder than learning to ride had been, since she had to break her well-established riding habits and form new ones.
At the beginning of her second year at the university, Doris was learning polo and finding it "very exciting." It was a great disappointment when the Army order came through discontinuing the use of cavalry horses for university polo work. "But I'd as soon be driving cattle," she says. "It lasts longer than a polo game."
A Spanish major at the university, minoring in Pan-American relations, Doris still finds time to take electives in the agricultural college. She studied animal husbandry, range management and other courses and hopes to take still more. The reaction of her instructors in the Aggie school is first, "Why, she's a nice girl, and good-looking, too," and, second, "And, by gosh, she's got a lot of aptitude for the cattle business."
Doris has served on the university rodeo committee for the two years she ahs been at Arizona and last year she was chosen Rodeo Queen.
At home in Oracle, Doris has her own small house behind that of her parents which is up on a mountain top overlooking the San Pedro valley and the Galiuro mountain. Just below it is the corral.
She has two brothers, Paul K., jr., a teacher at the Arizona Desert school, and Griggs Dayton, who manages a Woolworth store in New York City. Plans for the future are still indefinite for Doris. But whatever is in the future, Doris claims she will be perfectly happy as long as it is a country future and she doesn't have to go back to city living.
original newspaper clipping courtesy of Caroline Atwill McMakin