Monthly Archives: August 2010

Tired and Happy

I forgot how tough I was. I forget a lot of things, especially to charge my camera battery. Of all the stupid things. Today we rode in the prettiest pasture down by the river but my camera ran out of juice. Still, I got a couple of shots.

Buddy looked so good today (and my cowboy too, even though he’s a little camera shy, a tough deal for a blogger’s spouse)

Miles and smiles of Alberta. That’s the Red Deer River. (Notice how all the Needle and Thread grass has cured and turned prairie gold. It really is thick as wool after this exceptionally wet year.)
I’ve never seen this many snakes either or ones so big. This is one of the bigger Gartner snakes I’ve seen. 

and he wasn’t dead either.

They are bright coloured and not poisonous. I don’t mind them too much.
The bad news is when we went to pull the last bull out of the late Red Angus herd we rode everywhere in the Spring Field, and no cows. Then we found where the cows had rubbed a gate down and are all mixed up with the Charolais herd. So then we hunted through the whole Milne field trying to find that dang little bull but came up empty handed. Now my cowboy is worried that the dirty begger is in there breeding all those big heifer calves. 
It made for a long, butt tiring day. I walked the last half mile because I was just too sore to sit anymore but it made Trouper happy.
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Warning: Pictures of a Good Cow Horse

Life is good again. I’m only a little sore on my right side but that isn’t going to stop me now. I’m so happy after a day on my horse I could just fly with out wings or buttons (popping again)

Today it was all about the Kid. What an awesome little horse.
He’s a three year old, just remember that when you see the rest of pictures.

Here he is happily checking around the dugout. Nothing sick but. . . 
The cowboy couldn’t resist having just a little fun and trailed a calf just to see what Kidd would do. He loves chasing cows, the horse, well, and the cowboy.
Later we found a calf with foot rot and although Kid didn’t actually have to do the roping (my cowboy had his good yellow horse there for that and the Kid was just tagging along with us) this is his first experience being tied off to a calf. It’s done a little different with a young horse like this. The horse has to be close so the back feet of the calf won’t touch the ground once he’s tied off.  A couple of wraps around the horn then. . . 
Back to the calf with some half hitches around the calves legs. With ropes on either side of Kids neck, it keeps him facing the calf. Note that calm, soft expression on his face. It’s not in the picture but a very agitated mama is circling around us making quite a fuss. Didn’t faze this little horse at all.

This shows how the front leg is in the loop around the calf’s neck. This way there is no danger of the loop coming tight around the calf’s throat.

The calf gets his shot to treat the foot rot and he is let go. 

The next calf my cowboy had to chase some to catch it and his hat blew off.

Next calf, same procedure, only this time Kidd is checking things out.

Very calm, brave, and thinking young horse.

Another foot root baby getting his medicine.
 Even Wilbur and Pic are thinking this is a good thing (although Wilbur had to wear a regular saddle because Kid had on the Wade). Pretty happy colt and pretty impressed cowboy. Oh and I think the price just went up.

Just One More Thing

I just wanted to add one thing to my late Sunday night/early Monday morning post.

Saw this on the paved road going through the lease. Ya, it’s a rattler, run over by more than one car, I think. The head was squished pretty flat.

This is why they have rattles: they are so hard to see, the colour of dirt. I hate it when they surprise me. They say cowboy boots are pretty good protection if you step on one. The tops are higher than they usually can strike and the leather is too thick for them to really bite into your skin. It looked to me like someone had robbed the rattles off this one.

I took this with my boot beside it to give you an idea of the size, pretty long (it’s head and my toe are pointing the same direction, I told you it was squished flat).
It’s been a particularly wet year here, this year, and I think they have moved farther away from the river than usual. This one was headed north towards the river to get back to his den for the winter. My cowboy had seen a bull snake (usually bigger than rattlers) run over last week headed the same way.
I’ve never seen a snake den, but my cowboy has and he explained it to me this way. You smell it before you see it. In a depression in the ground are hundreds of snakes, Rattle Snakes and Bull Snakes together, in one big writhing mass. Pretty yucky!

Sunday Stills-Figurines

This little salt shaker is the only thing my cowboy has of his grandmother’s. It’s chipped but he loves it.

This is my favorite thing from my grandmother in Wales. I never met her but I’m sure she is very special.

This little guy holds some special meaning to us. One time when we leaders for a 4-H light horse club we had a Halloween costume party at the indoor arena with our horses. The only costume we had that fit our youngest daughter was a Santa Claus suit, so I made antlers and a red nose just like this for her horse. They made a really cute pair.

I guess this is more a sculpture than a figurine. Our oldest daughter bought it for us because she said that is how she always remembered us (we’ve been in love for a long time).

But I think these are the most appropriate for a Sunday.

Horse Sales

We went to 2 horse sales today and I managed to keep my cowboy from buying any horses 
(and that is the hardest part of my job as his wife).
The first one was a local annual production and guest consignor sale. The bay horse in my header picture is from there and Kid, one of our For Sale Horses, we bought there last year.

They sell mostly started 3 year olds. The girl leading the horse and her husband-to-be trained most of them this year. She was a really good hand (better than her fiance).
They showed them outside in this small arena, different than last year when they road them in a very large cattle corral. That year a horse fell, tripped by a piece of bailing twine, so this was safer.

They had a quad pulling a roping dummy instead of real cattle (blah!) to show them on. It was windy and cool. We parked our truck where we could sit in it and watch the goings on. The horses all looked pretty happy and willing and moved around on a loose rein.

Crystal liked this buckskin but I thought it was a little wide in the chest which can make a horse kind of rough. 

They have an small indoor arena where they stall the sale horses for people to walk through and divide it from the auction area by this big tarp. That red pipe area is where they saddle the horses that are coming into the ring. They are rode into the ring through that open doorway you see on the right.
This is looking the opposite way into the stall area where people can look at the horses and visit.

I thought it was smart put hay in front of the horses as soon as the outside preview was over and they were waiting in the stalls. They all looked pretty happy. There were mostly sorrels this year, lots with faxen manes and yellow horses. Every horse had a nice rope halter, the same except different colours and leads, all the same, cut from the same kind of rope, probably from the UFA (United Farmers of Aberta  co-op store). It looked very tidy and professional.
Maybe that’s how it should be but these guys are pretty western and kind of old school.

The Hayes Brothers are older (even than me) and they are heavy into Skipper W bred horses.

This is LeRoy, saying his little welcoming speech and I think Bobby and Pat watching from down the steps.

This was the first horse of the sale (a guest consignor). They went to great lengths to be sure we knew all about the one and only (and somewhat suspicious) phone-in bid on this horse. It didn’t set quite right with my cowboy.
They passed the next two horses out then someone that knew Crystal, who was with us, came up to where we were sitting in the stand to tell her that her husband had been hurt in a quad accident (chasing some cows, I think) and was at the hospital. We left to take her home so she would be there when the neighbors brought him home. Luckily it was only a concussion and sore shoulder. Those quads are dangerous things. Not like a horse that will look where it’s going.
I figured we might just go back to the sale but my cowboy didn’t like what was going on there and we decided to go to the other sale we had wanted to go to but it was a lot farther away. The fellow that has been starting our colts lately was involved in that one.
Oh my, what a bunch of pretty horses, I would have chewed my own arm off to have almost any one of them. Alas, it was all in a big indoor area and my camera wouldn’t cooperate so you will just have to imagine all the pretty horses.

Bleck!

It was another one of those trip to town days. The only good thing is getting to go to the Library. I can’t stand life with out books. I got to renew my “Frenchwomen Don’t Get Fat Cookbook” still more to explore there (besides my cowboy didn’t want to see that one go).
And then there’s the doctor, nice man, but we don’t really connect (pill dispenser, $65 worth! That hurts the Welsh in me). My cowboy on the other hand thinks he’s the Bee’s Knees.
And then when I got home I had to do housework (so I choose the wash which is my favorite), cooked an awesomely tender T-bone for lunch, snuck some baker’s chocolate for a snack (I’m allergic to chocolate, I know, horrible isn’t it?) so I’ll be sick tomorrow.
Why can’t I just ride my horse?

Friends

“Friends are angels whose wings lift you up when yours have forgotten how.”

I am often amazed at why anyone would ever read a blog about an old lady. I’ve thought, folks like the horses, or they like the dogs, or the cowboying part is interesting to them, or they like sharing in our way of life. What ever it is that has drawn you here I’m thankful.

It’s been kind of a solitary life. I’m around cows way more than I am ever around people and I think my social skills have never been that good anyway.

There is lots about me that seems out of place in what I do. This is kind of odd to say, but I had the kind of education a rich girl would get: speaking French, knowing about Art History, reading great Literature, able to talk about Astronomy, Psychology, Nutrition, Paleontology, liberal arts they call it. Not much call for any of that on the back of a horse (and the cows don’t care).

So friends for me are kind of at a premium: my kids, Crystal and Jazlyn, my winter boss Laura. That’s been about it. But now there is you, all of you (new and old, younger and older) who come here and check on me and what’s going on here. I don’t know how to tell you how much I appreciate your friendship. I just want you to know your wings often lift me up.

Thank you.

The Feel

The swallows are starting to bunch up (they are always welcome here), a sign that we’ll wake up one day and they will just be gone.

The feel in the air has changed. It warm but it’s cool and the light is yellower. Fall, my used-to-be-favorite time of year: harvest  bussyness and plentifulness, canning, excitement of school starting, bugs dying (yaah!).

Since we moved to the lease it means the job here ends the middle of Nov and winters are hungrier and usually mean a change in lifestyle along with the change to a different job. This lease job is seasonal, we’re only paid 7 months of the year and have to look for other work for 5. The house is free but we still have to pay utilities.

The older I get the more I dread being cold and hungry and then there are no cows on the lease around me either. Last winter I helped a purebred Red Angus breeder at calving time (Feb and March) and they were real good to me. I think I might do that again this winter. At least I still get to hang out around cows, maybe take my pup with me too.

Down Day

It all started out good. I was actually feeling pretty springy for someone run over by a Charolais bull 3 or 4 weeks ago. I was going to go out and ride, cheerfully, really looking forward to it, till someone pulled the rug out from under me and I fell on my heart. (Poor beat up old thing, funny it still works at all.) Now I just hurt (again) and feel overwhelmingly tired.

I’ve lived about 10 years longer than I thought I should have. Days like today I wish not?

Note on Pups for Sale:

Someone asked me about a puppy being for sale so thought I might just mention that I have 2 “For Sale Pages”, one for dogs and one for horses. You can get to them by clicking on the appropriate For Sale Page in the left hand side bar.