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Archive for the ‘Horses’ Category

postheadericon Horses of Course

Today’s topic: Horses of course.

 

Many of you have asked how Wedgie (aka the Wedge, Phantom, and butthead) has been doing.  Well, he turned 4 months old on September 22nd and he’s quite the big boy.  Dad is talking about weaning him early as he doesn’t nurse near as much as he pigs out on his mama’s grain and hay.

 

As usual, I had a hard time getting photos of him.  He either wanted to run and play with me or he wouldn’t get his head out of the feeder.  So I only have the two pictures today, but I’ll get some more in the next week or so just to show you what a little pill he is.

 

In other horse news, Mr. MoonCat has a new horse.  His buddy Whiskey just wasn’t cutting it when it comes to working cattle.  Whiskey would much rather cruise along the trails and go for long scenic rides than participate in the cow events.  So he’ll be going to a new home with someone who enjoys just trail riding.  He’s been a great first horse for the hubby while he’s been learning about riding and life in general with the equine bunch.

Whiskey

 

This is the only photo I managed to snap this morning. We were in a hurry, so hopefully, I’ll get some updated shots later in the week with Mr. MoonCat doing his thing. “Swifty” is the name my Dad bestowed upon the new guy.  In case you’re wondering, it’s actually an oxymoron. The horse is a bit on the lazy side.

But as usual, if the naming is left to Pops, he’ll name him according to where he came from.  The previous owner was named Swift so there ya have it.  (I warned hubby…)

 

Swifty

 

I know he looks similar to Whiskey in coloring, but Swifty is actually a registered Paint Horse whereas Whiskey is a Quarter Horse.  Swifty is a real sweetie, very gentle and able to teach Mr. MoonCat a whole lot more than Whiskey could.  The hubby is excited because this new horse LIKES to work cattle!

 

So that’s the happenings for now.  In closing I’ll leave you with a shot of Adolph (Dad’s dog that he got from his neighbor, yup – named Adolph) sharing his doggy bag from breakfast with the chickens.

 

Yummm..biscuits and gravy

 

postheadericon New Name for a Wedgie

What is it? What is it?

The names everyone came up with were amazing! You all are very creative. We’ll have to put it out there again next time we have a baby to name..So without further ado……

Introducing: Phantom Sunday Gambler

The winner of the horse-themed prize is LemonVerbenaLady! She came up with Phantom which is such a perfect description of his little face. The group played with it until Phantom Sunday Gambler came out of the brainstorming.  Of course, Pops promptly declared “I don’t care what you put on the papers, I’m still calling him “Wedgie”.

The winner of the random drawing for the notecards is: Susan!

Congratulations to you both and thank you all for joining in on the fun. Be sure to stay tuned as we have a BIG giveaway from CSN Stores later this week! It’s one you won’t want to miss.

postheadericon Loving Heart – Sunday Selections

A loving heart is the theme of today’s Sunday Selections from Charles Dickens.
A Loving Heart and Pure Joy of a Horse for Sunday Selections at Red Barn Blue Skies

“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”

postheadericon Cattle Sorting Practice

We spent Sunday at the ranch, helping Dad with the cattle sorting practice and just hanging out with him.

Cattle sorting is similar to team penning which I wrote about a few weeks ago and you can read about here. In sorting you also have a team of three riders, but you only have 10 head of numbered cattle (1 each from 0-9) at the other end of the arena instead of the 30 cattle in team penning. The numbers are basically like a huge dog collar with two large vinyl panels with a number on each side. They are put on for the practice and then taken off before the cattle are turned out to pasture for the night.

There is a foul line about 40 feet from the end of the cattle side of the arena instead of a pen you’re trying to put them in. Once your team is in the arena and ready, you are given a number from 0-9. You then have 1 1/2 minutes (90 seconds) to bring your cattle across the line IN ORDER with no cattle crossing the line before their turn. Example: my team is given #4. We have to bring them out 4,5,6,7 etc. The team with the fastest time and the most cattle out in order wins.

It’s a fun event that the whole family can participate in. You will see a lot of little kids and even some older folks having a good time at the cattle sortings. It’s a little easier for beginners to ease into as it’s not as fast-action (to start with) as team penning and you can use “greener” or less experienced horses while learning yourself. Playing with cattle and good horses is always fun!

There is also a version called “ranch sorting” that is done in a large pen and with only two riders on the team. The big difference is that you must take the cattle through a gate in order instead of across a line. Both versions are a lot of fun, but I usually prefer the ranch sorting.

I like the ranch sorting because I grew up doing this when it wasn’t even an event. It was just plain old ranch work where Dad would put me in the gate while he sorted calves off the cows to be shipped to market. I got to be a very good gate man(girl) and ended up getting a lot of dirty looks from crotchety old cowboys that Dad would hire for day work.

They didn’t like the idea of a kid, much less a “little girl” doing a man’s job. I always had fantastic ranch horses and was a good rider so I could compete with most of the grumpy old farts for the choice jobs. I had been working cattle for my dad and many other ranchers from a very young age and earned a good reputation. Kicker was that even though I was getting a paycheck for day work, I was really there to help my daddy and enjoy the heck out of myself. (Didn’t realize that I was championing women’s rights when I was nine years old!)

Being “in the gate” was a coveted position when working cattle as you got to work your horse and really enjoy the ride. When working the gate your horse is sliding from side to side and making lots of quick moves to keep cattle from escaping past him. It was always the most fun part of the day to be on a cowhorse that was “getting down in the dirt”. I still enjoy it today on my mare Cinderella. It’s better than a roller coaster ride by far.

Our day started out with a few minutes with Fred (or as I call him Ferd). Dad rescued him after one of the barn cats abandoned him when he was just about 2 weeks old. He was a fighter from day 1 and is now the ruler of the roost. He has Dad and anyone who comes to the house wrapped around his little furry paws.


“It’s about time you got here to visit me!”

“Why won’t you play in my house?”


Michael checking the cinch on his horse “Whiskey”

Sonny, Dad, & Les “warming up “, in reality – gossiping while walking around in circles

The cheese stands alone…

Adolph (Dad’s dog) thoroughly bored by it all.

We went to dinner with Dad after we were through with the sorting practice and all of the animals were (well) fed. A very lovely way to end a nice weekend. Now it’s back to boxes.

postheadericon Team Penning in Templeton

Bill Dees & Cinderfella “Before the Buzzer”

 

I’m spending my Saturday with my husband, my Dad, my horse, and a whole bunch of these little boogers! We are gone team penning in Templeton.

 

We’re going to a cattle (or team) penning competition. I’ve been competing in these events since I was about 12 yrs old – when they first started them up here in Central Cali. I haven’t gone in AGES, so when Dad asked if Michael & I would like to go with him for the day I jumped at it.

 

Should be lots of fun, except for the getting up at 4am part – that sorta sucks. And the fact that I will end up being the driver for the entire trip up and back. That’s what Dad always tells me “he” had me for – to be his chauffeur. I learned to drive the truck on the ranch at about 9 yrs old and began pulling the big gooseneck stock/horse trailers at about 12. I’m an old pro, but the hubby is still pretty new to the whole ranch life.

 

Dad and I are in the process of teaching Michael how to pull horse trailers, but I’m a control freak and nervous about letting a “newbie” pull my horses especially since we’ll be in hill country with gusty winds. Dad’s a little braver than I am on that front, although I DO try not to hurt Michael’s manly feelings too often by making him let me drive.


Team penning is a timed event that consists of a team of 3 riders, 30 cattle numbered 0-9, and a pen. Your goal is to put your 3 cattle into a pen at the opposite end of the arena in the fastest time. Sounds easy enough right?

 

You have to take into account that cattle can be wild beasties and create a lot of havoc in a short amount of time. You have to keep all of the “unwanted” or “not your number” cattle at their end of the arena, opposite the end where the pen is. If one of these strays crosses the scoring line, you’re disqualified. When you’re running full steam around an arena trying to sort out the correct animals while not running into one of your team members, it can get pretty exciting and hairy.

 

But, it’s lots of fun to participate in and also to watch. There is a lot of whooping and hollering as well as laughing. Most of the horses love it, especially ones like ours that are bred to be cow horses. Some, like Michael’s horse Whiskey, are afraid of or ambivalent towards the cattle and might run the other direction. It happens, but Michael loves Whiskey & Whiskey loves Michael, so that’s all that matters!

 

These photos are all of Dad and Cinderfella aka Fella or Yella Fella (yes, I have numerous names for the big critters too.) I will post some photos of my & Michael’s horses as well as our beautiful Paint stallion – Sunday Sailor at a later date. I’ve got to get to bed EARLY tonight – it’s a long drive in the am!