Posts Tagged ‘ranch’
We had a fun time out at the ranch today. After having a lively breakfast, horseback riding was the scheduled event. The star of course was Rowan!
Our favorite little nephew dude dragged his parents and his Grandma up to visit Aunty Julie, Uncle Mike and Papa Bill. He was sporting his brand new cowboy boots and told them he just had to go on the long drive to see us. We weren’t fooled though, he really came to see the horses, the chickens and Adolph the dog! We’re all aware of our place in line 🙂 I think the tractor we call “Greenie” has also moved ahead of us..
It was a fun way to spend a sunny morning with loved ones who don’t live close enough to see as much as we’d like. We’re already looking forward to Ro’s next foray into cowboying. Look out Hailey!
Wedgie had a lot of firsts this week – he was FINALLY weaned from his mama, he got his first big boo boo, his first haircut AND he had his first hoof trimming. All pretty much within 48 hours. Little guy’s world was turned upside down.
We had planned on weaning him a couple months ago, but the unbelievably wet weather the last two months made it difficult. We didn’t have any spare stalls or inside pens that were dry, so the pasture was the best place for him and his mama.
|Walking the Wedge|
|Boo Boo wrapped in blue|
|Wedgie’s 1st trim|
|Wedgie’s 1st haircut|
So that’s pretty much Wedgie’s traumatic week. He’s doing fine and starting to enjoy being in the middle of everything at the barn. He has already learned to pull the lid off of the grain bin as he goes by and tries to snag a mouthful of hay when passing the bales. One thing is for certain, Wedgie will be in the middle of things on a regular basis.
I spent the last few days helping Dad at the ranch. For once I remembered to take my camera so I could update all of Wedgie’s fans with a couple of new photos. It is hard to believe the little poop is already 5 months old! As you can tell, he and Dad’s dog Adolph are the best of friends. They play together all the the time.
|Do you have grain for me?|
|Here I come..|
|Can you see me now?|
|Wedgie chasing Adolph?|
|Adolph resting after the race|
|“It’s tough life for a busy kitten”|
I talk a lot about the ranch and all of our horses, but I tend to be lax about showing you our beauties. Today I would like to introduce you to Sunday Sailor, our Paint Stallion. He is the daddy to the majority of the great horses we use – Cinderfella, my mare Cindy, Pete, and Missy (photos to come, I promise).
We are very proud of the big guy (as is my usual, I have an alternative name for him: Booger, which he does answer to!) He is now a big 18 years old and still going strong. We breed several outside (not our own) mares to him every year. He throws such gorgeous babies. Fortunately they all seem to get his sweet disposition as well as his good looks. Many of them have also inherited his abilities. He’s very athletic and a great cow horse. We use him to work cattle, sort, team pen, rope, and just ride for pleasure. He’s my big sweetie!
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 over wrapped around his little furry paws.
“It’s about time you got here to visit me!” “Why won’t you come and 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
Adolph (Dad’s dog) thoroughly bored by it allWe 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.