This is a photo of the mountain trip we took last fall. Ben and Jackson on their trusty steeds, Blue and Rea.
We are ready. Ready to ride that is. Enough of this slopping through the mud in Muck Boots. On with the Ariats and that's that. :)
Had to get the heifers in yesterday evening, to pull out the 'stealers' and treat a few that have gotten sick lately. ("Stealer" means calves that have learned to be real thieves in the milk department. Often the heifers are not smart enough to realize it might not be their own calf nursing, or that there are two (or three) nursing instead of just the one they gave birth to. Some of those calves get real smart about it and really 'do the rounds.' Good for them, not so good for the little ones who wander in late to find mum has no milk left....)
Anyhow, I have this new horse. I mentioned him earlier....I traded him for my Haflinger "Percy Sunshine" who is on his way to being a wagon pony now.
It wasn't a job that really required horses, but it is TIME!
And good of a time as any to find out what my new horse is like........ :)
So I put my rope hackamore on him, gently got aboard and started off easy. I much prefer to try out "new to me" broke horses bareback the first time. If he is going to buck or do something silly, its probably going to happen right away and I always feel like I can get off/away easier than with a saddle. And might just as well fall off then, rather than getting the crap beat out of me by the saddle and falling off anyhow! A bronc rider I am not. Ha. Worked out perfectly in any case. He is certainly fat and sassy and we got pretty bouncy a few times, but he was really quite a gentleman and never tightened up or offered to do anything dirty at all. Yay. Sold. :)
My new horse "Kenny".
Laura was with me and I convinced her to ride my gelding Riley bareback as well. I promised her that we would not be doing anything faster than a walk, so no worries. Riley is an AMAZING horse but when he gets fired up, its about all a person can do to stay in the middle. I have to admit that I try and avoid chasing horses on him, even with a saddle and bridle. He's like riding a wet tom cat on Speed in a room full of scorpions. Fun, but.....exciting. Reminds me of our late friend Howie's advice "it's easy....keep your left leg on the left side, your right leg on the right side and your mind in the middle!!" Simple right? Eli swears he will never climb aboard that particular horse, and declared Laura "the bravest idiot" he knows for getting on him bareback. She did great anyhow (as I knew she would). There is lots to learn off of that old boy. He has gotten quite a lot more patient and forgiving over the past year on the ranch and is a wonderful teacher as he does exactly what you ask, even if what you ask wasn't what you meant!
I'm riding Riley in the photo, with Nikky and Pocket beside me. We are on the west side of the Itcha Mountains with the Ilgatchuz in the background.
We will be branding this weekend so will start riding Thursday to bring all the pairs in and make sure they are properly matched. They will be vaccinated and then branded on Saturday. Remember that some of these calves were born at the end of February, so they are BIG! I'm very grateful to have a big strong group of friends at this point! We used to rope them to brand, but haven't the last few years.
Some seriously crappy news to share as well, unfortunately. Mum fractured the joint in her wrist last week. She had to have surgery and plate put in to stabilize it and it is still causing a lot of pain but hopefully will settle down quickly and start to heal. They came down for supper tonight and she is looking and feeling heaps better. I think the worst part is her frustration at not being able to do what she feels she should be able to........ Those of you that know her will be trying to imagine her 'taking it easy'! Pfffttttt!! A very good friend suggested I send her over to Saskatchewan to them and they would set her in a lawn chair and tie her feet to their deck so she "had" to relax. Not a bad idea, except we still need all her knowledge and organization skills here right now!
After we found out it was a serious fracture and that she would have to have surgery, Eli said to me "Just for the record......if we even suspect that I've broken anything....it will NOT be 'business as usual' and someone else is going to have to feed the damn cows!"
After mum broke it (a horse came from the east and she blocked it going west....the impact broke her wrist and flung her on her back 1o feet away.), she got back in her tractor and continued to fill feeders and go on like usual. Finally one of the girls noticed that she couldn't open the door of her tractor and she was holding her arm funny........
She'll probably be mad at me for writing about her, but as I am supposed to be keeping this about current life on our ranch.....guess she doesn't have a choice. :) I'll keep you posted.....
Oh and hey, thanks to all of you that wrote back after the "Deck Party" post. Some of your stories were AWESOME!! Why don't you post them in the comment section for everyone to read and enjoy? Or can I re-post them in another blog? (No names attached if you would prefer.)
Riding Riley with Bree keeping a close eye on the bulls we are moving. She is doing amazing for such a young dog!