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Another beautiful fall day!

I enjoyed it, especially as they are predicting snow and wind for the next day or so.

I worked with all 7 of the yearlings today. Things sure went good. They and I have both learned a lot.

I talked to a young friend who is in California, tonight and sure wish we had more time to talk. It’s good to pick his brain and he’s another one of these good young hands.

He’s out there working with a reining/working cowhorse/cutting, trainer. Learning a lot, it sounds like and I’m looking forward to when he comes home. He’s tried real hard to get some stuff pounded into my thick skull, over the years. About all he’s really ever done is start colts and ride horses. He knows a lot and can sure teach a feller some things, if you’ve got the time and attention span. My problem seems to be with my memory. I sure wish I would have known about a lot of this stuff at his and Eric’s age. They are both so good and do such great work, they make it seem easy. And maybe it is to them. It’s kind’a like magic, to this ol’ boy!

Tate and Kass brought Gabe out to visit with his grampa today and we sailed a small sailboat of Tates. Pretty cool. It runs on batteries and we got pretty good at trimming the sails and not getting it capsized! It’s really neat the way you can get it to go upwind, by setting the sails. Sure makes me want to go on a cruise, on a real sailboat!

Hope you had a great day too!

Another nice fall day.

Yesterday, Chance and Hope came up and Chance and I worked with some yearling horses. It went well until we started with a blue roan. Eric had worked with him once when we had our clinic and this was only the second time for him to be worked by a man. Very tough minded and wasn’t real impressed with me or anyone or anything else. He was pretty sure that he was the boss of his world and it took a lot of effort and time to get him to acknowledge, that maybe I was the boss!

We made a lot of progress, but I wasn’t real happy with the way it went, so I called Eric and visited with him about what we had done. He told me that he’d like to work with him some more, so he stopped in this afternoon, with his wife and two small children. Eric got a lot done in a short while, as there were some things that I was missing with this horse. Eric has so much patience with these young horses. He’s worked with enough of them that it’s easy for him to see things that I was overlooking. I was making progress, but nothing as fast as he did. When we quit this evening, he was admitting that he wasn’t the boss and plumb willing to let Eric do about anything that he wanted to. I walked up and took the halter off and he followed me around like a puppy. Amazing!

If we just take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves. Such a simple lesson, but so hard for some of us to remember!

Hope you had a good day too!

I went out to Gillette a couple days ago to help Dusty.

Got to run a trackhoe. They are totally awesome! Wooo duuude! LOL

Woke up to rain this morning and it was supposed to change to snow, so I got the heck out of there. It rained on me all the way home and tried real hard to snow, crossing over some of the higher areas.

Rain turned to snow out here this evening and we’ve got a couple inches settin on the ground now. Ahhh moisture!

It ain’t real pretty, but we need all we can get. So far, this won’t bother the livestock much and it’s supposed to warm back up the first of the week, so it will probably melt the snow. Well, we can hope anyway.

We have an El Nino in the Pacific I hear, so I guess that means a warmer winter here. I’m all for that. But I sure want some moisture. Maybe we will have a wet warm winter. That would be a nice change!

Did I mention how much fun running a trackhoe was? LOL

Hope your having fun too!

Been working on a saddle today. I now have two fresh bandages, covering two fresh cuts on my finger, from being too stupid or lazy, or whatever else you want to call it, to stop and take the time to sharpen my knives and leather working tools.

I don’t remember hardly ever cutting myself with a sharp knife. It’s always a dull one, that I am trying to hard to push thru’, whatever I am trying to cut.

“A sharp knife cuts the quickest and heals the fastest” comes to mind!

When I had a couple of different young men here who were learning what I knew about making saddles, getting them to sharpen a dull tool, was one of the hardest problems I had with them. They always thought that they didn’t want to take time to sharpen a dull tool, and that they would get done faster if they didn’t stop, to sharpen a dull tool. I preached and preached to them that in reality, they would get done quicker with a sharp tool. And now I ain’t smart enought to remember my own advice!

I think people need to remember that our saddle horses are tools also. And if we just take time to sharpen them up in their skills when they get dull, they will be an even better tool. I don’t mean whipping and spurring, but taking the time it takes, to make them better. As Bill Dorrance said, “If you don’t have the time it takes to do it right, you might as well not even take the time” or something close to that, anyway! I think more of us should listen to the advice of a wise old horseman and do just that.

There are probably lots of things in life that pretty much fit this theme. maybe if we spent more time with our families, we would have better relationships. If we don’t have time to spend on the things in life that are truely important, than what’s the use in whatever we are doing?

Lets see if we can’t “take the time it takes”, to do whatever we are doing. After all, “A job worth doing, is worth doing right”.

Keep your “tools” sharp and maybe you won’t go hurting yourself or those around you. And perhaps life will be a lot easier.

Another beautiful fall day. Cindy and I went out this morning and opened gates, down south. We had a neighbor who needed a few weeks of grass and we have a little left over. So we opened up all the gates so the cattle could graze thru’ all the pastures.

I think because of the rotational grazing we do with the stocker cattle, we always seem to have some grass left over. While it’s nice to have some grass to catch snow and protect the new grass, that will start in the spring, it’s also nice to help out a neighbor. This is the second bunch of cattle we have taken for a few weeks this fall.

The other bunch belonged to our next door neighbor who had a fire in his fall pasture, this summer. It burned about 3500 acres and took a big chunk of what he was figuring on using to top off his calves and get them slicked up for the sale. He used a couple pastures that were very lightly grazed this summer. He took them home the other day, as he’s about to ship them. There seems to be quite a bit of grass left. Hope it last this other guy long enough to do him some good. If nothing else, at least his cows will be closer to home, if winter decides to come moving in!

I worked on a saddle this afternoon, after fixing a broken gate and returning my horse herd back to where they had escaped too! They sure thought they had gotten away with something.

Nothing was hurt by it and now the younger ones have gotten to see some new ground that they will have to pack us across, someday! Everything always turns out for the best, doesn’t it

Hope you had as nice a day as I did.

Friday the thirteenth. I sure wasn’t unlucky for me. Of course, I was born on the thirteenth, so it’s kind of a favorite of mine. My Dad was born on the thirteenth also and he turned thirteen on friday the thirteenth. I don’t know if he considered it unlucky or not, but probably not as he enjoyed his life. Me too!

I worked with 5 yearling colts today. Man, I am tired!

It was rewarding and the colts all are better for their training. I think I am better also. “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of man” is sure true.

We got a taste of winter today.

I was in Gillette, WY helping my nephew. We woke to snow and predictions of high winds, so me and another guy who is working over there, headed for home. I guess it isn’t too much fun digging basements and laying sewer and water pipes, when it’s snowing!

It was nice at the ranch when I got home. I hurried around and did some fall chores that should have been done a few weeks ago.

We had a colt clinic here on Sunday and a few neighbors came and we sure had fun and learned and re-learned some good things to do with these young horses, when your wanting to get them started off right. Thanks Eric, sure enjoyed it, and appreciate your taking the time to try and help a few of us old duffers and some young pups, some of the lessons you’ve learned!

Now I’ve got to get back to the saddle I’m building and I’ll probably head back over to Gillette in a day or two and see if Dusty will still let me play with his big Tonka toys!

Hope you all are having a good day, too.

Well, I have a new skill!

My nephew called and wanted me to help him out for awhile. Tho’ I really have plenty to do, I’ve turned him down so many times, that I just hated to do it again.

So yesterday and today, I learned to run one of his backhoes. It’s fun and I can see my skill level getting better all the time. I haven’t had to do much more than dig holes in the ground, but I still needed to do a good job. I think I did. The guy I dug the hole for today, seemed happy with it.

I don’t know as I am ready to dig a basement for anyone in a tight area, but I could if they gave me enough time!

Wind came up this afternoon and and I hear it’s supposed to be cooler tomorrow and even cooler the next day. Might even snow. Oh well, this is South Dakota, the land of Infinate Variety, so anything can happen. We might see snow and then warm days and rain a few days after. It’s all moisture, so I guess I’ll be happy to get it.

We are at 9 inches of moisture total for the year and our average is 16 so we need lots more. I just hope it comes as warm rains! And then it can snow in late March or early April, when we don’t have to look at it too long and it will melt off and fill dams and waterholes.

But like I said, I’ll take it all. I ain’t going to argue with the man in charge of the moisture, I’ll just be thankful we got some!

Have a happy Columbus day or as we celabrate in SD, a Happy Native American day.

We had overcast skies and light drizzle for a bit this morning. Kind of cool, but it is fall.

I puttered around this morning and fed the stud and the colts. Started work on a new saddle. Hope came up about noon. We went out and worked with the weaning colts. They are all haltered and dragging halter ropes and starting to learn to give to the tug on the end of the rope. I don’t like leaving halters on horses, but this is a pretty easy way to get them started learning about halters, ropes and what to do when they feel a tug. They have to learn to give to the pressure to get rid of it. And they are the ones responsible for the tug and release, so in essense, they are teaching themselves.

They all are doing great and we moved them a little further in their training and petted and fussed over all of them. All the good habits they learn now, will just be better for them, down the line.

I’m always careful to not get them hurt and for them to find out that I am their friend, but that they have to yield to pressure. Later in their lives, when someone asks them to yield to pressure, all of this will come into play and will help them and whoever works with them. Just lke a child, the early foundation is crucial and a big step on the way to a good and productive life.

Cindy brought my niece home to spend a few days as her Mom is pretty busy for the next few days. She’s a cutie and it’s just about like being around another colt! Lessons, life is full of them.

I tried to post a picture of the colts, but I haven’t figured out how to do it yet. When I do, I will start posting some pictures.

Well, I survived another gathering at Hot springs! Hard to believe this was the ninth one. Man, I am getting old!

On Sunday I went to New Underwood and met Chance and Hope and we went to Curtis Coomes’ ranch and looked at horses. He lives south of Scenic and isn’t too far from pine Ridge. Sure is pretty country down there. High rolling hills and lots of pine trees.

Curtis and Peggy have an old timey ranch and they have lots of land to run on, with few fences. If some young feller was interested in starting colts and working on an old time run ranch, he should give Curtis a call. Curtis has lots of colts to start and likes to have them started in a hackamore.

Curtis has lots of horses and they are all well bred and have a lot of bone. Kind of a cowboy kind of horse. They are built to handle lots of miles in rough country.

We sure enjoyed getting to look at them and even ended up picking up a little blue roan. The feller who is working for Curtis followed us home with a trailer and delivered the colt and seven head of yearlings, that we are going to halter break and gentle a little bit. They seem nice and I don’t think it’s going to be too big of a problem.

Tyler came out for his day off and is going to stay over night and vote in the morning and then head back to Spearfish. He picked up Hope on his way here and Chance stopped in when he got off from work and they all ate with us and we watched a movie.

Cindy and I went down to Eric’s and picked up our young stud. Eric did a real nice job with him and Mijo will get to spend the winter with the weanling colts and get fed a little better then the rest of the horses.

Cindy and I got halters on all of the weaning colts today. And I kicked the mares back across the road, as they have about forgotten that they had colts and there is good grass there.

I wasn’t feeling too well, so I kind of took the rest of the day off.

Hope your day went as well as mine.

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