11/1/06

Vetern’s day.

I hope we all remembered to give thanks to our vets. Without them and their sacrifices over the years, we would not be enjoying most of the privledges we do.

I always try and remember to thank a vet for their service, whenever I meet one. I got to talk to an old Marine last summer, who was in some of the bloodiest battles of the south Pacific, when he served during WWII. He acted very surprised when I told him I would like to shake his hand and thank him. That’s to bad. It meant that no one else had done it. At least not for a long time.

My father and one of his brothers were turned down from the Army during WWII because of disabilities. Funny, they always seemed to be able to fight pretty good, as I remember!

The younger brother, Wayne, did serve and was awarded several commendations and medals. No one in my family ever told me about this. Just that he had served. What a shame. A hero who I personally knew and never had the chance to discuss it with him.

So if you know a vet, whether from WWII or any other war or conflict, thank them. They served so we might have freedoms. I wish this country would treat them better!

On the lighter side, we awoke to 3 or 4 inches of wet snow Friday morning. At this writing, it is about gone. I’m sure thankful for the moisture and hope it keeps this cycle up, this winter. A little snow, a little sunshine to melt it. Then in the spring, it can get real nice and just rain a whole bunch! LOL

I went to Vermilion and had a great time. If any of you are in the area, I advise you to stop in at Valiant Vineyard, on the west side of town. A real neat place, whether you drink wine or not. (I didn’t as I had to drive afterwords.) It’s also a B&B. Wish I had know that earlier, I might have gotten a room and sampled all their wines! LOL

Had a great crowd and a good time. Sold lots of books and really enjoyed the ladies of the WIFE group, who I was entertaining. A very good group who are trying to improve and lobby for, agriculture. Any of you who are involved in ag, should look into this group. If we don’t speak up for ourselves, no one else will.

Thanks ladies, I sure enjoyed your company!

And I had a great time. And thanks Bob and Sue, for putting up with me and saving me the cost of a motel room, with a hard bed. Like Goldilocks, my bed at your house, was juuusssstttt right!

Hope you all had a good day. 🙂

11/9/06

We had some snow on the ground this morning, but it melted off pretty quick.

I’m headed out to Vermillion, SD tomorrow to do a show for a group. Should be fun as we are holding it at a vineyard! And there is supposed to be a wine tasting! 🙂

I worked with some of the colts some more the other day. We are all learning a lot. They are getting better and the job is about done. Then they go home and I get paid. It’s a wonderful incentive system!

Thank you all who responded. It’s easier to write these things, when I know someone is reading them. I sure appreciate it.

On cowboypoetry.com they have a deal that is called the Art Spur program. They have a picture or painting and everyone is supposed to write and submit a poem about the picture. It’s intended to “spur” you on, I guess. I was the subject in the last picture. I was leading a spare horse behind me so they called it, “Leading a spare.” They got some real good poems for it.

This time, the picture is of a guy on a horse who is dragging a Christmas tree home. Here is the poem I submitted.

Draggin’ in the tree

It’s gettin’ to be that time of year again
To be thinkin’ of ol’ Santy and such
To be thankful for what all we’ve recieved
I sometimes wonder how we got so dang much

Oh, I know that Thanksgiving is over for this year
and it’s Christmas that’s right around the bend
No, I ain’t got my seasons mixed up
You must think I’ve lost my mind, ol’ friend

See, some folks think Christmas is all about recievin’
and maybe that’s true for some
But for me Christmas is a lot more about givin’
and bein’ thankful for where I come from

Out here in cow country we’ve sure got some problems
But they ain’t nuthin’ we ain’t faced before
But drought, low prices and politics are the usual
‘Course this time, we got folks off to war

Them soldiers are fightin’ for all of us
and so others might have what we’ve got
Democracy, it’s about the greatest gift we can give
and the price has sure cost us a lot

So I cut this ol’ tree and I’m draggin’ it in
When I stand it up and look at it, I’ll pause
I’ll reflect on all them fine soldiers over there
Passin’ out this gift, playin’ Santy Claus

Hope you all are having a good day also.

11/6/06

Election day tomorrow.

Beautiful weather we’ve been having. Got up in the 60’s today and they are predicting into the 80’s tomorrow! Only way it could be better, was if it was raining! LOL

I’m not real sure why I keep writing here as I don’t think anyone is reading it. Oh well, I’ll just use it as a journal and someday maybe my grandkids can look back and see what grampa was up to.

Chance worked with a couple of colts today and I worked with the hard headed blue roan. He takes a lot of work and I’m not sure if I would take him if he was given to me. There are way too many out there who have better minds and are not nearly as hard headed. It’s hard to want to work with something that fights you at every step. Maybe some of us need to remember this, when working with others, also!

Hope you are having a good day.

10/29

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!

10/26

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!

10/20/06

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!

Oct 16, 06

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.

Oct 15, 06

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.

Oct 13, 06

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.

Oct 11,06

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.