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Discussion Starter · #1,981 ·
Cashman, Queen and Bones

The snow was shining bright, and although the morning had been particularly cold, the afternoon was beautiful. A slight breeze came off an on, but with heavy clothes, when it stilled it felt warm.

The man had asked his wife if she wanted to ride, and she happily agreed. She needed to get the filly out, and all of the time indoors had given her cabin fever. They talked as they saddled, and discussed how the little mare would act. He thought she would be too hot after her time off, and was half surprised that she was who the woman chose. The woman thought she would behave well, excited to be back out.

The filly had proven herself to be a horse who handled days off well to the woman. Although she hated the time in her corral, she never took that temperament with her upon being caught. She was always happy to be chosen, and she never seemed to forget her prior ride. Because of that fact, if the woman would push the mare, she had no doubt she would be quite handy. She chose not to push her because she was a hotter style of horse and took things rather seriously. She wanted a slow start on the mare in hopes that a bit of that calmness would carry into her life.

As she had predicted, the mare was fine for her to step on. They began their walk around the pivot, snow puffing up around their horse’s legs. The filly wanted nothing more than to play in the snow and join the dogs in their chaotic game of chase, but she was required to plod along with the giant next to her.

The couple talked as they rode. They discussed the upcoming work days, and the man offered to give her a chance to ride her own horse again. “I know you’ve been missing him, and I can get along with Bones if I have to, so why don’t you just take him a few days?” The woman was grateful for his consideration. She did miss her horse, and she wanted to spend the day with him.

Their conversation turned as they rode back into the yard. “I would like to let her get back on Bones, just here in the yard. He wouldn’t do anything to her, and she needs something,” the woman trailed off. She assumed her husband would shut down her train of thought. “Why don’t you go get her and ask?,” he smiled.

He couldn’t wait any longer, and as she led her horse into the corral he came outside smiling bright. “Catch Bones.” When he had walked into the house and asked the girl she smiled big and hooped, but confused she asked him, “How will we hide it from Mom?” “It was her idea!”

The girl came trotting out of the house in too little of clothes for the weather, smiling bright and eyes aglow with held back tears. “I can’t believe it! Bonessss!!!!” She ran to the horse and threw her arms around his neck in a tight hug. The little sorrel horse seemed to brighten up and meet her emotion.

The woman saddled him up, for the girl’s back wouldn’t have done so easily. She climbed on in the deeper snow after walking the horse across the slick parts where it had been scraped. “It feels good. I think I might cry,” she told her mother in a voice heavy with emotion. They walked and trotted, and loped some slow steady circles. She stopped him and hugged his neck. Both of them seemed to float as they celebrated being together again.

The girl glowed as her mother explained to her that she could begin riding Bones in the yard and eventually the arena come springtime. She wasn’t ready to allow her to ride him to work or outside, but they could have something together again. The girl would have to buy a helmet to work cows, but she could have some semblance of her life back.
Horse Cloud Sky Snow Working animal
Cloud Horse Sky Eye Snow
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Discussion Starter · #1,983 ·
Thank you @MeditativeRider! I was so happy for her too. For us too. Husband had to come out and stand there and watch for a while. It took a weight off of all of our hearts. A piece of her can come back.
 

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I guess it wasn’t super explanatory @TrainedByMares… but I guess what I intended to mean was that we treat them like little kids, watching out for them constantly as pups. They only go on short unnecessary rides, and we watch our horses.

Like kids, they grow out of that. We always maintain the “no horse corral” rule here, because there is zero tolerance if a dog bites horses. We love them both of course, and no one wants to shoot their dog, but a horse who is bitten by dogs becomes a horse who will hurt small children and other dogs. So, it’s a hard rule.

Without free access to horses, they don’t usually start the habit. Also, without free access it is easier to watch them. Of course, they become more command oriented as they age, and then we start micromanaging them rather than the horses for a time. Lol
Just replying to the whole dog conversation here..
We have 4 dogs and our horses all know which dogs are theirs. It's like the horses know the dogs save them a lot of crap-tastic miles in a day 😅
Both Penny and Martha barely give a care if our dogs are near them or in their legs. One of our younger dogs is scared of the stock whip and my fiance cracked it a few times at a grouchy bovine in the corral and I was holding his horse out of the corral. The dog came running over and layed down right under Martha, who maybe turned an ear at the dog and didn't move. I can carry my dog on Penny easily as well!
Horse Cloud Sky Ecoregion Hat


But they don't tolerate the company of strange dogs nearly so well. If a strange dog gets too close it's pretty easy to feel them tense up and keep an eye on the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,989 ·
I definitely agree with that @QHriderKE! Also, I really like your set up on Penny! Everything about it is pretty. I really like how it crosses her face and the teal in your romal!
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,990 ·
Bones, Cashman, Ozzy and Junie B

The moon and stars were bright when the woman caught and saddled horses. Her new coat impressed her, as she was never cold while rolling through the horses and chores she needed done before the work day would begin. She saddled both horses with her husband’s saddles, because only one cinch was owned that considered being large enough for the massive horse she rode, and it was set up on his saddle.

They came back from feeding later than anticipated, and the sun was brightening the morning sky. Something about the stirrups on the saddle Cash wore made it more difficult to climb up on him in her winter clothes, and they laughed as she struggled on. The big horse was cold and wound tight, and he randomly took a few jumps as they headed towards the cows.

Anywhere scraped was icy and slick, and she kept him in the snow while the man rode Bones on the slick ground. When she asked him about it, he explained he would rather the horse be thinking of keeping his feet under him than bucking him off.

Once they met up with the woman’s father, the big horse shook his head and jumped around sideways. He was still cold, and Bones kicked up. It seemed that was all Bones needed, to get that piece of anxiety out, for he calmed down and lowered his head and went to walking as if he had never been worked up.

Junie B was thrilled to be at work, and as they came to the cows she got that snaky focused look to her. The man had debated leaving Ozzy, for the cold and snow were hard on his feet. The woman had questioned the young dog coming with his explanation, but she was glad she had brought her as they picked up the cows and began the long cold day.

The sound of the cattle on the frozen feed ground was enthralling. She remembered it from prior years where the weather must have been just right. It filled the morning and she seemed to get lost in the sound of the many footsteps crunching and popping.

Junie B took one side of the herd, and Ozzy the other. The riders did little work as they followed along, and the man pulled out a small bottle of whiskey and cracked the seal. Both the man and the woman had brought whiskey with them. It was the one ride of the year they occasionally decided to drink at because it tended towards being particularly cold.

The woman was pleased watching her dog work. She did her job perfectly, adding enough pressure to keep the cattle on the road, and only biting when something turned to fight her. She didn’t draw out the cattle like the older dog did, looking for excitement, but thought through the job to make it as smooth as possible. The cattle respected her, but she did not work them up. Even the woman’s father complimented the young dog, which was unusual and the woman seemed to float on air for a moment.

As the day went on the whiskey kicked in. The woman was lucky her dog was doing her job, for she was simply riding her horse and paying little attention. The big horse slipped on ice, and she sat on him uncaring. Her husband laughed at her lack of excitement, and they teased about the animals being happier without being micromanaged.

When her father was in the back she begged him to tell her stories. He wasn’t one to talk much without reason, and she enjoyed the few things he told her.

As the hours and the miles passes behind them in the cold they neared the ranch. A phone call had the woman answer, and she didn’t realize she had dropped her new glove until they were pushing the cows into the pasture where they would stay for a day. “I lost my glove!,” she whined to her husband, who didn’t seem to care. “I lost my glove!,” she then whined to her father. “Where at?,” he asked her and she told him. “I’ll take the side-by-side and go get it.”

She half stumbled and fell off her horse at the trailer. He may have been laughing at her or annoyed at her incompetence, but he followed her into the trailer, happy the day was concluded. The men left her there to go search for the glove, and a tired Junie B crawled into the back seat of the pickup with her and they fell asleep together.
Cloud Sky Plant Snow Natural landscape
Sky Cloud Ecoregion Snow Working animal
Sky Cloud Ecoregion Natural landscape Snow
Sky Plant Cloud Snow Dog
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,991 ·
Cashman, Bones, Zeus and Beamer

Catching horses, the young mare trotted up, convinced it was finally her turn to go to work. The woman hesitated after catching her big horse. She thought maybe the mare was right, after all, both girls were going to work and it wasn’t know for being a particularly difficult day.

She found her phone and called her husband. “Can I just bring the mare today?” He hesitated, “It is really bad weather here, and it is going to be straight ice. I just don’t think you would be setting her up for success. You could do it, but it’s not really fair.” The woman got off the phone and went back out to catch the little sorrel, and the oldest girl had already gotten everyone caught. “I’m sorry mare. It will be your turn soon enough,” she said as she walked by the angry horse.

As she went to saddling, her oldest daughter told her about Bones throwing his own temper tantrum when she caught Beamer. “He bit me! Hard!,” she exclaimed. “Then he bit Beamer and tried to run him over the top of me!” The woman half laughed, “I guess he’s sick of you not riding him. He thought that was over.”

They dressed heavily before leaving, and tied slickers to their saddles. If the man said it was cold, it was cold.

When they arrived at the ranch and unloaded horses, Beamer stepped carefully out of the trailer. It would be his last ride with his family, and everyone was catering to the old man. It was also the girl’s first time back to work, and the woman was grateful that she was riding him on the ice. Beamer would do everything in his power to protect the girl. “Isn’t it funny, that Beamer was the first horse you ever rode to work, and now you are riding him for your first day back?,” the woman smiled to the girl.

Cashman was hot. As they headed towards the cows he took the occasional tantrum-like jumps. When the ice came he was cautious, and moved slow, but in the snow he came to life. Zeus was even anxious acting, and the youngest girl found herself frustrated in moments. “A storm is coming in. That is all.,” the woman explained to her.

The first group of cattle sorted easily. The lefties knew it was time for them to head to their own pasture, and they were marching out of the herd without any pressure. An old cow, one of the few with a name, was having a problem. Snowy seemed to be sluffing her calf, so they pulled her from that herd as well.

When they began sorting the next group, the youngest girl rode into the herd for the first time. She brought the heifers out, occasionally struggling with a fast or cranky animal. When she began to lose her temper they reminded her that it was her first time, and she needed to slow down to go fast. The cattle were stirred up, but it was a good thing for the girl to learn. Zeus lost his heat focusing on the job, and he was exactly what one would hope for in the herd.

Finally finished, the riders made their way back to the trailer. The woman’s parents were unhappy about the day being Beamer’s last, and everyone was a bit nostalgic over their old friend.
Cloud Sky Horse Ecoregion Snow
Cloud Sky Natural landscape Freezing Snow
Cloud Sky Snow Working animal Wheel
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Discussion Starter · #1,995 ·
Thank you so much @knightrider! I am so grateful for you guys too! I also am thrilled big girl is back. She was a bit off today, but I do think she took to heart me saying that she couldn’t fall on the ice, no matter what what happening.
 

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Great to see your daughter back in the saddle. I laughed at the how will we hide it from mum comment. She looks so happy and at ease.

I love your photos as well, especially the one where everyone is walking away from you, leaving trails in the snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,998 ·
@MeditativeRider they did! I was super grateful. Sober me realized I probably shouldn’t drink so much again…

We don’t take Beamer over for a couple more days. We will get to see him quite a lot. We go brand there every year, and we keep talking about roping together summer nights.

@Caledonian it was such a pretty moment in real life too! I didn’t want to take my glove off to get the picture, but I had to. Lol

Thank you as well. I am super happy she is back. Bones is thrilled too. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,000 · (Edited)
Bones and Zeus

When the man called to tell the woman they were moving bulls, she started to get ready. She called him back to ask if she should wake up the girls. He told her no, it was going to be a slick and dangerous day, and he didn’t want the girls taking the risk.

He had Cashman caught when she walked outside, and she rushed towards the tack room. “No hurries, I just wanted to see who you wanted to ride. It’s going to be straight ice, and we will probably be off leading a lot of the time.” She thought about what he said, and looked towards the corral. “I think I’d like Zeus then. He is smart about ice.” The man agreed, and when she caught Zeus he turned her big horse loose.

Zeus was the most intelligent horse in bad footing that the woman had ever seen. He thought things through differently, and although he was one of their youngest horses, she thought he would be the most trustworthy.

Her thoughts proved true when they unloaded horses and headed out to move the calves and heifers into different corrals. Zeus was a particularly fast walker, when one allowed him to be, and he moved out where he could but took careful steps on the ice. Occasionally the woman saw Bones or one of the other horses slip, but Zeus never did, and she never felt the need to get off and lead. Junie B stayed by her side, and things moved easily enough on the dangerous terrain.

When they finally went out to the bull pasture, they found many areas that were hidden ice. Zeus and Bones transversed it well, cautious all the while.

The bulls started easily enough. One bull constantly bowed up looking to fight. He bellered loudly and blew snot at every gate, and he made the bulls begin acting edgy and break out into small fights. In one of the gates a bull tried to trot away and endoed hard on the ice. As they got closer to where they would enter the corrals, the loud bull stirred them up again.

On the ice they panicked to get away from the other bulls, and the riders worked to stop them from running out. One bull took off in front of the little yellow horse, and the woman kicked him ahead with almost certainty that he would hit the horse and knock them down. She wondered at how they would come out of the wreck right as he gave to her and turned back into the bulls. The man watched also knowing he was going to see a bad wreck, and relief washed over them both.

Once in the corrals they split up sections to run through the chute, and horses were tied to the trailer. The job went smoothly, and it seemed that they were bridling up quickly to move the bulls to where they would spend the winter.

Excepting the danger from the ice, the last piece went easily. The woman laughed at herself in the tall brush. It felt as if she were riding through a jungle on the small horse. Often he worked his way through the maze and both were left blinded for pieces of time. The brush was over her own head, and somehow it had the feeling of a grand adventure.

The snow blew into their eyes until they turned around and made their way back to the trailer. The woman pet the little horse while she waited to load him. He was a happy sort, and he made her difficult day enjoyable.
Horse Snow Sky Working animal Mountain
 
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