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We had a Border Collie we tried to breed once. When she got to where the stud dog lives, they were rounding up cattle. Both dogs were FAR too interested in the cattle to pause for mere breeding! It was the only time we tried, unfortunately, since she was instinctively a fine stock dog. She got a chance for one day to work on my friends sheep ranch and he said he's gladly take her on the spot....but we kept her. She believed her primary job was to watch our youngest daughter:

 

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Discussion Starter · #1,682 ·
She’s a beauty! Your daughter of course was too. I like a dog who believes the children are their priority.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,683 ·
Queen

The days had been carrying with them a lazy feeling. The sun shone hot, and the green grass and dandelions had a cheerfulness after the cold winter. Snow was forecasted to come back to the valley, but the woman and the little mare could only feel the warmth of the days presented to them.

The big horse was being doctored for a stone bruise, and since he was out the yearling was getting the best of the attention. She enjoyed any time given to her, and showed the woman her affection continually. She whinnied loudly to her whenever she opened the door of the house, and she followed the woman’s daily activities looking over the fence and nickering softly.

Finally her hooves were where the woman wanted them to be after yet another trim. The mare was kind and patient about having her feet done, but they had gotten out of shape and taken several different trims to come back to where they belonged. This was the first trim that was simple and correct, and the fancy Queen seemed as pleased as the woman about the quickness.

After the trim the pair did groundwork in the freshly rolled dirt area set aside for riding. They called it an arena, but it lacked any walls to make it such. The mare was excellent, doing anything the woman asked of her. When they finished up the woman took her into a grassy area and watched her graze along, wondering if she were a grey horse or a roan. The little birds sang loudly and they fell again into the lazy happiness surrounding them.
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Discussion Starter · #1,688 ·
Oh, I hope you get to enjoy it @egrogan!! It was hitting the 80s here for a while. I feel like I took advantage of the nice days! Now there is supposed to be snow for four or so days. The timing isn’t terrible because Cash is still poulticed for his hoof. It looks like he must have gotten a rock lodged up by his frog and created an abscess. It is draining now and I’m sure he’ll be good to go here soon, but at least it’s not so sad that we can’t go rope.

@Caledonian I don’t think we usually have snow storms in later May. I always feel like May is when it starts to be warm. We tend to have a freeze in early June every year too, but not snow. This is a hard place to garden I tell you! The growing season is so short and it gets hot fast when it does. I imagine my horses aren’t particularly happy with the cold day.
 

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The weather here on the South coast of Western Australia went from warm and balmy to Arctic over the weekend and there was snow on Bluff Knoll, although you had more at your house! Read this to see how excited people get about snow in WA... 😅


If I had to put money on it I would say Queen won't grey out. Solid with stippling or roan is my guess...
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,690 ·
I am hoping you are right @SueC! It’s not that I don’t think she would be a pretty grey, but that I think she’s particularly fancy as is. I love the tall socks and the blaze, and I like the white spotted patch on her belly.

The news around here is not anything worth writing about, which is why I’ve been kind of silent. Cashman is still lame. The abscess burst and seemed to heal in the left front, and then a surprise abscess burst in the right front. I’ve been doctoring him, and over thinking about whether to put shoes back on him or blame the fact I let him get too long and changed his trim.... I believe it was the latter. I like his trim now, and he stayed sound working those drives with longer bare feet, so theoretically he could be sound bare foot... it’s a lot to ponder.

I’ve come to the conclusion for now to heal his feet barefoot and then ride him this summer (there isn’t much difficult footed riding) and see what I think. Maybe he will get shoes back on. I’m not adamant either way, but trying to find the best course. With his giant feet and tendency towards tripping, I do not want to go the boot solution as of yet.

Maybe I will just shoe him... it’s all very conflicting.

Then Zeus got hurt two days ago! He is very lame, and he tends to be exceedingly tough, so this is a stressful story. We believe he was kicked in the right shoulder, but it was muddy, so he could have slipped and pulled something too. He has been improving quickly. The day I pulled him out of the corral he almost couldn’t walk at all, and I was afraid he broke his shoulder. Now he has a mild limp.

I gave him banamine that first day, which got him moving again, but possibly too much, so he hasn’t gotten it again. He is alone in the smaller corral while he heals.

As you probably remember, Lucy is gone being bred. It ended up she was coming out of heat, so they short cycled her and she should be back in within a couple days.

That said, we are three horses short. We have to work this weekend, and can fill in with the old black horse of my parents’ that is now semi retired (not the new old black horse lol). Unless we shoe the fat little horse there whom I messed my back up on, there are not enough horses to go around. Considering he’s been ridden once or twice in the last two years, he probably would be a difficult ride. Lol

I’m not sure what we will do tomorrow. I think I will skip Saturday, which is for the neighbors anyways. Without a horse what do you do?

On another not positive note, the mare of my grandfather’s died yesterday. She was fine in the morning, and when my father went to take something down in the afternoon she was laying down dead. I don’t know why she died, but she was an old mare. I am grateful to her for holding on until my grandfather passed. She was a very nice mare.

I will ever remember her patience while he was climbing off onto the steps. His legs would go numb while he rode, and he had to lean on the mare until the feeling came back for him to step down the stairs. The mare never let him down, and I believe she would have stood statue still in an explosion, knowing how important it was.

She was a cowy and quick thing, and they both in their old age worked like bosses. I had a lot of respect for Lady, and I will remember her forever.



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Discussion Starter · #1,693 ·
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Thank you @bsms and @egrogan. I’ve been thinking about the mare today, about her and my grandpa. My uncle started Lady, and he showed her in many cuttings and won some money. When she was ten he knew my grandpa needed a horse, and I’m sure with much pride he sold her Lady. Grandpa wouldn’t have just taken her, but I’m sure she was worth a lot more than he charged him. :)

Grandpa did a lot of work on Lady. I remember my husband’s favorite story was one day when Lady was cow fresh, and she sat down to work something out for Grandpa, and then she got a bit too excited and took a jump. Grandpa wapped her with his romal, but my husband said he was smiling from ear to ear.

He was an excellent horseman, but he could surely ride a bronc in his day. He even qualified for nationals, but he never went because of the money and needing to work. I’m sure that husband was right and he was smiling big when the mare took a jump.

This is him and Lady around that time, and the second picture is of him riding a horse called Cornflakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,694 ·
Bones and Queen

With the big horse still out, the little mare was getting loads of attention. The woman bathed her and rewrapped her tail, and went about doing groundwork. The mare held a bit of anxiety about lunging. The woman was just beginning to teach her the idea, and the young horse wasn’t quite certain she understood or cared for the idea.

The woman could send her at a walk easily, but if she asked her to trot the mare would get a bit wide eyed. Instead of confusing the situation, the woman asked the older girl to saddle Bones. He needed ridden before work the following day anyways, and the woman figured walking to her parents’ house and using the round corral would be simple if the girl were along.

So that is what they did. The girl rode next to her mother who walked and led the mare. They talked about the horses and their day, and when she came to the round corral the girl rode away to where the arena sat.

Queen understood the round corral, as she had been in it a couple times prior. She was easy to send out, but argued about rolling back to the right. She considered worrying about where Bones had gone, and the wind was blowing perfectly to carry the sound of Cash calling from home. The mare called back a couple of times, but quickly paid attention to the woman again. She also calmed down and loped easily in both directions.

When the woman led her into the arena the girl stopped loping circles. She wanted to play with the new calves, and her mother smiled at the idea. “I will use Queen in the way I would if I were riding her, and try to use Junie!” They laughed as she led the young Queen into the corral with the calves.

Queen had never been close enough to cattle to be able to work one, but as the woman sorted a calf out she quickly understood the game. She felt like Bones had as a colt. She was too aggressive and excited, but unlike Bones she was easy to pull back. She was a much more sensitive type of horse, and a soft touch on the halter brought her attention to the woman. The mare used her body exactly as she should have, intuitively knowing the game.

The girl and the small sorrel were thrilled when their turn came. Because the calves had never been worked before, they were only allowed to pull out one of the gentler ones. The calves were oddly friendly, one even licking the woman’s hand when she turned him back.

As they walked back home they talked excitedly. The girl enjoyed playing the game again, and the woman was enamored with the fancy filly who followed along behind her.

When they came home the man was just returning from work with the old sorrel. “Let’s load Queen real quick!,” the woman hollered. “Now? Really? Why not later?” “No, now. Why not?” Queen had not been asked to load in a trailer excepting when she was ran into a truck after being gathered and when she was loaded from the chute when the brought her home.

The mare did as the woman expected her to though. The man led her in and he backed her out, and nothing bad happened. The mare was always a pleasant surprise.
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Discussion Starter · #1,695 ·
@SueC, to continue the discussion from @bsms ‘s journal.

Catch up- Cash’s opposite foot was just me imagining things, but his abscessed foot is still sore and draining.

Yes SueC, my husband is pretty efficient! Our ranch is now based where it is, but when my Grandpa’s father died it was a larger ranch. It was split into two, the best being handed down to his older brother (and his mother was in there doing this allocating). I’m not sure how grandpa ended up buying this piece of it or exactly how that worked.

My husband comes from a ranch in the same valley as that other original part of ours. It is still in the family, handed down now to my cousins. They all teased my husband before we met that I was off limits when he came down to work a ranch in my valley.

The ranch my husband came off of was purchased by his father. Actually, it was a trade for a farm in a larger city. That farm is now a hospital and my brother-in-law runs the ranch he traded for (he passed away 10 years ago).
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,696 ·
Beamer and Bones

Suddenly it seemed the only using horses in the corral were Beamer and Bones. Zeus looked sound, but the family wanted him to have two or three pain free days before returning into work. The big horse was still fighting the abscess in his hoof, and Queen was far too young to actually ride despite what the filly believed. The two sorrels were the only horses caught because of this.

The littlest girl borrowed the old black horse called Spider, pulling him from the retirement pen. They all laughed that it was a day for retired horses, although the other old black horse and Beamer were yet to hold that distinction. The family hoped neither would be finished with work for at least a couple more years.

After a long trailer ride they unloaded horses. With the lack of horseflesh, the man stepped astride a red motorcycle that he held a distaste for, and he flew over the mountain and disappeared. On his bike he gathered a large area, minimizing the country the horses had to cover.

Flowers bloomed all around the mountains that they covered, and a sweet smell hung in the air. Even with the aid of the bike, they traveled and climbed long distances bringing together the cattle they found within. The woman and her daughters found themselves bringing the spread cattle from the bottom. Bones and his girl pushed further and further away, and his loneliness was somehow kept in check. Maybe it was that the horse was growing older, or maybe he was simply excited to be at work, but he did his job with rare complaint. That complaint was in the water, and yet he managed to cross without too big of battles as they worked into steeper country.

Beamer was a good mountain horse. His age seemed of no effect to him as he pressed up the mountain and through the maze of downed trees. The black horse pushed as well, but he seemed more cautious of the rocky and steep areas, ever aware of where his feet were landing.

When they made it to the creek with the pairs, a set of bulls began fighting. Calves rolled down the ridge in their wake, and the riders pushed out of their way. Eventually the bulls split the creek, and the footing left them no room to argue.

Often at the bottom, Beamer pressed through the willows as only an experienced horse could. It made the woman proud of the old sorrel under her, and it brought memories of working on a riverbed years before when the old man was a scruffy and awkward looking youngster. She wondered if fighting the willows brought memories back to him as well.

The little girl hated this part of the drive. She was frightened of the footing and the steepness. She was afraid when the bulls fought and when calves turned to run. She hated the willows and the tall brush, and for her it was simply an afternoon to live through. She managed to do her job through her fear, much like the little sorrel horse her sister rode. He also hated the footing and the brush. He hated the water and wouldn’t have been forced up the bottom no matter the consequence. Oddly enough, he was exceptionally sure footed and ambitious. His girl had to feel some pride in his improvement, but anxiety coursed through her as well.

The man was footback by then, because the bike couldn’t do what the cattle and horses could. He walked with a big stick, trying to spook hidden cattle from the thickest areas.

The woman’s father seemed as pleased with the day as she was. He enjoyed the scenery and the horse he was riding. He enjoyed his family being along, and although not one to display much emotion, he mentioned that he would be happy to find the end of his life in that moment. The beauty around him and the horse below him were as much as he could ask for.

Eventually they made it to where they left the cattle, and one push over a ridge found them easier riding back towards the trailer. The woman watched as they passed through different colored flowers. In a spot of flowing shrubs the sweet smell changed to one similar to roses, and it seemed the perfect day minus missing the main horses.
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Discussion Starter · #1,698 ·
I could understand why @QHriderKE! When I am on a colt I am feeling the same exact way. I feel that way when I am on Bones too... lol. I would have felt good on Cash I think, but Beamer is a heck of a mountain horse too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,699 ·
Beamer

It was only Beamer who was caught for the neighbor’s big branding. Bones didn’t tolerate places with many riders, and the family had left the idea of forcing the horse into it after the last time when be bucked and self mutilated while tied to the trailer for eight hours. Not only was it sad, but it was dangerous to the children wandering around and even a bit embarrassing for the scene which it caused.

This time it was the woman who borrowed a horse. She borrowed the new old black horse called Blake. Blake was a terrific branding horse, much like her own big horse or the little old sorrel Beamer.

The two girls were stuck at the trailer when the riders left to gather. It was only man and woman and her father then, as they were early and apparently anxious to get going. As they rode through the boggy waters they saw a paint trotting out towards them. With the help of the paint called Deets, a forever green broke horse now in his teens, they gathered the water filled meadow.

The meadow was not small, and so each rider made their way into their own sections. Beamer and the man trudged water without much thought, at one point even he bogged the horse to his hocks, but Beamer continued pulling through the deep mud.

Blake seemed to have experience with water and bogs, and he pressed through mud just as deep in areas without ever panicking. Had he gotten nervous he would have been in a problem, but as he thought through his predicaments he made his way. Baby calves questioned crossing areas, and sometimes found themselves struggling, but each made the swims.

The woman found herself entranced with the water birds that surrounded her and the calls that they made. They had a gentle feel to them, and flew around her horse and the cattle she pushed without seeming fearful. Sometimes, especially fancy birds made the woman forget her job. She sat still on the statue of a black horse and watched them fly.

Once everything was gathered and the neighbors and the help had all arrived, they headed and heeled the calves for branding. The little sorrel still pulled as if he were young, and not the small horse he was. The man roped on him for the first half of the branding, and he roped well, so the horse pulled many calves in.

For the second half, the oldest daughter roped on the old sorrel. She often refused to rope in public, as the pressure of it seemed to overwhelm her. She roped well though, and even headed a few calves without anyone knowing it was her first time heading. The old horse held himself with pride, and never let the girl down.

Blake was just as sturdy and handy for the woman. They mostly headed, but he was wherever she asked him to be. She liked things slow in a branding pen, and he had no problems meeting her calmness. When times asked for speed his athleticism and knowledge had him always in the perfect spot.

They each were happy with their day. The youngest had spent hers watching the smaller children. Two managed to get bucked off of a pony in her care, but they had it coming in refusing to mind, and all ended the day healthy and happy.
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Discussion Starter · #1,700 ·
On a side note- my father said that Spider was so happy to be used yesterday that when he was back in his corral he was proud and chasing all of the horses around. When he went to catch horses today he ran to the gate whinnying. That made me happy.

The other thing that was funny was little girl explaining the kids getting bucked off. Neither was the owner of the pony. One was the girl who trick rode and the other a small boy who’s family works on the ranch. Little girl was yelling at them because he was kicking the pony in the flanks.

The pony took off in a run away, and then she went to bucking. The boy came off after dragging along on the girl’s legs. She kept on for a while. The pony was bucking and going after her actual owner, trying to bite her for the nonsense happening. The girl fell off. Then she did a half wrong cartwheel.

The girl came to me when she saw me later, “I did a flip, just like you said!” I almost busted up laughing. I had told her that you fall trick riding sometimes, and if you are performing you do a trick like a cartwheel after you fall.
 
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