Thanks for reading about my ranch life!
Thanks for reading about my ranch life!
Fall branding or just any branding in general is one of my favorite things to do. This year for our fall branding I got to rope off of my horse and drag calves for the first time. I also wrestled a lot of calves too. I was amazed at how amazing she was doing when I first started I drug our first calf. I had also not had much experience with roping and dragging calves.
I really enjoy going to peoples brands and in our branding. Our fall herd this year had just under a hundred calves in it. So in other words their was not very many calves in our herd. We had some people over to help with our branding since it goes by faster and is more enjoyable. We had our cows in a fairly big pasture and the cows were strung all over it. This made it more captivating than it would have been if we had rounded up cows in a smaller pasture. After round-up we sorted all of the cows from the calves and poured the cows. While we were sorting them my grandma and I were running the gate to were all of the calves were being put. I was very entertaining watching my Dad and Uncle Jerry put cows into the little pen that was just before the chute. One of the cows just about hit my dad, he had actually tried to grab her nose to stop her. I jumped because I thought she might actually hit him. After we were done with that we started on actually branding the calves. I helped wrestle a lot of calves with my cousin Braydon. Then Dad said I could rope off of Josephine, I WAS SUPER EXCITED!!!! Since she had never been roped off of before and I am definitely not the best roper I was also a bit nervous. All went well and I was actually doing really really amazing. I then decided that I was going to rope a really big calf because it would be easier to rope. This was probably not the best choice for my young horse though. Dad had to come help pull the calf because I was starting to slide off and Josephine was having a lot of trouble pulling. After this incident I got more medium sized calves instead.
After we were done branding the calves I rode home with some of my family and friends. We rode home through two pastures and through one of our pivots. When we arrived at home I helped my friend Ava and her sisters unsaddle their horses. Then I went to our barn and unsaddled Josephine.
Gunny is a very special little horse to me. He just turned a year old October second and he is a buckskin, who I watched be born. Gunny got colic a few months ago and I was afraid for him because I thought he might die. When my sisters were going to feed him they found him laying down and he would not get up. I came over there and was in tears, seeing him laying there looking at me with his little eyes I was very upset. Mom and dad were in the hay field so I called mom and they both my parents came. Dad was able to get him up but Gunny did not feel very well at all. We took him to the vet, which was about fourty-five minutes away. Gunny went down in the trailer but then got back up. The vet said he had colic and then stuck a needle in his side to let air off of him, they gave him mineral oil and kept him for a while. We got him back a little less than a week later. I was in the hay field picking up bales so I did not get to see him when they got home. Mom did however send me a picture of Gunny though, he looked awful. I felt terrible for Gunny and we started to feed him high fat pellets so he would gain some weight. Gunny is now doing very amazing and he looks really fantastic compared to how he looked when we got him back from the vet.
I halter broke Gunny and desensitized Gunny to a lot of things because I could not train him to ride since he is so young. Gunny is really sweet and loves any attention you give him. I have also trimmed his feet, which he was a exceptionally amazing and did not even fight me. Gunny has also learned to stand very nice while being tied up.
I have had Josephine for a almost two years and have done a lot of work with her. She is a very brilliant horse and we appreciate long rides together through pastures, sorting cows and checking cows during calving season. I have done some jumping with her but that is not were she is talented most at. She is most skilled at just about anything with cows, however she still needs a bit of work when it comes to cows. Josephine can though mostly do it by herself and a lot of times it is riders error, so even I make mistakes sometimes.
I train horses for my family and would love to hear about you and your life with horses. Even if you don’t have horses still would love to hear from you.
Josephine and I have become an amazing team over the course of the summer. I have taught her a lot and also a few tricks in the meantime. Josephine is a very talented horse, who I have taught to lay down, bow, watch a cow, liberty and bridleless. I have done so much work with her that you might think that she is done, however she is not because I have a lot of things I want to teach her.
Lately I have been working on tanning a deer hide and today (March 1st) I got done. It has taken quite a while to get it tanned. The hide is going to be a rug and I am so happy that I got done.
We ride most of them to move cows or just ride for fun. There is one that is not broke, two colts and a mare that does not get rode very often because she is lame. My two favorites are my horses Joey and Josephine.
Our colts are both boys and have very different personalites. The oldest one is Gunny he is two months old and he is a buckskin. Sarge. is one month old and he is a bay. Even though they are a month apart Sarge. is a little taller than Gunny. Gunny is sweeter than Sarge. but is also sneaky when he is naughty.
Joey and Gambler are both geldings. Gambler is my grandparents horse and he is also lame. He is twenty one years old but surprisingly too energetic for my six year old brother to ride him. So most of the time he either does not get rode or my eight year old sister rides him.
Blue Boy is a two year old stud whom my dad trained. Blue Boy watches a cow surprisingly good. He also acts like a stud but for the most part he is very well behaved.
Our mares get rode a lot because there are more in that pen. Violet, who is a blue roan is my little brother’s horse even though he doesn’t technically own her. He rides her whenever we go and do something. The rest also usually get rode pretty often. The one with a blanket on is Josephine. I usually ride her or Joey but mom also likes riding him. Josephine also watches a cow my goal with her is to get her to watch one really.
I have been doing lots of work on him and have been teaching him a lot lately. I always wanted a horse that could jump and finally figured out that he jumps surprisingly well. The faster he goes into the jump the higher he will jump. He also will jump them at a trot. Before I started jumping him I had to trot him over logs that were on the ground. He was very good at that because I had done that several times before. Now I have to put the saddle on and see if he jumps the same still.
He jumped the same with the saddle on, so I got on and he does really well. It is so much fun jumping him. I have never jumped over something that was up off the ground before so that was my first time.
I have also been teaching him to lay down. I have gotten him to do it a few times. He does it kinda slow but also calm. The first time he laid down he went flat on his side. The second time he laid down on his side, however he didn’t lay down as long. His longest time lying down was 35 minutes. Joey literally goes to sleep when he lays down.
I started riding Captain after I rode Violet. He was a brat and I so very much disliked him. The first few times I rode him I was very nervous and just rode him around the corral. The first time out of the pen he laid down with me on him, which was very scary. It was in a very nice sandy area that I was trotting around in circles on. I jumped off and then mom told me to work him. After that I got back on and I did more circles outside of the sandy area on a grassy spot.
After fair I was able to ride around all over the place. I rode him for a while. I was now the only one that rode him because my younger siblings could not ride him and Victoriah did not like him. After we got Joey and the stud, Victoriah rode the stud, who was fairly old, and I worked with Joey. Captain did not like other horses being close to him while you were riding him. I did not like people getting very close to me while I was riding, so it didn’t bother me that much. I loved riding him bareback even though he was skinny and his backbone stuck up. I used a saddle blanket (not a saddle pad) for a while, which made it a lot better, then I bought a bareback pad which was even better. He got fed really well for a while and has become fat. I rode him again since we had not been riding him and he was a bit sassy. I do not ride him that often any more because I work with Joey and I ride another one of our horses more now and Captain has gotten very fat and sassy.
I started working with Captain again the day after dad rode him really hard trying to get bulls in. The next day I put my blanket on him. He was limping from the day before so I didn’t ride him. I tried to trim his feet and see if I could help the pain go away even though it was not bad. He only limped when trotting so I did not make him trot at all, but otherwise he was fine. I left it on him for a while in his pen but then took it off.
The next day I started to teach him to hug and on that same day I got him to do it. I was really happy to get him to do it. I did more work on that for a little while longer. Next I decided to teach him how to smile I almost got him to but he did not quite get it.
When we first arived at fair we washed the horses. I washed Violet as Mom washed Captian. I also took the longest to wash Violet and when we were done washing the horses we tied them up at the trailer. We brushed their mane, tails and curry combed them. We used the non rough side of a shedding blade to scrape water off the horses. When Violet was dry I started getting ready with my sister Victoriah in the trailer. After I was done getting dressed Mom braided my hair in a french braid. I showed Captain first, he was not dry but I had to go into the ring. He did really good when we were moving but when standing in line he would not stand still so I had to keep him going in a circle. I was a little nervous but we didn’t have to stand there very long. Captain had bowed legs so he did not do very good. Next I showed Violet, which was so much more fun than showing Captain. I was very happy and excited because I got a purple. Then I showed Captain again in showmanship and he did not do much better than the first time I showed him but we did get a purple ribbon.While I was riding Violet around we were all able to ride in the ring and get our horses used to it. My favorite was riding her in pleasure, I also won pleasure. We did not exactly do awesome in a whole lot of other things but I had an awesome time. My second favorite was problably trail she would not do a couple of things but for the most part she did really good. In reining we had to memorize a pattern and I broke the pattern really bad this year, but next year I plan to do a lot better. Poles were last and I was farelly slow at them but it was really fun.I only rode Captain in one thing, barrels. We were also pretty slow and I was a little scared but for the most part it was great. He spooked at the barrels a little probably becuase they were white. He also was a little spooky at all the people there.
Violet snorted at a lot of things the first few days we had her. We had goats then and Violet had never seen one before, she freaked out a lot when she would see them. I thought Violet was the most beautiful horse there was. Violet isn’t super fast but is super smooth. I rode her every day and played lots of games on her with my sisters. My favorite was being chased but I really had fun chasing my sisters. I also had to practice for fair, which I was very excited for.
Early one morning I didn’t work her and was going to practice barrel racing. As I took off towards the barrels. She bucked, I was not the best rider then and fell off. My parents had both seen it and were very surprised because she is fairly old. After that they made me ride bareback so I could get better balance. At first I was super scared and didn’t know how I was going to stay on. Mom said I had to trot her once around the pen. Then I rode around a little outside the pen. After I had good balance I could even lope her out in the pasture.
I thought it was amazing when I got a horse of my own. We didn’t have a name for him for a while, but now his name is Joey from reading a book about a blind horse named Joey. He looked awful in the beginning. But after feeding Joey better, he looks so pretty.
It took a while for me to be calm around him. While I was scared around him, he was scared around me. Getting to really know Joey took a long time. After I did get to know him we had so much fun together. I had to sack him out. Sacking a horse out means to shake a sack all around them until they get used to it and are not scared of it. After I did that I had to put the saddle on Joey. He never did anything, he only had a hump in his back.(A hump in a horses back means they could buck). I drove him alot. He didn’t do anything when I first got on him and rode him. Although he did seem just a bit uneasy and nervous. I walked him around the round pen and then he seemed to relax.
I stopped working with him for a while and didn’t ride him or anything. The next time I got on him he had a hump in his back. I walked him around the round pen for a while and the hump went away. A little while later I tried to trot him and got bucked off. Since I was riding bareback I didn’t really get hurt. After getting bucked off I worked him and then got back on. I didn’t get bucked off again that day. A day later I got on and was bucked off twice and that time it did hurt even though I was still riding him bareback. Mom came outside to help. Before I got back on mom had to work so he would respect her. When she was done he was sweaty. Then mom lead him while I rode him. Joey bucked three more times, but those three times I stayed on while mom helped stop him from bucking. He got in a lot of trouble. By the time I was done working him, he was sweaty. My dad thinks he may not be old enough to know exactly what’s wrong and what’s right. So now I have just been doing ground work with him in the round pen. I am going to teach him how to bow, which would be so awesome. After I do that I hope that when I can ride him I will be able to get on when he bows.