Category Archives: Rodeo

Horses Need Dentists Too!!

I grew up around horses. I don’t come close to knowing everything there is to know about them, but I have always felt adequately informed….until about two weeks ago. For some time I’ve been thinking about getting an equine dentist out here to check out all of our boys. I’m embarrassed to say that it’s been two years since we’ve seen an equine dentist and even then it was only a couple of our horses. There were a few “signs” that made me think we needed one (the way Doc tilts his head when he eats grain and experiences bit pressure, age on some of our horses, lack of dental care, etc.). Time just seems to pass so quickly and we are always busy out here on the ranch. In other words, I didn’t get it done as soon as I’d hoped to. Well, I finally found a guy who came highly recommended from several friends. He and his wife came out and spent the day at our place. Boy, did I get an education!

This equine dentist (who prefers to remain nameless, but if you want to know who he is just email me or give me a call and I’ll be glad to refer you) went above and beyond to ensure that we were informed and involved in the entire process from start to finish. This in itself was something new to me. Besides being an overall genuine guy, I found out that our equine dentist went through extensive schooling in Texas for several years and that he has worked on over 5,000 horses so far. He takes his trade very seriously and he is very professional. I felt confident that I had chosen the right man to trust our horses with and the fact that his wife works with him throughout the entire process is an added bonus. We were encouraged to stick around during the entire procedure, which for 11 horses was about 11 hours straight through. We got to feel inside each of our horse’s mouths before and after. I can’t even tell you how much each mouth was transformed! The fact that we were included in the entire journey of correcting tooth development errors was an epiphany to me and it made all the difference in my understanding of the importance of equine dentistry.

First up was my best horse, Doc. If you know me at all you know how much Doc means to me….enough said.

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I’ve been having some issues with him in the sorting pen and watching him eat made me worry for him. Well, after I felt in his mouth I knew why. His teeth were horrible….and his inner cheeks were all rubbed raw! I felt like the worst horse owner in history. I even got teary-eyed over it. We don’t baby our horses per se…..we let them be horses, but how I didn’t catch this earlier really caused me some distress. I decided right then and there that I was going to sit up and pay attention to the smaller details of our horses from then on. I will definitely never let our horses be in that position again.

The equine dentist was telling me how there are certain signs a horse can give you on the outside of his body about his dental health. One of those signs was big on Doc. His temporalis muscle (located in his forehead) was completely out of whack. It was longer and puffier on one side.

Doc Temporalis Muscle

Once we got inside his mouth it was evident what was going on. One side of his mouth was overcompensating for the other because his teeth were being ground off unevenly (causing the insides of his cheeks to be rubbed raw). When I first felt in his mouth it almost felt like I was feeling a tiger’s teeth….sharp and jagged.

Doc Dental Exam

Doc Dental Exam 2

Doc Straighten Top Teeth

Doc Straighten Lower Teeth

After the process was over, it felt like a smooth stone where those jagged points had been. It didn’t take long for Doc to be on the road to a healthier mouth with even teeth thanks to our equine dentist. Doc needed a little time to let his inner cheeks heal up, but within a few days I couldn’t even tell he had a problem in those areas!

We worked our way through 11 head of horses that day (ranging from 5 years old on up to 25). Dollar was the youngest patient of the day….he’s a big boy at only 5 years old!

Dollar Dental Exam

Each one was interesting with completely different areas needing help. I learned that horse’s teeth continue to grow until they are around 17-19 years old. I also learned that it is really important for younger horses (2-4 years old) to see an equine dentist and that it can make all the difference in their tooth development and future health at that stage in their lives.

The biggest shock we got was on Shane’s best guy and my back up horse, Shotgun. Here he is:

Shotgun Dental Exam 2

He is only 8 years old so I really didn’t expect any problems. Was I ever wrong! His lower #11’s (way back bottom teeth…or molars as we might call them) were the biggest (longest) the equine dentist had ever seen….in over 5,000 horses! See those long buggers way back there?!

Shotgun Dental Exam

He was absolutely shocked and amazed at what he found back there! We all felt in Shotgun’s mouth and couldn’t believe it at all. Once the dentist explained to us what Shotgun had been going through we could see the signs (hard to keep weight on him, lackluster hair in several small places, etc.). He had a very low grade infection because of these teeth and you would have never known it to look at him or in his mannerisms. Shane felt absolutely horrible about it as did I. The dentist said not to worry and that he would be right as rain in just a few days. He fixed those teeth and you know what, Shotgun looked like a new horse the very next day. In fact, I think he even kicked over his head a few times when we weren’t looking! This was yet another lesson to me on why equine dentistry is so important.

At the end of that long day, I wrote a fairly large check to the equine dentist…and I did it with a smile and a sense of accomplishment. I learned more about our horses in that day than I ever hoped to. We were treated like friends, students, and confidants all day long. The kids (my son and my nephew) even got to see what horse teeth look like (the equine dentist had a few from a previous removal). They were fascinated and each got to keep a tooth or two (that was highlight of their day)! Here is one of their treasures….err, I mean horses teeth. 🙂

Horse Tooth

Throughout the day, we were informed of why it’s important to keep up on your horse’s dental health (and it wasn’t a sales pitch). Perhaps if this fellow would have come in here and preached about spending up to $200 per horse every 6 months without taking time to inform us and including us in the process I may have felt like a lot of folks do. I’ve heard comments from various people. Things like: “older horses are the only ones who need to be floated” or “unless there is a definite problem, I don’t use those dentists” or “holy cow, that’s a lot of money to spend on your horses” or “I only take them in once a year if that”. I can tell you this; if you think $200 is a lot to spend on your horse then you must not think very highly of him/her. That may seem blunt, but here’s why I say that. Good horses are hard to find. So when you have some good horses a couple hundred dollars isn’t even a thought…is it?! I kind of compare that to this way of thinking: “I don’t use my horse much so I don’t shoe him….I just let the ground break off his hooves…he seems fine….when I need him I’ll just trim him up and lope off”. I guess that might work for some folks, but it just doesn’t work for me. I am happy with my decision to better my horses through their dental health. If you haven’t had your horses to a dentist lately, I highly suggest you do so. Look into equine dentists. Ask around to find a good one. We all prefer certain things about certain people. To me, it’s most important that folks be educated on what they do, passionate about it, considerate, and that they communicate with me. I know that I found the right equine dentist for us because he fits all of those categories. Your requirements might be different than mine. Nonetheless, get your horses on a good dental program. You will be so glad you did….and so will they!

Horse Happy Teeth

Oh and by the way, Doc and I just went to a weekend of women’s ranch rodeos in Hyannis, NE. He worked better than he has all year. We successfully sorted and roped every critter we came up against and he did so willingly without shaking his head or putting his nose up in the air to escape the pressure of the bit. How’s that for results?

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Plus, Turkey Track Livestock (my team) qualified for the WRRA world finals!

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I’m sold on equine dentistry, that’s for sure!

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Happy Father’s Day!!!

Today is Father’s Day….a day to appreciate the wonderful dads in the world! My family and I had a rather late night getting back from a kids rodeo in Broadus, MT. We had a lot of excitement there, which I will share with you in just a bit. First, I want to pay homage to my Dad…..and to my husband. Here is what I wrote about Father’s Day a month or so ago (for a few publications):

“As I sit down to write my column today it’s storming out and we are without power (thankful for my laptop with its battery backup). We’ve had close to three inches of rain and several inches of snow on top of it. The snow/rain continues to come down and of course, we are still calving. We are under a winter storm warning….and it’s May 8th! I think Mother Nature needs an attitude adjustment! I steady my thoughts by thinking of all the green grass that will be here soon.

Instead of pacing the floor and worrying about it I’ve decided to pay tribute to the “fathers” in my life today. After all, when you read this it will be around Father’s Day (the snow should be gone by then). I have two “fathers” to thank: my dad and my husband.

What can I say about my dad, Cliff Glade? If you are lucky enough to know him, you know what kind of a guy he is. He is a true cowboy/rancher with a wealth of knowledge that forty some years in the cattle business has taught him. He has a kind heart and he truly cares about his friends and family. I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at without him. We’ve had our fair share of standoffs (probably because I’m a lot like he is). However, in the end it also comes back to the fact that he is my dad and I am his daughter. We have an unbreakable bond that we’ve shared since I was born. He used to sit me on his knee when I was tiny and tell me that I could be anything I wanted to be. That sort of encouragement was huge for me. It truly allowed me to think big and go after whatever I set my mind on. He was always a “can do” type of person. Once he decided on something, he made it happen. I’m happy to think that I’m like him in that regard as well. I think the biggest tribute I can pay to him is to follow in his footsteps as a rancher. That’s exactly what I’m doing and I couldn’t be happier! Granted, I don’t do it alone. I have my better half to thank for that.

My husband, Shane, is truly my rock. He came into my life unexpectedly and we’ve been together ever since. We share the responsibilities around here. We make a great team and we will do whatever it takes to ensure the success of our venture. We help each other as best we can in all facets of our lives and the ranch is no exception. He is a great husband and the best father I could ask for to our son. He is also a staunch protector and he makes sure we have all that we need. I can honestly say that I found my soul mate and I know how fortunate I am in this regard. Shane is another “can do” person. He is a force to be reckoned with. Just being around him has made me better in all aspects of my life. I’m not truly afraid to do things anymore. If I set my heart and mind on something, I go after it! It’s a wonderful thing to surround yourself with people who encourage you. I’m not saying that every thought I’ve ever had has been a good one and I haven’t always been encouraged to follow every whim. However, when I kept after it the outcome has most always been favorable and if it wasn’t I learned from it. I got that from my dad and I see it in my husband daily. I’m happy to think that these two great men have rubbed off on me over the years.

What’s even better than what they’ve done for me? What they are doing for Stone. I am so glad to know that our son is growing up around strong individuals who work hard, speak their minds and who aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in (my mom and I fit this role also). In this world today, that is not a common thing. Ag folks are more fortunate than most in my opinion. We are privileged to live in the country surrounded by the animals and crops we nurture. We know the true value of life. We know and appreciate hard work and its outcome. We all know that sometimes the outcome isn’t how we had hoped, but in the end the life we live is a good one. We live in reality and I wouldn’t want it any other way. We also know the value of family and how important they are in our lives. I feel that we are truly blessed to be raising our son in the same fashion that we were raised in. If all goes like we hope, our son will be a father someday who can look back at his family with pride. The best tribute he can pay to his dad and his papa would be to take what he learns from them and apply it to his own life as a man. My hopes for him include that he: grows up strong, learns as he goes, is kind, works hard, speaks his mind, and above all else honors his family by being a good husband and father. I care not what he does for a living. I do hope whatever he chooses to do is honest, hard work that leaves him with a feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day (like we feel now). I believe that truly is the best thing any of us can hope for with our children. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there…..I hope you know just how important you are to those who love you!”

Dad & Stone on BJ My Dad

Stone on his cow My Hubby (and our favorite little boy)

So, onto our excitement yesterday! We debated on how to travel to Broadus, MT. Most of you know that we live 8 miles off the highway on a horrible gumbo road. This year has been so wet that it has truly made traveling anywhere a nightmare (I’m not complaining about the moisture….that’s for sure). Living out here has taught me to roll with the punches so that’s what we do. We decided that we couldn’t take a trailer. We might get out with it, but looking at the forecast we probably wouldn’t get home with it. So, we decided not to take our rig…..Stone’s horse, All Star, had to stay home (I’m sure he was really sad……I think I hear him sigh as he stood there eating clover that is belly high). 🙂

We took off Friday around lunch time. We travel through Rapid City, up to Belle Fourche, and through Alzada. There was a bad storm brewing so we pushed on through to hopefully get ahead of it. We hit some hard rain, but looking at the clouds….we were glad to get through without incident. Here is what we saw to the south of the highway on our way up:

Alzada Storm Clouds

Yep….it was scary! We picked up our oldest nephew, Tucker, in Hammond and gave him a ride to Broadus. We were glad to arrive in one piece. We had supper with our family and got ready for the big rodeo the next day.

At breakfast, Stone had to have his “Cowboy Coffee” to start his day off right. He told me he needed it before his big rodeo. He cracks me up!

Stone Drinking Coffee

We got to the rodeo grounds fairly early so Stone could ride his borrowed steed, Sarge. He had a great outlook for the day!

Stone on Sarge

And how did the day go? Well, our little 5-year-old boy won the All Around in his age division (0-5). He won first in the Stick Horse Barrels and the Goat Tail Untying, second in the Dummy Roping, and 4th in the Keyhole Race. PROUD doesn’t even cover what we felt!!! Here he is with the buckle he won:

Stone First Buckle

He was so proud of himself….and he should have been!

Here is his buckle:

Stones First Buckle

Of all the buckles I have won over the years (close to 50) this one means more than all the rest…hands down!!! A huge thank you goes out to Ray and Tedi Jo Williams for putting on the Rich Higgins Memorial Rodeo. It isn’t easy doing things like this and their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Also, a big thank you to the sponsors. Without generous folks things like this wouldn’t occur!

Here we are…..so happy and proud:

Family Buckle Pic

Stone learned so much with his win yesterday….just like he has from his defeats. He can’t win all the time, but he has learned through practice that you can better your odds of doing well in everything. That’s truly all we can hope for….that he learns with each experience in life. And…..when he does well, we can celebrate (like going to Olive Garden for supper on the way home) and when he doesn’t……we can discuss what to do next time. I truly never understood what folks meant when they said their children’s accomplishments overshadowed their own…..now I know….and Shane knows…..and we totally get it now…..and you know what, people who say that are right!! It isn’t about us anymore….it’s about the little boy we are lucky to call son. I feel truly blessed to be his mom. I am also blessed to have such a good man by my side. I have no doubt that our son will grow up to be a wonderful man…..who had incredible male role models around him…..my dad and my husband. As far as I’m concerned….that’s the best prize of all.

So, with that…..I say adios….until who knows when. I haven’t been adept at posting regularly….summer is here and we are busy….I will check in from time to time…..hope your summer is a great one! 🙂 ~Cheyenne

How ‘Bout The American?!

Holy cow!! Did you watch The American this last Sunday?

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If you did you are probably just as excited about it as I am! The richest one-day rodeo actually crowned a $1 Million winner – Richmond Champion! What a great name….and how appropriate! And how about that Junior (Testa) Nogueira?! I have NEVER seen anyone heel like that in my entire life! He can rope like crazy and his presentation is like anything I’ve ever seen!

Junior

See what I mean?! The American certainly didn’t disappoint and I truly believe it opened up an entire new chapter for rodeo….I’m excited to see what happens next! It was great to see two of our friends/neighbors competing also – Chad Ferley, in the Saddle Bronc Riding and Lisa Lockhart, in the Barrel Racing. Chad ended up third overall and Lisa…..well, she took first place!!

Lisa Lockhart

She won $100,000, a new Polaris Ranger, and a whole bunch of other great prizes. I cried for her I was so happy…..I know how much Louie (and all of her horses) mean to her. She is one of the hardest working gals I know. It’s not uncommon to see her working her horses in below zero weather…..she is definitely not a fair-weather cowgirl! Her acceptance speech was classy and really heartfelt. I cried with her….again! What an awesome win for her!

It’s amazing to see how far rodeo has come in the last few years. It’s been a struggle and has experienced growing pains. The recent upheaval over moving the National Finals Rodeo the last few months has sure created some conflict. I’m sure glad there are people in the association who are strong and willing to fight for what they believe in – more money for the cowboys and cowgirls. Apparently the NFR will stay in Las Vegas for another 10 years……however, with the huge advances in big paying rodeos like The American, Houston, Calgary, etc……who knows who will be going where…..it will be interesting to watch this all unfold! ~Cheyenne