Tag Archives: Horses

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.

image (165)

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?

image (164)

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

image (163)

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

Advertisements

Women’s Ranch Rodeo….Long Live Our Cowgirl Ways!!

May has been a crazy, busy month around here for me and my family. The month is starting to wind down now and today I am giddy with excitement! Tomorrow we head to Gillette, Wyoming for the first WRRA (Women’s Ranch Rodeo Association) rodeo of the season for us up here in the north country. We haven’t had a rodeo since last September so I’m really looking forward to it. My friend, Heidi Huggins of Bucking H Designs, has worked her tail off along with her helpers to put together and awesome event for us to enjoy this weekend. Hats off to them for working so hard!!There is something for everyone…even the kiddos! Here is the poster for the Bucking H Bash:

BHB 2014

I am so looking forward to competing with my team to try our hardest to win some of the awards awards and prize money up for grabs. Here is my team:

CS Team Hyannis

One of the members has changed since this picture, but this is what we look like…..all decked out in our bright red shirts….true Cowgirl Swank color! Our team is called Cowgirl Swank so that should come as no surprise.  The three other gals on the team are:  Heidi Cuny, Randi Selle, and Rhonda Matt. Great girls who are all quite handy! 🙂

I wrote an article about the WRRA a couple of months ago, but the publication it was going to appear in hit a bump in the road so I’m still waiting to hear from them. I’ve decided that it’s fitting to publish it here on my blog as I sit here waiting for the minutes to tick by until we take off tomorrow. Hope you enjoy the read! Here goes:

I grew up idolizing cowgirls. I was lucky because I had a great role model to look up to….my mom, Lila Glade. Just like my mom, I grew up on the same ranch in southeastern Montana north of the Yellowstone River smack dab between Little Sheep Mountain and Big Sheep Mountain. In truth, I don’t believe my mom aspired to be anything but a cowgirl/ranch woman. Don’t get me wrong, she went off and got a college education. She and her teammates even managed to capture the coveted Team Championship at the College National Finals Rodeo one of the years she was there! She enjoyed college, but deep inside I think she always knew her place was out on the range. She has always loved the outdoors and the animals associated with a cowgirl’s life: horses and cattle. My mom has always been a superior horsewoman and she definitely knows her cattle. She has had many accomplishments in her career as a cowgirl. I believe her greatest accomplishment was qualifying and competing in the National Finals Rodeo in 1976.

image (146)

She may argue with me a bit on this because she has other accomplishments to choose from, but I think it’s incredible! My mom roped a little bit, but not competitively. Growing up, I had some of the best barrel horses ever to compete on. How many nine year olds do you know who get to ride a horse that went to the NFR? Not many!

The fact is I enjoyed barrel racing a lot when I was younger, but as I grew older my dad started showing me the joys of what a lariat could do. I wasn’t a roper at a really young age like some kids are today. I didn’t actively start roping until I was 12 years old. There was just something about roping that go in my blood right away. I can thank my dad for passing on his athletic abilities to just pick stuff up. That’s how it was with me and roping….so barrel racing eventually went by the wayside. I did have a slight challenge along the way because I am left-handed. My dad never viewed it as a “handicap” and he never tried to change me. He always thought lefties had an advantage when it came to breakaway roping anyway…..no crossing over to worry about! I taught myself to tie goats right-handed and it worked out just fine. I managed to win 3 state championships in high school in goat tying, pole bending, and breakaway roping. *I’ve even taken to heading right-handed now. It’s quite a process and I’m not as “deadly” as I am with my left hand, but the fact that I’m trying to master both is a feat in itself. I love heeling, but it’s good to be able to rope both ends (heading and heeling).*

I went on to rodeo one season in college. I decided college really wasn’t for me so I went off to the big city to learn about the retail world. Fast forward, 13 years…..this is where my story picks back up. I moved back to Montana in the late fall of 2004. I met my soon-to-be-fiancé in early 2005 and within a few months we moved to southwestern South Dakota and started working on my folks’ ranch (my folks had sold their ranch in Montana in early 2000 and had relocated here). I was home….and boy, did it feel good! With the help of my folks, Shane and I went into the cattle business in the fall of 2005. With that part of my life lined out, I set my sights on getting back into the arena. As fate would have it, I suffered a bad injury on the 4th of July. I was at home in our arena roping on the gentlest horse on the place. It wasn’t good. I got bucked off and as it was happening I hyper-extended my wrist on the swells of my saddle. I tore some ligaments in my left arm/wrist and cracked some bones. It took me years to get it to where I could use it effectively again. So, fast forward again to 2013….

I had been watching ranch rodeos for several years from the sidelines as my husband and his friends went and did their thing. I might mention that I had our son in 2008 so up until this point I was pretty content being the cheerleader and caretaker. However, something inside me started longing for my goal of roping and competing again. I had let my arm heal significantly and I felt I was “ready”. There was something about ranch rodeo that really appealed to me. Perhaps it was the team camaraderie, the events (tying down a steer looked awfully fun to me), the excitement and atmosphere of it all. Whatever it was, I was hooked….but I wasn’t ready to jump into it with the guys. I didn’t feel confident enough for that (yet).

2012 came around and one day I was on Facebook. Something about “Women’s Ranch Rodeo Association” came on the screen. I stopped what I was doing and decided to check it out. Holy cow!! Here was an entire association dedicated to WOMEN in RANCH RODEO!!

WRRA

I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I devoured what I could read there and then went on to dive into their website (www.womensranchrodeo.org). I read and read until there was nothing else to read.

In my reading, I found out that the WRRA was founded by Kansas cowgirls in 2005 and that each rodeo includes the same 5 timed events in each of their sanctioned rodeos. They are: Calf Branding, Doctoring, Sorting, Trailer Loading, and Tie Down/Mugging. Here’s what happens in each event (and here are a few pictures of team Cowgirl Swank in action):

Calf Branding – 3 Minute Time Limit. There is one roper, one brander, and two gals to hold the calves down. The roper goes in and snags a calf by one or both hind legs. She drags it out where one gal tails the calf down and the other has the rope. Once the rope is removed the brander is signaled. She runs over and “brands” the calf with a branding iron that has powder on it. Once the calf is “branded” it is let up and the roper goes back in for the second calf. Everything is repeated. Once the second calf is “branded” time is called.

Branding Hyannis 2

Branding Hyannis 5

Branding Hyannis

Doctoring – 2 Minute Time Limit. All four team members start behind a line on their horses. Time starts when the first team member crosses the line. They take off after their steer that is on the other end of the arena. All four members are allowed to rope. The steer must be roped with a legal head catch within the first minute. The steer must be headed and heeled. Once this is achieved, one of the non-roping team mates jumps down and marks the steers face with chalk. Time is called.

Sorting 2 Hyannis

Doctoring Hyannis 2

Doctoring Hyannis

Sorting – 3 Minute Time Limit. Cattle with numbers on them are located at the end of the arena behind a chalk line. Time starts when the first team member crosses the line. While riding towards the herd, three numbers are called out over the loud speaker. They are in order (4, 5, 6 or 10, 11, 12 – for example). These are the numbers/cattle that must be cut out of the herd and taken across the chalk line. Any team member can sort, but only one rider can be in the herd at a time. Once a critter is across the chalk line, it cannot come back across or it is a no time. Also, no wrong numbered animal may cross the line. Once all 3 critters are across the line, time is called.

Tie Down Hyannis 2

Sorting 2

Sorting 3 Hyannis

Trailer Loading – 2 Minute Time Limit. Cattle with numbers on them will be located at the end of the arena behind a chalk line. Time starts when the first team member crosses the score line. Any team member can sort, but only one rider can be in the herd at a time. While riding towards the herd, the number of the steer to be sorted and loaded will be called out over the loud speaker. This steer must be cut out from the herd and taken across the line. The steer is then trailed to the trailer and loaded in the first compartment and the door is shut. One team member’s horse is then loaded in the second compartment. Once the door is shut and latched all team members must run to a designated spot near the judge. Once there, the judge calls for time.

Trailer Loading

Trailer Loading Hyannis 2

Trailer Loading Hyannis 4

Tie Down/Mugging – *This is my favorite event!* 3 Minute Time Limit. Steer will be let out at the opposite end of the arena. Team members start behind a chalk line. Time starts when the first team member crosses the line. Steer must be roped with a legal head catch in the first minute. No loop limit and all four team members are allowed to rope. Steer doesn’t have to be heeled; this is up to the teams’ discretion. After the steer is roped, he must be mugged and tied down by 3 legs. The three legs must be crossed. During the mugging process at least one team member must be in contact with rope or steer. All ropes must be off the steer and all team members must be clear of steer before calling for time. Time stops when one team member raises hands after the steer is tied down. Steer must stay tied for 6 seconds.

Tie Down Hyannis 2

Tie Down Hyannis 4

Tie Down Hyannis 3

Things don’t get much more exciting than those 5 events! I have been asked why there aren’t women’s rough stock events. I don’t have a technical answer on that except to say that I’m glad there aren’t. My 40-year-old body can’t handle much crow-hopping let alone a bucking bronco! I will say that I have been told that the WRRA’s outlook on their rodeos and events is that they want to include everyone and not exclude anyone. Even gals who aren’t bona fide ropers can participate as there are events that don’t require every single team member to rope (calf branding, trailer loading, sorting). Women’s bronc riding is only for a few select women who like to do that sort of thing (hats off to them too). The WRRA wants to showcase actual ranch events that occur on most any ranch. They want to keep it as safe as possible for contestants and animals alike. That makes perfect sense to me.

Since the WRRA sanctions the rodeos, their rules are followed and the gals participating must become members before competing. Money can be won and points are accumulated towards their World Finals, which will be held this year in Loveland, Colorado in October. Imagine, a World Finals…..for Women…..in Ranch Rodeos!! I was so excited about this that I called the phone number listed on the WRRA’s website. Enter Billie Franks into my life.

Billie FranksBillie is from Grenola, Kansas.

Billie is the Special Agent and Treasurer for the WRRA. She is quite a cowgirl and a determined leader of the association. We talked for quite a bit and struck up a friendship right then and there. With her encouragement and leadership, I decided that this was going to be “my thing”. Instantly it became my goal to get involved in this association and to hopefully host the first-ever WRRA rodeo in Nebraska.

I’m happy to report that I reached this goal last summer with the “Cowgirl Swank Classic” – Women’s Ranch Rodeo. I had a lot of help from some great people in the Crawford, Nebraska area. It’s a long story of how it all came to be so I won’t go into all of that. I will just say that with a positive attitude, hard work, and good people helping you…you can achieve most anything!

CSC Logo

So, what went on at the “Cowgirl Swank Classic”? Let me tell you….it was 2 days of the most amazing cowgirl action I have ever seen or been a part of! Imagine 12 teams of 4 competitive cowgirls, 48 well-trained horses, 50 head of steers, 25 head of calves, and over 2 inches of rain…..it was nothing short of the most entertaining rodeo ever! We had spills and thrills.….my pants were so dirty after each rodeo that they could have stood up by themselves….and I’m not kidding!

CSC Branding 4

CSC Branding

Me Muddy

The crowd was super….I was so worried that the rain would keep people away, but just the opposite happened. Crawford has such an amazing arena setup. It allows vehicles to pull up near the grandstands so they can look down over the arena. It truly couldn’t have been more perfect. We are still hearing comments about what a wonderful rodeo it was and how spectators and contestants can’t wait for the next one!

CS Classic Team Photo48 cowgirls competed at the 2013 Cowgirl Swank Classic. This is our group photo.

Like me a lot of the contestants are mothers and wives. We have our children and our husbands supporting us. The best part at our rodeos though is that the husbands are the ones in the stands with the video cameras ready to go and the kids playing in the dirt at their feet. Turnabout is fair play! Rodeo and ranching is about partnership. We have done it for them….and will continue to do so in the future…now it’s their turn to repay the favor….and they do it willingly. All of the husband’s I have visited with are thrilled with the advancements we are making for this sport. They truly think it is great and applaud us. They are happy to see their wives out enjoying themselves and having fun while representing our way of life. We ladies appreciate all the support we get from our families so that we can have our turn in the arena. It’s our turn to shine!

The first-ever women’s ranch rodeo in Nebraska was deemed a huge success. 2014 is going to be a very exciting year for women’s ranch rodeo in the northern region! We are in the planning stages for our second “Cowgirl Swank Classic”, which is scheduled to take place on July 20th and 21st in Crawford, NE.

CS_Classic_poster_2014

Another wonderful occurrence is other people having the same idea I did. They have taken it upon themselves to promote this awesome association/sport and put on their own rodeos. Hyannis, Nebraska was second last year with a two-day rodeo in September. They are planning for the second “Cowgirl’s Duel in the Sandhills” to take place August 2nd and 3rd. Three newcomers to the WRRA are Gillette, Hermosa (possible), and Cheyenne. Gillette, Wyoming will open the season with their two-day “Bucking H Bash” rodeo on May 31st and June 1st. Hermosa, South Dakota is looking at a possible date during their fair in August and Cheyenne, Wyoming is hosting a one-day rodeo on September 21st, which will close out the season for the northern division.

The great thing about how much interest has been generated in our area is that the ladies of the WRRA sat up and took notice. They are excited to have added us as their “northern division”. I was really glad to be voted onto their board of directors in December as was Mckenzie Minor from Hyannis, Nebraska.

McKenzie Minor McKenzie Minor is from Hyannis, Nebraska.

Together, we are pushing for even more expansion in the northern region in 2015. I envision additional rodeos taking place in Colorado, Montana, and hopefully North Dakota in the near future. With that said, if you are interested in hosting a WRRA rodeo in your area in 2015, please contact me. I would love to explain the process to you and answer any questions you may have. We are also searching for sponsors and people who want to get involved in this incredible association. Feel free to contact me at any time! I can be reached at thenativecowgirl@yahoo.com or on my cell at 605-891-1827. I look forward to hearing from some of you and continuing to work to spread this great association as far as we can.

As I said at the beginning of this column, I have always idolized cowgirls. The best thing is that through my life I became one. It’s one of my proudest accomplishments and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I revere my fellow cowgirls. We may come from different backgrounds or similar ones. We may “cowgirl” in different ways, but one thing is for sure: we are kindred spirits. We try hard and we don’t take no for an answer. We love our horses and our families. We are winners inside and outside the arena. Long live our cowgirl ways!

My Mom – My Hero

I woke up to rain this morning and not the dreaded snow I figured might be here (no branding for us today either). I can’t celebrate yet though as I’ve heard there is snow all around us so I’m sure we will see some before the day is done. Let’s just say that there will be lots of green grass around here soon and I am very thankful for that!

Today is Mother’s Day so I am going to pay tribute to my mom. I wrote an article about her a few weeks ago and I’m sharing it with you. Here goes:

Easter is now over and Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. I’ve always enjoyed this holiday of sorts as it was the perfect time to let my mom know just how much I love and admire her. Now that I’m a mother, I love the day even more. When we lived in Montana, Mother’s Day was usually spent at the horse races in Miles City. Those were such fun Sunday afternoons and I sure do miss them.

The last five years or so our branding has been held on Mother’s Day. I’m not really sure how this happened, but it did and it has stuck. On one hand a gal may be upset to have to work so hard on “her” day, but we ranch gals look at it differently. Aside from shipping our calves, branding is one of the most important days of the year on the ranch. It’s a day to appreciate the fruits of our labors over the long cold winter months. It is truly heartwarming to see all the cows and calves bunched up together. That sight is a true testament to all the winter feeding, chopping ice, checking during calving, and all the prayers we say when Mother Nature throws a fit during the spring months (calving season). It’s a time to gather with friends and neighbors, work hard to get the task completed, share a great meal, and then shoot the heck out of things. That last statement is a fun one. After our branding, we have a skeet shooting marathon. It’s a blast….literally!

My mom and I work together to accomplish many things on the ranch (branding dinner is a big one). I’ve been planning our upcoming day for the past week by ordering vaccine, taking inventory on our branding supplies, and planning our menu. As I was thinking about my mom and what role she will play this year, I remembered something that brought a smile to my face. I owe her my life on more than one occasion. No joke!

It was June 1999. I was home helping my mom and dad back on the ranch in Montana on Cherry Creek. We had gone to the Harms place to do a bunch of riding and check on the cattle. Foot rot was prevalent that year so we brought doctoring supplies in case we needed them. During our riding we came upon a cow and calf. The cow was pretty crippled up with foot rot, but we managed to trail them to a set of corrals we had there. The plan was to rope the cow, tail her down, and then give her a big dose of LA 300. It’s funny how plans sound so direct, so doable, and so easy. I can honestly say that most of the plans around here never go….as planned!

 I can’t remember now why, but my dad had to rope on the horse my mom was riding. If any of you know my mom (Lila Glade) you know that she was a top barrel racer in her day. She won the circuit in Montana and competed at the NFR in Oklahoma City in 1976. She trained many barrel horses, which is why I did so good in the barrels and poles in youth and high school rodeo. Well, my mom rode a barrel saddle. Dad often told her that she should ride a roping saddle, but that just wasn’t for her. She wasn’t a roper! So, imagine my dad climbing on her horse…..into her barrel saddle, which had no rubber on the horn. I’m not sure why we proceeded at this point, but we did. The cow was quite feverish so we knew we had to get this job done as quickly as possible….or suffer the consequences. Luckily, my dad is one heck of a roper. The first loop he threw he caught the cow by a leg. Not being faint of heart, I jumped in and began to tail the cow down. I can’t remember if I got her down or not, but I do remember that my dad started yelling to get the heck out of there. With no rubber on the saddle horn, the rope started to slip as the cow fought. He did what we could, but he couldn’t keep his dally. The cow got up and she was MAD!!! Of course, the pen we were in was a big one. I took off for the fence, but as luck would have it I had worn my slick Roper boots that day. There was a bunch of milk weed growing in the pen. As I scuffled backwards trying to get turned around to run for the fence I slipped and fell flat on my butt. I looked up just in time to see the cow charging towards me. I swear she hesitated, leaped in the air, and pounced right on me (she may have even snickered a bit). She landed hard right on my left shin and my right inner thigh. She rolled me good. I remember thinking it was the end. I was yelling and hollering and choking for air at the same time. When I came to my senses I realized I was only about 20 feet from the fence. I clamored to get up and get to safety, but just as I did here she came for round 2. Holy cow….she was within three feet of me when this bright color went flashing in front of her face. She veered off and ran to the opposite side of the pen where her calf was. I limped over to the fence and tried to catch my breath. Dad rode over to make sure I wasn’t missing a limb or bleeding internally….he said, “Yell a little and the pain will go away.” We half-laughed about what he had said. It’s something we always say when someone is hurt, but not hurt really bad at our place. My Grandpa Art was famous for saying that in all kinds of situations. It has provided comic relief at just the right moment for many years around here. As we talked about what had happened it dawned on me that the bright color I had seen wasn’t my life flashing before my eyes….it was my mom’s coat! She had bravely run up there and waved it in front of that crazy cow’s face. Imagine my surprise that my mom was secretly an amazing bull fighter! I don’t know how she got the gumption to get that close to the cow, but to this day I am ever so thankful that she did. I could have suffered some serious damage if she hadn’t intervened.

Eventually, we got the cow doctored and I managed to work the rest of the day. The next morning I woke up to a purple egg on my shin and an even uglier sight on my inner thigh. To this day, I can’t feel part of my shin. I guess that old cow got the last laugh on me in a way. Over the years, I have acquired quite a few scars and pains that I feel frequently, but each one of them has a story. Maybe that’s why we have them….so we won’t forget. I definitely will never forget that day in June and what I learned. I learned just what a mom will do for her offspring (human or otherwise). I will never forget my close call or the fact that my mom is my hero….then and today. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and to all of the other moms out there! I hope you enjoy this special day that celebrates just how amazing we all are!

Here we are together back in 2007:

image (144)

My mom loves her horses and it shows!

image (143)

image (145)

My mom has accomplished some awesome things in her life!

image (146)

She is a great mom and a wonderful grandmother too. Yep, she’s my hero….what more can I say! Love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day! ~Cheyenne

Cheeseburger Pie & Ranch Stuff

It’s been a busy couple of days around here….plus, I just battled off a migraine. For those of you who have never had one….thank your lucky stars LOUDLY!!! I honestly never suffered from them before I turned 30. I had a few bad headaches here and there (working around perfumes), but when I finally ventured into migraine territory…..I got scared! Migraine sufferers out there can relate to me I’m sure. It’s not fun when you can’t see out of one eye and the faintest glint of light makes you nauseous. Almost two months ago, I decided to cut out Splenda and I started taking Mygrafew. My migraines have decreased drastically! It’s kind of scary to think how much Splenda I have ingested over the years and what it was doing to my body….yikes! I believe that my problems now are due to hormones. I’m 40…..getting closer to “the change” so I am positive that is what I’m dealing with now.

I woke up with a migraine this morning….not a fun way to wake up, but I decided to deal with it head on. I ate a banana for breakfast and took 975 mg. of Acetaminophen. Off I went to check on the heifers and the cows. This has become my daily duty first thing every morning. I love it….nothing like fresh air and getting to see the countryside and our cattle to brighten a person’s spirits! Here are a few sights I saw over the last few mornings:

image (109)

Three mornings ago, I came upon this scene. A mama cow, her baby, and a winter calf who was investigating the newborn. I smile when I see this picture…..that winter calf is all fuzzy and scraggly while the newborn is all slick and shiny! The winter calf ran off to his mother not far away as soon as I snapped this picture. 🙂

image (103)

The cows were snowy two mornings ago….they were in the rough country eating grass while trying to stay out of the wind.

image (104)

These girls found a bank to hide behind….that wind was vicious!

image (98)

Such an amazing view I had this morning! Wonderful, indeed! Our cows could feel the warmth of the sun and there was no wind. They moved out of the roughs and were out eating grass wherever they pleased. This sight warms my heart!

image (97)

I spied a brand new baby in the grass so I took a closer look. It’s mama wasn’t far off keeping a close eye on me. Can you see the other baby off in the distance with it’s mama also close by? I didn’t stay long as I didn’t want to disturb the napping newborn. I smiled all the way home!

image (102)

This has been my outfit the last couple of mornings….that wind is cold! Shane calls me “Fargo” when I wear this hat…..he thinks he is funny….at least I’m never cold when I wear it! 🙂

image (99)

Before I went home after checking the cows this morning, I stopped to see my two best boys – Doc & Shotgun. I gave them a few treats and checked their hay and water. All was good so I gave Doc a good scratch on his back….look at all that shedding hair! Shotgun was interested in what I was doing. Spring is on the way!

I got back home and my migraine was better….fresh air, I tell ya! I walked into the house to the smell of bacon frying…..and got handed a cup of hot cocoa….I’m a lucky woman for sure! It was way better than breakfast in bed…..I can assure you! Speaking of my husband, I just love this picture!

image (100)

He is riding Shotgun, a real bronc…..haha! Did I mention that?! 😉 Shane rode him last night to gather the heifers bareback with just a string around his neck. I love this horse! Glad to call him mine (Shane might try to steal him, but I’m going to fight hard on this one). 🙂

image (101)

It’s amazing how much warmer it is to ride bareback. Doc is a gentle guy too…..may have to try him bridleless one of these days! I decided I’d better use a halter on him at least last night.

image (107)

Doc is the best horse we have (in my opinion) and it’s not just because I love him so. You can do anything on him. I am grooming him to someday be Stone’s. I think he will be great for youth rodeo, which isn’t that far off! Stone took a shine to Doc long ago….I think it’s mutual.

image (105)

The best view of the evening as we gathered heifers a couple of nights ago!

image (106)

The two best cowboys I know…..this truly makes my heart sing!

image (108)

Shane and Stone pairing out a heifer…..as I stand back to turn her into the gate. Ranching is definitely a family affair! I would say the future of ranching looks good in our family so far. 🙂

We went to my folks’ for Sunday dinner today (we try to do this several times per month). Either my mom cooks, or I do, or we do it together….either way it sure is nice to live close to one another. Today, mom made Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Fresh Rolls, Fruit Salad, and Peach Cobbler. YUM!!!

I came home and took 800 mg. of Ibuprofen hoping that it would help to totally get rid of this migraine. Then, I worked on finishing up some bookkeeping that I’m behind on…..with a bit of a headache left. I’m glad to say that it’s almost gone. I decided to make Cheeseburger Pie for supper. This is a recipe that goes back over 40 years! I’m not sure where my mom got it, but it came from her…..and it is wonderful!

Cheeseburger Pie

  • 1 Pie Crust
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Oregano
  • ¼ tsp. Pepper
  • ¼ c. Onion, chopped
  • ¼ c. Green Pepper, chopped
  • 1-8 oz. can of Tomato Sauce
  • ½ c. Dry Bread Crumbs or Oatmeal

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry for 9 inch one crust pie. In skillet, cook and stir meat.

20140323_7

When about half browned, add the green pepper and onion. Finish browning.

20140323_8

While it cooks, make sure to break up the ground beef into small chunks.

20140323_9

Drain off fat, stir in salt, pepper, oregano, crumbs/oatmeal, and tomato sauce.

20140323_11

Turn into pastry lined pan.

20140323_12

Cheese Topping:

  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ c. Milk
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • Mustard & Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 c. Shredded Natural Cheddar Cheese

Stir first 5 ingredients together then add the cheese.

20140323_13

Spread over top of filling.

20140323_14

Bake about 30 minutes.

20140323_15

Cut into wedges. Serve. Believe me….you’ve never tasted anything quite like this! I think the mustard and Worcestershire “do” something to this recipe. This is good right away or the next day…..I love anything that makes good leftovers (I know what Shane will be eating for lunch tomorrow)! Hope you like this recipe as much as we do. Enjoy! ~Cheyenne