Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas

Dudley is happy he's not having to pose with the Santa hat! This is Veinte we had to put him down almost two years ago but this picture lives on and is taped to the fridge in the tack room so he not far from my thoughts. He was a great horse and is missed but he had a good life. How many great horses do you think an individual owns in a lifetime?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The End of the Earth

I've ridden in Grassy on numerous occasions - perhaps you'll even remember my bull encounter on the Fourth of July. Needless to say, on Saturday I saw parts of Grassy that offered some incredible views. Now, Dudley wasn't very happy about the steep mountains and rocky country.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Meet Patches

She is 1/2 Australian Sheppard and 1/2 border collie and an absolute sweetie.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Little Does She Know......

Hollywood asked me to go pick up his new puppy today. I've seen smiley dogs reaction to two new puppies on the ranch and she's not been happy! I think the world of this sweet dog and I really don't want her to feel threatened or being pushed away like an old dog! I have not been in favor of getting another dog because I think it will be traumatic for Shadow though I am guilty of assisting in insulating the new dog house!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


People don't realize that a lot of ranch work does not involve riding. This time of year here your are lucky if you get to work on horseback twice a week. The rest of time is spent checking and cleaning waterers, putting out mineral, checking fences, starting generators, pulling windmills, airing tires and fixing flats, etc.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cows have Unique Talents!

This is typical sight after you've given the cows a little syrup! The syrup is a vitamin supplement used on ranches which will hopefully make the cows forage for food. The cows actually take just a few licks and then stop. The last thing one wants is a cow waiting to be feed like someone waiting for a government handout. When did this become such an entitlement society?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Three Amigos

Ringo, Ike and Smokey sunning themselves or perhaps its a line up for the stolen grain robbery. Who done it? I wanted them to perk up for the picture but they were very uncooperative!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wild Cow Milking

The events at a Ranch Rodeo are as follows: ranch bronc riding, team penning, stray gathering, team branding and wild cow milking. Some rodeos add more events it just depends. While the Wild Cow Milking event produces the most laughs I've never seen this done on a ranch but I'm sure at some time or another it may be necessary. For those that read Pioneer Woman - her brother in law Tom Drummond's Ranch along with SweetWater Cattle rocked and ended up as the champion ranch team. If you have any more questions about the ranch rodeo ask away....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Amarillo by Morning

Are you singing yet? Recently, the 14th Annual Ranch Rodeo for the Working Ranch Cowboy Association was held in Amarillo. No, I wasn't competing but there were a few ladies out there! Twenty four qualifying teams from as far away as Florida competed and there were three teams from New Mexico. In subsequent posts I'll explain the events that are set up to simulate actual ranch work but for now I wanted to commend the WRCA for putting on a fabulous event, for honoring the men and women that have been and are part of our armed services at every event and for recognizing the women of ranching in a lovely exhibit.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


When calves get worked they are usually de-horned. This is done for a variety of reason the most important factor I believe is safety. No one wants to be around a snarky cow in the pens with horns, its also harder to move a cow thru a shoot with horns and you can't haul as many in a truck if they've got horns! In an efficient operation a calf can be run worked in less than 60 seconds if you've got a good team but de-horning adds a time to the operation. The Cooperative Research Center for Beef Technologies in Australia is actually developing a DNA test to determine if a cow will produce a calf with horns. Exciting don't you think?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pregnancy Checking

I wonder if the ranches in Australia that run thousands of heads of cows preg test? This is always an interesting time on the ranch - the momma's babies have been weaned and before they are put out to their winter pastures the mommas get preg tested, some shots and some get their teeth checked. They check the teeth in order to know to verify age and to make sure she's got enough teeth to keep eating enough to support her and her calf. There are many decisions that are made in a short period of time and its an time to observe different ranching philosophies ie. if she's not pregnant do you keep her? Many factors go into consideration here. Every ranch is different some cull all that aren't pregnant, some may mark the one's that are open, some may put them back on the bulls - its not just running them through a shoot - and lets not forget the record keeping aspect!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hard Act to Follow

Now, I told Dudley this would be an hard act to follow but he insists that if a goat can balance on a vase on a tight rope with a monkey on his head he can do better. At this point, Dud is contemplating his act. Do any of you have any suggestions?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fixin Fence!

You should always know to wear the oldest pair of jeans when doing any fence work. Barbwire rules! Don't you just love the cowboy plaid ensemble?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Adding to the Water Problem

I believe Irish has nine lives. I won't go into all of the "survival" tales but there are a few! Irish thrives on barking at evil demons and he sees alot of demons - in fence posts, cattle guards, pick up trucks - you name it. Irish is determined to eradicate the the world of evil demons thru his barking. Sometimes I wish I could turn his bark into a hound bawl. Don't you just love the sound of a hound?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Country Living at Its Finest

With my upbringing who would of thought I would relish the idea of shooting small animals? But let me tell you - squirrels are nothing but rats with bushy tails! Don't even think they are cute - once they invade your home - watch out. Now, it would help if Shadow wasn't scared of gunfire and wouldn't run off every time Hollywood shoots the gun then maybe we would of gotten a handle on these varmits! This is Hollywood 2 with a gun. For now, we are replacing dryer hoses, setting traps, putting out poison and sealing every hole we can find. The joys of country living! Anyone want to share squirrel stories?

I was told there would be words.....

Hollywood insisted that the day would most likely be a disaster - the cows had to go under a bridge, didn't know where they were going, were young and hadn't been herded often etc. - I had to admit to myself the ingredients were there for what could potentially be a bad morning but I kept my mouth shut. But it turned out very nicely and there were "no words" - most importantly the cows cooperated which made going under a bridge and crossing another road go smoothly. While we were driving the herd under the bridge one baby jumped the fence. I took it upon myself to go back for the calf. Glad Jefe told me to take my horse! What was I thinking? Dudley performed like a champ between me flagging down traffic, herding the calf (as some of you know calves dont' necessarily herd!) - first the little fellow jumped the guardrail and headed down the road in the wrong direction with no intention of crossing - thankfully Dudley knew his job, the 18 wheelers slowed down and the calf finally spotted the herd on the other side of the bridge. The little fellow went back thru the fence as easily as he had escaped and was quickly re-united with his mother. The only words were words of thanks! Cheer for Dudley and leave a comment please!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bloody Nose!

One of my girlfriends accused me of "riding the piss" out of Dudley because I told her he got a bloody nose. I will admit I rode him hard for two days, up and down some steep hills, over rocky territory and we covered a lot of ground moving cows but I did not "ride the piss out of him" It is a huge pasture and on the second day it as just Hollywood and I gathering the pasture. Yes, if I'd had a second horse I would of ridden a different one on the second day but I didn't. Maybe I'll get another horse for my birthday. Dudley was fairly cooperative but I will admit on the first day he gave me a bit of trouble refusing to listen to me when I insisted we go up another hill in search of cows. One does not like to start up hill with a horse that insists on backing up. Don't worry Dudley got over his bloody nose fairly quickly. Anyone else have a horse that gets a bloody nose occasionally?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I will get back to blogging one of these days. Let me hear from you.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bull # 25066

Saturday I went out for a little ride on Dudley. While it was a quiet morning I heard a bull in the "Grassy" pasture I was pretty sure had been cleared of cattle. Bulls make a very distinct sound its a bellowing kind of roar. It was fairly easy to spot the bull and I thought well I've got enough time, I'll herd him back to the house, pen him and then Hollywood can figure out what to do with him. I thought if they want to keep him in this pasture it will be easy to put him back. Well I approached the bull and he decided ok I'll move but I'm going this way and I've got some flies on my back so I'm going thru the thickest brush I can find (of course, he was headed in the opposite direction of the house. Lord knows I don't know why they call this the Grassy pasture - it is full of some of the thickest brush on the ranch. The bull had a little zippy do da and was moving rapidly in the wrong direction. Everytime I got around him to head him off in the proper direction he would run around a thicket and head back in the wrong direction. Every so often he would hide in the thicket and I would have to double back an fourth before I found him again. I was really proud of Dudley because he was moving thru the most of the thicket without fussing hence he knew his job and was trying his best. Eventually after touring the bush and parts of Grassy I've never been in - we got the bull headed in the right direction and from that point forward he didn't give me much trouble. Now, I did have get off and open a gate - and while he went thru the gate he circled around some bushes and tried to go back in the pasture. But by this time Dudley and I were determined. We got him back and penned him fairly easily. So, thats how my Fourth of July started. How was your Fourth?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Screaming for Text

This photo has not been manipulated. Doesn't it just scream for some text? Can you tell if its a sunset or sunrise?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Alley Work.......

I do like it when I get to cut in the alley. I usually NEVER get to cut the cows from the calves that role is reserved for jefe or the really experienced cowboys but when we are just working cows sometimes I get to work the alley. Though Dudley doesn't particularly like this work I believe it is just outright fun. I cut a certain number of cows usually about four, run them down the alley and shut a gate behind them. That way the cows are ready to be run through the shoot for vaccinations, teeth checks etc. It makes the overall process much more efficient.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Llama Spotting

Someone not too long ago inquired about the llamas. Well I spotted them a few weeks ago. Hollywood always gets a chuckle because as I am looking at these black dot in the distance I'll say something like is that a cow over there? He'll respond, "No, its those damn llamas." It seems like years ago that I rode up on them and Dudley freaked out well anyway they are still here. Though they must be the same sex because thankfully no llama babies!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

Perhaps you saw the post where I compared my mother to horses or thanked her for my love of horses. She's a pretty neat woman. Wish I was there to celebrate!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lonely Horse?

I call him Spot. Don't you wish horses could talk? Spot hangs out by his owner's house, the pond and is seldom ridden. But I do have to give him some credit because he has made friends with some cows and is often seen holding court with them. I look forward to the day the cows leave him in charge of the calves.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This ain't no Bull!

Its a small world after all. Which reminds me when we visited Disney Land as kids my brother was scared to get on the Its a Small World Ride. Pretty funny don't you think?
Enough embarrassing family stories. Here is something really cool that happened today - one of my dearest friends in NC met one of my blogging buddies in NC.
How cool is that? Check out the links both girls are incredible talented!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Irish at Work

It is interesting to watch Irish help us move cattle. Sometimes he is right on target -

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Doesn't it look like this dog is giving me the "evil blue eye"?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ten Things to Know When Moving Cattle

1. Know where you are taking the cattle and/or the general direction
2. Keep your eyes on the cattle and pay attention
3. As you begin gathering don't get in front of anyone elses cows
4. Don't crowd or rush the cattle but keep them moving
5. Do not leave any cows, bulls or calves behind - there are a few exceptions!
6. Keep your horse at a walk unless you need to move faster to take care of a situation
7. Since your horse walks faster than cows at times it is necessary to stop your horse
8. DO NOT run your horse at the cattle unless there is a reason
9. Count the cows, count the cows, count the cows
10. And most importantly be gentle with the cattle they are your livelihood

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Next Step

The babies have fallen behind so we may stop for 20 to 40 minutes and hopefully they will pair up. You must "hold" the cows in place usually around a water source (note the two cowboys in the distanc in the holding pattern). The trick is not to let them walk past the water source and once some of them have had a sip of water they may decide its time to move on and we have to keep holding them in place. There is an art to all this - you can't crowd them and they've got to have enough room to find their babies. As they pair up it gets quieter but of course not all of them pair up. More to follow..

Babies Falling Behind......

You may be thinking what cute babies and yes they are but this situation with the babies falling behind their mommas can become a recipe for disaster. Inevitable this happens because the mommas walk faster. As one baby gets nervous, like anything else they will "feed" off each other and more of them will become nervous. Then that one baby will decide I need to go back and find my momma. Calves will go back to the place they last sucked. You try to keep the calves pushed up in the herd and hope their mommas will come back for them and they will pair up. This day all went well and no calves turned back. Tomorrow I'll share another tip when it comes to moving pairs - I am a big believer in knowledge for everyone!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Ike is a really sweet horse. I've only ridden him a few times - he is sooo wide and a bit taller than Dudley that it is hard for me to get on him. Pure quarter horse. One day he was out in the large pen (I sometimes refer to it as the arena - east coast English rider that I was) doing rollbacks with Studley Dudley. Ike just stood there and watched and watched and watched. Probably thinking how many times is she going to run back and forth down the side of the fence come to a screeching halt and do a 180 and run back in the other direction. But Ike stood there and watched and watched and watched - so much so that when I finished with Dudley I threw my saddle on Ike to see if he wanted to do a few rollbacks. After warming him up a bit it was obvious that IKE preferred being the roll back spectator and not the roll back participant!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Smokin & Jokin

So, which photo do you like better? Any cigar smokers out there?

Assessing the Situation....

Yes, those black dots on the other side of the hill are cows - one may think they have a little mountain goat blood in them! I told them to come down immediately and find their babies or we would take the babies hostage - sure enough they came down off the hill and ran up the canyon! Dudley was none too pleased about having to go down the mountain but at least he didn't have to go up the other side!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Powerful Cowboy

Can't you just feel the electricity?

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Friday, March 27, 2009

Duck is on a Mission

Remember Duck the horse with the really short tail! Yes, he has a bit of cow sense and is politely telling this calf he needs to catch up to his momma - notice the loose rein Hollywood has - one my think that the horse is doing all the work! Way to go Duck!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Moving Cows.....

They were going along so quietly I asked Hollywood to take my picture!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Where is OneCowgirly?

Don'te telle Hollywoode but I whisperrred to her that I was tirede and asket her if she'd walkee. Isn'te she the nicest?

Monday, March 23, 2009


I just love moving cows. Though Dudley gets a little bored because he has to go so slow at times.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I made this program over 20 years ago taking pictures on a ranch in Brady, Texas. Travis was my host and my guide - a true cowboy. I should of known then that my heart was in ranching!

Fence Talk!

Pillow talk, back talk, no talk, google talk, TED talk, Car Talk (one of my favorites!)...whats your line of talk?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

One Potato, Two Potato

The cowboy on the right wants to play paper, rocks, scissors...he is a world champion! But what do you think the cowboy on the left is thinking?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Solice in Sunsets

I just love the wide open spaces of the west! Are you are a sunset or sunrise kind of person? I love both!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Falling into Line......

Good little girls aren't they? Or maybe it is Hollywood's military background.....

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I am constantly amazed at what details some people pay attention to and others don't. What details are important to you, if any? There is actually a details men's magazine (beware its got some spicy articles) Are you a "detail" or big picture person?