Howdy 'n Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee, and enjoy the ride! You can contact me at gtyyup at wildblue dot net. See ya on down the trail!
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Please DO NOT copy or reproduce in any way without my permission...just ask!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

First Cattle Drive of 2009

What??? Where'd all that snow come from??? Well, this is what it looked like around here last year at this same time. That's Cowboy & Abby helping me plow out the drive.

Thank goodness we're having a mild spell right now!

On New Year's Eve, we had dinner at the Pine Room. The owners are our neighbors and have a pretty big ranching outfit. They have property here at Princeton and at Diamond (about 30 miles south). Well, they were talking about trailing cows from Princeton to Diamond, and we offered to help...and they took us up on the offer!

It took 3 days, but we got 'um there...

~~Day One~~

My Man on his fancy new chinks.

Martin riding Red counting his cows as they go through the gate.
Snoops, one dang good cow dog, waiting impatiently for work to start.

Martin counted approx 170 cows that would make the trip. They're all bred cows, and the majority of them summer in Diamond, so they sort of know the way. They've never been trailed all the way from Princeton before, but they definitely new the right direction.

It took us almost 2 hours to cut out the older cows and get the remaining herd through 2 pastures and 2 miles down State Hwy 78. That's where they stayed the first night. Martin just wanted to get them down the main highway on a slow traffic was a good plan, we only had 4 rigs go through the herd.

~~Day 2~~

My Man had to go to his job in town, so Martin and I...and of course Snoops the cow dog... got started at 7:30 a.m. and it was a cold frosty morning. The pavement was pretty slick, and we took it as slow as the cows would go, but they felt pretty frisky and trotted along pretty quickly.

For the first 2 1/2 miles it was tricky because of open driveways and fields that the cows kept wanting to "go visit." With just 2 riders and one dog, we did a pretty good job.

But, you tell me why the guy who owns the pivot with brand new mint seedlings wouldn't close the gate to his field...duh!!! It's open range out here, and it's the responsibility of the land owner to fence off what they don't want animals running on...well, about 30 head of cows and Colt made lots of big holes in about a quarter acre of his field.

We're finally past all the tricky stuff and into the open range.
Snoops is such a great dog...he does a great job keeping the cows gathered up.

Mary showed up about 9:30 with the support vehicle...water, pop, hot coffee, cold beer or whiskey...whatever suites your coffee was perfect for me. Martin took the wheel (and took advantage of the truck heater) while Mary rode her lil' roan mare.

Of course there was beautiful scenery all along the way.

Riddle Mountain

Dry Lake on the left.

After about 13 miles of trailing, we finally arrived at the Jenkins' ranch where alfalfa and water awaited the herd. They sure were a happy bunch of cows when they saw that hay!

The end of the trail on Day 2.
3:15 p.m.
It was a pretty long day for cows, horses, and riders.

~~Day 3~~

Martin came to pick me and Colt up at 7:15 a.m. It was another cold, frosty morning with white covering the pavement. By the time we got to the Jenkins' ranch and unloaded, it was 7:45...the cows were rested and ready to go again.

Yep, I actually can take photos of something besides cow butts!

Today's trail was a lil' bit shorter...about 11 miles. But, it seemed to go really quickly. It warmed up nicely to about 48 degrees. The cows were a lil' slower than the day before...but can ya blame them!! They stayed off of the pavement as much as they could. Some of the cows were getting tender footed. We just let them pick their pace.

Mary showed up again with her support truck...refreshments tasted mighty good!

We've finally made it to the Diamond Valley and onto the gravel road.

We trailed past Mary's ranch, and she has one
of the prettiest views in Harney County.
This is her ranch with the Steens Mountain in the background.
See all that brown grass, well it's wild hay and in the
summer it grows to 3 feet high...absolutely beautiful.

And here we are...the cows are home!!! See Snoops still working the cows...we had to call him back! Well, that called for a cold beer while we stood around talking for a while. What a fun time it was. But, it wouldn't have been any fun if we would have moved them in blowing, cold snow! Luck was on our side this time.

Some happy but tired they can calve anytime they want!

I'm so proud of my Colt guy. He had a few moments where he was nervous because he couldn't see the other horses and he got impatient having to stand and wait for the cows. But, he really needed this to help him grow up. He learned a lot, and I think he's taken a big step toward being a well-rounded cow horse. He needs more of the same, but I sure love that horse!



Amanda said...

Can I go on the next one with ya? I got my own horse Annie!!

Heart of a Cowgirl said...

I love rounding up/moving cattle. It's great for my horse and therapeutic for me! I always think about the cowboys "back in the day" and what they went through...

Jocelyn said...

I totally want to go on the next one!
Count me in!

Ranch Diva Rachel said...

I think I need to drive thru your country just to enjoy the scenery and get right and calm. In the summer of course. LOL

XoXo Meg! said...

I am so there! Do you have any idea how long it's been since I have done that?

Lol! That almost sounded perverted, lol!!!Sorry!

Love you and your blog!

Julie said...

Karen, Thank you so much for taking me along for the ride, Wow what I wouldn't do for a day of that!, Not to compete but check out my blog...for a Michigan weather day

the7msn said...

Lord have mercy, I'm so envious I can't begin to tell you. And only two riders and one dog for 170 head? You guys are beyond good.

Latigo Liz said...

I am sooo jealous right now! So!

C-ingspots said...

You lucky girl!! That looks like it was so much fun - I"ve never done anything like that before, but would sure like to someday. Yep, you're one lucky gal that's for sure!! And, give that Coltster a big old hug for me for being such a good boy!!

The Wife said...

Y'all did an awesome job! Thanks for taking us along for the trip!

Kathleen Coy said...

Wow, that is amazing, thanks for taking us along. Except now I'm feeling like my life has been pretty unadventurous lately. Ah well, it's too dang cold right now to do anything outside...

Anonymous said...

Now I'm really jealous!

Celeste said...

What a great way to spend three days, the scenery is stunning. Colt must have had a great time learning all that new stuff.

jane augenstein said...

Wow, great pictures! What gorgeous scenery you have there!

Ed said...

How cool is that!!!!! Great job taking pics from the saddle, I'm proud of ya... :-)

Java's Mom said...

WOW!! How cool are you and colt! Amazing ride, thank you for posting. Awesome!!

Pony Girl said...

That looked like a lot of fun, thanks for taking us along the ride! I've always wanted to do a cattle drive. Not sure My Boy and I could do it though, I don't think he's a cow pony, LOL! I bet it was a great experience for Colt! Nothing like a few long days of sweaty saddle blankets on a cattle drive to get a horse thinking on his feet!

~~gail~~mooselovingmamabear said...

Thanks for taking me along thru your amazing photos and words...

Andrea said...

Wow! I am in just in awe at your life....thank you so much for taking me along the journey...your photos and words made me feel like I was right there! :) I would love to do something like for real one day. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, what fun. Thanks for taking us on the journey with you. I've got something I want to share with you, come on over and check it out.

Holly said...

Just found your blog via Mikey. This sounds like so much fun and Colt is gorgeous. He looks big for a cow pony, how tall is he?


Mikey said...

Very cool, thanks for taking us along! I like it this way better, cause it looks MIGHTY cold up there. You guys definitely did a good job!! Love those new chinks, they look great!
You're right about Colt too, there's NOTHING better than moving cows, rounding up and putting miles on to make a horse 100 times better. I took my big off track Quinn out on a harsh rocky roundup, he came back a very tired new horse, who now pays attention to where he puts his feet, lol. He grew up on that ride.
That's good stuff girl, you go!!

Country Whispers said...

Hello! Just wanted to let you know that I have a blog award waiting for you. Come on over and get it!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awesome! You are living my dream life, Karen!
And yipeee for Colt. He's a big boy now. Way to go, both of you.

We're you feeling a little saddle sore afterwards?

Do you know folks pay alot of money to go on vacation and do what you just did? You're living the real Old West, my friend. Good job!


Andrea said...

What a great three days!! It's so wonderful that you had good weather for that!! And the scenery there is breathtaking!! I love it!!

Good job for you and Colt!! And I never have thought about how the cow's hooves would start to get tender. That was interesting.

Someday I will get to go on a cattle drive!! Great pictures and thanks for sharing the ride with us!!

The W.O.W. factor said...

I'm jealous too! It's been a long time since I've got to do that! Nothin' beats GOOD working dogs too! Saves manpower for sure & horsepower too!

Shirley said...

Thanks for sharing! Love the scenery and especially like the shot with your shadow in it. It's been years since I've had the opportunity to trail cattle; it really is great for young horses.

Tracey said...

Sniff...I must move. Or start driving my sheep.

Nah. Move.

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