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!
All photos and content on this blog are exclusively mine, unless noted.
Please DO NOT copy or reproduce in any way without my permission...just ask!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gettin' Back on Track...Hopefully

~Some days, I just don't want to talk to anyone.~
~Anne Brooks 1886~

I think that quote just kinda sums up how I've been feeling lately. Thank you to all who inquired if all was well with me. Feeling blah could be blamed on a number of things and I really don't know for sure...but it's probably the dreaded menopause thing.

But, I'm sitting here staring at a copy of the entry form that I mailed today for the Lake County Spring Cow Horse Classic. So, that in itself should get a fire burnin' under me.

The Mike Bridges clinic was very good. Nothing really exciting happened. We performed our "homework" before going on to the new stuff. Considering that most riders are like myself and don't have an indoor facility for winter riding, Mike said we did really well. Like I mentioned before, it's not a pass for fail thing, but you know where you stand with your horse at the end of the day in the whole scope of the Project. A couple of the riders are contemplating getting different horses; the horses have some past issues that are making them difficult as Project horses.

It's always educational to watch and listen to what everyone else is doing too. I took advantage of the opportunity to stay a couple extra days and audit the Advanced Project 5 group. They're doing the same homework as my Beginning group, but their horses have already completed a 5 year Project and are either in the two-rein or in the bridle. What I found most interesting is that all of the problems we (the beginners) were having with the exercises (keeping circles round, getting the right amount of bend or flexion for the movement) the advanced group had the exact same problems! That just tells me that it's an on going thing, and the sooner you get it right the better it will be for you and your horse as you move forward toward the bridle phase.

It's been a really busy time since the clinic. Colt and I got to go to a couple more brandings, and we've sorted and moved pairs numerous times. I've also got a pile of ag surveys on the dining room table that I'm wading through. The Horsefly publication went to press today, so that's done for another month!

Things are starting to look more like spring here, but it's slow comin'...

Apple Blossoms
Apple Blossoms

If we're lucky and it doesn't freeze, we might get some apples this year. The rhubarb is HUGE!! I'm going to try and make some strawberry/rhubarb freezer jam today. I've got peas coming up and have them fenced off so the dang sage rats don't eat them. The Walla Walla sweet onions I planted don't look so good...I think they've got too much water and not enough sun...kinda like everything else around here.

The alfalfa is doin' its best to grow.
My Man and I started the irrigation back on May 11...and that only lasted for three days. We've had so much rain and snow that we haven't irrigated since. The alfalfa is growing, and it looks a lot better than most everyone else's, but we're at least two weeks behind (maybe even three) in the growing year. We're crossing our fingers that we get three cuttings this year.

Number Three is Growing
Number Three and her mother Annabelle are doing good on the spring grasses.
The calves are growing though!! Number Three is quite the chunk!

Young Robin
A fledgling Robin.
From my last two posts, remember the pretty blue Robin's eggs and the ugly babies? Well, guess who (as of today) is out of the nest?!? That was only 12 days ago!!! I can't believe they grow that fast! That momma Robin is one feisty momma though. My Man gets dive bombed every time he goes in for wood (yes, we're still running the wood stove).

Great Horned Owlet
Great Horned owlet
The Great Horned owlettes are out of the nest too! I've spotted two of them so far, but there could be more. I don't think they're flying yet. But, they look so cute in their fuzzy, fluffy down.

We got our calves and cows branded. Since we still don't have the wood corrals built yet, we took the panels from the round pen and set up a catch pen and a small holding pen. There's an electrical outlet right there so we could plug in our electric branding iron. Everyone got their vaccinations too.

Our 1st Branded Calf
Number Three sports her new brand.

Gettin' it Done
Nope, we didn't drag 'em to the fire with a horse...just muscled it and got 'er done!

May 20 was a very sad, tragic day for our lil' community. I've posted many times about the TI Ranch. They're just a mile and quarter north of us, and we've become very good friends over the years. Well, Sam had a really bad wreck on her new horse as they were getting ready to move their cows across the road to spring grazing. She was taken off life support the next day.

My friend Sam; may she rest in peace and ride good horses in heaven with the angels.
Patches, her trusty barrel horse, will miss her as much as the rest of us.
It sure hits hard when you know that any time you step up onto a horse the same thing could happen to you. In fact, Colt unseated me (for the very first time) just a week prior to Sam's accident. My friend Mary and I were moving a few pairs of her cows that got separated from the rest of the herd by the rising flood waters, and we got them back together. As we rode along headed back to the trailer, we kept finding deer antler sheds. We were passing them back and forth as Mary got off her horse, handed them to me and I passed them back to her after she got back on. Then we found a carcase from last winter that had the head and both antlers attached. It didn't have any skin on it, but it did smell a bit. Mary hands it up to me, I'm sitting on Colt watching this bug crawl across it and the next thing I know, I'm on my a$$ on the ground! Colt got a whiff of the stinkin' head and blew. No damage was done, but now he has a paranoia of antlers! So, we'll be doing some antler desensitizing in the round pen.

A Spot of Spring
A spot of spring on the deck.
Well, I think I feel better getting all of this written.

Hug everyone you care about and tell them you love them every day~


Mikey said...

I am SO sorry for your loss. There just aren't words for something like that. Sending you a cyber hug.

Cowgirl Rae said...

Storms in life sometimes take all the wind off the sails and certainly leave one stalled. I completely understand. Its OK to draw back and regroup. I'm very sorry for your loss. Some weeks I have more funky days than shining, thats for sure.
Just keep forward progress no matter how small.

Laura Crum said...

Very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. That is terribly sad and also scary. It could happen to any of us--I think we all know that. That was a lovely photo of her that you posted. Good wishes to you--Laura

mugwump said...

I'm glad you're back and I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. It's a hard one to live with.

5 Starr's Farm said...

Big Hug to you Gtyyup, Sorry about your friend, thank you for sharing your thoughts.....

Shirley said...

I figured you'd be back when things settled down a bit.Nothing wrong with being in a blue funk, especially when you have just lost a friend. That leaves a pretty big hole, and makes us face our own mortality. Hugs to you, and prayers for her family.
The little birds are wonderful, you are so blessed to see baby owls.
Your brand looks pretty good, I like the location high up on the hip like that, makes it easier to read from horseback.

Jeni said...

I am very sorry for the loss of your friend. Very tragic indeed.

Love the pictures of the fledglings =)

Heart of a Cowgirl said...

You are right, we get on our horses and never think twice... so sad that your friend is gone. Take care of yourself Karen.

paint_horse_milo said...

Im glad to see you back and can totally understand why you needed some time and space. I hope you, her family, and the community is doing well.

Susan said...

Sorry about your friend. I'm glad everything else is going well.

I gotta tell you, you look way too clean sitting on that calf. You're not posing are you? Haha.

DarcC said...

I'm so sorry that you lost your friend Sam. My sympathy and prayers to you and to her family. What a terrible loss. Your portrait of her and Patches would have been beautiful at any time, it is especially poignant now.

wilsonc said...

Oh! Karen! I am so sorry about the loss of your friend. Thank heaven you live so in touch with the land, the animals, the rhythms of life. It will help you to heal and to remember Sam with a peaceful heart.

Maia said...

I am so sorry for your loss. The same thing happened to me a few years ago. A friend of mine was at a horse show and the horse balked at a jump and she went over it and broke her neck. I'm sure your friend is up there riding in the clouds and my thoughts and prayers go out to you and her family.

Menopause stinks. Just tell yourself and this too shall pass.

Nichole said...

Your photography is stunning!

Janice said...

Karen very sorry about the loss of your friend....That is a very good picture of her....nice way to be remembered.Your bird shots are amazing but then all your stuff is. We are having what I call a stupid Spring too. I think we have gone from Winter a periodic week of sun and now we are headed back to Winter.I guess I shouldn't least we don't get the kind of weather you guys get across the line....well at least not yet!I hope your spirits lift some and you feel like yourself. Stay safe....and warm.

Rain said...

I am sorry for the loss of your friend. Life can end so abruptly, so many ways.

Is your area not concerned about the horse virus that has so many events canceled with people fearful of it spreading to their animals? I haven't heard whether it's impacting events in our area of the Willamette Valley but guess it is a lot of places in the West. It'll be good when they find a vaccination for it.

gtyyup said...

Thank you everyone for your condolences and thoughts for Sam's family.It's greatly appreciated.

@Susan...aren't you funny! Yes, I'm's not often I get to hold down the calf ;~) I had plenty of manure on myself at the end of the afternoon. The cows were not being very cooperative gettin' in the squeeze chute!

@Rain...yes, we're concerned even in our lil' spot in the world. Rumor has it that a horse went from the Ogden UT show to the Gem State show in Ontario, OR and there were 4-5 riders from our county that attended the Gem State show. The cutting club canceled the show on May 28. We hope it all clears up by June 18. Only time will tell~

Val said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Life can go at any moment.

I understand the blues too...been there and it is tough.


Ed said...

Glad to hear all is o.k. even though a bit rough, great shot of the owlet..:-))

Rhonda said...

I enjoyed all your updates and pictures very much. Glad you are "back." :) But please, please know, that I really feel for you concerning your friend Sam. That is just so sad. You are right, anytime you are involved with big animals like cattle, horses, etc., anything can happen, even if you've been around them a long time. Love ya', and hang in there.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin