Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Welcome to the Rough String, and thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee and sit a spell!
10/22/18 You will see a name change on the blog. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past few years, and I feel compelled to share my story.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bringin' 'um to the Fire

~The way to avoid housework is to live outside.~
~Sandra Blacksmith 1900~

No truer words have ever been spoken!!! And yesterday was the perfect day to be outside in what I consider "God's Country."

Not only was it just the right temperature (60 F) with just a slight breeze, the sun was shinning gloriously!!!

My Man and I were invited up to Bossman Dan's branding...you know the one with all the dutch oven cookin'? There weren't too many ropers, and a couple of them I new I could do better. So, I put my big girl panties on and got Colt ready. I asked Dan if I could give it a try, and he said OK...take lil' ones, watch out for the other ropers, and be careful. YES!

Our neighbor Martin was in the pen on his horse, and he said to take a lil' one...so I did...well, I missed the one I was aimin' for. The loop landed just behind the calf's ears and then conveniently slid to the left right around the head of calf next to it...hey...it wasn't branded yet, so I'll take it!

Ropin' isn't easy is all I can say. Someone was lookin' out for me on our first calf...now remember, neither Colt nor I have ever roped before. I know the sayin'...green on green makes black and blue...but Colt was perfect! His instincts kicked in (and our years of hard work training), and he did everything I asked him to do.

My First Catch
First calf caught...pulling him forward for Martin to catch the heels.

Colt's First Calf to the Fire
Martin missed his shot, but my friend Pat caught, and we got the calf to the fire.
Pat and I get this calf to the fire and I'm smilin' 'n cryin' at the same time...I'm sitting there on my trusty steed holding a calf to be branded...somethin' I never would have imagined myself doing five years ago. It was just the greatest feelin'!

Keeping the tension made me nervous...worried about Colt moving and stretching the calf too much.

My friends Pat and Mary thought it'd be best if I let them head and I take the heel shots...it would be better for Colt and myself since we are beginners. It made sense to me.

I made lots more misses than catches, but we helped get quite a few to the fire.

Last Calves of the Day
The last two calves of the day. Pat's on the heels of one and I'm on the heels of the other.
A couple of calves got through the brandin' pen fence and we had to round them up to finish the day. I got a good heel shot in and was thrilled to end the day sitting on Colt next to Pat on Lil' Joe with the last two calves of the day!

Friends at the End of the Day
L-R Mary, myself, and Pat...the ending of a truly awesome day!
Well, you won't be hearin' from me for a week. The trailer's loaded with a ton of warm cloths and winter weather gear. The forecast says 90% chance of rain tomorrow...and we don't ride in an indoor arena at the clinic either...gotta Cowgirl Up!!

Hope you all have a great week...and many blessings to you and yours on this Easter Sunday.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Number Three

~He told me I'm a real woman,
But I'm not sure what he meant.~
~Betty McClare 1901~

Participating a fun blog hop over at:

Let me introduce you to Number Three, born March 25, 2011, out of Annabelle, sired by Goof (I'm sure Goof has a fancy registered name since he's purebred, but his owner just calls him Goof). Number Three is a permanent fixture now for our herd...she should make some awesome calves.

Number Three 1/2
"I'm pretty? Thank you very much!"

OK, Number Three isn't a very "country" name. I had asked for some suggestions for naming her and readers suggested Clarabelle, Isabelle and Grace. My Man and I  couldn't decide and we kept calling her Number Three, and it just sort of stuck.

But remember Seven of Nine? She was a character on Star Trek: Voyager. I always thought she was very pretty and elegant. They called her Seven. (yes, I have a lil' bit of Trekkie in me ;~)

So, we have Three of Three.

Number Three.

She's pretty (look at those eyes) and elegant, but she doesn't have any bio-implants!

Question...which of these two photos of Number Three do you like best...I can't make up my mind and want my reader's opinion. One of them will be entered into the county fair this September...so help me decide!

Number Three 2/2
Three of three...Number Three

Life at the ranch...they seem to like it here!

The CowGirls & Calves
The CowGirls & calves takin' a sunbath after a good breakfast.

Enjoy your Friday. It's Good Friday and it's Earth Day...a great day for sure!

SkyWatch Friday

Sky in the Eye
Sky in the Eye
The reflection in Colt's eye includes blue sky, clouds, my camera, my hat, and my cattle dog Cowboy.

See more skies from around the world at SkyWatch Friday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Clinic Time Again

~I'll ride anything with four legs and a tail.~
~Amy Stewart 1902~

That quote has pretty much always been my motto...jogging, bicycles, motorcycles...never been my thing. I've always said "If I can't do it with 4 legs under me, I don't wanna do it!"

Yep, the horse under all that mud from last Tuesday's post was Colt...he does clean up pretty good ;~)

My Show Pony~Colt
What mud? I hardly had any mud on me!
Besides, it gives character...shows the REAL horse!

I've been busy getting ready for Session III of my Mike Bridges Project 5 clinic.  For my new readers, "The Project is a 5 year study course, in which participants learn the process of Making a California Vaquero Style Bridle Horse." (quote taken from Mike Bridges website) The Project sessions are every spring and fall for 5 years. You can read more about Mike's clinics HERE.

This past winter and spring have not been very conducive to "productive" training, but it seems that everyone in the Project had the same problem.  I heard through the grapevine that Mike told Project 4 participants to just do the best that you can on the "homework", and that he understood the difficulties we'd been having.

Homework...we get a list of maneuvers that we practice at home and then come back to the next session and perform them, one rider at a time. There isn't a pass or fail...you'll know if you've got it or not. But if you want to have a good bridle horse in the end, you work as hard as you can.

My Show Pony~Colt
Is this my better side?

I'm leaving on Sunday and My Man'll be batchin' it for 7 days. He's totally self sufficient, and I don't have to worry about a thing when I'm gone. The fridge is stocked and hay is in the barn...that'll do!

My Show Pony~Colt
How 'bout this side?
It'll be Cindy Sue, Colt 'n me. I'll take my laptop, but there won't be any internet connection available.

Mane Hair Mecate, Horn & Sky
The clouds and light were so nice...just had to play around with the camera.

I'm finishing up the May issue of Horsefly, packing, riding...Saturday we go to a branding...daylight's burnin'...gotta go!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's Not to Like About Spring?!?

~I've always been a tomboy
and never wore a dress except to get married in.~
~Fannie Barrel 1900~

What's Not to Like About Spring?

I know I'm not the only one with muddy horses, and I'm sure we don't have it nearly as bad as a bunch of you...

I'm just commiserating with y'all!!!

The 19 degrees this mornin' froze up all the mud, but the sun is shinning beautifully and it's going to be a pretty nice spring day.

Here's to beautiful spring days for everyone!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

McLeod's Daughters~A Review

It all started with a post from a fellow blogger...remember Pony Girl Rides Again???!!! Way back...way back...way back when...she posted that she was going to watch the first episode of a TV series called McLeod's Daughters.

This series is from Australia TV and based around 5 women running a cattle and sheep ranch named "Drover's Run." How could I resist!!! In March of 2009 we found McLeod's Daughters on Netflix (the only TV we watch) and tonight, April 16, 2011, and 224 episodes later, we watched the finale.

Two hundred twenty-four episodes?!? Yep...8 seasons. I gotta tell ya, Australians know how to do TV...that averages out to 28 episodes per season!!! They actually give you something to watch!

I have to say that the first few episodes were a bit corny to our standards because they were doing "rodeo" and laying out the backgrounds for the characters.  Now Australian rodeo is probably different than what we are accustomed to here in the USA, but we didn't have anything to compare it to, so we (we meaning My Man and I) focused on the characters; we enjoyed the animals...cattle, sheep, horses, and dogs...and the terminology. It was educational! Muster is gather, drench is worm, drove is trail...you get my meaning. It was GREAT! BTW, they cleaned the water troughs continually...more than I can say for my troughs (they were makin' me feel guilty)!

I really enjoyed this series for a lot of things...(all photos are courtesy of McLeod's Daughters photo gallery)...

Action...on horses of course!...

Romance...and beautiful weddings...


Lots of horses!!...

Interesting relationships...

Gorgeous scenery...

And there is so much more...

There were many times that tears were shed...yes, I do cry quite often. There were times when I wished a character would just GO AWAY because they were so irritating  to me...

And, you should know by now that I like my music, and I thoroughly enjoyed the music in this series; especially this main song...

McLeod's Daughters gets a "two thumbs up" from the Rough String Ranch...hope you get a chance to see it if you haven't already!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sun and Snow = Spring!

~I hope it's a good season and I get out of debt.
If not, I'll have to count on some good luck.~
~Sherry Decker 1898~

Participating in:

It's a blog hop...check it out!

It sunshines...it snows...back to sunshine...Mother Nature is such a tease this year! It is unseasonable cold, but the good news is that our normal amount of precipitation is higher than usual.

Thankfully we are on high ground whereas the folks on the flood plain have already had issues with flooding and the mountain snows have barely started to melt...it could be ugly for them and I pray that we have a slow melt for their sakes.

All we can do it take one day at a time~

A Bit of Warming Sun
Tat the Barn Cat found a spot of sun on my Aldo Leopold bench.
He's probably wondering where spring is too!

Signs of Spring
Despite the snow and cold, spring pushes onward.

View from the Rim Rock
A look back at the ranch house from the rim rock.

Let's Play!
Colt and Gus are whoopin' it up in the cool, crisp mornin' air.

Today Colt and I will help move heifers and their calves into the corrals for branding at the 3J Ranch. Tomorrow My Man and I will help McCoy Creek move a herd across the desert to their spring range. It's a good day when I can be in the saddle!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Home, Home on the Range

~I am exactly who I want to be.~
~Barbara Wooley 1900~

I helped the 3J Ranch sort out pairs and trail them out to their spring grazing area last week and again yesterday. It seems like calving just started, but when a ranch has hundreds of cows, branding has to start and then with getting the pairs out to graze, there's no time to waste. It takes lots of time to get it all done.

Trailing to Spring Range
Trailing to Spring Range
It was a cold, windy day. The grass is starting to come up, but normally it would be at least twice as tall as it is now.

After trailing them a couple of miles to the first water hole, we circle the herd up and wait for the mother cows to find their calves...

Waiting to Mother Up
Waiting to Mother Up

...and wait...

Waiting and Waiting
Waiting and Waiting

...still waiting...

See that nice dark sky? That was the nice hail storm we had to drive the cows and calves into...no one was happy including Colt...all he wanted to do was turn his butt to the wind. But, we couldn't let the herd fall apart...gotta do whatcha gotta do to get the job done...

Still Waiting...Patience
Still Waiting...Patience
...and wait some more...can't tell a cow what to do...eventually she'll figure it out.

It may have been cold and windy yesterday, but it at least my butt wasn't wet at the end of the day like last week! The wind was at our backs on the ride back to the ranch last week, and the snow piled up on my back and slid down into the seat of my saddle...duh me for forgettin' my oilskin slicker!

Ridin' back to the ranch last week.

Hope your trails are warm and sunny!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Stills~4 Points: N, S, E, & W

~While I'm cooking or dish washing,
I keep my head filled with beautiful dreams.~
~Vera Rains 1901~

This week's Sunday Stills photo challenge: "Find an interesting or not so interesting place and stand and take pics of the 4 points of the compass. North, South, East and west. The point of this challenge is that we have a tendency to only look in one direction when taking pics. for instance photographing a sunset you rarely look behind you to see the setting sun light up a barn or hillside ot beside you to notice the shadows created by the trees or other objects."

I thought this was a fun and different type of challenge and did a few different spots, but this one is my favorite. I spend a lot of time in the round pen with my horses and have always been awe-inspired by the beauty of the land...every way I look~

Round Pen: North
The barn...with the infamous old blue paint that everyone seems to love ;~)
And two dogs...Cowboy 'n Abby

Round Pen: South
South...the rim rock and another dog too...Bella Jo.
At the lowest spot at the top of the rim, that's where
the water fall comes down when we have heavy
snow melting and/or a huge downpour of rain.

Round Pen: East
East...in the mornin' sunrise, our alfalfa field in the foreground
 and the neighbor's horses grazing in the distance.

Round Pen: West
West...me 'n my shadow...

Check out the other participants by going to the comments section HERE and click on the links...enjoy!