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, October 30, 2011

Champagne Anyone? There's Cause for Celebration!

Come on...let's celebrate!!!

Hmmmmm...looks like it's gonna be a BYOB celebration.
This bottle's empty!!

Oops...sorry we didn't save any for you...but I can tell you that it tasted good!!

What's the big celebration for? Well, Brego's found his person...and he'll be moving to Virginia!! Yep, Virginia!! We're all pretty excited...Brego, J (the buyer), and me!

J flew into Portland OR and then had to drive the 6 hours to get to Burns...but she made it. Yesterday afternoon, my friend Andi, local trainer Corinne Elser and J came out to the ranch to check him out.

I showed his round pen work and then rode him and ponied Colt down to the arena...Colt was there for moral support!! Brego has never had 5 people all around staring at him! He took it all in stride...I was very proud of him.

We rode in the arena; walk, trot, and canter...stop and back...he's doing beautiful circles and his stop is awesome.

Corinne is checking out Brego's mind...she's testing how well
he can handle movement of her body while riding him.

Next trainer Corinne, winner of the Western States Mustang Challenge in 2008 at the age of 22, spent some time evaluating Brego's temperament and ability. If J decided to purchase Brego, he would be spending the winter in training with Corinne.

Of course the ultimate test is whether J and Brego make a connection with each other.

Getting to know each other...the mind meld.

Brego has always been leery of strangers...we don't get a lot of people out to the ranch, so he's pretty much a one person horse at this point.

But after just a little bit of handling and trust building with Corinne, he was fine with her...and the same with J. His heart is big, and he wants to please...he's just cautious.

In the end, J and Brego hit it off very nicely!!

After putting Brego and Colt back out to pasture, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner (which My Man cooked...what a man he is!!!). Five horse people at the dinner table is a lot of fun!

Congratulations J, you've found the horse that can let you achieve your goals...and congratulations Brego, for finding the home that you've been searching for for many years.

We wish you both all the best~


Friday, October 28, 2011

More Fall Photos~Farm Photo Friday

~I've won more bets than any man I know.~ 
~Alberta Canyon 1886~

This post just kinda expands on yesterday's post...fall activities from the past few weeks...pics I liked, but didn't get a chance to post. I thought today would be a good day to get 'er done!

I'm participating in Fresh from the Farm's Farm Photo Friday...check out the other farm photos!!

My expanded raised garden beds gave us a wonderful bounty this year. I don't think anything tastes better than food grown in your own garden.

Fresh From the Garden
Fresh from the Garden

When the weather forecast predicted night time temps to get down into the teens, I decided I better get the last of the onions pulled and save anything else I could from the freezing temperatures. The Walla Walla Sweet onions proved to be quite a wheelbarrow full!

I've got them in a cool, dry, dark place, and would like to make onion braids. Has anyone done them before and have any tips? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Onions to Cry...err...Die For!
Onions anyone? I think onion rings!!

Fruit trees aren't real common here in SE Oregon...with the short growing season, cold springs, and it's been known to snow in July, some years you just don't get a crop...but this year was the best I've seen in the six year's we've been here. We just have the one apple tree; a Northern Spy we think. They made wonderful apple crisp and applesauce!

An Apple a Day
An Apple a Day

We're late in getting our two calves weaned...but this weekend the deed will get done. Number Three and Black Calf will go over to a friend of ours and pasture with his 50 head of calves. After 30 days, we'll bring Number Three back home to be part of our cow herd...Black Calf will go to Producers auction...he'll make some mighty fine beef. Goof sure makes nice calves!

Time to Wean
Number Three is growing nicely...she'll be a nice lil' heifer!
We're excited to expand our tiny herd.

Fall time is a busy time for the ranchers. I always like getting a phone call for help. On a day ride, we gathered Rancher Dan's first year heifers off of Moon Hill and trailed them down to their ranch.

Gathering Heifers in the Fall
Gathering first year heifers for Rancher Dan.

Down Into the Canyon
Heading down into the canyon.

McCoy Creek Canyon
Here the heifers are home at McCoy Creek Canyon...
one of the prettiest places in Harney County.

On another weekend, we helped trail his mother cows north to their winter pasture...a two day drive.

Enjoying the Ride
Me and Colt...trailing the herd.

It's about a 23 mile trip. As we drive the cows along the county road, pickups with horse trailers come through...off to do the same thing on another ranch, and livestock semi trucks come through loaded with calves heading for market...like I said...everyone's busy getting things done before winter sets in.

Winter Pasture
Arriving at winter pasture.

These cows will calve here next spring...the calves will get branded...and we move them back south to summer pasture...the circle of life goes on~

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Days

~I try to trust life, but it keeps knocking me on my bottom.~
~Laura Dawn 1875~

We've had pretty sunrises all week, but the mornings have been cold; it's been in the mid teens the past few mornin's...a whoppin' 20 this morn. We took the tank floats out last weekend, but haven't put the tank heaters in yet...tryin' to deny that winter is coming...but we're breaking ice on the tanks...

Pastel Dawn
...guess our awesome fall has probably come to a close. It's supposed to be in the low 60's during the day and mid 30's this weekend...I can do that!!

Ol' Man Toby is gettin' his costume ready for Halloween...
I remember when I first started blogging that I carved a pumpkin and posted for Halloween...so I checked the date...two days ago 10/25/11, was the three year blogiversary for Life at the Rough String. My, how the years fly by! This past summer I didn't get very many posts done...other things seemed to take precedence. Lately I've been trying to figure out how to cut out the distractions...I think the biggest distraction is FaceBook...that stupid ticker thing keeps rolling and it's addicting. I like to see the new photos people are posting...but I've had it up to my eyeballs with the stupid jokes and cartoons...if you've got a suggestion how to get that stuff off of FaceBook, let me know!!

Great Horned Owl...youngster or adult?

I have some bad news about the owl family. While I was gone at the Mike Bridges Clinic a month ago, My Man found one of the owls on the ground at the irrigation pump. It most likely died from electrocution. We found a stray cat up on the electric pole one time...not alive...ewwy; poor thing.

What we can't figure out is whether the owl that died was the male adult or one of the youngsters. I'm pretty sure that the female is still here in the elm trees, then I spotted this one yesterday too. The youngsters are now 8 months old, so I don't think they have any of their baby fuzz left. This one doesn't have any, but neither did the one that was found dead...it's sad.

I've done some internet searching, but wasn't able to find whether the pairs mate for life. I hope not, and that the female will find a new mate. We enjoy seeing them, and that round hole in the rim rock is the perfect nest. If you have any info, please leave a comment.

On a happier note, Dr. Jessica came out yesterday to perform Brego's pre-purchase exam.

Smile for the Camera!

Brego has a prospective buyer...and a few back up options too. But, this buyer will be flying out from Virginia to meet Brego this weekend! If the buyer decides to take him, Brego will go into training for the winter months with Corrine Elser. She's an awesome young trainer with lots of mustang experience...as well as just good common sense horsemanship. Then in the spring, he'll get shipped back to Virginia where he'll be venturing into some Cowboy Dressage (from what I understand). It's very exciting...but nothing's final yet.

Saturday will be the day of "yea or nay"...or would that be Yeah or Neigh?!? Keep those good thoughts for Brego comin'...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Stills ~ Rocks and Rock Formations

~Men can be really wonderful 
when they listen to you.~ 
~Mabel Potts 1877~ 

Rocks...and more rocks...

Well, if we could grow alfalfa like we can grow rocks around here, we'd be rich!

Rock Wall
This natural fence line runs three quarters of a mile through our ranch.
Our alfalfa fields at the base of the rim have some
of the best soil in the county because through the centuries the wind
 has blown the top soil off of the upper level onto the lower level.

Hunters Full Moon
The Hunter's Full Moon rising over Hat Butte from October 11.
Buttes such as this are most common.

Over the Edge
Every little crack gathers soil has something trying to plant it's roots into it.
Over this edge is a 30 foot drop. The background is BLM land where
you can see the horizontal lines the cattle have made while grazing.

Trees Grow Anywhere
While gathering cow/calf pairs in late September it was
nice to see big trees in the Rattlesnake allotment area.
Here again, plants are growing out of the rock.

The Trail Narrows
Two weeks ago we did a two day cattle drive taking Rancher Dan's
mother cows to his winter ranch in the Princeton area.
This gap in the trail is one of my favorites spots where the
trail narrows. I believe the gap is natural even though
the electrical lines go through.

One Night Stop at the Ranch
I always love looking at this small butte. We have arrived at the
half way point on the two day drive. The cows are watered and fed,
and we meet back here first thing in the morning to drive them
the rest of the way...another 14 miles.

Sage & Blue Sky
This pretty view is on the edge of the Diamond Craters...a very
unique 17,000 acres of volcanic rock formations.

Check out the other participants in this week's Sunday Stills!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's All About Brego

~A gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do.~ 
~Minnie Cody 1901~

October 6-8 was the "Kiger Kraze" wild horse extravaganza and adoption at the Burns Wild Horse Corrals here in SE Oregon. With my crazy schedule of clinics, hay, Pendleton, moving cows...blah, blah, blah...the adoption took me by surprise. It was my intention to be there with a pile of fliers of Brego...he really needs to go to his new home...wherever that may be.

Brego the Kiger Mustang
Probably my fav photo of Brego.

Well, I'd just got back from my week-long clinic with Colt and was committed to help move cows for Rancher Dan...so, there I sat the day after the adoption weekend with Brego grazing quietly on the hill...not down the road like I had intended.

Then came the results of the adoption via email to me:

-       Total people in attendance: 200
-       Total number of competitive bidders: 69
-       Number of Kiger/Riddle horses offered: 117
-       Number of Kiger/Riddle horses adopted: 88
-       Total adoption fees from Kiger/Riddle horses: $76,550
-       Highest bid: $8,750 (for a 2 year old dark bronze/dun stallion from the Riddle HMA)
-       Average adoption fee for Kiger/Riddle horses: $869
-       Number of horses from other HMAs adopted: 5

Notice the highest bid horse? Well, some guy bought this stud colt and a bunch of prospective young brood mares (to the tune of $30K) to breed them in captivity...which I think is the stupidest thing with the poor shape of our horse industry right now.

IMHO...shame on the BLM to allow stud horses be adopted out without being gelded...any HMA studs should be gelded...even the Kiger/Riddle. But, then the BLM would not be making the $$$ they did at this adoption. They say these Kiger's are "special"...so special that they're considered a breed...not in my book. They're just another wild horse...then after being gentled they're just another horse.

And, if you're a horse person at all, you know that in today's economy, you can't give a horse away...but let's breed some more of them!

Yep, see the soap box I'm standin' on...shouting at the top of my lungs!!!

I've been trying to sell Brego for 4 years...and not ONE "Kiger person" has showed any interest in purchasing him. My friend Andi made a statement the other day on FaceBook that pretty much hit the nail on the head "Because Brego is a gelding, he is of no use to any of the Kiger people." So much for these "Kiger Krazed" people taking care of their own.

Yes, I'm pretty miffed to say the least. I have $1200 invested into Brego (not including feed and care for the last 4 years)...I'm talking cash. I'm down to asking $500 for him...have still yet to see much more than a bunch of tire kickers from FaceBook and CraigsList. Thanks to all my friends on FB, he is getting a lot of hits...something is going to come of this.

So, with this trail of events, I've been on a rant for the past week...vowing the Brego will be gone, one way or another, before winter sets in.

This is Brego in mid-April of 2007...the day he was gelded,
and the day he arrived here at the Rough String.
He was wild...couldn't touch him. I suspect that
the vet put the halter on him when he was
under sedation from the gelding procedure.
Pretty pathetic looking~

Here he is in mid-July just 90 days later. I put a lot of hard
work and hours into this horse.

The owners who had hired me to train him realized after 30 days that he was not going to make a "family horse" for their pre-school children...I knew that before he ever arrived, but I did the best I could for both them and Brego.

After trying to sell him for the next 60 days, there were no takers. I put him out to pasture with another gelding and he got to be a horse again for the first time since he roamed the range with him dam.

I brought him back to the barn and into training again to prepare him for the 2007 Kiger adoption (yes, they had gathered that HMA again that year). I took him and did demos and advertised him as for sale at $1200...you guessed it...no takers. But, the highest selling horse that year was $7000...I've got a gentled, under saddle Kiger for $1200 and some idiot person paid $7000 for a mare...well, of course they were going to breed her *rolling my eyes into the back of my head.*

The owners only option for a place for him to go was to a boarding stable in Portland Oregon, where his sister boarded her horses...where no one knew a thing about him or how to help him if he got fearful...

So I bought him for $1200...stupidly thinking that I could sell him in the spring for $1200...what's a lil' bit of hay through the winter.

Time marches on...now it's October 2011...and Brego still lives here...

The photos and video below are from yesterday...day 3 of Brego back into training...day 2 of riding after being off for about a year. All I've been doing with him is worm him and trim his feet.

I'm on a mission...as I said before, he's going to be gone before winter sets in!

I like to take the rein from the opposite side of the horse, put
it around the back of the cantle, pull to arc the horse and double
him back around, and pull him through to face me again.
It's an exercise I use all the time with young colts before I mount.
I do it both directions.

Mounting from both left and right hand sides.

So, this is where all my energy is going these days!!! Feel free to pass this along to anyone that might be interested!!!

But, it's supposed to be 68 degrees today and my apple tree is loaded with nice apples this year. I've got to get out there and pick a bunch of them...I think My Man will like a nice apple cobbler!

Then, I'm going to go ride Brego again~

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My New Favorite Breakfast for One

~Hold your tongue when it comes 
to talking badly about a friend.~ 
~Mary Lloyd 1880~ 

It's been ages since I blogged a recipe. As I was rounding up my ingredients for breakfast this mornin', I decided that since I'm addicted to this new recipe I found, I really should share it.

Ever since we got chickens...5 years ago...I can't seem to go without an egg for breakfast. Cereal just doesn't stick with me, and I'm starving by 10 AM. With an egg breakfast I can eat just two meals a day...suites me perfect!

My favorite recipe web site is Allrecipes.com which is where I found "Omelet in a Mug."

Four simple ingredients and a microwave...you've got breakfast in just a few minutes.

The four simple ingredients.
You can use either a microwave safe mug or small bowl.

1.  Coat the inside of the mug or bowl with spray cooking oil, butter, or (my favorite) a dab of bacon grease.

2.  Beat 2 eggs with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients: 2 tablespoons fully cooked cubed ham; 2 tablespoons grated cheese (my fav is medium Tillamook cheddar), and 1 tablespoon chopped green pepper.

You can use either a microwave safe mug or bowl.

4.  Cook in microwave for 1 minute; stir.

5.  Cook for another 1 1/2 minutes or until eggs are set.

I find that using my fresh eggs, it sometimes takes another 30 seconds
for the eggs to completely cook. I think they are just larger
than regular store-bought eggs.

6.  Enjoy!!! You can eat it right out of the bowl, or scoop it out onto a plate.

I like my Omelet with an English muffin and a dab of
home-made strawberry/rhubarb freezer jam!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

I'm heading out to saddle up Colt to bring down the Wild Bunch off the hill...I have a prospective buyer for Brego coming today...please send good thoughts my way to find a new, good home for Brego.

Sharing this with Farm Chick's recipe linky party!