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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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Horse/Ranch Keeping

Last weekend I got all the horses wormed on Saturday, and they got their annual vaccination on Sunday. It's nice to get that out of the way. They'll still need to get their West Nile vaccination, but I'll wait until the weather warms up.

Colt had some saddle fit issues last year. I took my saddle to a local maker and he tore it apart to see what might be causing the white marks that Colt had gotten on his back. Well, there were a few things wrong with it's original construction, but he was able to correct them. But the major thing is that the saddle is just too wide for Colt's narrow body shape.

A friend of mine has a vintage/antique Visalia Stock Saddle Company saddle for sale (interesting history in that link), and I'm trying it on Colt to see if it fits him. The stirrup leathers have been replaced as well as the strings and the horn wrap too. The fenders are pretty warn also, but it actually seems to fit him...and it was a comfortable ride for me too!

I'm going to take Colt and the Visalia saddle to the local saddle maker to have him check it out and see how much repair the saddle needs and the cost...it may be better to just have another saddle made with a narrow tree. But, it's kind of a neat ol' saddle, and I bet it has a lot of stories to tell! It was probably built before I was born...strange to sit in and think about that~

Antique Visalia Saddle
Visalia Saddle

Yesterday we were blessed with another newborn calf...and another heifer too. We'd prefer bull calves because they will weigh more at weaning time and bring more money, but I'd prefer a healthy calf than no calf at all!

Newborn Hereford Cross Calf
This lil' girl is a Hereford/Jersey/Angus cross.
I think that's why she's a much lighter red color than Early Girl.

Speaking of the "one month early" thing...my error...these calves are born right on schedule. I can't seem to get my May and June dates correct!

That's MY Baby!
OK...you pick a caption for this photo...I think the look on Annabelle's face is priceless!

My Man's been working REALLY hard to get the cow corrals up...and he's almost there! With Number Three being a first year heifer, we needed a place to keep her close to the barn. We also needed the corrals for working and sorting the cows when vaccination and weaning time comes around. Basically all that's left is to put up the gates.

My Man is pulling nails from the used poles we got...it was a really cost-affective deal!
LOL...there's Stetson in the background givin' him moral support!

We'll be able to get Number Three corralled this afternoon. She doesn't look like she's going to calve real soon, but that's the funny thing about heifers...they don't show signs like a mature cow does. She could very well need assistance (from us) to get her calf born safely into this world, and we'll be checking on her frequently through out the day and night. My Man put a good light up on the outside of the barn too!

We don't have any green plants sprouting out of the ground yet, but we have new calves, and spring's just 'round the corner!!! Yeah!

Rurality Blog Hop #5


  1. My riding partner has been riding her 6-year-old in the same saddle since she got him at 4, but he's muscled out a bunch with regular work, and she realized it was pinching his shoulders--partly because of his grouchy attitude this spring. She's been trying another saddle on him, and he's way more happy! And moving better, too! Freeing up his shoulders allows him to use himself much better in the back-up, forehand and hindquarter turns and even his lope has improved. Guess it's like wearing a pair of shoes that pinch--throws your whole body (and day) off!
    Good luck with the Visalia.

  2. I think Momma cow is saying "Is the grill hot yet? The Kebab will be there momentarily!".

    Love that vintage saddle - in fact, I love most things vintage especially if they are still serviceable. If the price is right and Colt gives it the nod I'd take it.

  3. I've got a few vintage saddles, myself. I've done some research on saddle history to learn more about them. One of the biggest clues is the number of strings. A 4-string saddle is pretty old--probably pre 1930's, so yes. It is most likely older than you. It is a beautiful saddle, and I hope it works out.

    I have a N. Porter Co from the 30's that I use whenever I need to ride western. I usually ride English, so it doesn't happen too often. Last time was when my horse had bad hives in a spot that didn't work with the English saddle.

    I also ride a WWII Japanese military saddle on a regular basis on one of my horses. It is an awesome saddle, and I often wonder what it could tell me. (Probably never even used in action, but I like to imagine it was.) It is very comfortable for me and my horse.

  4. All the best in the saddle hunt. The first saddle I ever made was narrow and probably would have been a good fit for you, it was built on a 3B tree and was a comfy ride but our horses are all a little wider. I hooked a wool saddle blanket for young/narrow horses so my saddle would fit them better....it's not the best answer but it works for me as they don't usually get the miles that an older horse does and they tend to grow to fit my rig in a year or two.

    That cow looks like she's wondering what that guy is doing with HER calf!

  5. We are getting a polled red bull, American Dexter for our girls soon!

    We sent two off for processing and can't wait to pick the meat up from the locker.
    We'll be keeping our family in beef with these little jewels from the bovine world.

    As soon as we can see bare ground, the worming and the shots come out!

    Have a great day!

  6. My best everyday saddle is bona allen trail saddle. If it had a roping horn I'd have a replica made, I think it was make in the late 40 50's. It fits virtually anything with good withers, the gullet is about 6" but the bar spread is flatter. I LOVE it. I think you will be very happy with the old visalia. Too wide is as bad a deal as too narrow, although horses are often just right condition wise at the end of the season, and too fat in the spring when the wide saddle fits better.

  7. Sweet sweet little heifer calf. I'm glad someone else names their cows. I get so much crud for naming the cows and bulls. Not all of them just some....Nice looking horse!!

  8. This calf does look much lighter than Early Girl and that look on Annabelle's face..."now what?"...:)JP

  9. Have you ever heard of a product called the Corrector? It is an invention by Len Brown, the guy who made the Orthoflex saddle. He's kind of an obnoxious sort of fellow, but he knows his stuff regarding saddle fit. The corrector will make adjustments so that your saddle will fit Colt. Much cheaper than replacing the saddle. The vet I work for does a lot of saddle fitting work, and he recommends them a lot. His email is lenbrownsinnovations@earthlink.net and he has a website too, just google it. You can also call him and he'll answer any questions, he'll help you out if he can. It's a very good product. Check it out, maybe it will help in your situation.

  10. Caption- "I done good!"
    I like that Visalia saddle, it looks like a comfortable one.
    Green stuff coming up here, and trees budding.

  11. Trying to find a saddle that fits can be frustrating, good luck!
    I think mama cow is saying "Where did THAT come from?!?"
    We do have a little green stuff here and the fruit trees are starting to flower, just in time for this weekend's cold spell! Grrrr...

  12. Caption: "Ok! Ok!....Thats enough pictures of tiny! What about me!"

    That saddle is something else! I was always led to believe that horses in years gone by, tended to be narrower in the back, than now.
    But its one really tasty saddle, worth trying.

  13. Glad you got your saddle woes figured out.. and the new born calf, well they are as sweet as can be... I remember those first touches and their soft eyes... Thank you for joining in 'Rurality Blog Hop #5' Hope to see you next Wednesday for #6...

  14. Nice to have 2 of 3 calves on the ground, no sureer sign of spring than babies!

    I have been pretty lucky so far, my saddle almost fits everyone although i do think Jessie likes my cutting saddle better than the ranch saddle even if they both fit her good.

  15. Just stumbled across your blog. Glad to be a new follower. Thanks for sharing your life!
    Deanna @ rustedspur.com - Wild rags and more


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