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, December 31, 2014

Out with the Old ~ In with the New

The beauty of the old year has faded

The dawn of a new year approaches

May there be a guiding light, love, happiness and prosperity
throughout the New Year for each of you.
~God Bless~

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Bridges Project Graduation

Five and a half years...really?!?

What a ride!!

September 21-23 was the final 3-day clinic for Colt and I in the Mike Bridges 5 Year Bridle Project. For those who don't know, we've been going to Central Oregon every spring and fall to learn from a true master horseman. "The Project" is a course that Mike developed to train a horse "his way" making finished bridle horses in the traditional California Vaquero Style.

One of my fellow riders is a wonderful photographer, and she offered to take photos "before and after" of the horses. They definitely built up some body!

~Photo credit to Cindy Sloan~
Date: 09/09/2009

~Photo credit to Cindy Sloan~
Date: 09/08/2010

~Photo credit to Cindy Sloan~
Working on flying lead changes.
Date: 09/08/2010

I really can't describe the feeling of completing the course, but the words accomplishment, satisfaction, amazement, comradery, fulfillment...these all come to mind.

Not only do you get to know your horse on a whole new level, but the friendships between the other riders...and their horses, too...are life changing.

Was it worth the time, effort and money?  Absolutely!!  The part I like most about his program is that he doesn't wait for you and your horse. He sticks to the program and moves forward whether you're ready or not. It makes everyone work all that much harder...and we get things done!

~Photo credit to Cindy Sloan~
Final clinic: Sept 2014

~Photo credit to Cindy Sloan~
Final clinic: Sept 2014

~Photo credit to Cindy Sloan~
Final clinic: Sept 2014

~Photo credit to Cindy Sloan~
Final clinic: Sept 2014

Thank you Cindy for the awesome photos!!!

To celebrate the occasion (there were two Projects graduating at the same time), the meeting room at the Sisters Rodeo Grounds was rented...catered dinner, live music and dancing...and of course the graduation/awards ceremony!! What a fun time!

The beautiful award; hand crafted silver knife by silversmith Rusty McCullough!

I do have to say there was a big "sigh" in my head for making it through.

So, where do I go from here?









April 19-21 2015...Project 7 begins...with Pierce!!!

Oh yes...we're gonna do it all over again!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Holidays? What Holidays?

OK, so Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone...as quick as Santa's blink of an eye. I was here, but I'm not sure what I did since I didn't get the Christmas letter done, any cards mailed, or all of my crafty gifts finished...


I'm not really into the term "resolution" as in New Year's Resolutions...but I hope to be here blogging in 2015 more than I was in 2014...I may have said that last year too...


What else...I'm gonna pick up that camera more often too!! The world goes by all to quickly...and I really didn't see any of the details!!! That's why they call it a "capture"...right?

So, I'll leave you with a capture of Rastus in the fresh mornin' snow today~

Winter Walk

Belated Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas~

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Howloween!!!

Bwhhhaaaaaaaa...freeze dried jack-o-lantern after 3 weeks! Mother Nature can do cool stuff!


A bit of a blast from the past...Cindy Sue and Cowboy from 2007. Rastus from 2013. Yes, I was forgiven for their abuse!

Have fun, be safe...keep your dogs safe too from all the scary goblins in their costumes...it can be very frightening for them!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Meanwhile, Waiting for the Water Trough to Fill...


What else would you do...but have a photo shoot!

Let's chase bunnies!

The "Get Up" command in action!

"Hey Mom...I feel stupid up here!"

Awww...but you're so handsome Rastus!

And...other stuff...

Boulder & Sage
Boulder & Sage

Tumbleweed Corner...yes, in my arena...gotta get to cleanin' that mess up!

Have a wonderful Fall weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

If You Don't Do Anything Else Today, Do This...

Yesterday on FB, an unknown video appeared through Buckaroo Traditions, and it is one of the best MUST watch videos of all time IMHO. I've watched it several times...and it gets me right in the heart every time I watch it...had the same affect on My Man too!

This video, that plays out a real life scenario, reaches down into your soul and lets you forget about all the bad stuff in this world...it shows how one simple gesture of kindness can change a life...or two in this case.

Horses...and kids...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Good Bye Sweet Martha Jo


Dear Sweet Martha Jo,

Your time with us on this earth was not long.
But the paw prints you left on our hearts are so very strong.

You brought us countless blessings each and every day in so many ways.
It saddens us to see your empty bed and 
your favorite spot for sunbathing in the grass where you'd lay.
But, our hearts are comforted knowing that we'll see you again at the end of our days.

Rest in Peace little one~

Our Treasure, Martha Jo

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall Branding & My Man's Birthday!

Sunday was just about as fun as it can get for us...branding in beautiful fall weather. Well, as usual, my hands were busy with a rope and a wad full of two-rein gear on Colt! But I got My Man to take a few photos of Pierce and Colt after the branding.

The Bros!
After the branding, I took the boys to the creek for a drink, and then lead Pierce back across the wood bridge...he did so nice. Colt pawed water right into Pierce's face at the creek (that's why he looks so splotchy)!

It's time to take Pierce to every outing we can. I saddled him at home with the other boys and when we got to Diamond, I tied him to the trailer, gave him a hay net and rode away.

Occasionally I'd hear Pierce whinny, but all in all, he was a very good boy!!

We had to sort off the slick eared cow/calf pairs, the bulls, and the neighbor's stock that was mixed in with Rancher Dan's herd...I love the sorting! Once we had all the slicks together, there ended up being about 30 calves!! And oh my...some of them were big enough to go through the squeeze chute!

We had the son-in-law there who's a professional buckaroo...we let him and his buddy do most of the really big calves. But, we learned a lot about handling those big ones and got in on a couple...it was a really good experience.

Ah yes...the birthday boy :~)

Happy Birthday dear husband!!

Gretchen had to work at the Hotel...so for lunch, we all headed over to the Hotel for beverages and the best burgers!!

Branding goes hand in hand with good food!!

This is why we always say that "We're livin' the dream!" Friends and life experiences just don't get any better than this.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Oliga Indian Bridle

Last week was the Pendleton Roundup...again. We didn't go last year because of our trip to Montana, but we made it this year. We arrived home on Sunday afternoon...and I had a tickle in my throat...grrr...the beginning of a head cold :( dang!

But I'm on the mend and feel much better today! I have hundreds of photos to sort through, but thought I'd share at least one with you today.

Oliga Indian Bridle
Oliga Indian Bridle

As we were waiting for the parade to start, I had an opportunity to get a good close up of this horse wearing the Oliga Indian Bridle. I've seen this horse and rider for years at Pendleton...they are always amazing to me.

Quoting Horse Previews Magazine, "The Oliga (pronounced Oh-La-Gah) Indian Bridle is the closest thing to riding with no bridle at all! Fashioned after the Plains Indians' war-bridle, this modern version re-awakens the spirit of the Native American horseman with its ability to create a "oneness " between rider and horse."

Of course not only does this man ride with the Oliga, but he also rides bareback the whole time! That should bring out the "oneness"!! Pretty cool I think!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


We got'r done!! We didn't place, but I call it a success!

Trotting into the arena up to the judge for inspection.

My man has the list of entrants, so I don't know for sure, but there were approximately 20-25 entries in the class. A LOT of nice horse flesh out there!!

As everyone knows if you compete in anything, there's a lot of preparation that goes on. Yesterday, was a full day of getting the trailer and Pierce ready. I was able to use Colt's first sheet...it fits Pierce perfectly! And, I decided to use the same halter I showed Colt in seven years ago...ahhhhh...sweet memories!

Last evening after his first ever bath.

Our success was just gettin' in there and doin' it. He was pretty good for the clipping, bathing and me fussing with his skinned up face. Patience...that's where he lacks...but will come with time.

I went out at 5 AM to feed, and he was happily laying down snoozing in the middle of his stall...shavings stuck between every mane and tail hair! Rise and shine young man!

Standing for the judge...NOT! This is one brief moment he stopped moving.

So, the process was to enter the arena one at a time, trot to the judge, set the horse up for inspection, and trot away into line. Pierce couldn't hold still, but he did trot nicely with me. As the judge came behind Pierce, he was looking at his hind legs and saying something to the ring steward/secretary...I knew this would be his fault. Amanda had mentioned that his hind legs are quite straight, and most likely, he's not going to have a very big stop. I'm quite sure that's what took him out of the competition.

Attempting to "stand" in line...we walked LOTS of circles!

But, like I said...it was a success!!! We did lots of things perfectly...loading, hauling, letting me get him ready at the trailer. It was his first time to go anywhere besides Amanda's for training...so, we'll be going LOTS of places in the next year. I'm planning on going to the saddle club events (showing western pleasure and reining class), the local cutting club for herd work...

...and we'll be going to our first Mike Bridges clinic in three weeks!! We'll be doing three days of in-hand training...which will be wonderful for the winter months when we can't ride.

So, who won the class?


This very handsome horse won...and well deserved I think! BTW...even though My Man chopped off the horse's head, it also had a nice head to match the body.

Allrighty then...moving on to the goal for next year...the 3 year old class!

OH yes...thanks to My Man for the awesome photos and all your support...love ya!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Pierce (aka ScarFace) Goes to the Futurity

Today is clean up day for the lil' boy because tomorrow is the 2 year old halter class at the Harney County Reined Cow Horse Futurity...but there's a lot that I can't do much about...

Oh bother!

Amanda worked so hard on trying to get him healed up from his face playing over the fence when he was in training at her place...and the lil' bugger comes home and can't keep himself out of trouble...everywhere I put him, he gets bunged up.

I'm trying to have a positive outlook for tomorrow, but Pierce just doesn't have what Colt had. I've wanted to blame it on Pierce being born at the end of May, but Colt was born just one month earlier...so it's not an age thing. Pierce is just taking longer to mature.

Seven years apart.

I'm sure Pierce will grow up and fill out...and look very similar in build as Colt...but today, he's just not like Colt was seven years ago.

Colt 2007 (LOL...standing very cow-hocked!!)

OK...want to know what's really on my mind? At the end of the day of Colt's final Futurity show, I realized that we had placed 2nd or 3rd every year...which I was told is very unusual, as horses have their ups and downs. But I was also told that it would be a long time before another Colt came along. That statement has haunted me since.

I try not to compare them. I worked very hard to get where I did with Colt, but I've got to work a lot harder with Pierce...he's not nearly as forgiving.

My original goal with Colt was to "not make a fool of either one of us." Colt helped me succeed and surpass that goal.

Now I'm just trying to have the guts to try it again.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Signs of Fall in the High Country

Quaking Aspens at 6100 feet above McCoy Creek