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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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Day Work...and Play!

I've blogged before about riding for other ranchers...and it's turned into a bit of a part-time job.  It's termed as "day work" out here...where you're hired on for the time they need you.

Crowley Ranch is one of these ranches. I usually go for anywhere from a few days to a week...depending on the job that needs to be done...which is good since it takes 2 1/2 hours to get there! It's really not that far from our place, but the last 26 miles is one rough road. This past winter and spring it was impassable at times with the snow drifts and then the flooding when the snow melted!

The area is very remote with long miles in between ranches. But, that's what I like about it best...it's a step back in time.

Saddled up by 7AM and waiting (for us to go have one more cup of coffee).

This week was just a short job; gather for the branding on Friday. I drove out on Wednesday afternoon to arrive with some time for Kat to help me with Jiggs and Rastus on her sheep. BTW...this is the ranch that Jiggs came from. She breeds awesome working Border Collies!

Jiggs is a bit fresh as he starts his first work!!! But, my goodness, he wants to work!!

She had me work Rastus (I sure need the practice!), and then she worked Jiggs by himself...but he needed a bit of help from Rastus (Jiggs learns from taking Rastus' lead). So, Kat gets Rastus working the sheep and at the right time I release Jiggs. It works pretty well, but at times it gets a bit wild!!

So, I have my three sheep to practice on, and some basics in my head. I'm also going to study a video series by Shane Harley...he's very similar to Tom Blasdell and Kat...keep me from getting too confused!!

Gathering up the pairs for branding on Friday.
LOVE the wide open range where you can see forever!

Rastus helping me as we bring them into the corrals.

My two hooligans!

No, Jiggs didn't go gather pairs...we wanted them in the corrals, not into the next county!! But he's learning patience by staying in the horse trailer when I'm working and being tied for long periods of time with Rastus. We take many walks and do fun things when we're at Crowley, but they sure enjoy coming home with the fenced in yard to run their hearts out!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sheep? Yep, We Now Have Sheep!

Jiggs' first day on sheep! He was hooked!

So I got Jiggs at weaning time from my friend Kat who has a good sized cow/calf operation and raises some fine Border Collies too. Her dogs have all been used on her ranch, and she uses the same techniques that I learned from Tom Blasdell. My Man also thought I should get a back up dog as Rastus is middle aged now...and Kat said she would help me get him started on livestock. OK...here we go!!

A few weeks ago, I went out to Kat's ranch to help her gather, sort and turn out the bulls We also worked a couple of her dogs as well as Rastus and Jiggs on her sheep. And...I came home with three additional passengers in the trailer! Three lil' sheep!

We fixed them a temporary spot in the horse barn with a run. It was good...Whiskey and Boone are now sheep broke!!! LOL! In the meantime, My Man has been "sheep proofing" the cow corrals and setting up a working pen for me...what a sweet man!!!

Today was sheep day...we snagged the sheep one at a time and put them in the horse trailer and took them to what we now call "the sheep barn." Once upon a time it was the Mustang Barn...then the Cow Barn...and now it's the Sheep Barn!

Checking out their new digs.

But, they've already got their heads through the rails!
I hope they stay in the pen!

The working pen took some decision making. We took about 1/3rd of my arena and opted to line it with "no-climb" fencing along the rails.

Then across the center we used t-posts and hog fencing.

We were two hog panels short, so we are giving it a shot with field fencing around this one corner. All the corners are rounded, so I'm hoping that it will help keep the pressure off the corner fences.

Red Dog is running inspections!

The last gate...lined with field fencing.

When you've build everything for cows and horses...it's not easy to convert it to contain sheep!!!

But, Jiggs is ready!!!!! He's been staring at them all day...he knows what they're for!

Tomorrow the sheep will be castrated...yea, we should have done that when they first arrived...and I leave to help Kat again for a few days (along with Rastus and Jiggs). So, when we get back, let the fun begin!

Friday, June 2, 2017

She Was Almost Indestructible

Cindy Sue thought she was...and she had me convinced several times that she was.

From the rattlesnake bite, to the Great Horned owl attack, to the two coyotes, and then the rock chuck...she defied them all with her grit and courage...and a lot of expensive vet bills! (BTW, the rattlesnake and owl were prior to my blogging.)

But, Mother Nature takes her course...and old age with its ailments creeps in. CS didn't handle the PRA (progressive retina atrophy) in its later stages when she became totally blind, and then combine that with doggie Alzheimer's...she struggled.

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard"
Winnie the Pooh

My Man and I couldn't watch her be in a daze and confused any longer.

After she ate a special breakfast of pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs, we took her for her final ride into town. Dr. Katy came to the rig and in moments, Cindy Sue lay comfortably in my arms...never to know pain, anxiety or blindness again.

She is now with Penny, Sandy, Cowboy, Abby, Martha Jo, Tat the Cat and many others...waiting for me at The Bridge.

Run free and happy Cindy Sue!! I love you~