A few friends had horses consigned to the Ranch Horse Round Up Sale and it was a beautiful morning so off we went to watch. We had to stop for a breakfast sandwich and coffee at Sylvan Lake where a nearby building was hosting a large gull convention. Then off to Rimbey and the sale.
There was a wide selection of horses from 2 year old prospects (one draft cross 2 year old was steadier than some mature horses) to horses with years of experience doctoring cattle on big pastures.
There was even one that I wish could be the mount of the neighbor girl who needs a good horse to be her partner in her quest to be a horsewoman. Good horses still demand a good price. He was above her budget. Nice horse.
A good ranch horse can make a good trail riding horse or a good prospect for some of the interesting new competitions becoming available.
I hear people say they can’t take their horse out on the trails because he and they get nervous. Most all ranch horses have not only been out on the trails but have had to work through trees and deadfall to move cattle. Not all ranches have the terrain to make that happen but those that do can certainly get horses broke.
This is a great venue for a horse sale. The big hillside behind the large outdoor arena is a good place for exhibitors to settle their nerves and give the horses a chance to stretch their legs and take a little break.
The sale provided lots of preview time for each horse. This allowed the horses a few minutes to settle in and go to work and really show their finest skills.
It also allowed time for any “holes” in their training to show up, providing a buyers with a good idea of the level of training and disposition. Blood samples from all the horses were taken in case of questions requiring drug testing.
Lunch was available, the burgers were great and the porta potties were remarkably pleasant. Great sale!!
I missed spending time at the Beaver Pond this year. I love to ride my horses down there and see what those busy little beavers have been up to. I’ve been watching them for 40 years now and they have made some big changes in that time.
This year there was a canola crop between home and the beaver pond. Between the near impossibility of riding through canola crops and the extreme heat, I made very few trips down to the pond.
So my walk down to the pond today, Halloween, was very interesting. Much has happened over the summer. The beaver are basically moving the whole pond over to where a grove of trees that are of interest to them are standing. They made a lot of progress in one summer. Almost all my trails, mostly game trails, along this side of the pond are blocked with fallen trees and brand new trails have been developed. Some of my old trails will likely be under water next year.
Once more our day didn’t even start out as planned. You get really used to that when you are farming and/or have a number of animals under your care. Today Cruiser got to take a trip in the trailer to the vet clinic. His curious nature got him a nose full of porcupine quills. If there were just a couple, we would just pull them out ourselves but with this many he needs a little anesthetic. So we called the vet, loaded him up and headed to town.
The quills got pulled out and we were back in the trailer and heading home in no time. I forgot to take a picture of his new nose ornaments but had a couple of pictures of Ed when he learned that the cute little tinkling thing running across the pasture should be avoided.
A lady told me the other day that she often goes for drives in the country and it is quite lovely but it looks like too much work.
Before I moved to the farm I never thought of it that way. I always thought it looked like freedom and horses and a great place to raise my kids. I found out it was true. All of it.
Actually the work isn’t evenly distributed over the year. It is directed by the season and the weather more than anything. The busiest season is fall (although spring can be nearly as busy). Getting the harvest done and things put away for winter is a big job. And the weather doesn’t always cooperate. So every “nice” day you need to spend getting “the fall work” done with the pressure that winter could arrive and end your harvest and fall chores at any time.
I read an article today about “Cooperative Care”. It made me think about how animal handling has changed in my lifetime.
Suggesting “training an animal to not only tolerate handling and husbandry procedures, but to be an active, willing participant in these experiences” would have got you scoffed out of the group of farmers drinking coffee at the local auction mart when I was a kid. Continue reading “Cooperative Care”→
He has been living in the Jenny Craig pen all summer even though he has been my main riding horse. It is true this wasn’t a great summer for horseback riding. Some days were just too hot. Many days were too smoky. Then suddenly it was cold, snowing and windy. Eddie might not be quite so fat if I rode him more.
He used to get more exercise come fall and winter when he got to go out on winter pasture with the herd but he ended that luxury a couple of weeks ago when he decided he was now the boss of the herd and beat hell out of Dreamweaver. Continue reading “Slow Feeder”→