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We May Be In Trouble

I think we’ve created a monster.

She enjoyed the little rodeo. Sh says she wants to be a horse show girl. Now she’s practicing her roping and apparently wants to be a trick rider.

Am I happy about all this? You bet I am!

 

 

And not to leave 8  out. He’s doing pretty good with his trusty little steed too.

 

 

This Aint My First Rodeo…. Oh Wait

Heather wanted to know if we were interested in going to a youth rodeo at the Dawes county fair. I looked into it a little and decided it would be a good way for The Goblin Child to get a chance at playing cowgirl. She had recently informed me that she wanted to be a cowgirl and show horses while she was in college learning to be a doctor and an airplane pilot.
We set up lick tubs and practiced barrels and poles, and getting on. She is getting very good at steering by herself, it hasn’t been very long that she’s been riding by herself. I remember all the times I fell off Tally and am slow to let her loose too much. She’ll go by herself away from home when we ride out but I always take the lead rope back on the way home, just in case.

The day of the rodeo we spent lots of time getting Onna all pretty, then did the same for The Goblin Child. Onna loaded beautifully and we went to pick up the horse of the friends who invited us. It was getting hot. The pickup that was on the trailer didn’t have air conditioning. With the windows down we headed for Chadron. Going through town we met my husband who had gone in to work on his day off so he could take the afternoon off and come along.

At the fairgrounds we saddled Onna and I took her around a couple of times, then The Goblin Child got on and I led her around. For one run back to the pickup I got on with on child in front and one behind and she didn’t bat an eye. I wasn’t ready to let them off the lead quite yet and led them around the barrel pattern for their first run. It nearly killed me running to the finish line. After that I let them go and all our work on stopping at the end that we did at home paid off. They did wonderful together. 8 got to go around the barrels too. I was still half dead from the first run so I climbed in the saddle behind him and let him try to steer a little. It was much easier than running.

Whitten and his sister each got to go on their big beautiful mare. She’s a draft cross and shows it, she’s huge and gentle. He wore 8’s helmet for a bit and Brenna rode behind T.G.C. for awhile. Their poor mom was able to leave her brand new baby watching from the grandstands with grandma so she could run alongside both children in every event. I only had to do one, 8 needed a nap and was done after the first one, and I thought I was going to die. I don’t know how she did it.

We were both lucky that my hard working husband had come along. He watched everybody and juggled hats and water bottles, so we could play with horses and whichever child was riding at the moment. He and Heather are both driven crazy by lack of organization and general order to things. They were both flustered and annoyed that the children didn’t have an assigned order to go in and that they didn’t know exactly what was going on, when and where. I think they’re so cute.

I thought the people who had organized it had put a lot of work in and done a really good job of putting on a playday that the kids loved. After the riding part they had a dump trailer full of hay with coins mixed in. The children got to jump in the hay and search for the money. T.G.C. says that was her favorite part.

It was hot when they got done. Kids were tired, We were ready to go home. I unsaddled and went to throw Princess Onna in the trailer. She had different ideas. She said no. That was it, just no, she had no intention of getting in. She does that sometimes at home. Not for loading, we had never tried that, just about whatever I ask her to do and she doesn’t want to. She will set her feet and say no. I loaded the other horse to see if that would help. It didn’t.

I ended up staying there while everybody else went to coo children with drinks and air conditioning, working her into the trailer. I had been proud of our front row parking earlier, now not so much. The parking filled up with real rodeo people coming in for the nights rodeo. Big fancy rigs, very stylish riders. They all had to walk past us. I nearly died of embarrassment. In the end I wrapped the lead rope around a bar in the trailer so I could stand next to her and still pull forward. Standing next to her I tapped the back of her foot with mine. It made her mad. One time she looked at me, picked her foot up and stomped it down on mine. It was so plainly on purpose, and she missed my toes only getting the boot, I thought it was hilarious. Finally she heaved a big sigh and jumped in. We were finally able to go home.

Videos are completely backwards in order. I would recommend watching them from bottom to top!

 

 

 

 

 

Our Cowgirl Strikes Again

We started the day bright and early, 8 likes to wake us up by six on any day we would otherwise be able to sleep in. We scarfed down a delicious breakfast and Tanna arrived to help sort pairs. 8 went out in the tractor to help the men feed and us girls saddled the horses. The Goblin Child wanted up behind Tanna and I rode Coyote as usual. We got them sorted in record time, they quite literally ran out the gate. The Goblin Child clung tight and was a real trouper not complaining all the way though.

 

 

Once in the lane they needed to go all the way out to the farthest pen, clear at the top of the hill. I got off to get gates and decided not to get back on. I had gotten off and on so many time I was clean out of cake, Coyotes reward for letting me on again, and baby calves can be much easier to move on foot. Leading Coyote along behind me I looked over at Tanna and The Goblin Child double on Onna and realized I could do something about it. I put The Goblin Child on Coyote.

 

 

At first he got to stand and eat at the trough while we tried to get the calves to move. Then I would grab a rein and bring him along a few steps then let him eat, try to convince calves to move. As we slowly progressed up the hill The Goblin Child began to move Coyote along by herself. Once we reached the circle at the top I turned her loose to push the cattle through the gate with Tanna. Poor Coyote. He put up with it for a little while then said that he was done, he’d had enough. Please save him.

 

 

After closing the gate I climbed on behind my saddle and let The Goblin Child steer us home. It was terrifying. Not just having a small child who had no control in charge of my hot, grouchy horse, not confined in a small area but on the way home, but also sitting right on his haunches. He’s bouncy. I thought for sure I was going to fall off.

After unsaddling I turned Coyote loose to graze, surely he deserved a reward for putting up with all that. The guys had been planting oats and I was going to keep a very close eye on him to make sure he didn’t get into the planted field. I forgot he was out there. As we were getting ready to leave that afternoon I remembered Coyote. I ran out the door frantically searching for him. Behind the house I caught a glimpse of his butt disappearing behind a shed. Running back there I found The Goblin Child leading him to the gate. She informed me that she was putting him away for me and indeed she was. What a good, big girl!

Ignoble Dismount

We have been making a habit of sorting out the pairs of Fridays. Tanna comes over and we spend most of the day horseback. Sometimes we even have enough energy to work with Rusty afterwards, not very often though. Today was different. Today her brother was going to a branding with his horse and would have the trailer on. She was able to convince him to bring her horse over. Then he decided to come play too!

With Tanna riding her horse that left Princess Onna free for The Goblin Child to ride. I bundled her up toasty warm, long underwear, scarf, hat under her helmet. Last time she got cold and wanted to go ride in the payloader with her father. Last time she was riding double with me on Coyote, I must admit it was easier without her help as much as we enjoyed it.

Tanna’s horse is Jerry. Jerry was my mare that I showed on a decade ago this year, time does fly. It was nice to see her again. She and Tanna are doing very well together. Her brothers horse is a big young quarter horse. A sorrel to match the other two, Coyote and Jerry. We were all nicely matched, he is a flaxen even, except Princess Onna of course.

The Goblin Child and Princess Onna did very well together. T.G.C. even enjoyed the trotting we had to do to get around a couple of calves. But soon enough she got cold. Apparently I didn’t bundle her up enough. It wasn’t entirely a bad thing Princess Onna isn’t the funnest horse to pony and combined with the deep mud in places having them along mad life a little difficult. It was great the she got to come as long as she did though.

There were quite a few calves born over the last week and with all of us out there we made quick work of them. My cow hating husband was working mostly on foot as his dad rode around on the four-wheeler with 8 in front. I would wave at 8 as he went by and, from his position laying down on the gas tank, he would grin back at me.

There are lots of gates. Lots and lots of gates. They would be more convenient for me with horse friendly latches. This is a four-wheeler outfit though and being handy for me would mean unhandy for those guys on their four-wheelers. Opening and closing these gates from a horse requires leaning way down off the side and spending lots of time fiddling with chains run down, around, or over.

I should mention that my cinch is never tight. Coyote and I consider touching his stomach to be tight enough, and that’s at the start of the ride. I lent him to a guy once, and only once, who threw his saddle on and yanked the cinch tight. In protest Coyote threw himself to the ground. He is clear in expressing his opinions.

I was heading back to the others and pulled the gate closed behind us. It latched in a corner, requiring a horse to curve into the corner to reach. I leaned over and stretched. Despite my constantly loose cinch even corner gates aren’t usually a problem, as long as I pay close attention to balance. I was leaned clear out reaching to wrap the chain around another gate and I felt my saddle shift. I pushed back but it was too late. I was up against the fence so I just grabbed hold, no problem. I hooked an arm over the guard rail and hung on. It dug into my side a little, hurting just a bit. I rearranged and pulled my feet out of the stirrups. Or tried. My mud boot was well wedged. Not stuck hard but I was right up against him and didn’t have room to pull if it didn’t slide out easy. I finally wriggled around enough to get both feet on the ground and keep my saddle from ending up clear under his belly.

Now my saddle was well stuck on his side. I glanced up once in a while to see if everyone was watching my fiasco. They appeared to be busy. The cinch wasn’t tight enough to hold the saddle on but was to tight to let me pull it back up. I yanked and tugged then went around to the other side and repeated. He wanted back to the others and was done standing still. As he circled I tried to loosen my cinch without letting it fall into the deep mud. I pulled then went around and pushed, finally it rolled back to the top. I snugged the cinch up, a little and climbed on.

I thought no more about it until afternoon as I rested during the kids naps. My side hurt. I ignored it but it kept getting sorer. I asked my not horse person husband if there was a bruise there or something? He was horrified, there was definitely a bruise. A big one. As not a horse person he can never understand why I love something that causes pain more often than not. I was rather impressed that my brief moment of hanging on the guard rail, apparently the sharp edge of it, left such a beautiful purple bruise.

It was a good day though we got most of the calves out and put Tanna’s brother to good use. It didn’t even rain on us!

 

Reading, Riding and ‘Rithmatic

Not that there’s any reading in this one but we do that all the time. I wanted to show what The little Goblin Child usually rides like. When her world is not collapsing because her lead rope is the wrong color. She’s such a good little rider. Tanna and I were going out to sort some pairs and she wanted to come with us instead of riding in the pay loader with her father. Unfortunatly she faced the same delima as last time. Her horse or her saddle. She chose her saddle and was going to get on behind me on Coyote.
I put her up and let her ride by herself through the gates. In the first pen I turned her loose, she had been loose the whole time so I guess I chased Coyote away from me. He was glued to my shoulder begging me to save him from small children.

We have been working with 8 on very simple counting for awhile now. How many eyes do you have? One, two, two eyes. While swinging at the park the other day I decided to try to teach counting the way I did with The Goblin Child, I would count to three as he repeated after me then at three I would let the swing go.

He was getting it. He counted to three once. I frantically grabbed for my phone, tried to figure out how to hold it and catch him at the same time. And he never did it again. Dang kids. He got kind of close though and looked cute doing it, that’s a start.

 

Category: Family, Horses  One Comment

The Pink Lead Rope

It was the last nice day. I caught Princess Onna and Coyote and saddled Princess Onna so we could go out for a nice ride. At first it went well.

The Goblin Child’s beautiful pink lead rope is long, very long, longer than what is really useful. I traded lead ropes. Coyotes shorter green rope would be easier not to get tangled in and to keep from dragging while ponying. The long pink lead rope would work fine as reins for me and 8 on Coyote, I would just tie a bigger knot to take up some of the length. It seemed simple.

Then this started as soon as we got through the gate into the cattle and she noticed.

 

I was going to take her over to a fence line, set her down and tell her to walk home after I switched lead ropes and gave her the stupid pink one. It’s not that easy a thing to switch with two squirming children and prancey horses, so I tried to ignore her. By the time we got back to the corrals it had progressed to this

 

When we got back to the house I switched lead ropes so she had the pink one. She sat on Onna and balled. I turned 8 loose with Coyote and had at least one happy child until he fell on his little butt. Then there were two screamers.

 

Why do I even try?

Not Much Going On

We got an awesome box in the mail from Grandma for 8’s birthday. They had a blast opening it.

 

 

I thought I should share this so if my children ever start showing signs of brain damage everyone can know where to put the blame. Plus they were cute inflicting it upon themselves.

We woke up to forty some degrees this morning. Although it’s cloudy it almost feels hot out. All our snow melted overnight, almost, leaving lots of mud. When 8 disappeared out the door in just a diaper and boots we didn’t try to stop him, just added a shirt. And sent his sister out too. They frolicked in the mud and water and wanted to ride Princess Onna. They wore boots and helmets, I think we had all the bases covered right?

We Got Stuck!

As I’ve mentioned, it snowed.

I had a hard time deciding what vehicle to take to pick up The Goblin Child from school. The wind is blowing and the snow is drifting. Just out of the tree row there was a pretty good drift burying the road. I thought the car could probably make it but we took the pickup, just to be on the safe side. The first drift was bad the second, over the hill out of view from the house was worse but Billy, that’s my pickup, could handle it.

Getting out was no problem.

Coming home our tracks were drifted in but it didn’t look awful and my faith in Billy is great. We forged ahead. Billy plowed on until she could go no further. We were stuck. But no, that couldn’t be. Billy and I have been in tighter places than that!

Back and forth we went, taking care to shift slowly between drive and reverse. Billy is twenty two years old now, I’d hate to break the old girl. We rocked until she was able to get going backwards and we followed our tracks back out. I called my trusty husband, because what else does one do when the have problems? He said no, we couldn’t hope out into the wheat field and go around. Farmers are so weird.

So we tried again. With one set of tracks made Billy was able to fight her way a little farther before sticking. Again with lots of rocking we were able to back out. This time I gave up and told my concerned husband to go ahead and call his father to come plow a path with the payloader. I hate having to be saved.

We waited and watched as the payloader pushed a pile of snow taller that the bucket. It cleared the path out to us and we were able to get home. Probably still couldn’t have made it without four wheel drive. Good old Billy got us home safe, what a good old pickup.