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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.

 

More Snow

It snowed yesterday. A nice snow, straight down with no wind. There was a good deal of it and it was wetter than the last snows have been. School was canceled, yesterday and today.

In plowing the driveway, again, the sledding hill was made better yet. It got piled good and high last time, this time it was widened. The cousins came over and they made use of it, in ways it was never meant to be used. Kids can never just go down the right way. What fun would that be? They went down the newly broadened sides and off any banks they could find. Hopefully they will sleep well tonight.

 

 

 

 

The Sledding Hill

After the snow on Christmas, the children’s loving father piled the snow behind the house and shoveled a path down it for the kids to sled on. They have made really good use of it. They, and the cousins, and friends, wore it down to nearly nothing. then they had to clear the drive completely for a semi to come in. The semi still hasn’t shown but the cleared snow was put to good use.

With lots of help from his children their loving father built the hill even higher. He then spent most of an afternoon reshaping it and even digging steps into the back side for easy access. Nobody has taken a sled down it since its rebuild. No, they have found a different use for it.