Category Archives: Cowboys

Sunday Afternoon Riding

Sunday Afternoon Riding on the ranch.Sunday afternoon I went riding with my man. It was a lovely afternoon. Not too windy, and quite warm. First, my husband wanted to pull a reata through a post.
Huh?!
I know! It sounds weird. But he drilled some holes through an old fencepost, then planted said post firmly in our backyard. He then threaded his reata through the holes, and pulled it with his horse. Honestly, I forget exactly what it is supposed to accomplish… I know it smooths it out and stretches it a bit to get kinks out, but beyond that, well, you’ll have to ask a buckaroo. 😉

pulling a reatapulling a reataAt any rate, I helped by adding one layer of kidney fat to the reata as it went through the holes. Then made sure it didn’t kink. He pulled it approx 20 times.
(Note: the kidney fat we rendered ourselves. And boy is it a good hand-conditioner! 😀 )

Sunday Afternoon Riding on the ranch.

Big loops and slick horns…

Sunday Afternoon Riding on the ranch.

My buckaroo and one of his hand-made reatas.

After the reata was greased and pulled, we loaded up the horses and trailered them to the heifer pasture to ride through the pairs. There’s been some sickness among the calves, unfortunately, and we wanted to keep on top of it. Sunday Afternoon Riding on the ranch.Sunday Afternoon Riding on the ranch.

Confession: I don’t know how to doctor cattle. I am learning to spot sick ones, but I have yet to learn what meds should be given and how much. So I ride along and take pictures while my man does the doctoring. I also run errands for him, like: “Ride down along that ditch and make sure there’s no calves hiding in there, will ya?”
Sure. I can ride along a ditch. I’m good at that. :)
I sure enjoy being a partner to this man. He is my favorite.

Sunday Afternoon Riding on the ranch.

My husband giving a sick calf a shot.

Sunday Afternoon Riding on the ranch.Oh Cisco! Why must you stick out your tongue at the camera?! You have a pretty easy life, you know.

 

 

Cowboys on the Ranch.

cowboys on the ranchThe fiercely blowing wind was no match for the warm sunshine. It spilled through the clouds and seeped into winter-weary bones with a comforting warmth. A few green blades of grass poked bravely through the brown, sharing the warmth of the spring sun. The sound of anxious cows, calling for their young, mixed with the soft footsteps of horses on grass, and the slap-slapping of saddle leather. Spurs jingled, but the sound was covered by the “Hup, Hup! Shhh-shhh-shhh.” of the cowboys, driving the cows into a small pen.

cowboys on the ranch

cowboys on the ranchcowboys on the ranchcowboys on the ranch

 

A brief pause at the gate to clarify plans, then into the pen with the cows and their babies. Two men on the ground to keep records and help sort, three men on horseback, roping the babies and taking them to the correct pasture. The mamas follow the babies – no need to worry about them! cowboys on the ranch

cowboys on the ranch

“Obie” dragging one in.

cowboys on the ranch

cowboys on the ranchcowboys on the ranchThe sun covered me in warmth, as I lay on the prairie, camera in hand – lens poking through last summer’s weeds. I could have fallen asleep, I think, laying there on the face on the earth. There is something satisfying about the simplicity of nature. Just the sun warming my back, the grass poking my arms, the wind blowing overhead, and the occasional ‘moo’ of a worried cow in the background.
cowboys on the ranchcowboys on the ranchcowboys on the ranchI cooked lunch for the cowboys before I went outto watch them. It was only a few men, so not a big deal. I kept it simple this time…
Menu:
Swedish Meatballs
Mashed Potatoes
Sauteéd veggies (Mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and yellow squash)
Fresh bread
and for dessert I had:
Brownies with ice cream.

Moving 1st-Calf Heifers.

Yesterday My Cowboy moved our personal herd of 1st-calf heifers to the corrals. We have a small herd of 1st-timers, so it didn’t take him too long to get them moved. It was a sunny. bright day, but windy and cold.

moving heifers to the corrals

Here they come.

moving heifers to the corrals

He rode up the hill a bit, so they wouldn’t try to go where they didn’t belong.

moving heifers to the corrals

They went easily into the gate…moving heifers to the corrals

moving heifers to the corrals

moving heifers to the corrals

moving heifers to the corrals

 

 

Working cowboy on paint horse.

Cold weather gear includes a wool Scotch cap, down vest, Carhartt coat, leather leggings, and silk wild rag. (neck scarf) Riding in the cold wind calls for lots of warm layers.
Working cowboy leading  paint horse

All done…

Happy calving season! 😉

#calfwatch2015

February. The time of year when the cowboys start checking heifers every 2 hours. Watching for new calves. More specifically, watching for trouble with calving. The heifers (first-time mamas) need help gettin’ that big calf out, occasionally. So we watch. And on Instagram (my favorite social media platform!) you can search #calfwatch2015 and bring up a lot of ranchers and cowboys who are checking heifers and watching for calves. Because the babies – they are what we plan our whole year around. :)checking heifers in snowblizzard cowsEven when there is snow, we the guys go out and check on the livestock. Especially when there is snow. I go out sometimes… but not usually. 😉 When a heifer is giving birth, we bring her into the warm barn, out of the snow and cold. She stays there a day or two, giving the baby a chance to dry off, and giving the two of them a chance to bond a bit before we take them out to the ‘heifer-pasture’. These new mamas need a bit of help at times, getting used to being a mama. After the first year, they are usually just fine. heifer barnOur boss recently hired an extra hand for night-calving. That way my husband (and our boss) can sleep all night. :) Incidentally, the nightcalver is my brother-in-law.

Working Heifers in January.

The heifers needed some shots this week, so the neighbors were called, and yesterday the cowboys rode out and gathered the heifers in to the corrals.  I walked out for a few minutes and snapped few quick pictures. It wasn’t particularly inviting – the 40 mph wind was whipping the dust into my eyes (and my camera!)  and I had to keep brushing my hair out of my eyes so I could see through the veiwfinder. :)

cowboyhorses

Waiting on the cowboys to finish giving shots…

 

Hi!

Hi!

cowboys, horses, heiferscowboys, horses, heiferscowboys, horses, heifers

Sorting off a heifer...

Sorting off a heifer…

cowboys, horses, heifers

 

Daniel working the alley.

Daniel working the alley.

Coming into the chute.

Coming into the chute.

Syringe at the ready! :)

Syringe at the ready! :)

cowboys, horses, heifersMeanwhile, I was in the house, stirring, chopping, baking, and simmering. As lunch drew near, the aroma of roast beef, hot rolls, and cherry cobbler filled the house. My dear 6 year old thought lunch took forever, and kept asking: “When are the cowboys coming in???” 😀

Ready for food.

Ready for food.

Rustic Cherry Cobbler.

Rustic Cherry Cobbler.

The Menu:
Roast beef
Cheesy potatoes.
Carrots with browned butter.
Lettuce salad.
Fresh dinner rolls with blackberry jelly.
Rustic Cherry cobbler with ice cream. 

Shipping Season on the Ranch.

shipping on the ranch

There is a chill in the air, and the darkness of predawn is dotted with the lights from pickups coming in the long dirt road. The pickups are each pulling a horse-trailer, loaded with a  couple of saddled horses. They pull up to the barn, which is lit up inside, as the cowboys saddle their horses for the day. They newcomers stand in a bunch outside their pickups and chat while they wait for the sun to rise and the horses to be saddled. shipping on the ranch

shipping on the ranch

After a consultation with the cowboss, they mount up and ride out. The morning sun shines golden through the yellowing leaves of the cottonwood trees, and the breeze is picking up a bit. They gather the cows and calves, bring them to the corrals, and start loading the waiting semi’s.

Shipping: When we sort off all the calves that were born in the spring, and sell them.
 The cows are already bred to have another calf next spring, and we start the process all over.

shipping on the ranch

Brady Price bringing up the rear.

shipping on the ranch

Neighbors and hired hands.

shipping on the ranch

Bringing the stragglers down the alley.

shipping on the ranch

Cattle trucks waiting to be filled.

shipping on the ranch

Just another day at the office…. :)

shipping on the ranch

shipping on the ranch

Takin’ a nap while waiting.

shipping on the ranch

Fall is beautiful on the ranch!

Meanwhile, I am in the house, cooking, cooking, cooking! :) These men are hungry by the time noon rolls around, and I like to have plenty of good food ready.
We sure appreciate the help from the neighbors during shipping, and we return the favor when they ship their calves. The ranching community is very neighborly and wonderful. I consider myself blessed. :)

What’s happening in your part of the country these days?

Ropin’ Practice.

Yesterday we were invited to the neighbors for an afternoon of roping practice, and a BBQ. What a treat! My Cowboy loves to practice his roping skills, and I love to chat with fellow-ranch wives. And I like to photograph My Cowboy, of course. :) Although yesterday  I had a grumpy toddler in one arm who made the picture-taking rather difficult. :/ But that’s OK. Someday I will have plenty of free time and free hands for snapping pictures. And there will always be cowboys to photograph! :)

Evening light.

Evening light.

First comes the cutting practice – good practice for the horses. Keepin’ that steer away from the herd can be a job!

The Dance.

The Dance.

Then comes the chase. Run up and rope ‘im. And hope your loop sticks. :)

roping practice

 

After the header has the head loop on, you want the heeler to come in and catch the feet. But sometimes they miss. 😉 This is fairly common, because in real life, you don’t catch every single time, like they do in the movies. 😉

Humor :)

Humor :)

The others just wait for their turn…

 

roping practiceI can’t get enough of this gorgeous evening light!roping practiceroping practiceroping practice

Gettin' a drink.

Gettin’ a drink.

roping practice

Tail 'im down!

Tail ‘im down!

You kind of want to watch out for the horns, by the way. :)

 

Horns!

Horns!

 

Waitin' their turn...

Waitin’ their turn…

Hope you enjoyed this little peak into a cowboy’s day off! :)

Schrock Branding ~ 2014

Somewhere along about April or May, branding season started. And that was the beginning of crazy. It has been busy ever since. No time to sit down and blog, or sew those projects, or make those 101 pallet ideas from Pinterest! 😀

First was brandings, then gardening happened, and as you know – when your frost-free season is less than 3 months, you’d better not tarry. The ‘coon ate the chickens, so that was one less thing to do. But then there has been overnight guests and church camping trip, and more gardening, and yards to mow and did I mention brandings?!

Whew.

But here I am – trying to catch up with some of the goings-on of the past 3 months. One of the highlights for us was our branding. This year was bigger. Still small – but bigger than last year. We bought some bred heifers back in January, and they had a nice bunch of calves. It is exciting to watch our herd grow!

We invited some friends to the branding, and while most cancelled, we did manage to get plenty of help. I was busy with the meal, but I did snap a few pics with my trusty iPhone. I tell ya – that thing is so handy! I have it with me always, so I never miss those moments anymore. Always ready to snap a pic in a few seconds. Granted – the quality is less than ideal, but I still like having them.

Wyoming Ranch BrandingWyoming Ranch Brandingranch brandingWyoming Ranch BrandingWyoming Ranch BrandingWyoming Ranch BrandingWyoming Ranch BrandingWyoming Ranch BrandingWyoming Ranch Branding

Of course, with My Cowboy in charge, it was a head and heel branding. :) We enjoy learning traditional ways of doing things, and like Cliff says:

“If you have to work anyways, why not make it fun?”

:)

 

Riata Ranch Rodeo

A couple weeks ago, the Riata Ranch hosted a ranch rodeo. The ranch here was represented by my husband, the Boss, and the other ranch hand who lives here. They had a friend who filled out the team. Me and the kids watched the action…ranch rodeo

 

ranch rodeo

Calf branding.

ranch rodeoranch rodeoranch rodeo

Another team doing some trailering...

Another team doing some trailering…

 

Beer racing! A can of beer on top each post, and one more rider than beers. Whoever gets a beer at the end wins 100$. :)

Beer racing! A can of beer on top each post, and one more rider than beers. Whoever gets a beer at the end wins 100$. :)

 

Mr McRady was doing good til the last round! :)

Mr McRady was doing good til the last round! :)

Wild-cow milking is always a crowd-pleaser! Depending on the rodeo, the rules can be a bit different. This time, they had two chances to rope the cow, then they had to milk her into a bottle. All 4 feet had to be on the ground when they were milking, so they couldn’t just rope her and lay ‘er down. Somehow they ended up taking turns hauling on her tail – being drug around that way – but they finally did get some milk! :) It was really gettin’ a bit western for a minute there. My kids said: “Mom, they might have not won the rodeo, but they won first place for an interesting show!” 😀 😀

Not sure that was what they were going for, but hey…

 

Wild-cow milking... always a crowd favorite! :D

Wild-cow milking… always a crowd favorite! :D

 

Hang on!

Hang on!