Tag Archives: leather

TA Branding 2017

Morning on the ranchThe TA is a ranch west of us, that hosts a large branding every year. They actually have several ranches – quite a good-sized outfit. We were able to make it over for one of their brandings this year.
Cliff and I loaded up at 4:30 and drove around the mountain to meet at the ranch at about 6 am. We were there early, and joined the long line of trucks and trailers lining up to park.

The sun wasn’t up yet, when we mounted up and rode down to get instructions. They divided us into 4 groups, and off we went. We trotted a couple miles to the back of the pasture, got behind the cattle and started moving them back towards the corrals. In this part of the country we don’t round up and drive. 
We gather and push.
As in: “We’re gonna gather this pasture, and push them to the green gate.”

We were close to the back of the pasture when we came to this deep wash. (or gully, if you’re from the east)
The far side was steeper than it looks in the photo. One guy broke a rein-chain, and we all stopped at the top to get situated, readjust saddles, etc. This is why we use breast collars – because if you don’t, your saddle may end up over the horse’s rump.
We rode a bit further and there they were – the cattle were already starting to move, thanks to another group of riders that had reached the back of the pasture first.
Morning on the ranchAs we got closer to the corrals, the sound of lowing cows and bawling calves grew louder. The circle of cowboys tightened gradually, until we were riding side by side and bunching up to go through the gate.
It was a lovely, overcast morning. Cold at first but warming without getting too hot.The scenery was amazing, and the remote location meant no sounds of traffic or other civilization. Just cowboys, cattle, and horses.Morning cattle drive roundup wyoming

Quite the long line of trucks…
Question: Do you say pickup or truck? I was having this conversation with a friend recently, and I hadn’t thought about it much, but now I pay attention…. and yes, we say truck! 😀 Or at least I do. I guess I need to listen to what other around here call them. I have lived so many places in my life that I never know if I am speaking local slang or just carryover from my childhood. :)
PS – extra points if you recognize our rig. 😉Cattle trailers trucks at the branding

Once we had all the cows and calves into the corral, we waited for them to pair up a bit while we got instructions. Well, they got instructions. I offered my help but since there were so many people, the boss told me to just go take pictures. (Thank you Mr. Haskell!)Waiting at the TA branding

Firm handshakes 'round here.

Firm handshakes ’round here.

Oklahoma buckaroo Cody  holds a calf while it gets a brand.

Oklahoma buckaroo Cody holds a calf while it gets a brand.

 

Janet Jordan from Walden, CO throws a nice loop out there.

Janet Jordan from Walden, CO throws a nice loop out there.

Roping calves at the TA Cowgirl roping at the TA Funny cow photo heading and heeling at the TA Branding cowboy at the TA Branding calf in sagebrush cowgirl roping John Love roping at the TA Jed Roark and John Love roping at the TA Cliff Schrock roping at the TA Cody Roy roping at the TAThere were 800+ calves that day. They gathered, roped, and branded them by 11:00 am. There were two branding pots set up, and lots of ropers! Still, that’s pretty impressive. I had so much fun photographing them. Hope you enjoyed this little piece of western life. :)

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.

 

 

CK Custom Leather ~ Spur Leathers

 

I want to show you a bit of my husband’s leather work today. Spur leathers, specifically.

Don’t know what they are? Basically, they are a piece of leather that holds the spur onto the boot. But like most cowboy gear – they are usually made to be fashionable as well as functional.

spurMy husband does amazing leather work. I am always impressed with the attention to detail and the quality of work he produces. Yes – I am prejudiced, 😉  but I have been to many leather shops and shows with him, and I have seen a lot of work. I still think his is outstanding.

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Like any good artist – he tends to be his own worst critic – pointing out flaws. I, on the other hand – have no problem bragging him up. No problem, I tell you! :)

Check out the fancy silver buckles on these babies.

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The thud of his hammer is often heard during tooling… For those of you new to the business – he cuts the designs into the leather using a very sharp little swivel knife, then he uses a small steel ‘stamp’ and pounds the leather down in places – to give the design a 3D effect. IMG_3627

Another pair of custom spurs. Beautiful.IMG_3638 Oh wait… actually – I think these are his own spur leathers! :) Yes, he wears his own handwork. Rides in his own saddle, too. (cinched down with his wife’s hand-made cinch.) 

Check out the gorgeous Jeremiah Watt spurs! Pretty, pretty! IMG_3657Here’s another pair of custom spurs.
IMG_6783If you want to order spur leathers (or any leather item) just contact me, or shoot Cliff an email at ckcustomleather (at) gmail (dot) com.

CK Custom Leather Spotlight ~ Custom Ladies’ Armitas

Armitas

My Cowboy works hard for a living. All cowboys and ranchers do. But after the ‘official’ workday is over, (is there such a thing on a ranch? :) ) he goes back out to his leather shop and continues working. I know a lot of cowboys who tinker with leather – often making or at least repairing their own tack and saddles. But My Cowboy took it a step farther, and turned his hobby into a side business. He makes custom saddles, chaps, tack, belts… you name it.

armitas This is the first in a series of posts shining a spotlight on his work. He specializes in pairing aesthetics with function. He can carve leather beautifully, but it’s not finished til the chaps fit right, the tack is made of the best leather, or the saddle seat is as smooth as butter.

Here is a pair of custom, two-tone armitas he made for a rancher’s wife here in Wyoming. I really like them. When my babies grow up a little, and I start riding enough to justify it – I want a pair very similar to these. :)  Just pretty. That’s what they are.

armitasWhat is your favorite style of chaps? Have you ever had a custom pair made for you?