Saturday, December 3, 2011

Roxie's Corner: Year end report

Sent from my IPad

Bets was late feeding this morning.  I knew it would happen.  It was waaaaay late before the last lights in the house went out.  Humans haven't got the sense of us dogs; we sleep any chance we get.  Even cats have that many smarts.

She did find a New Year's quote that I approved of, and will pass along to you.  This is from Martin Siligman, "Do you think of your life as a battleground or a playground?"  Well, duh!  All us dogs know that life is a playground.  Don't humans realize that?  I feel so sorry for them sometimes.

Life is good.  I have to help Bets and Bob feed the cows every morning and night.  Those heifers are just too dumb to find the hay by themselves, so out of the goodness of my heart I drive them to it. Then I have to walk with Bets and protect her from wild animals, like coyotes, rabbits, quail, cats, javelina.  What would my humans do without me?
I would help even more with the horses if Bob would allow it.  When he is working with a new one in the round pen I could really line that pony out--you remember, I told you how helpful border collies are--but when I try he puts me in the kennel.  Sigh!  Oh well, there are always cows.  And, my kennel is close enough to the round pen that I can at least keep an eye on what is going on.
Temperatures have been in the 70's this week; the perfect way to bring in the New Year.  Bob studies at night, when he isn't watching football games or bull riding, and rides during the day.  What a life!  He doesn't even talk about retirement; what would he do different?

Amigo and Little Moon have learned to share the round hay manger this winter.  Well, Little Moon does get quite a bit of exercise running around the manger when Amigo gives him that look, so I guess you might say that Little Moon is getting an A in manger sharing and Amigo is somewhere around a C-and has room for improvement. At least there has never been any hair missing on either of them.

The neighborhood has hit the skids.  We have two, count them, two new stray cats, and a traiter who shall remain nameless is keeping feed and water out for them.  She claims they help keep mice away, and less mice mean less rattlesnakes.  Sounds suspicious to me.  Bob says the cats have hung a sign on the gate, saying "Come one, come all."

All of us in Arizona miss Ashley and Andy, and Elsie, the two-legged-puppy, but she is able to talk on the phone now, and Ashley sends pictures, so that will have to do until April when we all head north again.  I'll post photos the next blog.

Things I over hear in the round pen:  "Get to your horse's feet.  Know where each foot is at all times so you can place the feet where you need them."  Horses appreciate this, because otherwise it is just as if they stepped into their mouth when you ask them to stop or turn. Ever ride a young horse and find yourself thinking, oops, I feel like I could be in big trouble?  For no reason you can imagine, the horse is becoming more agitated and ill at ease all the time?  Think about your timing and get with it.  The response from your horse is usually immediate.  

Remember the critters during the holidays.  We like a few  goodies too--even fruitcake--although we prefer turkey or ham, especially with a little gravy.
Happy New Year,
and keep your kibble dry.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finding the Good

sent from my old beat-up laptop

Jackson Stables, Raton, NM April 2011
 "We all know people who seem to 'roll with the punches' so to speak, who are pleasant and cheerful through almost any challenge.  Generally these are the people with whom we like to spend our time, for they make us feel better about circumstances and about ourselves. It seems that good things gravitate to them, for they don't let less-than-ideal circumstances stand in their way.  They choose to find joy everywhere and to leave it behind them when they go." (Thomas S. Monson, "In quest of the Abundant Life.")

I bet every one of us knows someone like the above.  Would you share by commenting about someone who has made your life more joyful with their cheerful outlook?

I've been pondering about starting a post about some of the better places you have found to stay with your horses, some tips on traveling with horses and even some training tips that have proved helpful.  I realize that we need some guidelines--or rules--and we want to keep this simple so here goes: 1. Keep it positive; no critical or negative remarks allowed.  End of rules, unless there is a need for more.  I will go first, briefly, and you can add your ideas.

In Nebraska, we have two places we recommend that are comfortable for the horses and very hospitable and welcoming.  In York, on our way to Iowa, we stayed at the Diamond B for what was supposed to be an overnight, but turned into four days while we were waiting for a part for the truck.  The Diamond B is a few miles out of town, has electrical hookups, stalls, pens and two clean, cheerful, comfortable rooms for those who do not have living quarters in their trailer and want to stay close to their horses. (or maybe you just need a break from trailer living)  Diane is very friendly, helpful and accommodating. We recommend it highly.  Call her at 402-362-5439 or cell 402-363-4475

Driving west, we have stayed in Lexington, NE at Plum Creek Vet Clinic a number of times.  The stalls are large, with rubber mats and shavings, automatic waterers, and the veterinarian owner is also friendly and helpful.  It also has an electrical hookup and is easy to get to. We have stayed there at least three times. Their number is 308-324-2016.  By the way, both locations in Nebraska are close to Wal-Mart stores. 
In Raton, New Mexico, Jackson Stables is the place we always stay.  Again, it is safe for the horses, there are automatic waterers for the critters and electrical connections for the humans, and you will enjoy visiting with Linda Jackson, a retired teacher who has taken on a second career operating a horse motel. For trail riders there are trails close by, and it is gorgeous country. Call 575-445-9789 All of these places are quite clean and require health certificates. We will tell you about some other places later on, but I promised to keep it brief.

OK, just one more.  The Kiva RV Park and Horse Motel north of Socorro, New Mexico on I25 has been very convenient for us, the pens are big and there are stalls if you want. We also always meet nice folks there. A little extra are the adorable rescue burros on site. She also had the biggest donkey--sixteen hands--I have ever seen.  Now it is your turn to share.  Please let me hear from you.

By the way "tomorrow" finally came.  I promised to post this "tomorrow," about a month ago, so I guess it was a far distant tomorrow.  The next thing on my mind is another southwestern  recipe, or something useful on cow work or roping from Bob, or both.  Maybe next week.

These beggers were almost too cute to leave behind in South Dakota,
and obviously planned on getting a handout.
 Happy Trails,                

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Labor Disputes

Well, I thought this blog would be done by now, but it seems that we have a labor/management dispute; meaning that Roxie and I cannot decide who is labor and who is management.  The last I saw of her she was disappearing into her dog house after tacking a list of her demands on the door.  She says that until they are met she is on strike and there will be no more posts from her.  It all started when Cheryl Lieurance sent us this photo of Holly curled up in a fleece blanket.  We thought it was too cute not to include in a blog, but when Roxie saw it she got a kink in her tail and her nose out of joint, and now she is demanding a fleece blanket of her own, more jerky treats and her own I Pad.  We are negotiating about the I Pad; however, it looks as if tomorrow we will be shopping for jerky, and more fleece in a tasteful doggie print.  Meanwhile, you are stuck with hearing about what I want to share from our summer and fall adventures. 

Holly is a sweet, elderly Beagle who, along with Quirt,
 an Australian Shepherd, owns Mark and Cheryl Lieurance,
of Sperry, Iowa

Fall is such a lovely time to travel, and I
felt like sharing this one of some trees at a rest stop in Colorado.

After almost five days in Arizona I am beginning to recover from the drive.  To say that I do not enjoy driving is like saying Custer didn't enjoy that day at the Little Big Horn.  After pulling the stock trailer through Denver I looked in the back seat, fully expecting to see my guardian angel collapsed in exhaustion, or texting for a back-up.  How do some of you do that every day? We took the trip in four very easy days and stayed at relaxing places along the way--but more about that later.

Summer at the TA was lovely, and we are happy to be going back next summer.  Bob enjoyed all the Cowboy School students, and as I've said elsewhere, the best perks in this business are the wonderful people we have met along the way and the friends we've made. Tomorrow--after shopping for fleece--I want to share a few of the good places we have found to stay with the horses.  If Roxie and I can reach a settlement we might even have more pictures of Wyoming and some of our clinics.  I also have an idea for the blog and your feedback is needed. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roxie's Corner:

I read this over Betty's shoulder today.  "Optimism is not about providing a recipe for self-deception.  The world can be a horrible, cruel place, and at the same time it can be wonderful and abundant.  These are both truths.  There is not a halfway point; there is choosing which truth you put in your personal foreground." (Professor of psychology, Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book, The How of Happiness, p.111)

Cow dogs are very good at optimism, so I liked this a lot.   Bets says that I have been remiss about the blog all summer long.  I think remiss means that I have not done her blog for her while she has been goofing off at the TA Ranch all summer. Tonight I will be updating some fun stuff that I did this summer and might even include something for her.  Hmmmm?  Should I ask for a raise? Should I ask for a salary first?  Maybe more dog treats?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Roxie's Corner

Reporting from a horse stall in Chaska, Minnesota
and hoping that the wood shavings don't clog up my computer.  The barn cats are prowling around with evil intentions and I have to keep one eye on them while I type.

We arrived early this evening after two weeks in Sperry, Iowa, which is a great place for horses and dogs.  The humans seemed to be having a good time too. We took walks around the lake, through the woods and down to the shooting range, with occasional dips in the lake.  I can vouch for the quality of the food served, because Bets shared her lunch with me a time or two and it was yummy, although she could have left a bit more.  There is an ugly rumor going around that I hurried home from the shooting range because I was afraid of the gun shots, but don't believe it.  I think the barn cats must have started it, and as I always say, you can't trust cats.  The quality of the walks varied a lot: fast and fun when Arda was there to walk with us, poky and slow when Bets walked alone.  I didn't complain though--another thing I always says is, we dogs live in the moment and any moment spent "in the zone" as Cesar calls it, is good.

Gene parting one out from the rodear.  I was still waiting patiently.
I heard several people comment that the Foundation Horsemanship and Advanced Horsemanship clinics went well and all the humans and horses seemed pleased. Me, I was counting the hours until the Cow Working and Ranch Roping clinics, wondering, would Bob realize how badly he needed me to herd calves. I was holding my breath. Humans can be so unpredictable and illogical that you just can't count on them, but finally, at the end of each day he called me to come help get those ornery critters back in their pen.  Oh delight! Oh joy! Oh what an audience!  They loved me.

First I ambled nonchalantly down the arena until I was within striking distance, and then I went into my dreaded Border Collie Stalking Mode and those babies froze in fear, not knowing which way to turn.  Next they received a dose of "cow dog in your face" which made them take off like a covey of quail.  I was just getting ready for pursuit when he-who-ruins-all-my-fun shouted "DOWN" and I hit the dirt on my belly.  I waited patiently for the "OK" command which means I can get back into the action and it finaly came when the calves slowed down to an insolent crawl.  A few nips at their heels brought them back into line and after that it was just a matter of follwing them up the arena and directing their attention to the open gate of the cow pen.  They looked back over their shoulders once, realized that I was still on duty and went into the pen like good little calves.  Mission accomplished.  Of course Bob and Bets both showered me with GOOD GIRL accolades.

 For your edification I've included a couple pictures of the clinic from my perspective.

What a lovely view.

Bob observing my flawless technique.

UH OH!  Those cats are getting waaaaay too brave.  Time to put a little fear into them.  Bets will show you photos of the rest of the clinic--ho hum, just lots of horses and humans. The ropers are my kind of folks; they understand what is important in life, and they are working hard to get better and better.  Bob was so proud of all of them that he bragged to Bets about how well they did.  Of course he was proud of the horsemanship students also, but if there aren't cows involved just take me for a long walk. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wyoming Happenings

The trailer is hooked up, the bags are packed and the cat is hiding somewhere in the house because he knows the signs by now, but a little tuna will lure him out in the morning.  Tomorrow we--Bob and Betty, horses, dog and cat--head out for the clinic at Mark and Cheryl Lieurance's  in Sperry, Iowa.

For the last week and a half we have been at the TA Ranch while Betty got R&R for a cold and, among other things, Bob helped teach a couple of show steers weighing in at about 1150 lbs a piece how to lead.  Cattle can be taught to lead using the same techniques that work with horses, although in this case a good stout post in the pen provided the means to roll the hind quarters and get the steers stepping through.  We snapped a few photos to show how it progressed. Because these guys hadn't been handled and were pretty defensive they were run into the squeeze chute to get the halters on.  After the halters were in place, with long lead ropes, they were turned loose one at a time and --very carefully--the ropes were retrieved and wrapped around a stout post.  Both steers checked out the post and lead ropes pretty thoroughly, giving them their first introduction to breaking over the hindquarters. 
 After they learned to respect the rope they were turned loose in the pen and worked by their youthful owners in a confined space. They learned to yield to the rope, soften and move their hind quarters away by stepping the inside hind leg across and in front of the outside hind leg, just as you would teach a horse. When this happens they turn and follow on a loose lead if they are rewarded with a release of pressure for even a small try.  By the second sessions both steers had gentled down considerably and  their education had begun.  The black steer was even leading up and looking for Cody for head scratches.  The bald faced steer was a little slower to respond, but he had been the quieter of the two in the beginning.
After just two sessions they were progressing well and it will be fun to see how they are doing when we return to Wyoming in a few weeks.  Both the youth and their parents were fast learners which made it easier for the steers to learn.  As you can see there was no ramming or jamming, no dust was raised and no one was hurt.  We will keep you updated on their progress.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Arizona Recipes, Annett's Green Chili Rice

2 cups cooked rice
8 oz sour cream
1 7oz can diced green chilies
1 cup grated cheese (Mexican Blend)

Mix all of the above together.  Enjoy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Roxie's Corner

I'm sure you've heard the old saying, "If you ain't the lead dog the scenery never changes."  Well, if you are riding in the back seat of the pick-up during the day, and confined to the horse trailer at night, ditto.  The most I can tell you about our trip from Arizona to Wyoming is that it kept getting colder, and in New Mexico they have found a new definition for wind.   The folks where we spent the nights were sure nice though, and I got to get out of the truck for more than 5 minutes at a time for my walks with Bets.  The horses liked their accommodations at  Kiva in Socorro and the lady there is one smart cookie--she had at least 3 Basset hounds and 2 other dogs of indeterminate breeding, so the neighborhood is as good as you can get without cows.

In Raton, at Jackson Stables, the owner, who obviously has great taste and perception, thought I looked like a two-year-old.  I was really preening and strutting my stuff when She-who-ruins-all-my-fun told her my true age, but since age is about how you think, rather than how long you have been around, I paid no attention.  Bets and Bob got to stay right there close to the horses both nights so I could keep my ears on everything that was happening in case they needed to be alerted to something dangerous.  Nothing dangerous happened.  You can see from the photo how lovely Raton is. I can highly recommend each place we stopped.  Bets didn't get a pix of Socorro.  She slips up like that if I don't keep on top of things all the time.

The third night we spent in Wellington, CO at Last Chance Equestrian Resort.  No pictures (again), but the place is gorgeous, the hospitality is superb, and LuAnn was having a 4H cattle working evening.  You-know-who wouldn't let me out to help.  LuAnn is cool and has two really smart canines in addition to all her other critters.  A real animal and people person, but she doesn't take many over night horses since she has so many boarders--Bob has known her for a long time.

Not much else happened in CO. Oh, yeah, one more little thing to report: Bob had a fan belt break when the idler (your guess is as good as mine) froze up on his truck, and he lost his power steering and brakes.  I was with him and things looked a little scary for a minute or two, but it happened right at the Wellington exit, so he managed to pull off and get to a little service station in Wellington.  The nice man there got right to work, his wife ran into Ft. Collins to get the part, and they had the truck running again in a couple hours.  Bob said we were really blessed again.  I didn't hear the name of the mechanic and I can't read signs, but there are sure good humans in Wellington--and most other places we go.

We got to Wyoming the 4th day--whatever that is it is a long time for a dog--and I LOVE the TA Ranch!  There are cows!  So far I haven't been able to work any, but just to see and smell the cows is heaven again. Crazy Woman Creek runs through the ranch and wading in the creek in the summer is going to be sooooo much fun!  Bets takes me for a walk each morning, and Elsie (the human puppy) is nicer than I dared hope, although in my opinion Bets and Bob give her entirely too much attention. 
We are loving it here, the humans are very welcoming, and we are getting set for the clinics in  Iowa (I'll get to see Quirt again) and Minnesota where I'll get to see Aiden (sp?) and Lucy.  The two legged critters there are really fun too. Until next time, keep your kibble dry.    

Monday, April 18, 2011

Arizona Recipes--Karen's Enchiladas

This is a recipe for the very popular enchiladas that my sis makes.  She serves these with Mexican Rice and refried beans--all of them topped with generous portions of cheese.  This will make a dozen.


1/3 cup chili powder                                                        1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup olive oil                                                               3 chicken breasts or 3 cans of chicken
1 16oz pkg 4 cheese blend, grated cheese                        12 corn tortillas
diced onions to taste--I use approximately 1/2 cup, but this is personal.
1 to 2 teaspoons unsweetened coca, optional

If using fresh chicken, poach chicken until done and tender. Drain, reserving broth, and cool; or drain canned chicken, reserving broth. Add enough water to broth to make a quart.

To make sauce: Stir flour into olive oil, stir in chili powder, add 1/2 quart of water/broth combination and shake or stir until very smooth and no lumps.  For richer flavor and color add the coca at this point.  Add remaining broth and heat in a heavy pan until smooth and thick.
Dice and shred chicken in a large bowl, add 1 cup of grated cheese, onions and enough sauce to moisten.

Heat additional olive oil in a large heavy skillet--we use cast iron--on medium high heat.  With tongs dip one side of a tortilla in hot oil and remove as soon as it softens.  Drain on a paper towel.  Continue to dip just one side of each tortilla in hot oil and stack them, oil side down.  If oil smokes it is too hot; you do not want to cook them, just soften them so they do not tear when you roll them.

Ladle enough enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 12 X 13 pan to just cover the bottom.  This helps keep the enchiladas from drying out and sticking when they are baked.

Place 1/12 of your chicken mixture on a tortilla, slightly off center, and roll.  Place the enchilada seam side down in the sauce in the pan and continue until all chicken and tortillas are used.  If there are too many for the pan you can put a little sauce in a pie pan to hold the extras.  Get creative with the arrangement if you need to.  You want them cozy but not crowded.

Ladle additional sauce over the enchiladas and top with a generous amount of the grated cheese.    Bake, uncovered, in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese melts and sauce bubbles.  Do not over bake.  You can make these up ahead of time and refrigerate, covered.  Just uncover and heat 30 approximately  minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.  You can also separate these into smaller pans and heat as you need.

Serve with rice, beans, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and sour cream.  Guacamole is good too.  Let your guests pile on what they like.  Six servings.

 You may have sauce and cheese left over.  This is not an exact science. It sounds complicated but makes up fast and pretty easy.  Serve the extra in case anyone wants more sauce or cheese.

You can also substitute shredded beef or browned ground beef for chicken.  I have substituted some cooked brown rice for 1/3 of the meat mixture.

Calorie count?  Don't ask/don't tell, but you can cut down on fat content by making your sauce with flour, chili powder and broth, mix very well and heat until smooth and thickened.  You do sacrifice some flavor, but they are still good.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Joni the Rescue Horse

In the vet's opinion, Joni, starved and neglected was just barely hanging on when Ginette found her and rescued her, but plenty of good feed and proper care and affection brought her back from the brink.  Trouble was, because of her history there was a very troubled horse still inside and when she was fit enough to be ridden again she was too scared and troubled to tolerate a rider.  After being bucked off, Ginette, who is a very experienced rider but no bronc stomper, knew the mare needed lots of help.

In the meanwhile Bob had been having extended conversations about horses with his chiropractor, who happened to be Ginette's husband.  That led, eventually, to Bob's meeting with Joni.  When he traveled to her barn to meet with her and Ginette, he took along Phil Hearn, from the UK who was attending Bob's four week course.  Joni was locked up mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically from nose to tail. Bob did the preparation and ground work, spending a lot of time freeing up the atlas joint (what Deb Bennett dubbed "head twirling") the hind quarters and the mind.  This caused the jaw, neck and top line to relax and get soft.  He also helped her get over some of her fears about flags and movement, and let down and relax around humans.  He worked to reach the entire being of this troubled little horse.

As she began to feel better inside the transformation outside became obvious.  She let down, dropped her head softly, began to lick and chew and show that she was a happier horse.  Bob supported her as Phil put on the saddle and stepped away.  She accepted that with confidence, and the freeing up of the atlas and hind quarters was repeated. As she learned to move with a soft, relaxed mind and back under the saddle it became apparent that she was ready for a rider, and Phil stepped on.
She walked off Phil petting and reassuring her while he stayed relaxed in the saddle.  The first ride she was still pretty unsure about Phil being up there and scooted out a time or two, but he just stayed relaxed and went with her, with Bob coaching him.  When she was ready they began to repeat the lessons she had learned from the ground.

 Bob flagged Phil and Joni to help him bend her, once again working to assure that the hind quarters, atlas joint, jaw, neck and top line stayed long and not contracted or stiff.  This kept her mind open and curious.
The third day, after Phil's third ride, Ginette got on and had a nice ride, walking and trotting the mare.  Ginette had a huge smile on her face and the horse stayed happy and relaxed.   In three weeks Bob and Phil worked with Joni four, two hour sessions.  As of the latest report the mare is going quietly on trail rides.

Friday, April 8, 2011

HorseSense Horsemanship--Bob's comments

Spend time feeling the locomotion of your horse.  At the walk feel what your horse is doing underneath you.  Feel that as one side goes forward the other side goes backward.  As one side goes up the other side goes down.  On our web site under the horsemanship page you can scroll down and see the flow chart I developed to help riders understand the footfalls at the walk.  This understanding helps us achieve better feel for and with our horse.  This better feel helps us learn better timing, so we ask our horse for the turn, stop or transition at the optimum time, so that it is easier for the horse to comply with our request.
Good equitation is three little words: Timing, Feel and Balance
Direct the feet.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Young Riders

Shelby branding
Phil getting a colt ready for an older rider.
We have been experimenting with a new program this winter and are excited about the response so far.  The new program is offered in addition to our other classes, for a limited number of those who want an intensive training course and have the dedication to give some serious time to it.  The minimum time is four weeks, and we will give preference to a student who can commit to a twelve week course. We are giving a deep price cut  for these classes in order to give the younger or career oriented riders more opportunity.  Please email us at cowboyschool@ranch-roper or call 520-247-8195 to visit with Bob about details and prices.  These are the two extended class students from fall and winter of 2010/2011.  So far this class is only available in Arizona in the winter months.

We will give you more details about Shelby and Phil later this week.

Roxie's Corner or a border collie's diary

Roxie, the Border Collie has let us know that if we are going to blog she deserves equal time, so Roxie's corner will appear occasionally to allow her more self-expression.  I did warn her that it would be edited for content and bias.

Roxie says: Life as a cow dog in Arizona on a 3 cow outfit doesn't exactly make full use of my excellent disposition, training or energy level, so my exercise program has expanded from making laps around the lower turn-out (which was getting boring since those cowardly rabbits began running under the fence before I could even spot them) to accompanying Betty on her walks down the road in the morning.  My job as guard dog, critter chaser and sniffer outer of news stories as they break is not as intellectually stimulating as herding cows, but it beats hanging around the kennel all morning.

It was a lovely spring morning in the desert, with plenty of smells to investigate, birds to spook, fenced in dogs to tease (eat your heart out prisoners) and no cars for miles.  There were a few rattle snakes around, but I avoid them and don't tell Betty when they are around.  What she doesn't know won't hurt her.

My human is a bit on the lazy side since her winter walking buddy left for Texas and parts north, so there isn't much to report on this morning.  We did walk far enough to visit with that good-looking German Shepherd on the corner of the Cochise Stronghold road, but she put me on the leash so fast that there was hardly time for more than a quick hello.  I thought at first that crossing paths with a couple of illegals who tried to pretend they didn't see us would offer a little diversion, but she-who-ruins-my-fun, called me back just about the time I was going into guard dog mode and I didn't even get a good sniff.  They couldn't resist looking back over their shoulders though, to make sure no one was on their heels--LOL.

The most exciting part of the trip was a silly little teen aged jack rabbit that sat in the road with the morning sun shining through his translucent pink ears, nose twitching, not a care in the world. I went into stalking mode and sneaked up to within six feet of him before he even knew I was there, then he spied me, leaped straight up and took off like a scared rabbit (pun intended) and since I was in a generous mood, and jack rabbits run like the wind, I chose not to pursue the varmint. Had it been a nice, plump, slow cotton tail, or if I was even three years younger I might have been tempted.

Not much else to report today.  I don't get my breakfast until after my exercise but this morning there were two (I can count to three) raw steak bones on top of my kibble and steak bones are almost as good as cow heels. Life could be worse.

PS Do not bother to criticize my grammer or spelling.  I am a dog and as a superior species we are above such things.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Why Cowboy School?

The above question has been ask again and again and in a nut shell we could say that Bob loves to teach.  To understand all the reasons we need to go back to his early years on the family ranch/farm in Central Utah.  In addition to all the usual chores associated with cattle they mowed, baled and hauled hay, milked cows, raised grain, cleaned irrigation ditches with a shovel, irrigated at all hours and hired out to the neighbors for spending money.  His older and younger brother learned that there were easier professions and left for jobs in the city.  Bob learned that he wanted to work with horses and cattle--not milk cows.

While spending time in the military he spent every spare moment horseback, more often than not with a rope in his hand.  Team roping and day work for local cattlemen kept him sane as he pursued a career in the power industry, but after discovering Ray Hunt his enthusiasm for teaching horses and people grew exponentially. He embraced Ray's horse philosophy completely, and with additional training from people like Tom Dorrance, Buck Brannaman and Bryan Neubert, soon neighbors and friends began to ask for help with their horses.  He discovered that it was the human that needed the most training and that he loved working with people as well as horses.  Trailer loading alone could have kept him busy, but that soon led to horsemanship clinics and that led to the question posed by a student from the east: "Where do you go to learn to be a cowboy?"

After pondering that for awhile, Bob realized that he could think of no place to recommend for cowboy instruction and more pondering led to the Cowboy School concept.  After 15 years of operating the Cowboy School he is still excited about meeting each new student and sharing his understanding and training skills with her or him.  Over the years, in response to student interest, he has expanded his instruction to include more and more horsemanship while still offering ranch roping and cow working classes and clinics.

Bob considers himself a very lucky guy.  He gets to teach horses and people the philosophy, skills and techniques that are dear to him while steadily learning more about his chosen field.  He enjoys the satisfaction of seeing that light in the eyes of his horse and human students that says, "Yeah!  I get it!" And he can do it while enjoying the best of every part of the US--the wonderful rural American country.

In the end it is all about what is best for horses and people.

Betty King