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