My year in review

  
   The biggest step going from spring to summer is of course, haying. We did our entire pivot in small squares this year. And we also did a piece of grass land about 30 miles from us for horse hay. And my dad put up a few hundred straw bales a few miles away. Next year he may help some friends of ours at church due a hay meadow. They have a nine year old daughter that is just the coolest little cowgirl you will ever meet! Her name is Dorothy, and she’s just like the little sister that I prayed to have. 

   And of course you have working cattle before turning them out on grass. Around here in the Sandhills of Nebraska Cheat grass is a real problem, so to contain it, we do what is called Cheat grazing, or horde grazing. That means you take a pile of cows and put them on a patch of pure cheat grass until they’ve grazed at least the seed head off, and then you take them to another patch. It’s a great thing to do with a young horse because their feet never stop moving. You are constantly riding around the group to keep them from leaving the Cheat for better stuff.  You can practice stepping off the front and rear quarters, backing up, side passing, picking up their feet for trimming, and rollbacks while you do the rounds. By doing this we can get the cattle out of the dusty feed lot and eating green grass before the other warm season grasses in the rest of the pasture are ready to be grazed. 

   It also stretches your hay, when by that time of year if your last hay season wasn’t a good one, your running on low.  Although a wise Cowboy once said, “A good cowboy is always at least one year ahead on hay.” That saying rings very true, although it’s not always possible to be a full year ahead on hay, it’s a good idea to put up every little bit that you can. I’ve heard countless Cowboys say that same thing in one form or another who come from all over the country. 

   This summer I also had the opportunity to ride a horse for money! A friend ours in South Dakota who is a Ferrier referred him to us. The man had a green, arena broke horse that he wanted to trail ride with, so he wanted us to put some miles and experience on it. He was a downright pleasure to ride once he and I had reached the understanding that I would not allow him to push and shove me, and neither would I allow him to fidget like crazy while being saddled, or walking off while being mounted. Once he realized that he wasn’t going to get away with being a brat, he quite trying. Although he never did stop that silly little jog he always wanted to do. He never wanted to just relax and walk. In the three weeks we had him, I was only able to make him walk for an extended period seven times. And that was only after I had plumb wore him out! Also he could be a little spooky, but you couldn’t really classify him as a ‘spook’ because you always remained in complete control, and his spooking stemmed from just being hyper aware of his surrounds. He knoiced things that a lot of horses never would. His hyper awareness saved him from a few rattle snakes actually. 

   In June, I had the opportunity to go to Covenant Cedars Bible Camp in Horde Nebraska. They had an excellent speaker who’s name was Andy Tilly. The them was Rise Up! We are to rise above this world and its obstacles. To rise above our fears, our temptations, our anger, our grief, our guilt and self loathing, our loneliness, and overcome.

  1 John 5:4-5   For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

   I really hope that I have the opportunity to go back in 2016 because it really helped me to grow in my walk with the Lord. The theme for 2016 is Forge. Ephesians 2:10    For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. 

   After camp, haying continued and I was on a horse checking cattle and solar tanks. I wasn’t out there anywhere near as much as last year because I hurt my back.  Dad didn’t have me help him in the hayfield very much either this year.

   In October, my mom, dad, and I, all got really bad colds. It was my third cold this year! Once we were well again, we moved our house. That’s a long story that I’m not going to repeat right now, but you can read about it on my old blog at http://www.Cowgirlsavvy.weebly.com

   Also in October, I got two little miniature horses! I’ve wanted a mini or two for a few years now. I got a stud colt named Goerge, and a mare named Sugar. I’m training them to pull a little sled. I’ll wait to start teaching Georgie until spring because he’s too young right now. But Sugar is doing really well! She’s already pulling a light square bale on the little sled my dad and I built. Hopefully I will be able to start using her to help me with my chores pretty soon. πŸ™‚

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this is what we started with
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my Dad cut and bent the mettle strap for the front of the runner and attatched it to a 2×4
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he welded a rod between the two runners to keep them from tipping in when being pulled
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the chain was also welded on, and the tree atatched
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hitched up! And yes, I made all my own harness. it may not be the prettiest, but it gets the job done.
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Sugar pulling the sled for the first time!

   A few weeks after we picked up the minis, I rode back to Casper Wyoming with my Uncle who had been visiting on a Sunday afternoon. We spent most of the day Monday gathering cattle in a pasture that had to be at least 2000+ acres. We went back really early Tuesday to sort the calves off. We finished around noon, and when the Semi got there, the calves were loaded, I unsaddled the horse I was riding and put all my gear in the Semi to ride back with him to a sale barn near the Nebraska boarder where my dad came and picked me up to take me the rest of the way home. The trucker was the Sweetest old man named Willi 😊. I wish I could have talked to him more, but the semi was so loud I couldnt hear him because he has such a soft voice. I really hope that I can go up there when they have their big cattle drives again. ☺️ that was probably the coolest thing I did all summer!πŸ˜„

   So that brings me to December and Christmas. My favorite Christmas present was a young horse! We let a guy use one of our bulls this summer, and he’s letting me pick one of his weanlings!πŸ€—  That was the last thing I was expecting for Christmases! I really do need another horse though. I do way more riding than my filly can handle on her own. You need at least two horses to alternate between here. Three would be ideal. I would like to teach my new horse how to cut if she/he has the attitude for it. 

   Well folks, that was the highlights of my year, although I left out most of the littler things and lots of details. But if I tried to type everything in detail, it would take till spring as I’m not the fastest typer. πŸ™‚ 

  

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