Posts Tagged With: #AQHAfilly

Crazy week last week. I know, they are all crazy.

                Monday was Presidents’ Day, happy Presidents’ Day. We did normal ranch work and got ready for the upcoming week of going to Fort Worth for the AQHA Convection. We checked mares to see if anyone would foal while we were gone. Got heavy cows in, put out hay.  Because this was a bonus day off for me and the kids, we really tried to get a bunch done. Kade rode his horse Stormy again, the kids caught their steers, I took lots of calf pictures. It was cousin Jay’s birthday so we had to harass him a little about getting old. He is one of the younger cousins.

Tuesday I drove to Reno with John from work to go to the Family Farm Alliance conference. I had a great time while we were there. We went to a lot of great conferences. The roads were good on the way. We went to a Western Store a few miles from the Silver Legacy Casino, D Barn M on 4th st. They sold me some shirts on the cheap to wear to the AQHA Convention, including one for Dad. They were great at that store so if you are in that area, you should check it out.

Back at home the kids went to school. Jaxsen wasn’t too happy. The other kids probably weren’t either but they are less vocal about it. Toni was back to checking the cows. She had some client meetings so had to go warp speed through checking. Everyone came home after school and normal chores got done. We have tried to really pair down chores as 2 people will be house sitting and doing the chores that 6 people do normally. So all foals that could be turned out are turned out. Water troughs are as full as they can get. Anything we could get done ahead of time was done.

Wednesday the stress of all of us leaving for the first time in approximately 18 years was getting high, but everyone was doing ok. Mom was still worried about her dog, but she knew Marlo would take good care of him. Everything was normal for a Wed. No new calves. We have really slowed down on calving and are at the tail end. All of the calves are getting big and look really good. Due to the constant weather fluctuations, we are still on watch for any pneumonia. Oreo, my belted Galloway cross still hasn’t calved and has been in the heavy pen for awhile.  I was hoping if I was gone to Reno she would calve immediately after I left, but she didn’t. She is still just fat and happy in the heavy pen.

Thursday everyone started doing their last-minute packing. Re-check of all livestock. There were a couple of heavy mares, but nothing that was imminent. Hay got put out for the cows to last them a couple of days, with other bales loaded on the trailer for feeding if they started pushing the fence. All horses were checked again. Everyone and everything was in good shape for the trip

Friday everyone tried to fly to Forth Worth for the AQHA Convention, and we had Marlo and McCall house sitting and doing chores. It is a real production to get everything arranged for travel for everyone. I flew from Reno to Fort Worth and was supposed to meet everyone down there. However, things did not go as planned. It was snowing in Reno, but I flew out and got down there on time. There was NO SNOW in Pasco, but they DID NOT leave and were at the airport all day. 10 people traveling in one big group- so Toni, Kicker, Kade, Jaxsen, Ben, Anna, Kaine, Camas, Mom and Dad. Everything was looking great then they announce that a battery is dead in the plane, so we had to wait for a new battery. Then they announced they were driving it up from Portland. After a couple of departure time changes, scrambling to get hotels in Minneapolis for an all-night layover, it was announced after 12 hours in the airport that the flight was canceled. More scrambling to get hotels canceled and go over options. There were only 4 seats available on Saturday from Salt Lake to Ft. Worth that would get 4 people in to Ft. Worth at 11 pm. We had no way to get all 10 people to Ft. Worth. It just wasn’t possible without way too many connections and hours in airports. It was very frustrating.   I was feeling pretty down, we all were. And I walked into the hotel in Fort Worth and our good Friends Cameron and LeAnnne were sitting at the bar. So I went to dinner with them.

Saturday, with only the 4 tickets available, Toni, Ben and Kicker came down. LeAnne and I went to the Stockyards and hung out. We had a great time. We went to a social at the AQHA Convention, then out to dinner with Ward from AQHA and Ethan Lane, the lobbyist for NCBA. After all of that we went to Pete’s Dualling Piano Bar a few blocks from our hotel, it was awesome. The three got down there around 11 pm and rallied and met us there.  We shut the bar down and had a great time. It was great to have Cameron and LeAnne there, they really made my part of the trip great.

Sunday all 6 of us went to the Stockyard. We watched a cattle drive, gun fight, and bought LOTS of stuff for everyone that did not make it so they had a piece of Fort Worth. We went back to get ready for the breeder awards banquet. We all had a great time, Toni gave an outstanding speech and we missed mom, dad and the kids terribly since they did not make it. 

To be the 2022 Heritage Breeder of the Year for AQHA and be part of such an outstanding group of breeders is an honor that cannot be replicated. It makes all of the ups and downs of livestock ownership feel validated. To be recognized for our program and the emphasis we put into raising AQHA horses in our ranching operation was really a pinnacle that will be hard to top. We also got to meet Cassy Anderson from the AQHA and have her at our table for the dinner. Cassy has been our lifeline at AQHA for about 15 years now, getting us through all of the questions, concerns, and frustrations with AQHA through the years. This is the first time we have met her face-to-face. We also got to meet Lisa Gardner our AQHA director from WA and have her be part of the dinner. We got to meet so many truly great people and have the experience of a lifetime.  Now we get to fight over who gets to wear the buckle that we received.

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Ranch life builds character. At this point we must be full of character.

Monday was a little colder than it had been, I think it was around 9 in the AM according to weatherbug. Toni and dad went and got Cappy from Jason Hicks. Cappy was doing great and looks like he will be a great colt. Now we are deciding if we will breed anything to him in 2023 or wait another year. He still has some growing to do. Toni and Dad had a great and uneventful trip.  Kaine had drivers ed after school and did two of his drives, they are down to their final weeks and final drives. It will be good when that is over. Anna did not get her virtual trail class filmed on Sunday, by the time we got done the phone was too dead to go up and do it at our house. So Toni came up to do hers, and instead they helped load a heifer and then Anna and Toni’s phone both had low battery. So the videoing of Anna and Gunnie saga continues. But Gunnie is doing great and will know the pattern by heart when they get to the videoing.

With the change in weather there were a few calves getting sick again. Ben and Anna doctored the list Toni sent when she checked in the morning. The calves are easier to doctor at night in the feed line. We are still cleaning up the desserts mom made for my birthday, my scale is happy they are almost gone. Toni and Anna finished the video of Anna and Gunnie, however, our internet was slow and it took her phone forever to upload it to youtube. So, the saga continued to the bitter end. The video needed to by uploaded by 10:30 pm and it got uploaded at like 10 pm. The good news is the video process was great, except Anna is so done with it she kind of forgot a couple things, Toni reminded her on the video, but whatever.

Wednesday Ben had meetings in Moses Lake, so Toni and Kade helped Anna with cow chores when the horse chores were done. Kaine had drivers ed on Wednesday as well. Pow was on her way up from S. CA where she has been with Rachael. Bruce, the shipper, was stuck in Bend for a few days due to the winter storm, but Wednesday was the day. Pow Pow showed up around 2. We blanketed her since she had been is S. Cal. Pow thought it was a lot of fun to chase the other horses, since they were scared of her blanket. But when it came time to eat, Pow settled right in and is just part of the herd.

Thursday two cows were out when Toni went to check, they both had tags showing they were cows we bought, not raised. I am guessing I know why they were for sale. They had broken the gate, so she got them back in and got the gate fixed. Ben had meetings in Moses Lake again, so was not home for chores. Toni, Anna and the boys did all of the chores. The weather had been so nice that doing chores wasn’t a chore.

                Friday Toni and the dogs checked. Then Jeannie came out to look at bulls. They couldn’t find them so had to drive around for quite a long time before they found them. The bulls are all really gentle so they got out and walked through them. The bulls are in a 100 acre pasture and just stand there while you walk among them. Jeannie liked the coming 2 year old Hereford bull so that just leaves the coming yearling Hereford bulls and some Angus. Marlo came out and helped with chores. However, we will not have Marlo next Friday because she is going to a concert, sounds like a fun concert. Toni and Marlo worked on the foals.

Saturday Kade had a shooting competition, he did really well, he was a using a new gun from his grandpa Barry. Dad went and watched. Anna and Kaine caught their steers and Anna caught her heifers. Lane came out while she was washing her heifers and helped her finish. John came out to get his wedding present, mom made him a cool basket and Toni and mom filled it with good, and to get his miniature horse, Mini. He had not told his bride he has a miniature horse until that day, and she was pretty excited to get her home and for her to have a foal. The boys got to go hunting in the afternoon for the youth hunt, so Toni and I did their chores. Jaxsen helped us, but we got an ear full about how the boys should have to come back from hunting to do “their” chores, he should not have to do them. We moved Holly over with the other yearlings and brought The Joker over to work on. He was very similar to Jaxsen, he did not want to go over and it was a slow walk. I feel like if we understood “horse” he would have explained why someone else needed to go over. The Joker and Summer do not enjoy each other either. Once Summer goes to her new home, we will bring another colt over as well to work on. Mom wants the other colt to be Willie, he is her colt.

Sunday was a rainy day. We were supposed to build more fence around corn fields now that hunting season is over, but we elected to do more office type work and wait on the fence. I put out mineral as well. Toni worked on a case she had on Monday. Anna and the boys caught their steers, and Anna her heifers. Camas came out and assisted Kaine with his steers. We worked on The Joker and Summer. The Joker realized he was in so did really well on Sunday. When the rain paused Kade rode Stormy around.

                This week we lost our mare Tessa. She was an older mare that had started to decline. She was a great mare for us and we loved her. While John was out he told us that he had counted the mares on our website and there are 20 mares over 20. Although we strive to take great care of these older mares, the clock is ticking. You can’t beat time. We try to be really transparent on our blog and facebook page so people can understand what real ranch life is like. It isn’t all fun and games. We also have to deal with sickness, death, the stuff that makes life difficult.  Ranch life builds character. At this point we must be full of character.

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Last Week in Pictures

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We found a good way to keep motivated during the cold winter.

Monday the kids did not have school, teacher in service day. Kaine had drivers ed around noon, so dad took him in to that and then picked him up. He wasn’t really sure he had drivers ed, so we had to text a bunch of people to figure it out. Anna worked on her steers and then went out and got pictures of the bulls and calves when she checked. Toni had Kaine and Kade work on the two summer foals with her Monday night so they got used to other people. Dad found a ride home from South California for Pow, so Toni got that arranged and I venmoed a deposit. Kaine is excited to get her back, and told Toni he is going to beat her in the virtual trail course we are doing. We shall see. Kaine also told mom, that he would be straight with her, and she did not need to add fruit to the trifle she was making and he told her she did not need to make the peppermint cheesecake, peppermint is over rated. He is really helpful.

Tuesday back to school for the kids and back to checking for Toni. I think she was happy Anna checked Monday because she had a lot of work to catch up on. However, Tuesday she took her time checking and tried to pet some calves. They did not appreciate it. A couple of cows had knocked the hot fence down around the hay stack, so she threatened to haul them off if they did not go back in. Kaine had Drivers Ed after chores, so dad took him and picked him up. Jaxsen’s basketball is over, so he is sad about that. Toni sacked our her “pets,” the two summer foals.

Wednesday morning was a bit chilly. The cold is coming back, hopefully we do not have a rash of sick calves again. We saw some pics of Jason riding Cappy on Facebook, they looked great. We got the heifer’s tag in the mail Wednesday, now maybe everyone will call them their names?? Toni is working on sacking out Summer and Holly with a stuffed animal, Summer chases it. Maybe it smells like grain??  Summer is pretty funny. She isn’t a big fan of moving her rib cage over in the sidepass, but she will do it. Holly is better about moving her body but doesn’t like the stuffed animal. Between the two of them they would be the perfect foal. But they are so great. They have been really fun to work with

Thursday was more of the same but the weather was pretty good. Cow checking, chores, sacking out the fillies. Toni and I are going to beat the kids in the virtual trail class. Since the sun was shining, and the fencer somehow got unplugged, the cows went on a walk about to look for green grass, and Ton spent a bit getting them back in since she had not gone and got the dogs. Some of them are on her bad list. Kendel called Toni Thursday night and Gloria had been calving for a while. Ben was almost home at that point, so she met him at the driveway. Calf was backwards and was decent sized. Since she is a tame show heifer Ben pulled it out in the run with bailing  twine. Thursday was Toby’s birthday, so Scarlett named the calf Toby. Toby wanted to know if it was because he was backwards or something.

I was home on Friday, so I got to check. I loaded Jewels up in the back of the Colorado and took her with me. We double checked all of the fence to make sure it was still hot. We checked on Gloria calf, and Gloria had Blizzard’s calf with her as well. So I made sure they each moved away with the correct calf. Toni and I worked on the fillies Friday night, and Toni yelled at me for not knowing the pattern and just walking them before she got there and feeding them.  So the fillies were not good for the pattern. Marlo helped Kade feed, Kaine went to his friend’s house for a birthday party. They went to an escape room and DID NOT escape.

Saturday Ben cleaned pens in the morning, and Anna worked on her steers. Then Anna took a half clubby steer to her boyfriend, Lane. Robby and Cheyenne came out and got one of the half clubby steers and looked at bulls. Kade was at shooting practice and Kaine was hunting. Toni and Jaxsen came down and we checked cows while Ben strung out wire so we could give the cows more corn field room.  Anna got back and Toni, Jaxsen, Anna and I started to put out fence posts. When the men and boys got back they came out and helped. Ben went to prepare the birthday feast, of coconut shrimp, tri tip and Dutch oven potatoes. Mom made rolls and 4 pies. We finished the fence and turned the cows out on the other side, or they were waiting at the fence line for when we took down the cross fence to let them over and they took off. Then we did chores and worked on our foals.  Then we partied hard. Marlo got me a funny adult card game that was pretty racey. It was one of those meme games. Everyone was really laughing hard. I got lots of great gifts and had a great birthday party with my family.

Sunday the kids caught their steers and cleaned up some around the barn. Then Ben, Anna, Kaine and I got in heavy cows and Toni and Kade worked on Stormy and went for a ride out to check the heifers.  Stormy will be 4 this summer, so it was time to move her to a snaffle. Kade had the opportunity to learn how to work with a young horse bitting up and working on the ground with the bit. Stormy is really good so he actually got to ride her in the snaffle. We weaned Baby Girl, the fall calf, while we had them in. Her mom is a heifer and was getting a little thin.  We also got Hayley’s heifer in that was out with our cows. We had tried to catch her out in the field and move her to the house, but she was anti. We filmed out virtual trail class, and I feel like Summer and I were the winners. Did chores and called it a day. Sunday was quite cold.  But the sun was out.

It is so much fun to work on the young horses and have them respond the way we want. Summer, Holly, and Gunny have met every expectation we have had. The in-hand virtual class for novice is for all age of horses and handlers, so they are competing with solid broke horses. I think it says a lot about their minds that they can compete at that level. Toni is really enjoying getting the patterns and working on the foals.  A good way to keep motivated during the cold winter. Get that competitive spirit revved up and keep it there. We have Summer going to a friend because she is so awesome, so Mom wants us to get Willie in and start working on him and using him for the virtual classes.  We did work on him a bit already but he is so good minded he would be an easy one to get going. Maybe we get two new fresh ones in? Any suggestions?

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Last Week in Pictures