Posts Tagged With: #IamAngus

The Last Full Week of Summer was full of smoke and haze.

Monday was a smoky hazy day. Harvest was canceled for the day for both Ben and Dad due to the poor air quality. So Dad went to Basin City and got more equine senior for Double, Kool and Smoke.  We buy that stuff by the pallet. Jaxsen’s only chore is to feed the old horses their Senior. Dad also got us more lag bolts for the never-ending fence building. Bruce from Old Mill dropped off our protein tubs for the trio too on Monday. Due to the smoke, there has been little water evaporation, so the South end of section of Continuous fence we were on was flooded Monday, but don’t worry, Toni pushed us through so we got three panels up and finished that end on Monday. We were all muddy, wet and cold, but we moved up to the other half to start on Tuesday. We found out on Monday that our friends at J Spear Ranch have a big fire there, we have them in our thoughts and hope that everyone stays safe and they are able to get their cows and horses out. We also have many friends in WA that have been affected by the fires, Washington Cattlemen’s is one of the many organizations collecting donations and getting them out to the people in need, so if you are in need, contact the WCA, if you have a donation, also contact the WCA. Toni is on the board, so you can contact her and she can get you more info. Dad took some dog food, livestock mineral, and equine senior into Jamie Utech in Connell that arranges for donated items to head north to fire areas.  Everyone here is trying to do what we can to help.

Tuesday and the smoke and haze continues.  The kids have virtual school, then fencing. We got three panels up Tuesday. Toni and Anna worked on the colts, the boys did chores. My back was hurting on Tuesday so Kaine did my tamping for me. I bought a new work pickup on Tuesday to replace the Blazer, Kaine says he is taking over the Blazer until it dies. Then Ben said he is taking over the work pickup because his pickup is about to die. 

Wednesday was still smoky. Toni took the boys to Jade Anderson’s house to socialize, they took their laptops to log on to school when it was their turn. Jade was kind enough to bring them home when she was done with them. She got to experience Jaxsen’s deal making when he wanted her to text Toni and request a longer visit.  They did get to stay longer, but had to be home in time to build fence. We put 4 more posts in Wednesday night and put panels next to them, we were out of clips. Ben and Kicker went and got the new work pickup at Musser Bros. I found an ad for a metal recycling place in Othello, so Toni called and ordered a container.  These people will bring out a container for free and pay for the metal, so we are all excited to finally get some of these metal piles gone that we have been stockpiling.

The news said Thursday morning that the air quality was better, so I guess that means there is less smoke, but you cannot really tell.  Toni and Anna shipped out our precious Burnin Vernon to his new home. Jen is a friend and repeat buyer so Anna allowed us to sell her colt to Jen. Of course, Burnin loaded like the perfect guy he is and went off to live with his new owner. We went out to build fence on Thursday afternoon and saw Easter limping so went out to check it out. She had a fight with a porcupine, I guess you could say she lost, because the kids walked around the field and did not see a dead one. So Toni and I got her back to the house and talked to both Dr Sorensen and Dr Wisse on treatment. We got her in the crowding alley and pulled out the quills, she did pretty good, only had one meltdown. Mom got the meds for us and then came out and helped. Kaine got Toni’s pickup stuck when they were looking for the porcupine, so he ran back to the house, because he felt we were too busy to help him, so we pulled it out when we got done.  Lucy also went in and got spayed on Thursday. Thursday was just a very busy day.

Friday Chad was scheduled to come out and trim horses, and then Toni had meetings scheduled, and the other lawyers did not feel like the farrier coming was a legitimate excuse. So, the three older kids were in charge, Anna and Kaine until Kade was out of school. Anna and Kaine have their virtual school in the morning and Kade’s is at 1. Chuck brought out a broke grey gelding on Friday as well, we have a list of people looking. He is going to go and live with cousin Jodi. Katie brought Butterscotch bank to us as she is not needed at their house anymore. Chad and the kids got the horses on our list done.  It is really nice to have kids old enough to get stuff done. Dad had a short day, so he was also out supervising. In the kids’ free time, they were instructed to put metal in the metal bin, and did a pretty good job of it. We are actually giving them all the money (whatever that small amount will be) on this first bin because they have helped collect the metal from all around the ranch. There has been some disagreement about whether Jax gets a full 25%. That is still being negotiated. He maybe didn’t do as much as the other three kids. Maybe. Toni and I both rolled into the house about the same time as our friend John Gray. John has been buying horses from us for a long time and wanted to come see his fillies, Sugar and Easter. Easter was much recovered from her fight with the porcupine so John was happy. John also brought Jordan Pace out with him. Jordan grew up in Sunnyside, moved to the coast, and is not back and working as a trainer in the Sunnyside area. Jordan has started approximately 14 horses out of our breeding program. He does have some openings if anyone is looking to get a young horse started.

                Saturday Kade came down and Anna, Kaine, Kade and I got 925 in, and he went to his new home in Pullman. Then we got the steers in for Kevin and put the scales in. Then we took a lunch break. Keven got there and we weighed the steers and loaded them up for him and sent 4 steers to Maple Valley. Then we checked cows, and after that we tied up the show steers for Spokane. Whitney and Shelby came over and were helping Toni and Kicker work on fence and load up metal into the metal bin. That took all day for some reason. Ben was at work. After the kids and I got done we went down and helped Toni, Kicker, Whitney and Shelby work on the fence.  Our goal is to have the fence done asap. Toni and I feel that our bodies can’t take much more fencing. We only have a tiny bit more to go.  We actually got all of the continuous fence panels up on Saturday, and the railroad ties for gates. So we could actually claim to be done.  After that we all jumped on Sam, the gelding we got for our cousin, and rode him around bareback with a halter to see how he rides. He is a super nice horse to have around. We put him out with the weanling foals and he is just one of those nice, kind, easy horses.

Sunday morning Toni took Michael out to visit Howa. Kicker went down and worked on cleaning up the metal. Anna, Kaine and I tied up the steers and then haltered the heifers.

After lunch we let the steers go and Toni, Kade and Jaxsen came down and we took the new white pickup, the little trailer, Red, the gooseneck, the blazer and Toni PU out and caught Gunner, led him to the corral, the mares followed. Then we got an in-heat heifer and the bull calves in. We had to fix the interior fence a bit as the cows like the horse grass better than their grass. We hauled Gunner to his winter pen.  Hauled the mares to the house, John showed up and stated helping. We weaned Howa, Firepower and Walt. Then we hauled 7 mares back out to Gunner pen, after we wormed them.  That pen is now going to be the dry mare pen. We are hoping for moisture/rain to allow the desert grass to grow. Luckily Gunner’s pen still has a lot of grass so we can take the majority of the mares out there and get them out of the pen at the house.  We put Piper D and Easter back out in the big pasture, Easter’s legs don’t show any signs of the quills and she is moving really well.  This is the first, and hopefully last, time we have pulled porcupine quills out of a foal.  We continued to fill the metal bin and did chores.

Life continues to plug away. Dad, Ben, and Kicker are all in harvest. We hear the kids will go back to real school Oct 1. Toni is going to miss having them home. And Pow is with Rachel in CA and it turning into a horse, and not a pasture pet. However, she did feel the need to try to convince Rachel that she had not been saddled. LOL

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Last Week in Pictures

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Fair Week, but there was no fair.

Monday did not start the week out in the best way possible. The mini foal, Emma, was colicing. The kids called Toni and she ran down to help. Toni had to move a couple of meetings, but otherwise was able to get down there ASAP and get some Immediate Response into Emma.  Besides Emma not enjoying the treatment, she is fine. The biggest issue is she wasn’t very well halter broke and everyone knows that you have to walk them around. So Emma got a fast lesson on leading and now leads great. Dad, Kaine and Kade went to Bryan’s Meats and picked up the Hereford bull, between it and the half steer and grass fed we have, the freezer is full. They stopped at King’s Cup and dad paid the kids in drinks, he brought me one too. Toni and Anna were putting halters on the three foals we had just weaned when I got there, Coco and I went over and assisted, all three did pretty good. We normally don’t halter break them this quickly after weaning, but Dr. Sorenson is going on vacation, so we have to get all of the testing so the colts can go to So. Cal done earlier than normal. Then the 4 kids started chores and Toni, Coco, Dad and I started working on the fence. We hit a really rocky spot, the first hole was not good, however, we did get a good second hole.  Toni blames Ben for jinxing it. The hole digging was going great and Ben asked her how it was going, she said great.  We haven’t dug a good hole since that day. The kids went home to feed while we put things away. Then we moved Leroy and his mares back down to his pen since the fire is really out and stayed out.

Tuesday our Express  cow  got here, everyone was excited to see her. We have gotten over the shock of her being a cow and are trying to be happy about how things have shook out. Our friends Ben and Lindsey went and got the cow from Shaws (Idaho), then took her to Vytelle in Hermiston to make some embryos before we got her home. Vytelle is owned by Lisa Betz and is a pristine, very new, repro facility for anyone that needs some of that work done.  Toni gave Ben and Lindsey a tour while they were here from bringing the cow.  We are calling the cow Express because what else would we call her? Anna babysat Colton and Scarlet on Tuesday, so Kaine fed her calves for her. Kaine’s advising teacher called, and we have orientation next Tuesday and he gets his Chromebook for online learning. Toni had a call at 4, that lasted past 6, so Anna, Kaine and Coco did chores, I was on a school call for the High School and Junior High. Toni got down before I finished the call and worked on the three foals. Coco, Anna, Kaine and Kade got the stuff out to start working on the fence. We fired up the tractor after Toni was done and our hole digging was not good. So, Ben and Kicker came down to see if they could make any more progress. Well, in doing that they broke the post hole digger. But don’t worry, that will not stop us, we will just go back to hand digging holes, the kids are SUPER excited.

Wednesday was a great day, we found out the post hole digger was still under warranty, RDO in Othello sent someone out to look at it on Wednesday. They brought the wrong parts, so took the yoke back with them to fix. So no new holes on Wednesday, but we got posts planted in the two holes and we got a panel up, so all was not lost. That means we got done before 8:30, so I actually got to work on some pictures from Saturday, and Toni went back over the fence along the yearling pen and put more clips up. She also took some video with her phone of the “twins” doing their synchronized running. The kids went and fed their steers, the heifers are turned out. For the Kennewick steers, this is their last nightly feeding.

Thursday Toni had court in the AM, then her, Leslie and the kids hauled the steers to the Benton Franklin Fairgrounds for weigh in, then to the Easterday feedlot on Coffin Rd, were they will stay until sometime after the sale Friday. Weigh in went really well. Venom was the only steer that hadn’t been anywhere and he even acted like a pro. If Jax had to show Venom, we know Venom would have done really well. The kids were happy that we hauled their steers to the feedlot and they could see them off and say that final goodbye. These have been really great steers. We raised all of them and have been watching them grow and mature since birth. We are very pleased with how they turned out but glad to see this first group of steers through to conclusion. Then they came home and worked on fence. We are almost done with the driveway part, but we are down to a really bad digging area.  Lots and lots of hand digging and inefficient use of time. It is pretty frustrating.

Friday was the Benton Franklin County Fair Auction, and the Market Stock Committee did a great job, the sale was a great success. We would like to thank the buyers of Corwin Ford, Watts Construction, Konen Conrete and Schenks. The buyers overall kept the steer kids average really close to that $2.50 mark. With on online component, we thought this was a really great sale. After the sale we went to have an early lunch at Taco Johns with Leslie, Ady and Julian. It was 10:30 am, so pretty much a fast food brunch, but it was good.  Ady and Julian had great buyers too, and we are thankful for everyone that came and bid on the livestock

We ran to Grocery Outlet on the way home and grabbed a few things, then the 4 kids and I went home to clip steers for Connell and Othello.  Toni went back to her office for a few hours to try to get some work done. While we were clipping, we realized that our good clippers were in Connell with Leslie, so I took the four kids and we ran over to Connell so we could get our clipping done. We made a stop to get Dad coffee as we went through Connell. We finished up the last part of the section we were on on the Continuous fence, and now we are on to the foal weaning pen. Sheena from Sagehill Vet came down Friday late afternoon to vet inspect Dais, Uni and Ammo to go to CA the first part of September.  Toni realized she had made a strategic mistake during her halter breaking when the three foals had extreme stranger danger. But the three colts got done, all survived and we are moving forward with introducing more people to those colts’ lives now.

Saturday the kids got their steers ready to video in the afternoon for the CBJLS Virtual show. We took a quick lunch break and then went to work videoing them for the virtual show. Everyone did a great job, Shelby and Whitney got there when we were almost done and helped Jaxsen wash his steer.

Toni went and checked horses and took some pictures and video after she dropped her kids off with me. We had some people interested in seeing video of Whammy, Kitten, and Cue Tee, so we do have videos of those three if anyone wants to see them. She also got them uploaded to the website.

After lunch she started moving panels and getting things ready for the “new” fence project which is the rebuild of the weaning pen.  Ben and Kicker were both down there a bit too. Ben had to fix Dad’s circle, then switched the bucket on the tractor for forks, then brought a load of grass straw down. Kicker came down later to help Toni pick up panels, bring the poles down, and help with clean-up around the house.  We got down there and the kids started chores and Whitney, Shelby, Toni and I put poles up on the posts she had up. The kids got there before we were done, so Kaine and Kade stapled the mesh wire to the back sides of the wood posts and Anna helped put up poles Then we went to the Booth no Rodeo party. This was the first outing we have had in a long time. Everyone had too much fun.

Sunday we got the cows in and sorted off the Spokane steers, and weaned them, and doctored a few. The cows didn’t want to come in very bad, but eventually we got them to cooperate.  We had people come out to look at Mayday, so Toni left and went to show them around. They ended up picking Mayday to purchase.  Ben and I loaded the poles when we were done and I hauled the poles from our house down to mom and dads. The 3 older kids and I unloaded them, dug some post holes and planted some posts, and them put poles up until we ran out of battery power. Then the kids went and did chores. Coco went and got her puppy Sunday, a cute “cowboy mutt.” So we played with her for a bit. Then Toni got done selling horses, and the kids went to feed their steers and Toni and I put some more posts in the ground.  We are starting to get into bad ground again, so the digging of holes takes a breaker bar and arm muscles, but we are getting it done. The biggest issue we are going to have with this fence is we are short on poles to put up and we can’t go get more until after September 25 when hop harvest is over. So we are just going to get done what we can, then go back to the last part of the continuous fence project, which is building the alley down to the corral.

School is right around the corner, it starts Monday. That really doesn’t look too different for us at this point because we are still in the distance learning phase.  This is good in some ways, because the kids are home, they can do ranch work, but they don’t get to be kids and see their friends and be social. It will be interesting to see how this school year unfolds. For all of our sake, we hope school starts back with the kids actually going soon, otherwise I feel like these fencing projects are never going to end. And if you want to know how to put in a staple, here is an instructional video from Kaine.

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Last Week in Pictures

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Monday was a great day, even though it was HOT.

Monday was a great day, even though it was HOT. We were at a secret steer show, and the kids had a blast. Anna was grand champion in Market, Kade was Reserve, Ady was third in the same class they were in, Julian was 4th in his class, and Kaine was 5th. In Fitting and Showing, Ady was Grand champion Jr Showman, Julian and Chicken Nugget did Great, Kaine was Grand Champion Showman, Anna was Reserve, and Kade showed so well he also had him in the championship picture and had him come back to the overall class. Anna, Kaine and Kade were in the top 5 showman out of all ages. Toni and I competed in the adult showmanship, I thought that Freddy was going to die from the heat, the poor guy was panting, but Toni and Goldmember were Grand champion and she got a whole bucket full of stuff, and Andy Williams was Reserve, Freddy and I were in the top 5, along with Lori Williams and Floyd Lewis. We got packed up and headed home. Everyone was so hot that we let the kids rest and Toni, Coco and I did chores.  We can’t thank the people that put on this show enough. The kids were so happy to have somewhere to go and show.

Tuesday was another scorcher, and when it is over 100 we boycott Toni building fence. The kids were all exhausted still from the heat and the show. Kade, Jaxsen, Coco and Toni went to look at some puppies after chores, Anna and Kaine went home to feed all of the steers and heifers.  Of course they loved the puppies and said they wanted one. We also got a call from Sam Shaw that the “heifer” we thought we bought at Express was a cow. Even though Toni had confirmed it with Express on the phone and in an email, somehow a big mix-up occurred.  So now we own an open cow! Yes, Express is making us take her and not fixing this. Tuesday was not the best of days.

Wednesday it only got to 99, so Toni felt like that was fencing weather. Jackpot’s pen was down, so Anna, Kaine and Kade fixed it while Toni showed Holly and Josie Miller around to look at the studs, they have a few mares to breed for next year. Sheena emailed that Barb was done with treatment for a couple of infections that have kept her from getting bred, so dad went in and picked her up and brought her back.  We noticed a fire across the highway on Wednesday, so we were also on fire watch. It was put out pretty quickly considering the size. Wednesday afternoon Kaine and Kade built another fort, I said fort #52, and I think they said only #14, or something like that. Before chores Toni and the 4 kids fixed some fence around the yearling pen, there is not any yearlings in there right now since we were putting up the continuous fence along the front. Coco and I got there in time to help at the end. Then the 4 kids went to do chores and Coco, Toni and I moved the panels to the next fencing project, in back of mom and dad’s house.  We were then ready to start the second leg of the fencing project. Oh joy.

Thursday was supposed to be swimming day, but the kids were still too tired from Monday and needed more rest. Dad and Anna took Vegas to her new retirement home, we had someone contact us to see if we had any mares that were no longer producing, they just wanted a pet, so we sent Vegas. The fire across the highway flared back up, so we were watching that to make sure it didn’t come our way, but once again it was put out quickly. Toni and the kids moved the yearling fillies out to the pasture behind the house on Thursday, and they took new pics of them. Peanut’s halter came off and Anna fell and hurt her wrist. Toni was worried she had broken poor Anna. All of the yearlings did really well considering we don’t catch them and move them that much. The fillies LOVED their new pen, it is bigger and has taller grass. They ran around like crazies for about 3 minutes. When I got there after work, the kids and Toni had the hot fence down and the first part of the fence line marked.

Friday the kids and I worked on their steers and heifers, they needed to get their heifers clipped for the Corona Classic Protest we went too on Saturday. We tied up their Othello steers, and washed all of the heifers and steers. Marlo was working in Othello so we went and met Marlo for lunch and picked up the meat we had at TLC. Marlo came home with us after lunch and helped the kids, so I went with Toni and we got Jackpot in and moved him to Toni’s house, and hauled the two Canadian mares and Lizzie down to his pen. Toni had also moved Dude around to the front of her house and taken Dunny and Hero down to Mom’s. Hero is kind of spoiled and needs to be with other foals his own age.  John came out to see his colt Aught, so Toni took him down to Leroy’s pen to see the colt. We also put a couple sections of continuous fence up.

Saturday we went to the Corona Classic Protest. Bill Cox was the judge, there were 3 peewees, 4 juniors and 4 intermediate showman. Everyone did great and all of the animals showed well.  It was our last real show of the year, so we turned the show heifers out when we got home. (I took over 1200 pictures so I have only gotten through the peewees and some of the Jr pics). They thought that was great until it was feeding time, then not so happy. They came up behind my house and wanted to know where the grain was hiding.

Afterwards we got Sagebug’s pen in and hauled Shasta and Dais down to the house, and put the riding horses out in Sagebug’s pen and locked the bug in. We brought Izzy and Uni up and hauled them to the house as well. We locked them in the weaning pen and then put up a few sections of fence, to the corner. Then Mud and Ammo walked into the corral, since Ammo was the next one, we needed to wean we locked them in too.  I guess we are officially starting to wean!

                Sunday the kids cleaned up their show tack, since we are probably done for the year. Gary and Ruth came down to see how we were going with the continuous fence and to talk to the kids about the steers they had, they have some clubby steers. After lunch we got circle 4 in and doctored eyes. The show heifers are out in that field and tried to sneak in behind the chute when the herd came in. I think they are done with this being turned out business. We pushed them back out with the other cattle. It is time for them to be “real” cattle now.   Then we went down and weaned the three foals and worked on the fence.  Fencing is not going well because of the bench of caliche that we are trying to get through. Lots and lots of digging by hand and trying to break through with a breaker bar. We are thinking of advertising this work as one of those fitness programs. People pay good money for the kind of workout we are doing. So if anyone wants to volunteer to come smack rock with a tall metal bar and build up your muscles, let us know.

Ranch life is about doing the mundane tasks intermixed with emergencies. You learn to prioritize and how to stay calm in tough situations.  If there is a fire, you drop everything and go, a hurt animal, fence down, animals out.  You help your neighbors and you help your friends because they will do the same for you. With that said, a big thank you goes out to the volunteer fire department and our neighbors for helping contain our small fire on Sunday that could have become a bigger fire. Thank you!

This week, Aug 24-29, should be Benton-Franklin Fair week. It is a sad summer for kids all around WA that they can not take their animals to fair and show off all of the work they have done and sell their animals. For our kids, at least they got to jackpot some in Idaho. But, if you have time Friday and want to come down and bid on some 4H animals, there will be plenty selling in Kennewick, the sale stars at 9.

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Next week will be bittersweet as we should have been at the Benton Franklin County Fair.

Since I am two days behind on Last week in pictures, and a day behind on the blog post, you two today.

We have been told for sure that Connell will be distance learning when school starts, at least for a bit. To say that the kids are disappointed to once again have Toni for their teacher is an understatement. No one cried, but …….  Monday Anna built a shelf for the bathroom, she did a great job. Toni and the kids had chores done when I got there so we could get to work on the continuous fence, but the lag bolts had been misplaced. So we got two posts in and the panel pulled over, and then we tied the panel to the fence. We sent the three older kids home to work on their steers and heifers, and then Toni and I went down to clean up the stack yard for when our small bales get baled. We finished that had and we were talking to mom when we received a call that the neighbor’s filly was colicing. Their filly is by Dude and out of Freida, she is a fancy girl. So, Toni ran up with some immediate response to help them, I went home to check on the kids. Ben and Kicker had the loader out chopping thistles because those things never stop growing in irrigated pasture.

                Tuesday Anna built a bathroom hamper, and moved the old one out.  We had people come and get a half a beef. Bryans calls and the half in there is done. So Toni is going to pick that up on Thursday since we are out of grain fed burger at the moment, and Ben is close to flipping out. Ben had some lag bolts in his pickup, so Toni grabbed those after she loaded the meat out.  Toni and the kids put up three sections of continuous fence, Anna, Kaine and Kade washed their steers to prepare for a local show at someone’s house on Sunday/Monday. Dad went to Basin Feed and got a bundle of posts for us to continue our fence and he got some hog panels for mom and him to make a pen for her dog in the back yard. Coco came back up from CA, and got there just in time to help upload the panels. Coco and the boys did chores, Toni, Anna and I caught Cammie and tried to hand breed her to Colonel, she says she is not in heat. The twins and Leslie came over for dinner, Leslie brought pizza from Connell, the DeRailer is my favorite. The Twins left Wednesday morning, so we all had to tell them goodbye, they headed back to college in Oklahoma.

                Wednesday dad went into Basin City Home and Hardware and got more lag bolts for us and three bags of cement. The two older boys went down to mom and dads to help them put up their dog fence for Sammy, it is a hog panel fence. Toni and the kids, basically the three older ones but Jaxsen was there, put up 4 more panels on the continuous fence, so they get up to $10 off of the Sonic menu Thursday when Toni takes them down to go swimming, they were all pretty excited. Coco and I got there in time to help with the last panel, so dad came out to socialize with Coco and helped tamp a post. We tried to hand breed Cammie again, she was a no. So we turned her back out and will try AIing her next year. We are basically done breeding. We also caught Barb and got her in to give her a shot. She is headed to the vet on Sunday to get her infections cleaned up and hopefully get bred. We like Barb, but she is a weird horse. She stood great for the shot, then we went to give her some grain in a feedpan and she spooked from the feedpan. What horse does that?

                Thursday Toni and mom took the kids swimming and picked up meat from Bryans Butcher Block. The kids got their Sonic meals and were all super happy. It might not seem like much, but these kids are easy to please. We have a grain fed half in the freezer. Ben thinks he needs it all to eat so he doesn’t starve, but we think we can to ahead and sell some if anyone needs some beef. We have more in being processed right now, so if anyone needs large quantities of hamburger, we have you covered. Toni and the kids got more continuous fence up after swimming, when I got there, we just had one more panel to put up for the night.  We really want to get this first section done before we leave for the show.

                Friday Ruby came down and she helped the kids clip their steers for the secret show we found for the weekend and for pictures for the Benton Franklin Fair sale. They got all of the steers clipped and worked on, Ruby stayed until about 2. Then the kids went down and they took down one section of wood fence and put up a gate for the alley.  Toni took Chloe and her dad out to look at Chloe’s filly Fast, then came back out and helped. We had to take out the wood fence to make room for the continuous fence. We got it all done on Friday, so now it is up to Ben to do the welding to get it complete. We were about 4 inches short to get the fence to the railroad tie, but Ben thought he could weld some stuff on and make it look good. We were fine with that. Dad came out and assisted. It feels pretty freaking awesome to have this section of the fence done. We are far from completely done, but this is the first leg.

                Saturday the kids and I worked on their steers and we took pics for the Benton Franklin Fair. We got them uploaded and sent in. Toni went down, got the last two outside mares in, and got them shipped out with their owner.  Toni and dad worked on the wood section of fence and Toni was bidding on heifers for us at the Express Sale. McCall and McKenna went to the sale to check out the heifers for us. Friday night all of our hay got baled and stacked. Ben came down Saturday morning to pick up the rebales and count how much hay we got. Then he came back later and started welding up the two gates.  Ben got his part of that fence done, so it really is done now and has three hanging gates. After we got done working on the steers we went down and helped finish up the fence and then we moved panels down around our newly cut alfalfa.  The alfalfa had a hot wire fence between it and the horses, but we could just see one of those horses taking it out and all of them eating freshly cut hay and getting sick. Once we got that done, we all had to go pack for the show.

                Sunday we got ready to go to the secret steer show and then we waited for Leslie to come. Toni worked in the morning to try to get ahead of the work she would miss on Monday being gone. She also went and checked everything before we left. We had to run Barb into the vet before we took off, so ran her in. Anna went down early and got Hottie in to doctor her leg, she trusts no one to do it right. We were packed and ready to go pretty early, but weigh in didn’t start until 3. The kids were really excited to hit the road and acted like they had ants in their pants. Leslie and her kids got to the house, we leaded up and headed out, got there, got our stuff and steers unloaded. We were the first ones to arrive.  Toni and I went and set up the camper and Leslie and the kids started washing the steers.  The show had approximately 30 head of steers so was a really good show. All of the kids (not just ours) were extremely appreciative to have the opportunity to showcase their animals and the hard work that they had put in.  And we as parents are extremely appreciative as well.  Shows are not fun, not easy, and not cheap to put on, so we can’t thank the people enough that took it on and put together such a professional, fun show for these kids.

                We also want to thank all  of our 2020 foal buyers. As this week ends and next week begins, we are getting ready to start weaning. We have the bulk of the foals sold but there are still some really good foals available. And thankfully that has been recognized as we are averaging about four calls per day and multiple emails on people looking for their dream horse. As always, we love receiving the calls, reading the emails, talking about our breeding program, and giving tours of the ranch.  Lots of people are looking for broke horses and we don’t have anything broke for sale. We have a really sweet neighbor girl that needs a broke horse, so if anyone has anything that would work for a beginner, please let us know.

                Next week will be bittersweet as we should have been at the Benton Franklin County Fair. This will be the first year that one of our family has not been at the BF Fair in a LONG time. The BF Fair theme is always the “Best Week of Summer” and for us it is also the last week of summer break.  This would have also been our first year at the fair without Grandpa. Grandpa who into his 90s was always there to watch and support his grandkids and great-grandkids. This was one his favorite things to do, go to a cattle show!  Life doesn’t always go as we plan, we just have to keep going forward. This is a good life lesson for the kids, preserve and don’t lose hope, and probably a good reminder for us as well. 

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Where has July gone?

Where has July gone? It just flew by.  Sunday night we had confirmation that we would be ultrasounding on Wed.  It was too late to do much Sunday, so we knew starting the week that we were going to have to get horses in, sort, and move them to mom and dad’s before Wed. Today had the boys help her move Dude’s pen to the back pasture at her house so they could get 2 dry mares out of there, Annie and an outside mare Monday afternoon. So those 2 mares got hauled Monday, 2 down, 2 to go. We were just lucky we had been moving mares lately so there were only 4 to gather up. Dad was harvesting in Kahlotus on Monday, Kaine and Kade moved his water for him after chores while Anna helped Toni and I work on the continuous fence. We got another section up. Then the kids went home to feed their steers and Anna texted that two horse pairs were out in the alfalfa. So Toni, Jaxsen and I only talked to mom for a few minutes before we went to see what was going on. Red Robin and Payton were out, they ran back in when they saw us coming, two heifers had gotten out and knocked a wire off so the fence was shorting out. I let Jaxsen drive the blazer along with us while we were walking the fence and he got it stuck in a circle track, which happens to the best of us, he did a pretty good job. He did tell me that next time I should pick someone to drive that knows the difference between the gas and the break. Maybe he needs more practice. Ben and Kicker came down and pulled us out and tried to help us get the two heifers in.  We did get the fence back up and hot, so that curtailed the mares getting back out into the alfalfa.

Tuesday Toni and the kids got Sagebug’s pen in, sorted, and hauled some mares down to mom and dads to ultrasound on Wednesday. One of the mares being Dolly, and War Bug is WAY bigger when you are pushing him the trailer then he looks in the pasture, but he was super chill.  The other mare was another outside mare with a filly out of Dude that is crazy fancy. Ben came over and helped load since loading foals can be hazardous if not done correctly.  Sagebug is a young stud, but so great to handle and deal with. We have to bring his pen across a cattle pasture and into the alley to the corral to sort, and he just brings his mares right in, and takes them right back to his pasture. You really couldn’t ask for more out of a stud.  The kids did chores, Toni and I put up another section of continuous fence, Anna came over to help when they got done with chores. Then, the three older kids went home to feed their steers and heifers. Kaine and Kade are digging a trench in the riding horse pen (an 8 in trench, not like a backhoe size trench) to bury the jump wire.

As I was on my way home it looked like Jackpot was acting weird, so I called Toni and told her we need to run out there, so she met me at the gate. Our old mare Sissy was starting to shut down. We thought she was going to die over the winter, were surprised when she had a foal and had not lost it when she got sick, Sissy has been an awesome mare. She is the mother to Pocket and Goldy and our friend John has two of her daughters, Sassy and Benny. We had been on the fence about keeping Dime since it was probably her last foal, so after getting Dime in, and Payton and Cue Tee since her and Cue Tee are attached at the hip, we decided that we were going to keep her. Although it is sad to lose these older mares, the reality is that there isn’t much we can do to stop time. When the end comes, we just keep them comfortable and do our best by them.  We are just so lucky that Payton took Dime. We were coming up with plans on how to get Dime to get on feed, how we were going to keep her calm, and had kids and Kicker come out to help us as we did not want to put added stress on the filly. Payton just kept Dime with her the whole time and when we unloaded them into the corral, the first thing Dime did was start nursing.  We had already been calling Dime and Cue Tee the Bobbsey twins because they are always together in the field and look almost identical, both out of Bishop. Payton continues to amaze us on how well she keeps track of them both. Dime had some minor stress looking for Sissy, but hasn’t lost weight and is coming through this much better than anyone could expect.

Ben went down to weld one of the gates up on our continuous fence, but ran out of gas in the generator while he was down there. So that project is continued for another day.  But it meant that he was at the corral when we got there to unload Payton and the fillies, so he helped with that. You can’t have enough hands-on deck when you are trying to keep a filly calm when she has just lost her mother.

Wednesday was another fun day. Toni and the kids went down to mom and dad’s early to get the pasture in and sort off mares for ultrasounding. They had to move panels around to make extra pens. One mare had to be caught and brought over from Double’s pen. 2 additional outside mares were coming in, so room had to be found for everyone’s trailers and space to turn around.  In the end we had 13 mares to get through the stocks.  Chores got done prior. Allie was fast, we had 4 outside mars in addition to ours, and everything went great. Cammie was the only one open that we thought would be bred, of ours, one outside mare was also open, and Chad put her back in with King before he left. Barb was also open, but that isn’t a huge shock. We are taking her into the vet to get a culture and figure out why she isn’t breeding. Piper D was open, but due to her injury in May, also not a shock. Piper D was only with Leroy for 5 days, so we would have been more shocked if she was bred.  Cammie we are going to try breeding to Colonel, King might have just been too young to get it figured out on how to breed a mare that does not want you near her foal. But that is ok, he is still young. The kids left right before we got done to go and feed their steers and heifers, the three older kids are a lot of help. Dime, Cue Tee and Payton are all doing great.  Chad asked if Payton had twins, the fillies look that much alike. Toni wanted to trick him and tell him yes, but Anna let the cat out of the bag. We had lots of helpers for the ultrasounding, our kids, Chad and Shawna’s three little boys, and the Kane kids to see if their mare was bred. It is really fun for the kids to look at the ultrasound screen and see the foal.  Dad was officially done with harvest on Wednesday.

Thursday was a little cooler and overcast in the morning. The “twins” were doing great on Thursday, Payton is taking good care of them. Toni was going to take the kids swimming at Tom and Peg’s but the weather was just junky. Instead Mom came over to my house and Toni, Mom, and the kids looked at the Canadian mares, looked at Beebee, the steers, the bottle calves, the fence, just showed Mom all the stuff we have been doing. We continued work on our continuous fence after chores. We are making a lot of progress. The kids went and fed their steers and heifers. We actually got home right before 8 pm Thursday night, so our earliest night that week.

Friday the four kids and I tied up the home-grown steers and took them to the wash rack for the first time. They did really good considering how little we have worked on them, since we did not know what the show status would be. Two of Jaxsen’s are actually out of his cows, and Loud’s calf, Necros, is just amazing. Jax can even handle him.  Then the kids washed and worked on their heifers and clubby steers. After lunch we went down and continued working on our continuous fence.

Saturday Ruby came down and worked on the steers with the kids. We had some people come out and look at our miniature filly, she was looking for a pet, so she is going to take Vegas, a retired mare, instead. We also have people out looking at Dolly, War Bug and KAD.

Then in the afternoon Julia and her boyfriend came out to see Blue Bug. The kids and I switched pastures with the cows after we got done working on the steers and heifers. We tied the home-grown steers up again and led them around, they did great. Toni and I had forgotten that Chad was coming out to trim, luckily, he texted that he was on his way, so Anna, Kaine, Kade and I ran down and got horses in right before he got there. We have enough maintenance horses that there is always a list that needs done. And we wanted to get Colonel and Double done before fall. Toni and Anna also wanted to get Splinter’s fronts trimmed, but had failed to get him halter broke. They worked on Splinter for 10 minutes with a halter and claimed he was good enough for Chad to trim. Chad is a miracle worker and got Splinter trimmed up, but Splinter is really good. We wanted to get a few more mares trimmed, but Chad wanted to go home before midnight, so we put the rest on hold and started chores. Ben started welding up the gates in the vet pen and we realized we made too big of a hole for one of them. The solution was to bring down an oversized gate so that gate doesn’t swing both ways. We put up more fence and got ready for Sunday when we planned to cement in a big post for another gate.  Ben is very good with fabrication and welding, so was able to work around our poles that were up and in place. We just had one gate that we had to redrill a hinge hole for.  We got that gate back up which made the corral officially done!

We had two people scheduled to come out Sunday morning, one was late and one texted that they were not going to make it and could they just send a deposit.  Toni had gone down early and got Cue to the house, so while she was waiting for his buyers, Dad and Mom came out and instructed her on how to put in the hitching rail that needed replaced in front of the saddle shed.  She did not feel she needed instruction, but the hitching rail did go up how Dad wanted, so I am pretty sure he won that one.  Cue loaded great and was on his way. Our friend Jeannie showed up from Central Ferry to bring Toni some paperwork and stayed for a visit. Mom always makes fresh cookies for Jeannie and Sonny, so she whipped up a batch before Jeannie headed home. Ben, Anna and Kaine went and got hay at Davis’, they are nice two tie alfalfa bales, they also have grass, if anyone needs their number just shoot me a PM. Ben and Kicker came down and we all worked on the continuous fence for most of the rest of the day. Ben welded up gates, we cemented in another metal post for another gate, then Toni, the kids and I continued on with the fence. We also made a creep feeder for the “twins.”  After chores, Toni went and got our new-used drill press from Toby and Kendel so they could continue to put holes in the continuous fence clips. Kameron came and got his heifers picked up that we had bred for him.

As of Sunday night, all gates were up that could go up, the 13-foot railroad tie was topped, and we are ½ done with the outside of the alley going across the colt pen. We are extremely pleased to have the corral done. It is in full use with 2 studs, Payton, and the twins in it, so it wasn’t done too soon!



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FTK Put Down Your Guns, “Gangsta,”

FTK Put Down Your Guns, “Gangsta,” is a swanky buckskin roan colt out of Educated Downndirty and by KT Gunpowder N Lead. Educated Downndirty is by An Educated Guess and is out Plain Dark Choclet, “Rudy”. An Educated Guess, the highest earning son of Smart Chic Olena; he has 385 reining points, over $20,000 LTE, Highest AQHA Reining Point Earning, Sixth on the list of ALL TIME LEADING AQHA REINING POINT EARNERS, AQHA World Show: 1999 – 4th Senior Reining, 2000 – 11th Amateur Reining, 2002 – 9th Senior Reining and multiple AQHA & NRHA Circuit Champion. Rudy was shown back in her prime. She is a daughter of Just Plain Colonel, Earner of $52,676. He was a money-earner at the Tropicana 4-Year-Old Open Futurity, at five and six, 1989 PCCHA Open Challenge-5th, 1989 Gold & Silver 5/6-Year-Old Open Stakes-7th, 1988 Reno Western Open Classic-4th.1988 Bonanza Open Classic, 1989 PCCHA Open Top Ten He was a finalist at the 1988 PCCHA Open Tournament of Champions. He is the NRCHA #6 All-Time Leading Sire. JUST PLAIN COLONEL has appeared on leading sire lists every year from 1995 – 2007, and those lists have included reined cowhorse, cutting and reining! On the bottom side Rudy as Par three and Doc N Willy. KT Gunpowder N Lead (Gunner) is a son of Cue Bars Laddie. Cue Bars Laddie is a roan stallion that has been shown as a reiner, cowhorse and rope horse. He was the recipient of the Open AQHA All Around Trophy and is a CCHA Hall of Fame Horse. Gunner is out of Charros Dandy Miss (Pistol) who was shown NFQHA and local shows. Great cow horse/ranch horse/rope horse. Gunner has greats on his papers like Peppy San, Doc O’Lena, Dandy Derby, Docs Jack Frost, and Imperial One. Broke to ride in the Allison Trimble program and a very nice stallion. He was born 4/4/19. $6,000

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  Long days with late sunsets