This is Dorothy, our favorite pet cow. Disregarding the fact that I grew up on a ranch where we really didn’t name cattle, as all of the calves were destined for the sale pen and most of the cows were a uniform black color with no distinguishing characteristics…we now have a small enough herd with enough color variations and personalities to be able to tell them apart and call them by name. So we have Dorothy, a glossy red and white Hereford cow. She has a very sweet temperament, is the most laid-back and gentle cow I’ve ever seen, and our affection for her over-rules all common sense, because a smart cattleman would have sold her long ago.
I finally got word from my folks about their first crop of foals from their new stallion, and best of all, they sent pictures! Now I can’t wait to travel out to their ranch in Idaho to see them for myself. They have had a good foaling year (last spring they not only lost a foal before birth, but also had to put one of their best mares down due to birthing complications) so it’s a blessing to see these happy little horses on the ground, safe and sound.
I started drawing horses when I was four. I remember I had been given a large book of colored construction paper, and if I had been more frugal I might have understood that such a variety of colors could have been used more creatively. But I made a horse drawing on each page of that book, using a black marker, creating rather pudgy replicas of the species, usually only supplying them with the two legs nearest the viewer, but never forgetting the feed pan for them to eat out of. All of my first drawn horses were happily eating grain from their feed pans.
I’m baking treats today, in honor of Valentine’s Day, and I’m baking them for my horses! I’ve actually never done that before, but a reader commented over on my Cowgirl Recipes page and requested some recipes for making your own horse treats. Having read several horse treat recipes online, I went to the kitchen to see what I had on hand, and made up my very own kind of horse treat. They turned out great, and my horses loved them! Here’s the recipe so you can share some love with your equine friends this Valentine’s day!
I absolutely love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday, and all of the excitement and anticipation that comes with the shopping, giving, and receiving is what makes it fun. Growing up kind of makes that excitement fade, until you have kids of your own, and then you get it all back watching them exclaim over their gifts. If you’re like me, you just can’t quit thinking about what might be in that package under the tree with your name on it. I’m everlastingly curious but too principled to peek. So this time of year always gets me giddy with excitement!
It’s that time of year when people like to ponder the good things that have come their way. I see the trend of daily status updates on Facebook, where everyone is counting a blessing along with each day of November, and while it is inspiring to read their grateful comments, I haven’t joined in the fad yet. I have looked at the blank where I’m supposed to type my comment, and ten minutes later I’m still sitting there, overwhelmed with my thoughts….the blank just isn’t big enough. I have so much to be thankful for.
I am happy to announce a new giveaway here on CowgirlDiary.com! This is a brand new horse book, just released yesterday, November 1, 2011. I got the chance to read it beforehand, and was pleasantly surprised by it. An avid reader of horse-related literature, I expected a rather indulgent account of far-fetched fluff. What I found instead, is that the author lets you into her world and honestly portrays the true realities of horse ownership. I found my own horse experiences mirrored in the thoughts and feelings of the writer, and by the time the last page was turned, I felt that I knew her so well I had found a kindred spirit.
It’s been a great July so far! I’ve been spending a lot of time in my garden lately. It’s the time of year when the young plants are trying to bear, and the weeds are often getting the better of things. This is when I usually lose control of it and give up, just wading through the weeds to pick vegetables here and there. But I’m trying to keep up with it this time around….hence, I haven’t had much time for my blogging.
I happened to find another really cool cowgirl website that I wanted to share with my readers. It was when I typed in “cowgirl” in the facebook search bar that Cowgirl Finesse popped up as one of the options. So out of curiosity, I clicked on the link and became a fan of their page. Cowgirl Finesse sells all kinds of western accessories—belts, purses, boots, tack, jewelry, and more!
In light of the Father’s Day weekend, I thought I’d share a couple of stories about the father of my kids, affectionately referred to on this blog as Cowboy Dad. While my husband would never claim to be a cowboy, I call him that because I think he has some old fashioned characteristics that remind me of an old west hero. Knowing him, he will cringe as he reads this, because if Cowboy Dad has a fault, it would be that he denies the credibility of all compliments. But he is the best person I know.
My grandma was an avid horse lover. Maybe not as horse crazy as I am, because she had too much work to do to spend any time on horses. But I think that horses were always on her mind. I don’t know what kind of fool I’d be if it weren’t for my Grandma, but I sincerely doubt that I’d be the horse crazy fool that I am.
Some of my latest musings have been on the attire related to the western horse person. I saw one of the local “cowboys” at the gas station today, he was driving a Ford Escort and stepped out to pump gas wearing a starched western shirt, cowboy hat, boots, spurs, and nasty-tight Wranglers.
Horses are funny animals. If I had a chance to sit out there in the corral all day and watch them, I would. I have five horses right now, and they are each so different, it is so interesting to see how they act and respond to each other. I believe in animal behaviouralist’s technical terms, this would be called herd dynamics.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the fall. Leaves just starting to change, a crispness in the air, and I was so excited to be riding my mare Daisy, since she had been getting better and better on each ride throughout the summer. A long trail ride through new territory was exactly what I’d been wishing for.
Fencing is always a problem when you’re dealing with horses. It seems like it doesn’t matter what kind of fence you have: wood, pipe, electric tape, electric wire, high tensile wire, mesh wire, or barbed wire—a horse can find a way to mess it up or get hurt on it. A responsible horse owner will provide the best they can for their horses and just pray that nothing bad happens, because a fence injury can often render a horse useless.
If you are around horse people for any length of time, you are going to meet with strong personalities who are assured they are correct, to the point of everyone else being wrong. I would admit that I have been there….but I think I’ve arrived at the realization that I can never know enough, there is always more to learn, and anyone who will share their viewpoint with me is someone I can gain knowledge from.
If you missed me the last ten days or so, it was because I was on vacation. My husband’s entire family spends a week each summer on a remote lake in Minnesota, fishing, boating, swimming, and most importantly relaxing! I spent a lot of time reading and playing with the kids in the sand, water, and sun. The only thing that would have made the vacation complete is horses.
I loved taking our horses for water rides in the summer! There’s no better way to stay cool and still be outside with your horse than riding through the spray of an irrigation system or into a pond or creek for a swim. Summer days with no cattle work to do often turned out that way.
I think it’s something you’re born with….the horse thing is something that’s so strong you can’t ignore it. Horses give you a reason to wake up in the morning, a reason to get outside and breathe in nature, and a power to look past the small stuff and realize all you’ve accomplished that you can be proud of.
Part of working with horses on a daily basis is understanding that you cannot always control circumstances that involve a near-ton of weight on four fast-moving legs powered freely at the will of a flight-instinct animal.