The Cows Came Home

October 23, 2013
Hereford Bull

I’m concocting a grandiose tale in my head about what might have happened last weekend. It goes something like this…Cowboy Dad and I loaded up our horses and trailered out to the South Dakota plains where our cow herd spent the summer. We then rode all day gathering up the herd, enjoying the beautiful western landscape, sorting the cows from the calves, pushing them onto a semi truck trailer, and driving home to Iowa. It would have been a wonderful weekend, with stories to tell of how well our horses worked cattle, and lots of photographs to share of the splendors of the prairie. But alas, it didn’t quite happen that way.

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Iowa in October

October 8, 2013
Riding Horses in Iowa In October

I’m sitting here after a long day, wondering what to write in this post to sum up the very best parts of my day to share on CowgirlDiary.com, and I’m not coming up with a whole lot of words. I went for a horseback ride this evening with JoAnn. It was a beautiful, windy, fall day…the kind of day that just beckons. I stuffed my old camera in the hip pocket of my jeans and away we went. Basically, it was a super fun ride. And the rest, I’ll just say with pictures….

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Horse News Headlines

October 1, 2013
Horse Stories In The News

I love reading about horses, especially horse headlines in the news. No matter how serious the story is, there is almost always some humor in it. Either that, or it’s a heartwarming story, like the woman who stayed with her horse that was stuck in the quicksand along an Australian beach, until both were rescued after 3 hours. Here are some of the most recent horse headlines I’ve read.

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Out On A Trail Somewhere

September 24, 2013
Riding Daisy at Hacklebarney Trails

If you’re looking for me these days, I’m probably out riding. The weather is unbelievably sweet, the horses are nothing short of amiable, and horseback riding is my number one favorite thing to do in the whole world, so I’m livin’ it up. I’ve been averaging a trail ride a week for the past month, and am loving it so much! I have two great people to give all the credit to.

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Selling Milo

September 13, 2013
Selling Our Appaloosa Gelding Milo

Our horse herd has changed. Over the summer, I decided to put up a few of our horses for sale because it is always a financial strain for us to feed five horses through the winter and I hate having skinny horses fighting over the hay. (Last winter was hard–we ran low on hay and hay quadrupled in cost around here, and the hay we could barely afford to buy was not good quality–it was a nightmare!) So I listed three of them on craigslist, thinking if we sold one then our horse herd would be of a more reasonable number. Me being a horse lover, you can never have too many horses, but until I win the lottery there has to be a limit. We really don’t have the space for five horses, so somebody needed to go.

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Pierce Creek Trails

September 8, 2013
Trail Riding At Pierce Creek Recreation Area, Essex, Iowa

My horse friend and I went riding again this week, this time to some new equestrian trails that are being developed five miles northeast of Shenandoah, Iowa. The Pierce Creek Recreation Area is a beautifully serene park with ten miles of well-developed trails for horseback riding. Some of the local riders have done a lot of work at the park to make it more horse friendly, and we chose a beautiful evening for a ride.

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Hacklebarney Trails

August 28, 2013
Trail Riding At Hacklebarney

We did it! My new horse friend and I went trail riding. It might be difficult for the casual reader to understand my exuberance. But I so seldom get to ride, especially not on actual trails in a new place, nor with a new-found fellow horse enthusiast, so I’m thrilled. My husband agreed to watch the kids, including the seven month old baby who is not used to being away from mama for any amount of time…so I went!

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Horse Radar

August 20, 2013
Making New Friends In The Horse World

I told a customer at work yesterday that I have “Horse Radar”. He looked at me funny…and I explained that I had seen his wife out trail riding the other day along a road, and wondered if he was riding with her. He said, “No, that was her daughter and a friend. Why?” I said, “Oh, I was just jealous, and told my husband—see? That’s what we should be doing today!” He said, “You have horses?” I said, “Yes, but I don’t get out to ride much.” He said, “Well, you should talk to my wife, she’s always looking for somebody to go riding with.” Phone numbers were exchanged, Facebook friend requests sent, and now his wife and I are planning to go ride at some trails as soon as we can!

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The Cowboy Way

July 24, 2013
The Cowboy Way

Not every horse story is a happy one. I talked to someone yesterday who told me about a filly that was causing trouble, fighting with other horses, and when tied up would pull back hard and break halters every time. So they tied her with a log chain around her neck, trying to break her of pulling back….and so she broke her neck. That story left me stunned, with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I can’t get away from. I saw this filly not long ago, a beautiful bay roan with a big white star on her face. And just like that, she’s gone.

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Riding In The Mountains

July 17, 2013
Riding Horses On A Cattle Drive In The Mountains

In June we traveled out to Idaho to visit my folks. It’s been almost a year since we’ve seen them, as we didn’t make it out there for Christmas. So we were really looking forward to the making the trip, getting some fresh mountain air, spending time with family, and going on some adventures.

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Summer Riding Job

June 12, 2013
Summer Riding Job in the Idaho Mountains

I got a phone call from my dad in Idaho the other day…that doesn’t happen very often, but he had an important request.  Being internet-deprived, he asked me to post an advertisement for him to hire a couple of cowboys or “riders”, as they call them, for the summer months.  So I put a Help [...]

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Rodeo

May 25, 2013
Going To The Rodeo

When I was a teenager, this time of year was so exciting. School was ended and we were free to ride horses all day, which was pretty much all that was on my agenda. While Dad finished up the spring planting, we kids would be putting cattle out to pasture and checking on the late-calvers daily. There was so much to do on horseback!

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Roundup Rules

April 15, 2013
Rules For Helping With Cattle Work on A Ranch

It’s been awhile since I’ve worked cattle on horseback (well, almost a year to be exact!), but I used to do it every day when I was a teenager. I learned so much about cattle when I was working alongside my dad. His approach to working cattle was very practical and methodical; my dad is a very patient individual. But he never really explained things—he expected us to know what he was thinking, to understand what the cattle were going to do before they did it, and to be exactly in the right place to control them at all times. This article is an attempt to do just that: guidelines for handling cattle for the beginner.

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Dreaming Of Horses

March 20, 2013
Kerrie Tischer, Author of CowgirlDiary.com

Our third child was born in January. Being pregnant all last summer really put a stop to my riding. I have ridden horses while pregnant, but of the ones we have now, only one is deemed safe enough by my husband for me to ride while carrying a child, and it has just been so busy we have done nothing with the horses except feed them and try to maintain their health through the winter.

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Book Giveaway: Pie, An Old Brown Horse

February 23, 2013
Pie: An Old Brown Horse (That Knows What He Is Doing)

It is my pleasure to offer another great horse story to my readers by way of a book giveaway! This book is uniquely written in the voice of the horse himself, named Pie, an old brown cowhorse. It’s very interesting to look at the world through the eyes of a horse, and this book lays out this individual horse’s life with vivid descriptions and unforgettable scenarios. I loved meeting each of the horses presented in this story; they were described so well I felt like part of their herd.

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Crossing Water

February 9, 2013
Training A Horse To Cross Water

Walking through water can be one of the hardest things for a horse to accept, and his fear is often based on his past experiences. If he’s never seen it before, or if he’s been forced into it or struggled with by a rider over crossing water, then it’s going to be a big obstacle for him to overcome. No matter how much horse experience you have, when you’re working to overcome something like this you have to have a lot of patience and be willing to spend the time it takes to help the horse get past his fear of crossing water.

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When Good Horses Turn Sour

January 23, 2013
When Good Horses Turn Sour

A common scenario in horse ownership goes something like this: “We were shopping for a horse for our teenage daughter and found the perfect gelding. A seasoned show horse with a willing attitude…his owner assured us he would fulfill all of our expectations. Two months after bringing him home, he became headstrong, barn sour, started balking, and eventually rearing.

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Don’t Be Rude!

January 18, 2013
Don't Be Rude To Your Horse

I attended a training clinic several years ago, put on by a good friend of mine, Kevin Wescott, a horse trainer from west-central Nebraska. It was a general horsemanship clinic, where local people brought their own horses and asked Kevin to help them through issues they were having, or give advice on their riding, and so on. I was there with my mare Daisy, whose behavior at this clinic you might remember from my previous blog post. But aside from that, I observed something at this clinic that has stuck in my mind ever since.

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Good Disposition

January 6, 2013
Good Disposition In Horses

I have said before—and been quoted as saying—that a horse is born with it’s disposition. Good or bad, that horse can only be one way the rest of its life, and any amount of training is merely a slight modification of the true nature of the horse. But I think I have to change that statement slightly by saying that a horse’s disposition is formed at a very early age (not exactly at birth) and once it has formed that initial, instinctive code of conduct, it is set—good or bad—and it’s very difficult to change it completely.

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Welcome Winter

November 24, 2012
Have A Wonderful Winter!

This season has come along so suddenly, I am struck with the startling realization that fall is almost over and those harvest-colored sunshine days that I used to love to go riding on are almost past. Winter is coming. The pessimistic side of me is dreading the frozen water tanks, fierce winds, sub-zero temperatures, and the aching fingers I get from handling a cold pitchfork. I don’t like the effects of daylight savings time, with it’s short days and cold nights. But winter brings more than that. There will be sledding excursions for the kids, bright sparkling mornings where the snow has given everything a fresh coat of white glitter, the desire for a cup of hot chocolate and a longer cuddle than you’d want in the summertime…..there are some really great things about winter.

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