Questions and Answers – June 2014 Edition

Heeyaw!  Let’s go!

Andrea: I read you all the time, and your photos are awesome. Your facebook link on your sidebar is broken… I found your FB page manually but you might want to fix it.

Thanks so much for the heads up.  I tried for a while to fix the links, and I’m doing something wrong.  I’ll get it eventually… and thanks so much for letting me know!

Karyn: Is there a calf season, or do the cows breed multiple times a year?

Calving season runs from the end of February/early March through early May.  Cows can have only one baby per year… their gestation is the same as humans, 9 months, and you let their calves grow up a bit before weaning.

Linda: How’s your studio coming along?

Linda, I haven’t touched it.  With all the cow work, house work, babies, cooking, gardening and lawn work, and blog work, the studio just hasn’t been enough of a priority.  I’ve gone out there twice and just relaxed for a few minutes… I’m SOOOOO ready to be out there!  SOON.  SOON.

Kay: How pretty with the wild flowers, the cattle in the distance and the mountains far away (50 miles ? ) The air in your area must be very clear.

Kay, air quality is not what it once was, but it is very clear compared to much of the country.  Part of it is lack of humidity.  That stuff creates haze, and we don’t have much moisture in our air!  Seeing across basins, like the Big Horn Basin, is pretty easy most days, and that’s 100 miles.

Marilyn: What kind of tree is that? so gnarled and twisted!

That’s a cedar tree.  They make great “accent pieces” in your garden!

Liza: I seem to have lost track of your family–who’s living where, and who’s working on the ranch?

Victoria is still a teacher in Kaycee, Wyoming with her husband and twin boys.  She helps when she can.  Daniel (Tess, Jaxon, Lacee) is living in my old house at the main place.  Brandon (Megan, Quinlan, Lorelei) lives just over the hill from me here on the Mills Place.  The boys are working here full time along with Vernon and Johnny.

Steph in Oregon: Are there plants in your area that are toxic to cattle? With the vast area cattle roam, it would seem impossible to control everything they ate out there.

Oh, definitely!  We fight tall larkspur the most, one of the reasons why Brandon chose it as his Master’s Degree topic.  We also have short larkspur, lupine pods aren’t good, tons of locoweed, golden pea is not overly welcome (even though it looks and smells heavenly!) even pine tree needles can make cows abort.  There’s more, but we don’t worry too much about anything but larkspur.  We use mineral to help combat its effects, plus we try to keep cows off of it when it’s at its peak toxicity.

Mary: I always enjoy your pictures, even with the sunscreen. :). Would you mind sharing the name of the sketch app you use?

It is an iPad app called My Sketch.  I love what it does!

Judy: Tell us about the horses you ended up buying at the horse sale in Cody. I don’t remember reading about what you bought, and something about them. Just curious about what you look for in a ranch horse.  Susan and Elizabeth: How are your new horses working out? Especially, that gorgeous buckskin?

Judy, Susan, and Elizabeth, they’re both doing well!  Daniel is very happy with his black horse, named Zip, since his papered name was hard to shorten!  He rides him and gets this big grin on his face!  I’ve even ridden the buckskin… Rosin was pretty horse sour… never wanted to be alone.  After multiple rides and riders, he’s SOOOO much better.  He’d bluff you by spinning and shaking his head and balking, but if you stuck with your decision, he’d go his own way, and straighten up.  He’s great after that, going through anything and everything.  Pretty sensible.  Vernon’s been riding him and is Very Happy.  In a ranch horse we look for calm and sensible.  We don’t ride regularly, we might go 3 months in winter not riding, but then we crawl on and have to go!  They’ve got to handle open country, rocks, hills, creeks, willows, holes, just point them and they need to go!  Panama at first tripped and tripped, being a feedlot horse, he’d never had to look where he was putting his feet.  In this country, you do!  Panama never wanted to cross our little bitty creeks either, the ones that are 1′ wide?  He hated that.  Big creek, no problem.  Now he goes.  Horses that we’ve bought… some have never had a chance to be a HORSE.  They’ve been in arenas and stalls and had protected lives.  Out here they have to figure out things like wild animals, prairie dog and badger holes, living in a herd, weather, and bugs!  There’s not a lot of things that miles and miles and miles of riding won’t straighten out in a horse.  Rosin is SOOO much better than he was when he first came.  Zip is learning about the country too.  We’re happy with our purchases, somebody put a lot of work into both of them.

Here they are… sorting out pairs… just like they’ve been doing it a long time.

Rosin and Zip

Thanks, everyone!




Questions and Answers – June 2014 Edition — 3 Comments

  1. All interesting questions and answers. Thank you! And I love today’s
    picture of the two new horses at work with the Rim Rock behind it!

  2. Can hardly believe how fast your family is growing! So cool! When I first started reading your blog, none of your kids were married and I think it was a while before any of the grandkids arrived.

    I love all the info on how the horses have to adjust, and I particularly like Zip.

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