Some of you might have noticed this picture of me and The Western Original’s bucking horse, Carol here, and wondered why I would “tame down” a bucking horse.
Truth is, we like them nice and calm. Our bulls will eat cucs and zucs right from our hand and enjoy an occasional back rub.
And they still buck! In fact they buck better when they aren’t scared.
If our animals can stand in the bucking chute and be calm and just focus on the job they are about to be asked to do, they will buck much better than if they are scared and going insane in the chutes.
This was my horse, Johnny Rebel. I played with him since he was just a baby on his mama’s side. He would always walk up to me, I could pick up all his feet and we where best buddies. The Western Original and I where convinced he would never make a bucking horse because he was so gentle.
When he turned 2-years-old I was ready to saddle him the first time. I got him in the round corral and pulled the cinch and - BOOM! His bucking horse legacy came out in a flash! Ever heard the song “Strawberry Roan” yep, that was him!
After we finally got the saddle back off him, we decided to put him in the next rodeo. He bucked at all our local rodeos and ended up being sold at the Benny Binion Bucking Horse Sale in Las Vegas.
The Western Original once owned a bull he called Yellowstone, the bull was so gentle that behind the chutes, before the rodeo, there would be 4 or 5 young kids crawled up on the fence and over onto his back. He would stand munching some hay and let the kiddos sit on him, scratch his back and crawl all over him.
Then the Western Original would load him in the chute and pull the gate and - BAM! He’d buck the cowboy off very time!
~ I don’t think this is Yellowstone, but I had so much fun going through the Western Original’s photo books I had to share a few of them with you! ~
The Western Original had a bareback horse named - well he is still trying to remember the horse’s name - “That sorrel horse” is all that he is coming up with right now.
Anyway - "that sorrel horse" was a tremendous bareback horse. They would put him out for the first event of the rodeo he’d buck like crazy, then bring him around strip off the bareback riggin’ and then saddle him up and ride him the rest of the day on him as a pick-up horse.
~ And again this is obviously not “that sorrel horse” but it is taken from about the same time-period. ~
I would like to point out, that these are kind of exceptional cases. Most of our bucking horses won’t let you walk up and give them kisses, but we try to keep all our horses calm and sane. This is Calamity Kate, she is a nice bay mare that the Western Original raised, she is going to her first rodeos this year, and is finding her feet and learning her job.
She is not what you might call friendly, I can’t pet her, or feed her by hand or things of that nature, but when I am out in the pasture taking pictures, she and her twin cousin are right behind me trying to figure out what that crazy lady with the camera is up to.
These horses are part of our family. We watch they take their first steps, doctor them, feed them in the heat and in the cold, care for them and work with them. We love them.
So you see - they aren’t mean or scared or insane. They just have a job to do.
I will be honest and tell you a lot of them are down right ornery. But so am I. So it’s all good.
Thank you so much for joining us here at the barnyard. Please come back soon! If you have any questions about rodeo or anything else, please leave a comment here. Thank you so much!
** Here are the barnyard updates:
Mini aussie pups due in the next couple weeks. The bad news - I was hoping for a litter out of Rainy by now, but looks like she didn’t take. The good news - this litter will be out of Gidget x Chief. And they are going to be great dogs! Small mini/large toy sized and Working dogs!
I believe we will have Spotty puppies at the end of August.
This is one of the Western Original’s bucking horses. I named her Christmas Carol. She is a bit of a pet of mine and, even though she took a bit of a cheap shot at me when she was about 3 months old and kicked me in the elbow, we get along well. She is one of the few bucking horses that puts up with me taking selfies. This was last summer.
(I don’t know who the smart aleck in the back giving me bunny ears is.)
Carol was born in December of 2010. Just a few days before Christmas Day. Here she is just a week old with her guardian angel barn cat looking on.
Actually the cat was just sunning himself, but it was a cool picture.
This is Rumbling Rita, Carol’s mom. She is a land whale! Seriously, the Western Original says she weighs about 1,650 lbs! That is 650 lbs over a good-sized riding horse!
Last fall we took about a dozen young bucking horses to Cody to winter. I took pictures of all the horses before they left to go run on the range. Here is the shot I got of Carol. (It was for record keeping purposes and was never meant to be blog worthy, but then you never know right?)
Carol was just shy of her 3rd birthday.
And this is what Carol looked like when we unloaded her! I seriously thought the Western Original was yanking my chain! I thought he did an old bait and switch on me. If it weren’t for the brand on her shoulder, and the fact that she came over to me like we were best buds I would never have believed this was my Carol.
Obviously she grew, and shed out, but the spots?!
I am not sure you are believing me now.
But it truly is.
There is no irriation to suggest a rash, scar or bug bite, so after a quick reassuring visit with my vet, in which he assured me there was no spotted-toad-wart-horse-killing-virus-that-presents-itself-with-bleach-like-sprinkle-spots going around the county I turned to good old google.
Turns out they are called Birdcatcher Spots, named after the first race horse that presented with this color pattern. As far as I can tell, from my limited research, the spots run mostly in Thoroughbred lines, but other horses can present with them as well. Every year when Carol sheds out, the pattern may be different. More spots, less spots, or they may be the same.
Birdcatcher with jockey, 1858
My sister says these are just Christmas Carol’s blinking Christmas lights. I say Carol is truly a horse of a different color.
Mean while Carol seems to be saying, “C’mon, can’t you just photoshop them out?!"
I headed up to the north end of the county to check on the bucking horse mares we have pastured there for the summer.
Painted Lady, the Kicking Mare and Bobby Sue sure look happy to see me.
Betsy Crockett and June are sure fat and sassy.
Then there is Icy Sparks. Isn’t she a beaut!?
This little gal, growing up to be a very big gal, is out of one of our best mares, Rumbling Rita and our good stud Cowboy.
I was going to name her Nymph, but now I am not sure.
Here is our first bucking horse colt for the year. A good soggy stud colt out of Cowboy!
And this is Christmas Carol. Check out her spots. No she isn’t an appaloosa.
And yes, you are going to be surprised when I tell you what her dots are!
And speaking of surprises, guess what Lawman Mike showed me while I was up there for my visit.
Yep you got it, little barn kitties.
There are 5 of the little wee mites. They are all this color. And they are all going to need fabulous homes.
So if you are looking for a good little mouser, barn cat or family pet, comment below and I will make sure you and Mike get together and get these little cuties great homes! Or give me a call and I will hook you up!
Thanks Erin 307-254-3968
Thanks for joining us here at the Barnyard. Come back next time and I will tell you all about Christmas Carol and her super cool polka dots.