August 1st, 2020, Volume 15, Issue 30
To beat the heat this week, we’ve been riding out at the crack of dawn when it’s nice and cool scouring the State Section for cattle and then moving them to water in McKillop. At this point we have moved 187 out of 221, but these last 17 are proving to be pretty wiley. As Shayne says, the last ones are the last ones for a reason!
This week I’ve been riding out with Brenda most mornings who has been teaching me all about the country, different routes you can take, where the tanks are, how to move cattle, where they like to hang out in the State Section, where and when they might spill, where you need to position yourself and your horse etc. She has been a great teacher to me and I’ve learned a lot about a cattle from her
Janice was away last week managing the Buck clinic’s in Kalispell and shared a little bit about the experience. “A few of the ranch staff and interns had an amazing opportunity last week to ride and/or audit Buck’s clinics in Kalispell and Whitefish. Every time I see him ride, I learn something new and his explanations and descriptions have a way of turning on the light bulb with things I may be struggling to improve.
Being from Michigan, before I came out here I had only worked cattle a couple of times in an arena. It’s a lot different being out on the mountain and moving cattle, but I’m finding it to be oh so fun! As I’ve discovered going out this week and really getting to know the State Section and McKillop, the more you know the country, the easier it is to know where the cattle might like to spill. Brenda has told me it’s important to keep the steers going at a steady walk to avoid them spilling, and when we did so the cattle hummed right along through those sticky sections.
These clinics were some of the most advanced he puts on partly because of the class description but also because of the riders participating. It was a stellar group. Buck was thrilled to be able to teach things he may not normally get to in other clinics. We even had a couple of guests join us since they are at the ranch taking advantage of the month long stay. Guests Michele and Anne-Catherine, Interns Sophie, Flora, and Allie, myself, and of course Shayne and Des! We were so excited to be able to ride in it this season, and everyone learned a ton.
The Whitefish clinic was invitation only and with a smaller number of riders it felt more like a private clinic! Buck helped riders individually with setting their horses up for success with flying lead changes, stopping and backing, leg yielding, and cow working It is always sad when these clinics end, but we look forward to Buck’ return- in the meantime we will be studying hard!”
The hay crew has been pumping right along the last two weeks and finally fished off the hay season at the end of this week. It’s been so exciting to watch them work out in the meadows, and turn out all of those nice bales. Our horses are so lucky to have such nice hay to eat all through the winter, and all thanks to Randy, Will, Willy, Nolan, Anna, Kevin and Scott. Hopefully next years hay season will be just as good!