Be Free

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Grace Appraised

When a friend of ours, who likes to work with problem horses, asked to "play a bit" with Grace (our three year old filly), we were more than willing to let him take her! He's had her almost three months. He's only had time to work with her a couple of times a week, but after some lively go-rounds, he's gotten her full cooperation. Seeing her give him his due: her attention, was terrific. We called on him Sunday after church. It was over 100 degrees. He said, come on over.

When we drove up we saw her out in the field with two older mares. He called and she came a-runnin'!

Then he caught her, tossed a big stock saddle on her (with a back cinch) and climbed right up on her. Not even in the round pen. He rode her up and down near us and there was a lot of stuff in her space which she hadn't gotten up close to before. She looked and rubber necked a little, but no shy, no spook.

There was a little footbridge over near the tool shed. Very near the tool shed. He had never shown it to her before. She balked briefly, then put a wary foot on it and within 10 seconds she was walking on it!

I said I'd like to see her trot/jog. He
took her in the roundpen for that and she went right into it without a problem. No buck, no hump in her back. She turned, stopped, backed up...I think this was maybe the sixth time he'd ridden her!

So, thanks to Johnny, we're cutting Grace some slack. If she continues to be of sound mind, she may have a future with us yet!

I love the photos of her being worked with. As good as any taken in Colorado or Nevada of ranch handling of rough stock. Johnny is the real thing!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hot to Trot

Last week we survived four very hot days of shooting at the SDMS Texas Shoot-out. Those little critters were tough; they weathered that heat wave like their desert ancestors. It wasn't just hot to trot; it was hot just standing still! We brought home about 5000 captives. Some of them were evasive, but we bided our time, pretending that we weren't paying attention. But, as soon as an ear twitched, we were on it! We got 'em! Some of the best are on our website.

Here are a few that are favorites of ours. The driver of the four-in-hand is Tom O'Carroll who trained our horse to drive. He put the pairs of donkeys together for the first time right before the event.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This is our big "gig" for the year. Our biggest equine event. Four full days of longears. Both full-sized and miniature. Last year the SDMS Texas Shoot-out only had classes for miniature donkeys. This time they'll have regular donkeys and mules. We took almost 5000 pictures last year. This year will be even more. If you've got to spend 10 hours a day looking through a viewfinder, it helps if the subjects are cute. They really are! Here are a few of my favorites from last year.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Howdy, Marshall Margason.

Whose horse is that parked in front of the jail?

Hey, Buck, look at the lady.

Saturday we went to Agarita. We rode Buck and Rely on the trails. We rode over the big bridge (which was scarier to me than it was to the horses). I have no photos of that because lugging our canons on horseback is too risky. Rather, when we got back to 'town', I shot at Kevin a few times and got him!

The cat on location came right up and reported for duty. He's played his part well, don't you think?