Author Archives: curtpate

Wet dogs

I have been putting together some steers for the 63 Ranch and bringing them here to Ryegate and working with the to get them eating, electric fence broke, learning to be driven and held up and of course dog broke.  It seems like everything around here is broke, except my horse.

The steers started crossing the Musselshell River the last couple of days and Tammy has been videoing.  Thought you might enjoy it and if you are a dog person I’m sure you’ll think my dogs aren’t broke either!

In the last video we couldn’t get up the bank out of the river so I sent the dogs.  They had to go quite a ways and get the cattle.  It’s hard to sit there and not know what is happening and I was just about to give Tammy my horse and go up to see what was going on and here they came.

It’s real and it’s nice work for the young dogs and for Taco who is semi retired ( only works when he feels like it) and the cattle are really starting to handle nice.

Horse Slaughter, Mexico, Coronavirus

Any time you have a situation that is not normal it’s important to see what effect it will have on you, if you can do anything to change it for your own situation, and what positives can come out of it.

I remember way back when horse slaughter was stopped in the U.S.  Everybody had opinions of what was wrong and right, and the folks that were for horse slaughter were sure the horse market would never be the same.  Before the financial crisis in 2008 the horse world was crazy.  I was fortunate to end up in the middle of the greatest expansion of the horse industry ever.  There were horses being bred that should not be bred and there were people buying horses that had no real interest or business owning and keeping horses.  That made for good business for lots of us.

When the bottom fell out of the market, everyone got real negative.  Larry Schnell, owner of Dickinson Livestock told me that it was tough but in ten years it would be the best thing that ever happened to the horse industry.

He was right.  It was hard on breed associations and some businesses as the law of supply and demand took over, but people quit breeding sorry horses and real dedicated horse folks hung in there.

If you have seen the quality and the prices paid for those quality horses in the last couple of years, and the quality of the horseman that made them, Larry proved to me why I think he is a very smart, realistic businessman.

I was at Public Auction Yards the other day and saw this on the wall.  Pat Goggins shaped a lot of my thoughts by his writing in the Western  Livestock Reporter.  Here is some of his wisdom


Many of you have been through some big events like 9/11 bombings and the 2008 financial crisis, but the Covid-19 Virus has really effected and changed things for everyone of us in a big way, and there was no way to  see it coming.  The most important thing for all of us right now is how to keep your health,  physical and financial.  A strong immune system and a strong balance sheet have become very important.

Tammy and I have always lived to be strong.  We have tried to eat right and keep a healthy lifestyle to have a strong immune system and the ability to live a quality life of good health.  In our opinion Wife Tammy has gone from stage 4 cancer to remission in 6 months or so, because of the strong health of her immune system because of the way she lived.  The problem is she dipped into her immune bank account pretty deep and is trying to rebuild it.  She has had to give up lots of things she wanted to get what she needed.  We have to live very careful not to put more stress on her immune system.  She can not get sick from this so we are doing what it takes to stay isolated.

I am so glad I had a Grandfather that thought me how to live happy and content without trying to buy it.  Wife Tammy and I (I’m not sure she always liked it) have never borrowed money for a vehicle or “things” other than real estate.  I have for the last 35 years worried about if I was going to make it where I was going in the vehicle I was driving, but I’ve never had to worry about making a payment.

From what I have seen many people try to buy quality of life with things and stuff.  It’s easy to have so many things we don’t appreciate any of them and buy some more to try to fill the hunger for contentment and satisfaction.  What they end up is being a prisoner to the debt of stuff, but everyone is doing it so every one does it, like most everyone in the western world wears square toed boots these days.  Sheep.

What we are going through is tough because right now people are getting sick and dying or worrying about getting sick and dying.  The next thing to hit is the financial part.  I have a feeling things are going to get tough, especially if you have lots of bills to pay.  I hope I’m wrong but I can’t see how there is not going to be some consequence for everything being  shut down, and most folks not prepared for it.

“When your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall” is one of my favorite sayings to keep me living within my means, and I think it is going to get real evident in this situation.

Another is “separate your wants from your needs” and I think we all may end up learning the difference in the near future.

In time I hope this is a reset on people caring about real quality of life rather than the plastic quality of life brought on by credit cards.

What seems to be the worst time ever could end up being the best thing ever for people getting back to enjoying and appreciating real life.

I always try to get back to the sell/buy  way of looking at things.  We are being forced to sell our freedom to work and play, and in turn buying lots of time at home or on the ranch.  We can’t change the sell, but we are in control of the time we are buying.  Use it wisely and figure out if you are living how you want or how the herd wants. (Square toed boots).

I am so glad that I was raised with livestock and have learned to get so much enjoyment and contentment from working with animals.

I am real fortunate to have a healthy wife that has the old time skills of a ranch wife and understands the importance of being a good mother and wife, but also will step out there and be a modern day business lady.

I believe lots of good people are going to have lots of challenges for a while.  Things are going to change.  When I went and worked in the feed yards in Mexico and saw how little stuff folks had and how they were still enjoying life and family and God we’re still the thing that was most important.

When I look at things here in the good old USA, it’s a little embarrassing to see how much we have, how much we waste, how much debt, and how much more we want, yet the divorce rates are high, health is low, and the happiness index could sure be better.

It looks to me like buying things for quality of life is not working.  We have been “marketed” into believing buying and accumulating is the way to go.  I challenge you to rethink this.

It’s Easter Sunday.  I wonder how Jesus would live today.  Would he find contentment in helping others and enjoying a simple life or would he have a mega mansion and a bunch of stuff?

Just some things to think about.

Stay safe, enjoy life and all it brings you.

Western and English Sales Association Demo

WESA posted this yesterday so I thought it might provoke some thought for you.

Think and contemplate the thought.  A good way to create “your” horsemanship and stockmanship skills.  Use someone else to get the thought rolling, but you decide if it works or if you need to change it to fit you.