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.




Just had a big weekend of learning at the buck out in Laramie, Wyoming that I spoke about last week. I thought it was a rodeo school but it turned out to be a learning experience for me, watching people with knowledge, experience and the skills to transfer that knowledge to the young cowboys and horses involved.

The cowboys were mostly high school and college students, the horses were mostly young horses that had bucked with a dummy but not a rider. The pickup men were a mix of experienced hands riding young horses, and college students learning the trade. I really enjoyed watching the horsemanship and skills of not only keeping the boys safe but how the saddle horses progressed and how they really worked with the bucking horse colts getting them good to approach and pull the flank and get the rider off safely and then to leave the arena safely and quickly. I have always enjoyed watching pickup men as much as anything in the rodeo world, and one winter I picked up at a winter series rodeo in Helena, Montana and it is one thing that I am so glad I got to do it.

The Hamaker family make up the Summit Rodeo Company. They brought the young horses to the university of Wyoming’s arena to buck the young horses. The young cowboys could get on as many as they wanted in the two days. They fed everyone lunch, and everything about the outfit that I could see was positive. They sure helped a lot of young boys and horses with the opportunity to make it in the jump and kick world.

The stockmanship was really enjoyable for me to watch. I helped feed one afternoon and the horses had lots of hay left over from the day before. They were very methodical at getting the young horses to think their way through things. I watched them load a strait deck semi trailer. One person was horseback and one in the trailer. They brought them one at a time, which is very important and unusual for horses, as when one goes they all want to go (like sheep). They created a situation to get the horse to “think” his way on the trailer. By switching sides in the trailer they would “draw” an eye and get them to load head to tail in the trailer. I know the crew had to be tired and hungry but they took the extra time to load them right. From what I saw they helped those young horses so much by taking the time to load them with “feel” rather than just jamming them on the truck. That’s real stockman stuff.


We stayed with Heath and Brittany Ford. Heath is the assistant coach at U of W and really lives to help people. He is a positive guy that tells it like it is. He had me wanting to get on bareback horses again after listening to him! If you know anyone wanting to college rodeo, I would be trying to get to Laramie to check out the program.

We have known Brittany since she was born and it is so great to see such a confident caring young Mom and nurse. They have three young children and it was so fun to spend time with them. They are busy!

I remember several years ago Brittany was in the barrel racing at East Helena. It was a real tough place to get into the arena as you had to go through an alley and make a couple of corners. I felt she was in danger of her horse flipping or hurting her so I stepped in to help her. I could see she was not liking it that I helped and after her Dad told me I shouldn’t have helped as he felt if a barrel racer couldn’t get their horse in on their own they shouldn’t run. I always felt kind of bad because I could see she was nervous about me stepping in. I was worried about her safety, but learned you need to know the situation before you step into help someone. She survived and maybe that’s one of the things that helped her survive working nights and raising three kids!

Sam Petersen is cowboy. He had not been on a bareback horse for six months. He broke his wrist when he bucked of a horse and hung up and drug for a couple of laps around the arena. He had to overcome the fear of that happening again and concentrate on his riding. He did and showed lots of effort and rode real good. He is a sophomore in high school and has lots of athletic ability, thinks himself through pressure and from what I see has lots of try(only he knows how much try he really has). He is polite, has a good work ethic and morals, and listens to some real good music so I enjoy being around him.

There are two words I don’t throw around much. One of those words is “cowboy”. I feel there are lots of cowboys in this world with lots of different styles and personalities. I feel very strongly about keeping cowboy cowboy.
The one common denominator is try. Whether it’s getting on a bucking horse or caring for livestock in tough conditions, if you don’t have try you aren’t much of a cowboy.

I am so glad Sams folks Pete and Tara trusted me enough to attend the school with him. I learned lots and got to be around lots of “cowboys” in the Cowboy State.

The important thing to remember when working with living things is they are either getting better or worse. I think a bunch of horses and cowboys got better in Laramie, Wyoming over the weekend.

The world doesn’t need more cowboys, it needs more good cowboys.

Arizona Interesting

On a flight from Phoenix to Denver to have somewhat of an unexpected opportunity to go with Wife Tammy’s sister Taras boy Sam to a bareback Riding school in Laramie, Wyoming and I’m real exited about it.

The one disappointing thing is that I was invited to “ Throw Pialles” con mi amigo Hector at Corona Ranch, but had to leave before we could do it. Next time.

When we were doing Tammy’s Art of the Cowgirl earlier the “Corona” virus was just making the news and I remember Mr Announcer guy Gord Colliar making some jokes in reference to the name of the place and the virus. It was funny.

We just were visiting with the folks at Corona and they are struggling because of it. They have had lots of big groups cancel because of the Coronavirus and are really worried about it. Kind of ironic that the Corona Ranch is affected by the Coronavirus.

We were checking out places to have the event for next year. Corona ranch is my favorite and if you know how much I enjoy the Mexican culture you know my vote is there. The challenge is that the preliminary events have to be at least an hour away from Corona Ranch so it would be nice to get everything in one place.

We went down to Tucson and looked at Pima County Fairgrounds the went on down to Nogales to see our friend Dean Fish. He has the best and strongest pasture fence I have ever seen on the south side of the ranch. His neighbor to the East has about 1/4 as good of a fence trying to do the same job and that’s a little hard to understand, so I just had to jump the fence and get to the other side! I just had to.

When we were leaving we were on a little back road and all of a sudden a car roars around us just as we were turning and almost hit us then pulled right out thin traffic and almost caused a huge wreck. I was trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with the maniac and here comes about 6 border patrol Riggs in hot pursuit. I think he or she or they escaped em!

Just a few minutes ago I boarded my plane. All of a sudden all hell broke loose behind me. A guy was choking and in trouble. I got ahold of his backpack and a guy behind him went to preforming the hymlic on him and got him saved. He was about done when he got him clear and it made a big mess on the plane.

I was visiting with the guy that choked on the way to baggage claim and he thought he was going to die. He passed out before it came loose. He had never choked before. He said he felt like he had a cracked rib but felt like the guy saved his life.

It’s been very exiting and interesting. Arizona interesting!

Pate family at Art of the Cowgirl

The amazing Tammy Pate. She overcame cancer, produced Art of the Cowgirl, took on role as grandmother, and still looked good horseback and made a hand helping rope in the Pate family stockmanship demo and start colts with rial and me.

It was like old times on the clinic trail with the whole family working together. Mesa was a big part of the events success and her horse “Scotty” is wearing the high selling horse Bridle she received for selling the high selling horse. The Apple didn’t fall far from the tree with Tammy and Mesa.

Family, horses, ropes and cows. The only thing missing is our dogs.

Rial Pate doing what he does so good. That’s the new owner of the 63 Ranch watching and wondering if he hired the right generation of Pate.