Comfortable and Content

I slept in my own bed last night after a couple months of being somewhere else.  It sure feels good to wake up early, sit in my chair drinking coffee with our cat Helga on my lap and enjoying the comfort of our small cabin home.

I have enjoyed being in Arkansas at the Tribe Cattle Co and living in our mobile cow camp, and wife Tammy and I just had a wonderful trip home via Wisconsin for a clinic at Devils Hole Ranch, then on to the country I really love, southwest North Dakota and northwest South Dakota (funny).  

We spent a couple of days in Hettinger, North Dakota in a sea of grass and good people.  We haven’t been on a clinic road trip together for a long time and it was just great.  We had three horses, five dogs and a semi with a sleeper.  

It was just like the old days of travel on the road.  We found a sale barn the first night and slept in the truck.  Our horses spent the night with goats, mules, pigs and cattle in the barn.  I’m not sure how well they slept!

I bought a big stock trailer with lots of cuts and it is great for hauling my horses.  I had bedded it with grass hay and put some alfalfa in the corners when I loaded so they were loose and could eat and stand how they were comfortable. I try to be a good truck driver and shift smooth and make it as comfortable as possible for our horses.  My semi has a two hundred gallon water tank so when we stop I can give them water that they are used to.  It’s a great way to haul horses, and the dogs have a compartment with dog boxes and lots of places to get comfortable.

It’s really important to me to have my animals as comfortable and content as possible wherever they are, and hauling them loose in a big trailer sure is nice.

We got to the Devils hole in Northwestern Wisconsin, and man what a beautiful place.  Steep rugged cow country!  We spent three days moving cattle in different pastures to new grass, and enjoying the family and guests, eating good food and discussing stockmanship and life.  It’s a laid back place with crazy people so we fit right in!  

The Menns family are good people and know how to make you feel comfortable and content, just like my horses in the trailer.  It’s a great place.

We finished up on Memorial Day afternoon and headed west as we had about a thirteen hour trip so we wanted to split it into two days.  We traveled for a few hours and then Tammy figured out we were driving into bad storms.  We went to Austin, Minnesota and found the fairgrounds.  

They had an arena but no pens.  Tammy called the grounds keeper and he came and unlocked the arena and a bathroom for us.  We parked next to the arena, had a great place for horses and dogs, slept in the sleeper of truck and didn’t have to worry about a tornado!  A great fairgrounds with a very nice man taking care of it and us.

It is so nice to get up step out of truck load horses and go.  I cleaned up the arena, loaded horses and dogs and we were loaded and ready to go by six a.m.  

We made the trip across Minnesota, South Dakota and then into North Dakota to the great town of Hettinger.  Shawn and Cat Weinert were  our host’s and we fell in love with their wonderful family. Great kids being raised comfortable and content, and getting exposed to all the wonders of the world.  

We spent two days in Hettinger doing a stockmanship demo one day and a horsemanship clinic for 4H group the next day.  We finished up with the kids and headed for home.  A beautiful drive with the excitement of getting home.

It feels so good to pull into the yard and get the horses and dogs back to where they are the most comfortable and content, just like us, home.

The theme here has been comfortable and content.  We need it, our children need it, our animals need it. It is what creates quality of life.

If you can create comfort and content in your life, in your animals life and your family and friends life, you will have the best quality of life.

South Dakota friends Phil and Jill Jerde

My wife is incredible.  Every place we go she fits in and does what needs to be done.  She’s willing to stay in the semi sleeper at a sale barn, jump in and help cook and clean at the guest ranch, talk to everyone and make them feel good, help people with their horses and look good doing it.  She is amazing. 

We used to be on the road as a family a bunch. We learned to be comfortable and content as a family, and now Tammy and I are comfortable and content at home, but still got it when we are on the road.

Quality of life is about being comfortable and content.  This is for our animals and us.  It is so important to create this in your life, and enhance it in the lives you come in contact with.

It’s sure good to be home!

Bruiser Care

Taking care of animals is a big part of many of our lives.  You can have lots of animals but it seems some just stand out and are special.  Im not talking about the performance side but the personality side.  Most dogs are special. They have that going for them, but very few horses and even fewer cattle have that “ I am part human” personality.

The special ones give and take affection.  They enjoy being with humans instead of tolerating it, and have a special personality that sets them apart from the herd.  They are special.

Bruiser was a world Champion bucking bull.  He bucked in such a special way that I really haven’t seen many bulls have the mental or athletic ability to get it done like he did.  He could move his point of balance forward, sideways, or back while kicking over his head and having lots of front end drop.  Amazing to watch.

The place I enjoyed watching him the most was at his home at D and H Cattle Co.  To see he and HD together was always special.  They always seemed to be in a different world when H would be scratching him or cleaning   his feet out like you would a saddle horse.  They enjoyed each other.

Same with daughter Mesa. She had done so much work to keep him sound and healthy and always stuck up for him when she thought he was being asked too much.  They both loved him.

I spent a lot of time with Bruiser this last winter. I was helping around there and when they all went to the finals I and Bruiser stayed home.  There were lots of bulls to take care of but Bruiser was always special and got special treatment.

Our old dog Taco would go lay in the pen with him and sometimes they’d almost be touching.  I would take him out to the exercise pen and he would have a blast in the sand pile and bristling up to the outside bulls across the fence.  I think he enjoyed life.

They had to put the Great Bruiser down this week.  He had bucked so hard for so long that like any other athlete he had injuries and a pelvis is an injury that is hard to heal.  He got the most out of life, no matter where he was and what he was doing.

He was special.

I set up my IPad with the finals on for him to watch. I sent the pictures to HD and Mesa as a joke. when i would take him out to exercise he would always stop and scratch his head on a post, and then go down the alley bellering like a dinosaur.

Mesa wrote this about the bull and it says it all.


It is with extremely heavy hearts that we share the passing of Bruiser.

Sweetpro’s Bruiser had a champion’s heart to the very last minute in his earthly body. He was born in a bottom along the Washita River and that’s where he will be laid to rest, but his life took him to places not many have the opportunity to see. It can be argued that no other bull in history has as many outs as Bruiser in as many different places and surely none have accomplished what he did.
He captured the hearts of many, but none more than his family, especially HD. The bond they shared was something remarkable. That bull gave 1,000% for HD from the time he bucked him with a dummy the first trip to his very last trip.

We could list his accolades, they are many and impressive, but what those of us at the Rocking P will remember is his beller and talks, the intelligence you could see in his eyes when he looked at you and his huge personality.

Bruiser leaves a huge empty space in our hearts, but we are thankful for his time with us. It has been an honor to be his people, and we will miss him.