Thursday, 28 July 2011

Our mountain trip

Cadomin here we come!

We had a wonderful break in the mountains, riding rocky trails, wading through rivers, enjoying the scenery and  experiencing the mountain weather!

We got hailed on, we got rained on and the sun warmed us up again.
We got really cold.
Not just cold, but icy cold!
Saturday morning started out good and then once we had saddled up and left camp it just rained and rained non stop. After a wrong turn we missed going up to Fiddle pass, but ended up at the Whitehorse Creek Waterfalls.

Somehow, a waterfall in the pouring rain does not have the same appeal that a warm summer day brings with it…
The diehards continued on to Fiddle Pass in the afternoon while the wusses returned to camp!

 Our evenings where dry and we sat around the camp fire. We exchanged our scary bear stories (somewhere darn right funny), while enjoying a nice steaming cup of Baileys and coffee.  
Windi shared her poems, sang songs and we had a wonderful time together.

Michele, our very own camp cook made sure we were well fed and kept the home fires burning while we where out exploring the mountains.

Sunday, was a beautiful day so we set out again to explore, some of the trails where very steep and rocky.
The adrenaline rush sure made us feel alive!!

We had one small mishap, when  my Allie fell down and rolled… luckily, nobody was injured as I had baled off before she went over. Other than a small scratch she was not injured. After that I lead her up the rest of the incline, once at the top I was wheezing and out of breath, sounding like I was having some kind of attack..
my pride was hurt.
Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Jolien, who left after this weekend.
It was great meeting and getting to know her!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

What to do when it keeps raining?

Well, when it rains, we cannot make hay.
Haying is a big summer activity here.
We need to hay over 1200 acres.
However, we have had non stop rain, for what feels like months now.
So, we are not getting around to hay making yet.
So, I am heading off with some friends and Jess for a weekend camping trip in the mountains with the horses.
I am so, looking forward to this mini holiday!

So, I'll be back to blogging next week.
If I am not blogging by then,
it could  mean that we are making hay...

Monday, 18 July 2011

Cattle Handeling Clinic

The first question Dylan Biggs asked at the indoor session of the two day clinic was:
"Who is the yeller and who is being yelled at?"
When a Dylan Biggs Cattle Handling Clinic was organised in the area,
we decided it would be a good event to attend.

After clarifying the first question and explaining why people yell,
its effects on the helpers, cattle and stock dogs,
it became apparent that this would be an informative clinic...

Key phrases that were used where things like:
create flow, voluntary movement, positioning, distance.
The hands on participants got to wade around in the wet pastures creating flow in a herd of 120 cows and their calves,
Dylan coached quietly from the side,
no yelling, arm waving or stress.

Much that was said was not new to me, as many of the things we try to strive for when training stock dogs are based on these principles.
Square movement (90 degree angle) off the cattle, some weaving motion to start the herd going, move toward the hip or head,
all things we like to train our collies to do in order to control the sheep in a quiet manner.

The weather, despite being very threatening, held up during our outdoor sessions.

Not only was this clinic informative about cattle handling,
but we also got lessons in human behaviour...

Unfortunately, Eric could not attend day 1,
so once we got home I insisted that he attend day 2...

The true test has not been ,
as we have not not needed to work cattle together yet.

After the clinic, Dylan came to our ranch to look at our operation, our guardian dogs and sheep.
We had a wonderful evening socializing and sharing experiences.
Take a look at their ranch website,
where they directly market beef, lamb and pork to the consumer:

Friday, 15 July 2011


There are always coyotes around.
Sometimes we see whole groups of them,
sometimes just one.
Just about every day we see a coyote, somewhere.
That is, unless we have foreign visitors who would dearly love to see our Canadian wildlife.
Then, all of a sudden, the coyote becomes elusive.
And, we don't see any for ages.
We did manage to see two bears however...

Luckily, while driving down our road we finally did see one.
Out in the field hunting mice.

Paying close attention to the mouse..

He grabs the mouse..

After catching the mouse the coyote takes off with his prize!

Stops to look at us, (coyotes always do that!).

Quickly, gulps the mouse down..

 And then stops and poses one more time:

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

No hoof, no horse..

I am a believer that most horses should be barefoot.
With that said,
I understand that there are circumstances where horses do need to be shod.
We are heading off to the mountains with the horses in a few weeks time and the horses need to be shod for this trip.
My regular farrier had decided that he was too busy, my back-up farrier was not answereing his phone,
so in desperation I  had to go looking for another farrier.
Up here in the Peace Country, there are either too many horses or too few farriers,
on second thought,
perhaps their are too many horses AND to few farriers!
So finding another farrier was more difficult than I thought.
It took more than a few weeks to finally find someone.
 Finally (and thankfully) he came.

He measured and hammered,
heated and grinded,
measured again,
heated, hammered, grinded and
finally nailed.
And now my horses have shiny, properly fitted new shoes.

And, when we return from the mountains,
they will go back to being barefooted,
footloose and fancy free
cow ponies.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Chasing my tail..

It seems like I am running around in circles and chasing my own tail...
I am running so far behind,
as this post will demonstrate.
It is now July 8th and I am going to blog about Canada day!
Forgive me.

Every year we celebrate Canada Day at "our" local community hall.
This hall is affectionatley called Triangle Hall, not because it is triangular
but because it is situated on the corner of a few "big" roads.
At this hall is a small church, a museum, saw mill and lots and lots of old stuff from yester year.

On June 30th the Canada Day celebrations starts off with a jamboree.
July 1st kicks starts with a pancake breakfast and then the day is filled with all kinds of demonstartions and activities.
There is an old timer tractor parade:

 We see old stuff and new!

Jess helped our neighbor Roeby to do nail art!
The tractor pull was won by a 14 year old girl, with a full pull,
all the men got stuck in a hole halfway up the track!

Family and friends enjoy the day.

We give a sheepdog demonstration,
and the public just seem to love seeing the dogs working.

The celebrations ended with a fireworks display.


and before you know it, it is a week later!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Ranch roping and pasture doctoring

We have two friends visiting from the Netherlands; Jolien is a 4th year veterinary student and Joska is a horse trainer back home.
 This is there first visit to Canada and as both enjoy riding, we spent an afternoon with Charlie and Joe checking cows and calves, roping and doctoring the sick and lame. This was quiet the experience for Jolien and Joska. Jolien was quizzed on her cattle veterinary knowledge and got some hands on experience.
Here are a million pictures:
First you need to ride through the herd in a quiet way,
 looking for sick or lame cows,

once they are spotted, Charlie, on his sorrel horse (who "needs more experience" according to Charlie) and Joe prepare their ropes.
The cow is quickly caught, a rope around the head and one on the heels and she is down and ready to be treated.

Our horses, Ally and Smokey pay close attention to what is happening on the ground.

Now, for the sake of better pictures,  my photo's will now switch from this black cow to a red cow... but the story carries on...

Once the cow is down, the roping horses holding her, Charlie goes out to check the reason why the cow is lame. Jolien had to join him for her ranch doctoring education.

First you examine the hoof, cut away the bad bits, then you inject antibiotics, now, don't forget to mark the cow and then get back on your horse and let the cow go...

Charlie really takes the time to explain what he is doing..

Then, Jolien gets quizzed as to what to inject the cow.

Jess and Joska look on, while holding our horses who take the opportunity to grab a mouthful of grass while they wait.

Joe on the paint.

The little sorrel who "needs more experience" working the rope.

Jolien got some hands on experience.

The sorrel gets some training,
to hold the rope right and to stay in position.

Joska, out on the range..

After a number of hours checking different herds in different pastures, we headed off home to feed sheep, pull out stuck trucks in the mud, walk dogs and to take Jess and Joska riding again that evening...
Summer days are full.

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