Monday, July 29, 2013

The Clothing Mishaps of Farmers and Ranchers

Ever heard of cowboy/rancher writer Baxter Black?  This is my version of a Baxter Black story. Hope you enjoy it!   

     As farmers and ranchers, we encounter first hand what it takes to rip, snag, splatter, or loose our clothing.  If you are not careful to hold the barb wire down as you're stepping over, you may just split your pants, which your handy sewing wife says is hard to repair.  Climbing under barb wire fences has its own set of circumstances.  If you're casually crawling under the fence as a quicker alternative to the gate a 1/2 mile away, you may just get a small snag hole in your shirt or chore coat.  On the other hand if you're doing this to save your life from a mad stampeding cow, you may just find your clothes nearly ripped clean off or in a condition to cause a mending headache.  Ranchers have found that snap shirts are more practical than button shirts.  If your shirt happens to get caught on the saddle horn, you not only have your buttons pop off, the front side of your shirt becomes shredded, which for lady ranchers is quite disgraceful.  The remedy?  Wear an under shirt or the even more appealing option, a Western shirt with snaps.  These shirts quickly release you when in a bind.  They just snap open and all you have to do is snap them back up.   You and your shirt will be in one piece. 
     Hats are in a category all their own and the ways in which one looses them can be quite humoring.  If you're out working cattle, and a big gust of wind comes along, no matter how hard you've cinched your hat down over your ears, it's guaranteed to fly off at the most inopportune time.  If your lucky, the cows you've just gathered won't spook when it lands in the middle of them. You'll be even more lucky if your prized possession doesn't get trampled, pooped, or snotted on.  My favorite was a story a farmer told who was out raking hay.  He had his hearing protectors stretched over the top of his hat and somehow the wind still managed to flip the hat off his head.  He looked back to see his hat land squarely in the row as the rake buried it with alfalfa.  Grumbling over not having time enough to stop, he retrieved his chaff filled cap after kicking it out of the windrow.  I thought how funny it would have been if he had bailed it and a cow found it one wintry day while eating its lunch. 
    I could also tell stories of clothes being pelted with unmentionable substances while pulling calves, mucking the yard, or nearly doing a face plant while wallowing through knee deep mud when haying the farm animals.  Some things are better left unsaid. 
     Only the things a farm rancher would know!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Thoughts on Horse Slaughter

     I am a horsewoman, own and ride two horses, and agree with the horse slaughter plant in Iowa.  I know how much it costs to care for a horse and how difficult it is to manage one.  I agree that it is an unwise choice to use horse meat for human consumption, if it has been tainted with drugs.  I also know that other animals used for meat are vaccinated, and fed genetically modified and chemically treated feeds which are also unhealthy for human consumption.  That is another issue I will choose not to discuss in this article.  Horse slaughter is not any less humane than any other animal slaughter if done in a way where the animals are killed instantly.  God says, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel (Prov. 12:10).”   I believe that whoever owns an animal is accountable to God for how he or she cares for it.  I also believe that we are to have dominion or rule over the animals (Gen 1:26).   Animals are not human.  God has given them to us for a purpose to use and enjoy.  Each animal has its own purpose and when that purpose is done due to an injury, health, or old age,  it is right to properly dispose of them.  Look at nature.  If an animal is sick or healthy, it may become lunch for a hungry predator.  That is the cycle of life.  A horse slaughter plant looks a lot more humane to me than the graphic and gruesome deaths you see on Nature Wildlife shows.  It is your own personal choice whether to allow your horse to go to a slaughter facility or have a good long life, but we should not ask the government to make the choice for us.  The more decisions we let the government make, the more power they have and the less freedom we have.  The Humane Society states that they are against animal cruelty.  I am against animal cruelty too: it’s cruel to not to put an animal down when it’s suffering and it’s cruel not to dispose of them properly.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Variations on Groundwork Exercises

Featuring:  Hannah with Wildfire
I am working with a 12 year old pony mare I've had since January of 2013.  She used to get very upset when I would take her out of her pen away from the horses and is still a very sensitive little pony.  Keep in mind folks that a sensitive horse is better than a dull horse who has no fear of humans.  In this video I am doing several ground exercises that have been taught by Parelli and other natural horsemanship trainers.  These ground exercises have been crucial to getting this little mare calm, attentive, and responsive.  I hope I'll be able to show more training videos in the future.  Thanks for watching.  I hope this is a help to you and your horses. 
Note: This video was not edited so I apologize for any background noise, low volume, or recording instructions.