American Finals Rodeo

So we haven’t blogged in quite sometime. Today however, I have a story to share and by I … I mean me, Christy – AKA Mom. You see as I sit here watching RJ hum around the house getting ready for the American Finals Rodeo (AFR) and myself get ready to head to Winter Woolfest, it hit me how much has changed since the days of home school and RJ growing into the man he is now. Not all of it was great. Heck, not all of it was even good. Let’s face it, some of it was plain horrible. However, I have to say that he has turned out to be one hell of a grown man. I am sure you all know I am very proud of him and his journey from that sick little baby to who he is today. Not to mention all he has overcome being blind in one eye.

In the past years he has changed his direction in life several times. From Ice Skating to farming and now turning his attention more to the horses and “making a living with his rope”. For those whom have not followed us from the beginning RJ has always said “I going to make a living with my rope someday”. Even when we ran a full sized flock he never wavered. As times have changed in our lives we have down sized the flock. Oh, I still have sheep and goats but we have more cattle and horses as well. And let me tell you, we have put out some great horses into the roping world over the last two years. That means that it looks as if RJ is doing just what he said he would all those years ago. Back in Oct We were even honored with the title of CRRA Calf Roping Horse of the year. And Coop Was nominated and voted on by other cowboys and ropers who know a good horse when they see one work. RJ has even changed a few minds about Mustangs as he has been offered money for Star as she has started bringing in a paycheck as well. (No worries though she isn’t for sale) Not to mention all the others he is working with here on the farm.

So what does all this have to do with anything?? Well, Last night RJ attended the AFR Banquet where he was presented with a vest as well as his back number for this weekend.

He was primed and ready. Today we spent time running around getting things all set for us both. I picked up the last few things I needed for Woolfest and he did the same. He purchased a new rope, checked all his equipment, packed and double checked everything. From saddle to tie down to reins and halters. Even feed and water buckets were made ready. Everything got a good going over. Then he went to work feeding for his Uncle. That is where the story begins. You see, While at work somehow he broke a spur.

Now some would say no big deal. Just pick up another pair and go. Well, the problem is that spurs have rowels on them. And Believe it or not those rowels are as custom to the cowboy that wears them, as they are the job he does with them and the horse they ride them on. So We hurried off to see if we could find a pair that would do the job. The only problem is that I have NEVER let him use big rowels. You see Rowels are a tool and if you do your job right you don’t need big rowels. You just need to know where and how to tickle a horse with them. RJ and I used to have huge fights about his rowel size as he always thought the bigger the rowel the cooler they looked. Until one day we were standing in line at a ranch store and an older gentleman that we didn’t know, looked at RJ and said “Son, you either wear those spurs for looks or you are a real cowboy.” RJ Beamed with all his 12 years of age chest pushed out and said “I am a real cowboy.” That man then explained to RJ that he too was a real cowboy and real cowboys didn’t need big flashy rowels like you see used today to get the job done. He said that real cowboys hardly ever had to use them and knew that they were just a training tool and when the horse was finished, if the cowboy had done his job right, You wouldn’t even need the spurs at all. Since then, RJ and I have never said one more word about rowels and he is picky about how big they can be when riding our horses. And most don’t even need them.

Well, all that said we had run out of time and we couldn’t find spurs that would work. RJ came home a bit upset. Coop is amazing but sometimes she still needs that little tickle of the spurs when leaving the box. The AFR is no place to not be prepared. Then something on the shelf, here in the kitchen, caught his eye.

You see we have an Old pair of spurs on display. That means they sit around collecting dust. However, they have been handed down through the generations. They were first RJ’s great grandfather’s, then his grandfather’s, then his father’s and when his grandfather passed on he asked that they go to RJ. So now they are his. He has never used them as he didn’t want anything to happen to them. But as they caught his eye today he realized they have the same exact rowels on them as his spurs do.

So to bring this story to a close. RJ will be using those spurs this weekend at the AFR. With all of us praying and pulling for him and his Great Grandfather and Grandfather supporting him on his feet from Heaven and God touching and keeping him safe, I know he is going to do great. And for the record, no one that has worn the spurs before RJ have ever made it to the finals. I am sure they will be beaming with pride this weekend though No matter how it all turns out.

Kidding Season

So this Kidding season came in with bad weather and in such a hurry.  This winter has been hard on all the livestock.  If you follow us on Facebook you know that we lost Reba, Ms. Zebu and her baby within the last month.  Then we went into Kidding season before Lambing season but the weather isn’t what it normally is for March.  It is very cold.  With wind chills pushing the temps down into the negatives some nights.

Leighton began kidding giving birth to a large boy that was named Superman after Grandfathers and Fathers everywhere.



Then Holly gave birth to Triplets.  The fast born was breech but really didn’t cause any issues.  Sadly, we lost the littlest one that was the first born.  Her name was Maxine.  The two remaining are Bella and Ashley.



Sweetie was next to go.  She gave birth to twins Leo and Lois.  However, it is so cold out in the barn that they weren’t eating enough to thrive.  So we pulled them and brought them in the house and put them on a bottle.  Mom milks Sweetie and then we bottle feed them in front of the fire to keep them warm.


With all that is going on and as cold as it is we are keeping a tight watch on everyone.  We have reworked the barn and put in more lights and everyone is still wearing their jackets.  Here is a video update on them all.


Way to much Blood

So Friday night was a really late night.  I didn’t get home until just 4 hours before I was suppose to leave for my roping in Tulsa.  So I got in, got some sleep, put in a couple hours of work and then came home and got myself gone to the roping by 8 am.

Just another normal weekend for a calf roper, Right??  NO, Not at all.  I arrived Saturday at the roping and was asked to mount a friend that was there.  That has never been a big deal before and I have actually taken Coop to the finals just to mount people.  This time things did go as planned though.

The Cowboy I mounted backed in the box, went out to do his thing and ended up missing the calf.  As he rode back up the arena and dismounted things went wrong.  Coop, the horse, started bleeding profusely for her right front leg.  I jumped under her and got my hands over it but it wasn’t stopping.  At this point I had no idea what had happened or why.  All I knew was that my horse was bleeding and I needed to get it stopped.

People around me started to take notice something was going on and some stepped up to try and help.  At first all I had was my hands and I had enough pressure to slow the bleeding.  But honestly it took both hands and I was stuck there just holding my horse and praying.  Some others stepped up and came over to Coop and started with ideas.  First, every roper carries baby powder.  Nowadays that powder is mostly cornstarch.  Cornstarch is a thickening agent so it made sense to us to try and pack her wound with it and then wrap it with Vet wrap.  That way her and I could move and we could get her to a vet.

Two guys were already in the process of making calls to find an open vet that would take us but sadly at this point our baby powder plan didn’t work.  So one of the old timers said pack it with dirt.  Then we put a paper bag over it and then Vet wrapped it again.  The Vet wrap just couldn’t hold enough pressure on the wound to do any good so we had some electrical tape and we used that to get it wrapped real good.  However, that just slowed the bleeding.  We needed some kind of tourniquet or she was going to lose to much blood, so I grabbed a neck rope and tied it off just above the cut.

At this point we had her movable so the guys that were on the phone finding a vet got us loaded and headed that way with directions on my phone.  I have to admit my hands looked as though I had red gloves on and I knew Coop had lost a lot of blood and was in trouble.  My heart was pounding and I know she knew it.  She is so programmed to take care of her team that she never once took a lame step or second guessed anything I was doing to her.  Not even when others were under her working with me.  So many things could have gone wrong but everything went right starting with her taking care of me.  She was calm and just let us do what we had to do.

We got her loaded and to the vet.  The Vet then put on a real tourniquet and started by taking off the neck rope one we had made.  Then she slowly unwrapped the wound.  Wouldn’t you know that us cowboys had done such a great job that the vet had trouble finding the cut.  It turned out to be no more then about a half inch long but it was in a very important spot.  According to the vet if it had hit her anywhere else we may never have known it even happened.

Once the Vet got the wound cleaned and dressed with a compression bandage she took the time to let me know that what we had done was what needed to happen.  In other words us cowboys done good!  We loaded her back up and headed back to the arena.  The contractor understood what had happened and since I had paid my fees he said if I got back before the round was over he would hold my calf for me.  I got back before the round ended so I got to take part and not just pay my fees for nothing.

However, Coop couldn’t compete so I needed a horse to ride.  A great guy stepped up and lent me his horse to rope on.  So with Coop watching from behind the chutes I ran my calf and made it to the short go.  I did a 9.4 to make it to the short go round and a 9.2 in the short round but sadly I didn’t win a dime.  I was one out of the round and one out of the average.  I got Coop loaded and home about 1:30 am that morning.

Lucky for me Mom had taken the time to clean … and I mean really clean … the barn for Coop.  She will be stalled for the next week or so.  Two days she will have the bandage on and then another 2 or 3 to make sure the wound doesn’t open back up or bleed internally.  After that I will have me Coop back but we will have to take it slow as to make sure she isn’t sore or tight in anyway.

Storm and Precious update

So with the first of the year we normally update the look of our web page.  And we are working on it but this year we also added a new page to mine.  We will be including Storm and Precious updates as well as any other horses we train and re-home.  You can check out the new look and pages at

Let me know what you think and remember to guess at Mom’s age either here, on Facebook or on youtube to enter to win the book with pattern and the yarn …

Birthday Give away

So for Mom’s birthday we are doing a give away.  We got an autographed copy of the book “Just Like you , Little Lamb” that includes a pattern for little lamb and we are including a skein of pink hand spun yarn.  (the picture isn’t great but the yarn and color are amazing)


To enter to win you must guess Mom’s age on her next birthday which is Feb 6th.  You can enter either on youtube, Facebook or here but remember where ever you enter you must either like, sub or follow us on that social media.  Have fun and if more then one person guesses correctly, all correct answers will be entered into a random drawing!