Articles

Queen of the Road

November 27, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

Dad used to tell me stories about my Great Grandmother Swan. By all accounts, including his, she was a tough lady who had survived some hard circumstances and made a good life in eastern Colorado, having emigrated there from Scotland, via England and Canada, in the very early 1900s. She adapted to ranch life as […]


Street Gang Saddle Horses

November 21, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

Nearly everything that was done on one ranch I worked on was somewhat slaunchwise and sometimes ridiculous. That actually described the owner to a T. We’ll call him Frank. I lived about 30 miles from the ranch as there was no housing there for me, so I slept in a little house in town and […]


Pretty Simple Man: Special Breakaway Horse Heads to NFBR

November 19, 2022
Ruth Nicolaus

When Rickie Engesser competes at her first National Finals Breakaway Roping this December, she’ll be aboard an unlikely horse. Lavaca Sting, “Rollo,” a twenty-year-old gelding, will be her mount for the biggest breakaway stage in pro rodeo. Rickie, who lives in Martin, S.D., never intended for Rollo to be her main mount. While in college […]


The Clever Kelly

November 17, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

I get a kick out of a horse with a humorous personality. They keep life interesting and keeps one on their toes. I had one named Kelly that had the most creative mind and cleverness I ever knew. I got him as a long three year old and put him down at almost 29 years. […]


Cow Horse Humor

November 15, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

He was an average sized, plain bay gelding and when I hired on to the New Mexico ranch, was in another guy’s string of horses. I soon discovered that there were three kinds of cowboys on that ranch: Real Ones, Wanna Bes, and Never Be. This bay horse Charlie was in a Never Be’s string. […]


Big Calves and the Attack Chicken

November 7, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

We had spent early morning gathering the cows and their big, soggy calves. Handling them quietly to reduce shrink, we had them in the corrals in preparation for hauling the calves to the sale barn that day. It was my Dad, brother Bob, and me doing the cow work that day. Keeping the calves quiet […]


Horse Trial On Ice

October 27, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

I was working that fall and winter for a ranch about 25 miles from where I lived. My horses were kept at the ranch, but there was no accomodations for me, so I had a little house in town. Not ideal, but it worked. My dear friend Uncle Paul, who wasn’t my uncle but I’d […]


Working Horses and Maternity Leave

October 26, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

It was time to wean two of our colts. They were both well able to carry on fine without their mamas, so one morning Colin and I caught the two mares, left their colts in the corral with an old babysitter mare, saddled the fine ladies and loaded up to go to my folks place […]


Lark: Pretty Is As Pretty Does

October 11, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

He actually belonged to my sister who got him after she was going to college. Lark was an appendix registered gelding that looked more Thoroughbred than Quarter Horse. He’d run AA on the track before he got so hard to ride that no jockeys or exercise boys would get on him, thus ending his race […]


Rock Pile Bull Hunt

October 5, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

It was a dry winter on the ranch I was working for in New Mexico. What grass there was didn’t have much kick left to it. The chunk of country another cowboy and I took care of, mostly just the two of us, had everything from calving cows, yearling steers, and most of the bulls […]


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