Articles

First Outside Ride

August 11, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

The first ride on a colt is always a pretty important day. How that goes can set the colt up for his whole saddle horse career. My son Colin was not quite 13 and had started some colts at some clinics I’d invited a respected horseman to put on. He’d learned a lot and had […]


Sorting Cows the Hard Way

August 8, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

It was mid-summer when I got a call to go help a guy sort a bunch of cows and calves that had gotten mixed up at his place. My son was big enough to be good help, so he was included in the daywork agreement. I asked the man, who I’ll call Harvey, what time […]


CARRYING ROYALTY: Long-time queen and flag horse retires

August 2, 2022
Ruth Nicolaus

A very special horse carried his last rodeo queen in June. Kearney, a 21-year-old bay roan American Quarter Horse, owned by Marvin and Janet Mueller of Sutherland, Neb., has carried seven years’ worth of Miss Rodeo America queens at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte. And his last mount was the 2022 Miss Rodeo […]


Sage the Shark

July 30, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

Her name was Sage. A 30 pound dynamo of Australian Shepherd/Border Collie/Kelpie origins, she was a bob tailed, gray murl demon. She was a useful stock dog, nice companion and entertaining in a way I’d never encountered in a stock dog. She was over 30 years ahead of her time in her favorite trick, but […]


The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back

July 29, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

Almost 40 years ago, I had a gelding called Traveler that I’d ridden for several years. He was tall, narrow, very Thoroughbred looking, and had a lot of staying power but was beyond lazy. He loped easy, trotted okay but couldn’t outwalk a sloth. I peddled him every step we took. I swear, if I’d […]


Wound Care and Fly Sheets

July 28, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

Fly sheets are sure handy when used around the barns and corrals. I found them especially handy when doctoring a body wound on a horse during fly season. Several years ago a stud had gotten to a gelding at my place and had put some horrendous wounds on the upper curve of his hind quarters. […]


Proper Cowboy Language

July 26, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

When I worked on the New Mexico outfit way back when, one of the most remarkable experiences of moving to the southwest was the respect shown toward women. Gentlemen simply did not swear around a woman or use “coarse” talk. The cowboss wouldn’t even use the words manure or breed around me when talking about […]


Shorty the Golden Steer Wrestling Horse

July 16, 2022
Ruth Nicolaus

A pretty special horse is about to retire. Shorty, a red roan gelding owned by Dane Pokorny and his parents, Brad and Paula, will make his final steer wrestling runs at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette, Wyo. July 17-24.   Then it’s green grass and pastures for the mount. Shorty is no […]


Horses are Good Ice Breakers

July 14, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

I was a newly married 21 year old when we moved to Nebraska. The ranch we went to work for was in mostly ranch country, with some farming. We were responsible for yearling breeding heifers, a stud and mare band, some center pivots and putting up the hay. Naturally, we arrived with some saddle horses […]


Hard Times Make Tough People

June 26, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

In the late 1920s and into the 1930s, my grandparents were struggling to hang onto a ranch on the eastern Colorado plains. The recession and Dirty 30s were hard times for most and folks had to dig in to survive. There was just hardly a dime to be found and folks bartered for most things. […]


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