Crazy Kit Meets Crazy Steer

June 25, 2023
Jan Swan Wood

The steers had blown through a fence, laying down hundreds of yards of woven wire, breaking off posts and braces, and had ended up on a creek bottom a mile or more away from their pasture. We had gotten the fence fixed and had the steers gathered and trailing back to their pasture. They were […]

Head Dog Education

June 24, 2023
Jan Swan Wood

In a previous story I talked about a dog we had called Kit. She was a bit wacko, to say the least, but a double tough head dog when she was working. Some places call them head dogs, others catch dogs, but they are one and the same, just depends on the region. My then […]

The Horribull Experience

June 16, 2023
Jan Swan Wood

The drought had hung on for several years and every dam, creek and natural watering hole had been dry for most of it. Few water lines had been run at that time, so vast stretches of country were without water. Summer pasture with water was a rare thing and at a premium. I had finally […]

The Primal Scream

June 8, 2023
Jan Swan Wood

When my middle grandboy, Taygen, was just past yearling size, he discovered his “loud voice”. He would be doing something like walking around the furniture, crawling around on the floor, or riding in his carseat, when suddenly, without warning or provocation, would emit a scream that woke the dogs four miles away. Just one. Never […]

Pain or “Problem Horse”?

June 7, 2023
Kaycee Monnens Cortner

At the risk of being labeled as a hypochondriac, many horse owners (including myself) may push off any doubts or nagging feelings if something is not exactly right with our horses. However, as this story illustrates, it is always best to be safe rather than sorry, as our instincts are often correct. My husband recently […]

Jersey Bull Adjustment

June 6, 2023
Jan Swan Wood

My dad was born in 1925, and the oldest of two boys. His brother Keith was several years younger than him. They were raised hard, in that there was a great deal expected of them by a stern father. My dad, especially, had a lot of responsibility as a very small boy, since he was […]

Unc and the Horse Theives

June 2, 2023
Jan Swan Wood

This is a story my Dad shared with me over a decade ago, so I’ll do my best to remember it accurately. My Grandad Swan had an uncle who settled on the eastern Colorado plains in around 1868. He came to that area from Texas with some mares and a good stud and lived in […]

Rise and Shine

May 24, 2023
Jan Swan Wood

One of the first “off the home ranch” jobs I had after I got out of school was on a very remote ranch, working for an elderly couple. I boarded with them as part of my wages. There was another guy who worked for them and ate his lunch there on the days he was […]

Heel Flies Were a Menace

May 22, 2023
Jan Swan Wood

Most of the time I’m pretty fond of the memories I have of the “good old days” growing up on the ranch and learning the industry from the ground up. There are some things that don’t charm me to this day, though, and one of those is the scourge of the heel flies. If I […]

Windswept Leroy

May 14, 2023
Jan Swan Wood

Recently, someone posted some photos on a social media site that showed a “windswept” foal. The legs were bent out at the knees and hocks, and the foals right front foot was out so far that the foal was practically standing on it’s pastern instead of the hoof. It’s a serious situation and stall rest […]