Ranch Life Articles

Hard Lesson Well Learned

September 15, 2021
Jan Swan Wood

When I was a little runt of a kid, probably around five years old, I rode a pony that I loved in spite of his tendency to run off with me. His name was Skipper. I spent hours every day just hanging out with him and riding him around in the corrals with no bridle […]


Spider the Bucking Horse

September 10, 2021
Ruth Nicolaus

There’s a hole a special horse used to fill, at the Gunderson ranch in western North Dakota. H46 Spider, a bucking horse in the Bailey Pro Rodeo string, has passed on to greener pastures. He was originally owned by Montanan Jack Hinland, who sold him to Shane Vaira. The 26-year-old gelding died of colic on […]


Cow Pasture Napping

September 3, 2021
Jan Swan Wood

It had been a very long, hot summer riding on contract cattle. The yearling steers and spayed heifers had pinkeye running rampant, the replacement heifers had footrot going strong, and the cow/calf pairs had the usual bull problems. So, after three months, my string and I were weary. Especially me, as there was only one […]


Mommy, You Saved Me!

August 24, 2021
Jan Swan Wood

When my son was three, my husband and I took on a cattle contract. We had charge of about 4000 yearling steers and 750 mother cows. The yearlings were about evenly split between two summer leases 25 miles apart, and the cows were on the lease closest to our headquarters. We started early and quit […]


“Wild Cow” Hunt

August 6, 2021
Jan Swan Wood

It was late afternoon when I headed out to gather a single cow out of a pasture. The pasture had deep creek beds lined with willows and brush in many spots. The creek was nearly dry so the cow could very well be down in the channel out of sight. It was late summer, so […]


Horse Tying Safety Tip

July 26, 2021
Jan Swan Wood

We’ve all done it. After a graphic illustration of why not to many years ago, though, I stopped doing it. Doing what? Tying a horse up with your back to it. Let me explain further. I see it often. Someone leads a horse up to a fence, trailer or a barn wall tie, with the […]


How To Hydrate

July 15, 2021
Jolyn Young

Temperatures are soaring, high temperature records are breaking, and the forecast is calling for many more weeks of hot weather before summer’s end. Active people like horse owners aren’t content to stay indoors until the weather cools down, so how can we safely enjoy outdoor activities? Hydration is one important piece of that puzzle. Drink […]


Don’t Drink The Water

July 9, 2021
Jan Swan Wood

My sister and I had the job every summer, of riding boglines and checking cattle and sheep. Dad usually had the boys, 0ne college age, the other in high school, in the hayfield or on the fencing projects, so it was usually just Linda and I. The two oldest kids were grown up and gone. […]


All Horse but No Kid Horse

July 3, 2021
Jan Swan Wood

The grand old gelding who had packed my son Colin for thousands of miles had died the winter before. We really needed to replace the old horse, and Colin, at four, wasn’t quite ready to take on just any horse on the place. Most of our horses were pretty hair triggered and would never be […]


Close Encounter of the Slithery Kind

July 1, 2021
Jan Swan Wood

The horse I’d caught was a broke mare, but she was kind of a flake at times. Cricket had, in the past, boogered at something as I was leading her and dragged me around, or, ran flat over the top of me. She wasn’t wild or spooky, really, just had her moments of having the […]


1 2 3 67