The Element of Surprise

Sep 24
Jan Swan Wood

Recent Posts

Testing Lily’s Sweet Nature

August 27, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

The drought that summer had hung on until the dams were getting low. Oddly, there’d been enough rain to keep the grass growing, but there had been no runoff into the dams. I watched the water close where the cows ran on summer pasture. But, when water goes bad it happens fast, so just a […]


Horse Smooches

August 25, 2022
Jan Swan Wood

My grandboys loved the horses and I was getting them horseback every chance I got. Carson, 4, was riding Timmy, who was a fairly recent addition, Welsh size pony. Taygen, 3, was on my pet saddle horse Rush, who was 16 hands. Mostly I was letting Rush keep Taygen occupied and safe while I was […]


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 […]