Tag Archives: horses

Throwback Thursday: March 5, 1953

The Brown side of the family has always been just a touch horse crazy. In the old box of family photos I inherited, I’d say about 75% are horse photos. Photos of horses out in fields, photos of foals, photos of mares. It drives me crazy because often the names and dates are written on the back of the horse photos but not on the photos of people!

This week’s Throwback Thursday photo does have names on the back, and not just the horses’. I found it in an album labeled ‘Sammie’s friends‘.  The woman “at halter” is Bess. Look at her hair and outfit, pretty glamorous for horse holding! This was March 5, 1953, in a little over a year, Sammie Jr would be dead from polio, and my Dad would be born.

Bess is holding ‘Crescent’ and ‘Vicki’, age one day, is the the foal. They are in the front field of the Table Mountain Ranch. I think I’ve seen Bess in some other photos, I might even be able to find her last name if I keep looking. In the meantime, if you recognize her, please leave a comment below?

Bess at Halter

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Throwback Thursday: March 2, 1952

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, I selected a picture from the Table Mountain Ranch. I thought this picture was interesting because it was taken before the ranch house had it’s additions. Several rooms were added to the original house during the 50’s or 60’s.

Wes Neer, Barbara Johnson, Jody Ann, Sheryl Sarsoli, Sonny Sarsoli, Pat Johnson, Hal Grild March 2, 1952

Wes Neer, Barbara Johnson, Jody Ann, Sheryl Sarsoli, Sonny Sarsoli, Pat Johnson, Hal Grild March 2, 1952

I recognize the last names of several of the people in this photo. The Neer’s and Brown’s are still friends. In fact, Wes Neer is my second cousin, Jenna’s, (or something like that like) Grandfather. If you recall, she is responsible for getting the best pickle recipe ever back in rotation. 

January 2015

January 2015

I love that I have this connection and history to these ranches and these people. It makes me that much more eager to protect my way of life.

 

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Throwback Thursday: July 20, 1947

Hi! Welcome to a new series on The Beef Jar! Throwback Thursday! I’m going to post an old photo and hopefully a story, at least the story I know, to go with it. For my inaugural post, I picked this photo:

In front of the Ranch on Stampfli Lane.

In front of the Ranch on Stampfli Lane.

The writing on the back identified these people and horses:

  • Ernest Learner, Prince
  • Martha Learner, Balu
  • ‘           ‘ Learner, Star
  • Lona Jean Nagler, Balie (Sp?)
  • Barbara Conklin, Star Dust
  • David Vice, Baley
  • Sammie Brown, Dusty
  • Lloyd Goultee (Sp?), Kiluertone (Sp?)
  • Shirley Bolick, Handy
  • Millard Gale, Vern
  • Bill Trull, Popeye

The photo itself was taken on our ranch in Indian Valley. In front of the old ranch house on Stampfli Lane. Sammie Brown was my Great Uncle. He died of polio in 1954, the day my father was born. Look here to see my Dad’s birth announcement in the same paper.  Could you imagine what a week it must have been for my family? I know Sammie was a expert horseman that dedicated a lot of his time to teaching others. I ended up with some of Sammie’s pictures, a school book of his, and his death book from his funeral.

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Wordless Wednesday: Welcome to the World Baby Colt

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Horsemanship & Cattle Working Clinic

 

 

I am excited about this. My friend Brian Drake is doing a Horsemanship Clinic. And guess what? He’s gonna use Sue horse! I am super exited about this and I urge you to attend if you have any interest. I’ve had the privilege to ride with Brian, and it was a life altering experience. Seriously, do it!
BRIAN DRAKE CATTLE WORKING CLINIC FINAL 6.15.13

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Leo Horse

My first memory of Leo is my Dad telling me he found a new horse. My Great Aunties used to raise all of our own horses on this ranch. Of course, as a small child I didn’t realize how amazing that was. I just knew their were lots and lots and lots of pretty horses for me to play with and look at. My Dad promised me that soon, he was going to take me to meet this new baby horse that was to be his.

Leo as a two year old – learning how to be a horse.

When I was a little girl all ranch work was done on horseback. This was back in the early 1980’s, we didn’t have polaris and 4-wheelers like we do now. If you wanted to check on your cattle, you had to saddle up and take off at a high trot come back, get lunch, get a new horse, and take off at a high trot*. Everyday (it’s not as romantic as it sounds, trust me, there really is something to be said for a 4-wheeler). But that was why we had a lot of horses. Plus every time my Dad would get a horse good and broke, the Aunties would sell it. It was a point of contention for my Dad.

My buddy

When Leo was born, my Dad decided he liked him. My Dad kept an eye on the colt as he grew up, and would occasionally go feed him an extra flake of hay, just to say hi. As yearlings, all of our colts were put in this field called the Century Plant Field. They were put there to ‘make them into horses’. This field has rocks, cows, wild animals, mud, streams, hills, basically a great place to learn how to be a worldly horse. And that is where I met Leo for the first time.

He was a pretty big horse.

It was a grey winter day, and I remember I got to spend the day with my Dad for some reason. As a treat, my Dad took me out to meet Leo. As we drove the hay truck out into the field, Dad told me to stay in the truck until he opened a bale of hay because Leo didn’t know me yet and I would scare him. I remember thinking that was absolutely ridiculous because every horse that I had ever met in my short life just loved me! I was the official ear scratcher and treat giver on the ranch.

Even the bottle calves had the crap scared out of them by Leo.

My Dad parked the hay truck and the colts came trotting over. I couldn’t stand it and popped out of the cab and into the back of the truck with my Dad, causing a lot of snorting and shying away of the colts. My Dad was right, they didn’t like me. But he opened up the hay bale and started tossing flakes out and they came back over again. Leo even allowed my Dad to scratch his ears and rub his neck.

It was a big deal for me to ride Leo when I was little. I mean Leo was MY DAD’S HORSE and very powerful and fast. This is Leo telling me I’m not doing it right – he was really good at that.

Since my Dad knew he was going to keep Leo, Leo got sent to an actual horse trainer, instead of being started here. The trainer fell in love with him too. She even entered him in a few horse shows before she would give him back, and he did really well. Once Leo got trained and people were normal to him, he turned into a big love-bug.

As Leo got older he was perfect for evening rides with my friends.

Leo and I became good friends as well. He liked to be loved on and given treats and that was totally my thing! I found out that if you sat on the top of the fence (which I wasn’t supposed to do), he would come over and put his head in my lap for pets! To a five year old, that is pretty much zen.

I taught ex-boyfriends who wanted to be cowboys how to ride on him

Leo was my Dad’s horse for the first 10 year’s of his life, they roped, they cut, Leo was the ultimate cow horse. Indeed if a cow or calf started falling behind Leo had no problem reaching over and biting that cow. Even out in a field, if a cow got too close to Leo, he would bite or kick. Leo took his cow-horse job very seriously.

He was great for photo sessions! Thanks http://jldphotographblog.com!

My Dad has slowly become the bionic man (ranching is tough work, kids), and riding is no longer comfortable for him, so Leo slowly become a guest horse. He was the type of horse you could let a greenhorn ride and they would generally be ok. Leo’s only vice was if he knew you would let him get away with something, he would. But once you became friends with Leo he would be your pal and take good care of you.

Or a quick ride….

Leo had some accidents during his lifetime, his hoof almost got cut off when he got stuck in some wire. He had pigeon fever really bad,  he gained a lot of weight really fast in the spring, always causing us to panic. And an accident involving a nail and his chest – some ugly stuff. But he made it through and soldiered on for 30 years.

Daniel and Leo spent a lot of time together this spring. Leo loved the attention.

Leo died today. My Mom came and got me this morning because Leo was in distress and couldn’t get up. He went very quickly after we both said goodbye. He seemed to have waited until we were all able to acknowledge he was going. We had a scare with him last winter. That’s why we knew we needed to get Joe a friend, so Sue got adopted. We knew Leo didn’t feel good yesterday. But it really seemed as if this morning he wanted to be with us as he went. What a honor, but that was the type of horse he was. He thought of his people and his pasture friend before himself.

Leo is the last of a golden era on this ranch and for this family. As I look through pictures of this family dating all the way back to the 1800’s our horses have always been very prominent and proud. Leo is the last horse from that era that was bred, born and died here. Thank you Leo. Thank you.

I gave Leo lots of extra treats this summer. Including a bunch of peaches, he loved peaches!

We were very lucky to have Leo in our lives for the past 30 years. I have so many wonderful memories of him and my family. Right now it feels a bit like we have lost a family member. Thank you Leo, you will be missed very much.

*So my Dad says.

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Wordless Wednesday: August 15, 1944

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Wordless Wednesday: Why I Am So Passionate

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Wordless Wednesday: My Mom Made Me Wear My Helmet the First Time I Rode Sue

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Back in the Saddle Again

I know I’ve been saying this all the time, but what a weekend! This was a biggie. I got a new horse. I know, I know, I can’t believe it either. I can only explain it by saying this was meant to be. My poor readers, you have been forced to read horse related post after horse related blog post. Apparently this fact was not lost on all those in my inner-circle-of-Megan. My Fairy God Mother, Cathie called my Mom last week because there was this horse, a horse named Sue, that Cathie thought was perfect for me. Sue is a mare. And as you recall, mares have not been allowed on this Ranch since the early 1980’s. When my Mom told me about Sue, I immediately dismissed the idea. I’d never been allowed mares, why would I be allowed to have one now?
Well, I don’t know if it’s something in the water from our new well, or my Dad realized how much I miss having a ridable, dependable, Megan appropriate horse, but I was allowed to pursue the possibly of getting Sue. My Boyfriend and I went out to the Trainer where Sue was staying to meet her, and learn a little about her. Sue is an 17 year old retired cutting horse. And she was good at it, in her prime she was ranked 3rd in non-professional cutters. Robert Wagner (yes, the actor), owned her. She ended up being retired at age 12. Her last owners were dispersing their herd and wanted Sue to find a special home, because she was their special little mare. Once I saw her and got to visit with her, I understood why.

Sue saying hi!

She is breathtaking. I’m not just saying that because she is my pretty, pretty, princess horse. She really is beautiful. She is very sweet, alert, curious and SMART! Plus her confirmation and color is just perfect. She is petite, feminine and dainty. She even smells like new horse. Just a lovely little mare.

Watching Sue move through her paces.

After I met Sue and watched her move around the arena, I just knew she would be the perfect little girl for me. But would my Parents allow it? Making that phone call to my Mom, the one where I told her Sue was my dream horse, was sooooooo scary. What if they changed their minds? What if they wanted me to wait for gelding? What if they completely changed their minds and ALL horses were off the table?! I tried not to completely melt down when I called my Mom, I tried to stick to the facts, she was cow-type horse, she was my-sized, well trained, smart, well built, sound, perfect for exposing our cattle to a horse and rider (as Dr. Grandin recommend I do).
They said yes. Yes, Sue could come home, here to the Ranch. We could see if it worked. As long as I was committed to being back in the saddle. Ha! As long as I was committed to being back in the saddle!? Being horseback is more natural to me than walking! When I was a little girl, I couldn’t run, I galloped. Like a horse. All of my most vibrant and happy memories are horse related. Hair didn’t grow on the inside of my legs until my mid-twenties because I rode so much as child and teenager. Being around and on horses is my happy place. It’s what I was born and bred to do, five generations before me lived for horses and cattle. A very large piece of who I am was returning to me. I’m back.
This was Wednesday, when this all came to a head. When I got to send that text that said “it’s a go!!!!!”. I had to wait until Saturday until Sue came home. LONGEST. FOUR. DAYS. OF. MY. LIFE. I spent the week killing time. I cleaned my house. I cleaned my closet (lots and lots of western type jeans available!). I cooked for my Parents. I talked about Sue non-stop. My boss told me to go home early Friday, I’m sure, because I couldn’t shut up about Sue. Friday was the hardest day. It was the day that would not end.

My Boyfriend, the rockstar. And cowboy in training.

My partner in crime/boyfriend/legal counsel, plays in this band called Surrogate (they are really good, you should probably check them out). Friday night they played at a local venue because they were nominated for a Cammie, which oddly enough, is put on by my friends at the Chico News & Review. It’s a wonderful event, all kinds of different, local musicians and bands are showcased and honored. I think it is just awesome the CN&R supports all kinds of music!

Me supporting our local newspaper CN&R, and local bands! I’m trying to lead by example in hopes that the CN&R will support all local ag, like they support all local music! Hey, I can try right?!

Seeing that show couldn’t even calm me down. All I could talk about was Sue. I think my excitement was contagious. Sue was kind of a big deal. I finally had to take myself home at 2:00 A.M. because I was just too excited to stay in town with the Boyfriend, he needed sleep.
Finally. Sue got delivered Saturday evening. She was mine. She was here.

Sue’s first steps at her new home.

I spent the rest of my weekend bonding with Sue. We’ve been taking walks. We’ve been grooming. We’ve had treats. We’ve been taking walks with the Boyfriends (mine and her’s, Leo).

The Boyfriend, having his first ride on his new, old, horse, Leo. They did so well!

We are going to spend this week becoming friends. We are going for walks, we are going to graze, we are going to be groomed. After a day, Sue already nickers to me when I go out to her pen. This coming weekend, we will ride. Before we become a team, I want her to know we are friends, that this is her home, and she is loved.

Grazing and bonding.

I spent my weekend outside with my horse. I am sunburned. I’m covered in horse sweat, hair and dust. I’m exhausted. I stink. I’m sore. I am so stinking happy.

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