Monday, December 12, 2022

Heart Bar O'

 I grew up on a small ranch in the great state of Montana.  I say small because my parents only owned about 150 acres of land.  Small, but adequate for our purposes.  My Dad grew alfalfa and grass to use as feed hay for our horses and an old milk cow that supplied us with our daily intake of calcium.  I raised a couple sheep, and my sister had chickens and rabbits.  A couple of her rabbits escaped and bred with the wild Jack Rabbits living in our fields.  This lead to an over abundance of wildish Jack Rabbit, Checkered Giant cross.   So eventually my Dad and I went on a Rabbit hunt.  It took a couple years or so, but the rabbit population declined back to more natural numbers.   To this day I'm not a fan of Rabbit Stew. 

My Mom owned a business that she ran from our home that she called Heart Bar O' stables.  She had her own brand to mark the horses she owned, and that old tired cow.  The brand was not burnt into the skin of the animals, but the Horse Doctor would come out and the brand was tattood into the upper lip of the horse.  Less painful, rather quick, and a better way to mark your favorite Quarter Horse.  There was an organized ring of rustlers in the area during those years that would steal Horses and Cows alike.  Fortunate for me, Quarter Horses come a dime a dozen and weren't on the list of swipable animals.   

Pacos my horse was a neurotic that would spook at his own shadow, and run straight back to the barn when he had a wild hair.  Inconvenient!  It took 3 years to train that habit out of Pacos.  He was about 5 years old then, and actually became a darn good cow pony.  Quarter horses have the ability to turn on a dime and run real fast for short spurts.  So chasing down calves and steers became a fun thing to do.  Beats the heck out of being thrown from a sudden stop and acceleration due to direction change.  Pacos was also my Mom's barrel racing horse.  She was really good for a few years and competed at local rodeos.  

Heart Bar O' stables housed, trained, and kept both horses and their riders for periods of time until my Mom and then Grandpa decided the owners of the horses knew how to treat, handle, care and ride their horses.  These animals were used professionally as well as personally by their owners.  My Grandfather was a honest to goodness old fashioned cowboy.  There are stories just about him.  I have touched on some of these and will again in the future. 

Growing up in Montana the way I did back when the value of a good days work and enjoying a good sunset meant something.  When time was more about paying attention to your environment and surroundings than it is about the space between moments, time was part of you not you part of it.  

Peace and Balance,


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