Spelling Lists ~ Cowboy Style
Journaling reads: One cool weekday morning we headed out before dawn, freshly baked breakfast pockets in hand , to meet a cattle truck at the kingston. Well we waited and waited and waited and still no truck. The kids and Gary started playing around with the ropes and we began jumping rope to their spelling words. It's not easy to make it through "Philadelphia" ! The truck finally arrived at 10:00 and we loaded all the cattle, shipping them off. Jumping rope to spelling words is certainly an unorthodox way to learn new words, but we are learing that there are many ways to add fun to school.Side By Side
Here the boys are moving the mares:
Journaling reads: The blessings of life at the end of the dirt road are endless and capturing these memories on film is quickly becoming a passion of mine. On this glorious morning, Gary and Tyler saddled up to move the mares and their colts to the Kingston. Caitlin and I followed in the pickup and enjoyed eachother's company while watching the colts frolic along the way. It's become a given that my camera goes where I go so I snapped these pictures along the way from the seat of the pickup. I never imagined they would turn out so well. The one where Gary is adjusting the cinch on his saddle is my favorite. The composition of that shot and the feelings it evokes are simply overwhelming to me. Watching father and son working together, side by side, the majesty of the mountains looming just ahead, combined with the natural beauty of the horses, puts a lump in my throat and a smile in my heart.Shoeing Silver
Journaling: Gary spends a lot of time tending to the feet of our horses. One summer afternoon he began to share his knowledge with Tyler. Tyler was 12 and old enough to begin taking more responsibility for Silver's care. Gary has perfected his farrier skills through many hours of experience and study. I hope that Tyler realizes he is learning from the best. I love this series of pictures that documents the passing of this skill from one generation to another. The relationship between father and son and horse is evident. This was another one of our many afternoons spent out behind the barn where life skills and lessons seem to naturally blend in with the daily chores on the ranch.
Here are the kids soaping their saddles. Another 'out at the barn' layout. I think I could do an entire album about the time we spend out at that old barn.
Journaling: Some of my favorite memories take place out at the barn. We spend a lot of time in and around the barn ~ working and playing. There is just something very soothing about out old tin barn. On this particular afternoon you both gathered for "Lessons in Leather". Dad had you take your saddled apart and oil them. The dry climate here certainly does a number on the tack. One of the many wonderful conversations that seem to often build in the shade of the barn took place that afternoon. Dad began with the steps involved in oiling a saddle and moved seemlessly into life lessons involving a job well done. May you always take pride in everything you attempt and look back on it knowing that you gave it your all and did your best. I love capturing these 'everyday' moments on film. To Cailtin's chagrin, you took your role as big brother seriously at one point and her skeptical expression on the previous page is priceless.
A Man and His Horse
Here's a layout about DH's relationship with horses. I could do an entire album about this too!
Journaling: Modest. That describes Gary to a T. He doesn't like it when I brag on his horsemanship skills, but I truly believe that he has a gift for working with horses and nothing can convince me otherwise. When I decided to snap a few pictures one afternoon while he was working with 2 of the colts, I had no idea what I was about to discover through the camera lens. Magic ~ pure and simple. I wondered whether the relationship I was watching develop between Gary and Elmer and Primo would translate on film. Oh my! I could not stop taking pictures. I think I took 80 shots and them I only stopped because my card was full. These 2 pages showcase my favorites, but the others complete the story of that afternoon and they are stunning to me aswell. It was tough to select which ones to place here. I cannot aptly convey the feelings of that afternoon. I can only be thankful that a picture is worth a thousand words and hope that some of these pictures have captured that magic.
We leased some of the neighbor's country for a season and this is a page about branding our calves at their pens: