Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
Cooper "The Italian Stallion" Hibbard

Busy run-around day for me today. The morning began driving out to finish fixing a pipeline that was draining out overnight. That went smoothly and I headed back to Headquarters to dive into some emails. Over the past few weeks I have been working with a company in Denver to design shirts and hats for the Chico, Box T Cowboys and the Zapata Ranch. I have never done anything like this and it has been very interesting thus far. I am excited to see the finished products. After the computer session I headed to the shop to do some work on one of the ranch's oldest pieces of equipment. It is a 2 horse trailer that we have had for as long as I can remember. It has been patched in so many places it is wonder it is still of good use. I patched it once again in a few more places and parked it to await for it's next job. I ducked into the office to check to see if any designs emails were awaiting.
Cooper worked the young horses with all of out interns most of the day so after the email responding I headed to the corrals to lend a hand with an injured horse. A small philly has a badly cracked hoof that starts with an infection at the top of her foot. We were able to treat it and start trimming the hoof so it will hopefully grow out and she will make a full recovery. After the horses it was back out to the pipeline to make a final check before the hole was filled in.
Good thing I checked. There was a hairline fracture in the pipe and the hole was full of water...So, I got in the backhoe and dug a draining trench while Fabio, an intern, went back to HDQ for supplies to fix the leak. The hole drained, he returned and we fixed the leak. Hopefully. I will know bright and early tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.
Posted by Duke I. on 04/20/2011

Thursday, Apr 14, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
The days are getting longer as it gets warmer and closer to the summer months. It is one of the very busiest times of year but definitely some of the most fun we have here. Yesterday the crew went out and moved the sand cattle. We are moving them rapidly to keep them on the fresh green shoots of grass that are starting to poke up through last years growth. This time of year, the cattle tend to start "chasing" green and dont really eat anything other than it. It is hard because there is not much green to go around. Therefore we rotate them faster through pastures are return once the growth has caught up once more. The crew also sorted back some of the weaker pairs so they do not have to compete with the rest of the herd for the little green. All of this is in an effort to get the cattle to optimum health for the fast approaching breeding season.
Posted by Duke I. on 04/14/2011

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
We finished our third branding of the season by noon and without a hitch. The wind did not blow like yesterday but it was just enough to leave a fine coat of dust on everything and everybody. It has been relatively warm the last few days and the little calves struggle with this. We ask a lot of them to wobble into the branding pen, sometimes from miles away and only a few hours old. This photo is a calf finding shade under one of our horses tied to the fence. The calf wandered up to the horse and stopped for a respite from the sun in the horses calf sized shadow. It stayed there for most of the branding uninterrupted. When we opened the gates and turned the cattle back into the pasture, he got up and waked lazily after the retreating dust cloud.
Posted by Duke I. on 04/06/2011

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