Saturday, November 30, 2013

Out the door

Thanksgiving is over, and its back to work. I finished these two sets today and will move on to some damascus products.

The first are kid spurs. The picture does not show how very small the spurs are. They are for an infant I understand.

The next are lady's size, 1.5 inch shank with a 1 inch, 6 point rowel. Thanks for the order John.

I don't get to build many kid spurs. Most people don't realize there is as much work in a set of them as there is in a set for a size 12 boot, and when I price them, most folks back out. I wish there was a way around this, but if I want to stay 100% hand made there isn't. Sorry.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Square mouth piece

I have never used one, but, a very well respected horseman says it's the way to go on certain horses. I took the liberty of working on my inlaying skills on this one. I do need the practice and she won't mind.
 I use 4130 steel on the shanks, and 304 stainless steel for the hinge. Fine silver for the inlay-ed initial and edge.
I kind of had my doubts when this bit was described to me, but after getting it built I think it will really work well. I'm sure I will build more after this one gets used after Christmas.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Knives, bits, and the weather

32 degrees and raining/sleeting when I left the house this morning. It hasn't made up it's mind whether it wants to freeze over on the roads or not. Lots of wrecks up on the interstate any way. It's awfully early for this kind of weather here, and awfully hard on the livestock and those that take care of them.

I got these  knives finished Wednesday. Three sold before they got off the bench, The other two are promised. Christmas has been crazy.
1084/15n20 damascus, with a rain drop pattern.

I finished this bit this morning. It's going to a guy that rides lots of horses, and its a pretty good transition from a snaffle to something with a little more whoa.

I got these back from Armoralleather yesterday. These knives are promised also.

Cow bone, I love cow bone handles.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The week that was

Sick cattle. Things aren't always rosy in the cattle business, especially when you buy yearlings. Things get sick, it's our job to get them over it.

The walking dead

The cavalry arrives just in time

Dr killdeer and nurse ratchet hard at work

The mark of the beast

I runtoft with Jessica and Hillary (against my better judgement) to another sorting Saturday. Actually two of them. I felt like we were back on the old rodeo trail again. It's a little more pleasant now, Jessica doesn't whine quite as much as she did when she was in high school, plus, I don't have to drive.
 I ran into my little buddy, Hunter, at the show in Abilene. He was helping the stock contractor and hadn't brought a horse, so I cleared it with his boss and entered us up with him riding Peanut the wonder horse. I couldn't find him until right before our run, but we connected just as they were calling our names. He bailed onto Peanut and entered the pen with his stirrups too long and not knowing anything about the horse and we went to work. When the dust had cleared we had won the whole thing! As we rode out, he said, DANG! what a horse. I said DANG! what a horseman. Hunter is 13.
Boredom sets in, so let's check facebook

You know your really bored when you are taking pictures of your own feet

The road between Abilene and Breckenridge

Headed home, it's past my bedtime
 None of my pictures of the sorting came out. Too dark inside the arena I guess.

A few knives I finished.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Good cattle

Our order buyer picked us up seven steers and one beautiful cow yesterday.

We try to ship 50000 pound loads when we ship cattle, either to the feed yard or their new owner, as the trucking cost the same loaded to the gills or half empty. These steers will make up a load with what we already own.
 These steers weighed around 700 pounds, we will ship them to the feed yard when they are somewhere over 800 pounds.

Joe is ready to go and I'm taking pictures!

We don't turn anything out without a brand

Cunningham Ranch, home of the ugly cow

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Knives, bits, and baby sitting

As busy a week as it was on the ranch, I managed to get quite a bit out of the shop. I also avoided getting me or my horse shot, it was the first week end of deer season and there was a hunter behind every bush.

Pencil cactus and damascus handle

Snaffle bits are too easy to buy cheap at the feed store. The rare ones I get to make are like the top one, made for a specific horse and a guy that really knows horses, or the bottom, a guy that is tired of Chinese and rides a lot of colts. I use stainless steel for my rings and hinges, I'll bet those little pinko commie SOB's don't.
Our wonderful children runtoft for the week end and left us to take care of all their damned dogs. 10 dogs of various age and size spent a few nights, most in my bed, smelling like a skunk. Yep, the pack killed a skunk behind the house, and 10 dogs are quite a big job to bathe.
Kim trying catch some dogs to spritz the skunk off some of them

The canine hoard

Saturday, November 2, 2013


We shipped 3 loads of steers this morning. Everything went well, the trucks were early, nobody got bucked off, and the cattle were somewhat cooperative. We had our day made by 8:30.

Loading trucks with 2 and 3 year old horses. They gotta start sometime.
 Clay rode Kyle's 3 year old bay horse this morning and forgot his bit. This is a perfect example of cowboy ingenuity and a well broke colt. Ole bay went right on with the penning, then loaded the trucks. You couldn't do this on many old horses.

Bay is for sale. 3500.00$