Sunday, March 26, 2023

Heart Healing

Be not afraid to roll back the stone!

Hauling Hay

With this extra long winter, the horses are almost out of hay. Remembering that about 3:30 this morning, I decided we better head to Hulett early to get some. Thankfully, Maverik had just finished making their first batch of Bonfire Burritos when White Horse and I hit the trail at 4:30.

Ole Reliable 

Beings I wasn't able to call ahead of time, I was a bit worried that Jim might meet me with a shotgun. Fortunately, he told me that he always fires a warning shot. 

Might as well make the trip worth while.

After celebrating Mass in Hulett and Moorcroft, we arrived home safe and sound. Only had to stop three times to adjust the load. 

Happy campers.

I honestly love ranching. Being responsible for critters and having to fight to keep them fed is invigorating. Such wholesome activity fuels my priesthood. Homilies come easy because I'm operating out of the human nature God blessed me with. On to the next one.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Saddle Repair

I really like my Billy Cook saddle, but I've always felt it sat too far forward on my horses. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it would sure be nice if it sat further back. After visiting with folks, it turns out that there are different rigging positions that saddles come with. So I thought, if there options, why not adjust my saddle's cinching up point. 

The main three rigging positions on a western saddle are full, 7/8, and 3/4. Full is directly under the swells, 7/8 is probably where this saddle is, and 3/4 is further back. I wanted this saddle to be full, so we set out to move where the latigo attaches to the saddle.

I picked up a solid brass D-ring at Thar's tack store in Gillette. It took many evenings of pondering to come up with a game plan. But in the end, there was only one way to find out if it would work.

So we cut the rivets attaching the regular rigging points on both sides of the saddle, in order to braze the new D-ring on them. 

Brazing is a way of welding almost any metal. It's not the strongest weld, but is particularly good for brass. A gas welding tip is essential. Bring the oxygen up until you form a nice dark blue cone. 

I find that you don't necessarily want to melt the metal like you do in normal welding. The brazing rod melts at a lower temp than most metal so the idea is to get the metal up to the heat of where to rod wants to melt and then you can fuse the two together. Generally speaking you are looking for functionality with brazing and not class. 

Should work. I put the weld on the inside in order to avoid the criticism of professional of onlookers. 

Then it was time to reattach. Rivets are the best for leather. These guys you just push them through, hammer the washer down, cut off the excess, and peen the left over rivet. We also added another rivet on the new D-ring for extra support. 


I'm hopeful. Saddles are designed a certain way, but I don't think this will negatively affect the way it sits on a horse. Actually, I hope that the tree fits the horse better. Billy Cook's are good saddles but I think the tree is a bit narrow. It puts white wear spots on both of my horses. It doesn't sore them, but it seems to be undue pressure. All that being said, now we have options. Spring is coming and you want to be ready when it arrives. Time to ranch. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Forgiveness and Compassion

Compassion is how you forgive from the heart.

Power Steering

My power steering pump had been leaking and making noise for a while. We'll Sunday evening, she gave up the ghost. So I called Ernie to borrow a truck and Dave to borrow his shop, picked up a pump at the dealer, and went to work.

One thing I love about White Horse is she's simple. Small block Chevy just like my truck in high school, basically. One thing we have on this girl, though, is a hydraulic pump for the flatbed, which sits right over the power steering pump.

No YouTube video here. We just went for it. Once the hydraulic pump was out of the way and the alternator was set aside, we could start to see the pump more clearly. 

In the end, it was easier just to remove the whole bracket with the pump still attached. 

The new pump didn't come with a pulley, so I ran down to a shop up the road and they switched them for me.

Bam! Back in business. 

When you're pushing 300k miles, breakdowns are bound to happen. I plan on this being the last pickup I buy so I replace what I can with GM parts. Special thanks to Ernie and Dave for their generosity. A desperado like me is quite dependent on the assistance of others. May God greatly reward you. On to the next one!

Friday, March 10, 2023

Boys are Back

Kurt and I had been planing our annual cabin trip for quite awhile. Thankfully the Lord kept winter around just long enough for us to get in some good riding.

Looking cool is the #1 rule.

Sure is nice having a camp cook around. 

Air time.

Some of the best snow we've had the chance to ride in. 

That'll shut you down.

So will running out of gas.

Thank you Lord.

I love it. Snowmobiling gets you into some backcountry that could never be experienced in the winter. This'll probably be the last ride of the year as spring is creeping up on us. But I'm thankful for the fun we've had. True recreation is just that, it re-creates us. Once revitalized in God's providential love, we are able to once again serve Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. On to the next one!

Friday, March 3, 2023

Dave, Dad, and I

Dave mentioned to me last week that he'd like to go snowmobiling sometime. I said, done! So we borrowed Kevin Geis's sled, fueled up Whitehorese, jumped our ponies in the back of Paddy Wagon, and met Dad up at the cabin. 

We arrived just as the sun was setting.

By the time we got to the cabin it was dark.

But Dad had her all warmed up.

... with meat in the skillet. 

If nothing else it was worth the trip just to have Dad's Greasies. 

Bon appetit. 

After a good night's sleep and celebrating Mass, Dad was at it at again.

Had to keep it meatless this time.

Then we headed out for Battle Park. The safety shelter on the upper left of the map was our destination. We started out around Deer Haven. 

The true mark of a cowboy is not if he gets bucked off or not, it's whether he gets back on again. 

Dave handled the Ski-doo pretty well.

It was kind of whiteout conditions so the terrain was tough to judge. Hence me nose diving into this creek bank. 

Dave waded into the snowy waters as well. 


On to the next one.

A fun time was had by all. Snowmobiling has to be the worst sport in the world. Nothing but work. But what else is there to do in the winter? I wouldn't have it any other way. The mountains call us, and we must go!

Mother of the Church

 Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!