Tag: ranch kids

I Can Learn a Thing or Two…

The sun began to peek up over the hill that sits behind our house, and through Mattson’s bedroom window. He jumped up out of bed, with a smile on his face. This was the day that Mattson had worked all summer for—the 4-H horse show! As he catches his horse, I load the truck with the necessities—water, sunscreen, and of course, a comfy lawn chair that I can take a short, much needed nap in when the excitement of a horse show is too much to bare. As I look in the tack room of the trailer, I am pleased and proud of the organization Mattson has on display. Bridles hung neatly, saddle clean and oiled, floor swept and the water bucket and grain ready for reward for a job well done. I can learn a thing or two about his idea of being tidy and neat.

We pull into the arena, parked our truck and trailer next to the neighborhood girl and unload a blue roan gelding who is truly a part of our family. He goes by the name “Cody.” The sun blazing down on us all, I paint the hooves, brush the main and tail and pin the back number on Mattson’s freshly ironed shirt. The new halter is put on and they begin to show in their first class. Calm and collected, in all his classes, he shows his horse like a true champion. He teaching us the importance of having fun, having confidence, and being proud of who he is and what he has. I can learn a thing or two about his discipline and confidence to tackle everyday life.

As the day goes on it continues to get longer, hotter and dustier. Patience is tested, horses are ridden in patterns and parents are smiling as their child rides out of the arena with a red, white or blue ribbon. I remind Mattson to hold his reins steady, sit deep in the saddle, and make sure his horse picks up his correct lead. He reassures me with a smile and a wink, and tells me to relax. I once again am more nervous than he is.  teamsortingteamsortingwinners

His favorite event has finally come—Team Sorting! Mattson is a member of the team who won the county fair and went on to win the State Fair last year. The cows are placed in the lower end of the arena. Mattson and his team members ride in, cinches tightened, and horses’ ears perked up. The team consists of three ranch raised cow kids who have sorted a cow or two before in their time. They begin to ride toward the cows, getting them sorted in order, one by one, with a total of 5. After the dust is settled, and the numbers are tallied, their team is the county fair champion once again. Mattson congratulates his team and the other teams as well. They are excited to compete at state once again. I can learn a thing or two about his sportsmanship in 4-H as well as life itself.

Now we get ready for State Fair……

~ Jayme

Jayme Thompson lives in Shelley, Idaho, with her husband Matt, and their three sons, Jackson, Mattson and Dawson. She was daddy’s little cowgirl being raised horseback on the family cattle ranch in Mackay, Idaho. Matt and Jayme have known each other since their early junior rodeo days. They are both 4th generation ranchers and have a cow-calf and horse operation. Jayme drives school bus, and helps Matt on the ranch in addition to chauffeuring kids. Matt is a custom saddle maker and a video representative for Western Video Market on the side.

Jayme also blogs at Cavvy Savvy, where this post first appeared.

Categories: Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Ranch kids, Ranch Life

My First County Fair ~ The Final Day

Charlie's last photo shoot before the sale.

Charlie’s last photo shoot

 

Today was the last day of the fair and my last day with Charlie. Charlie was the 55th steer to sell at the sale. He acted better than he did any other day at the fair. I was nervous that Charlie would go crazy because of all of the noises of the auctioneer and the people.

In the sale ring.

In the sale ring.

He sold for a really good price to South Hills Land and Farming. With the money I earned, first I have to pay my grandpa for buying Charlie and for the hay he ate. Then I have to pay my parents for the grain that they bought. The rest of the money is for savings for college or a church mission.

That afternoon, when it was getting close to time to put Charlie on the truck, I started feeling sad. Then I started lightly crying and I stayed with Charlie the whole time until he was ready to go. When I was with him, he kept scratching his head on me up and down, up and down. He tore a hole in my shirt, but I didn’t care. After the man said it was

Last moments with Charlie.

Last moments with Charlie.

time to put him on the truck, I cried in my mom’s arms for ten minutes. I started crying again that night. Then I had an idea: maybe if I sleep with my shirt with the hole in it, it will make me feel better. So I did and I’m going to do that every night.I love Charlie

But I’m glad that Charlie is going to help feed America beef!

Even though it was really sad to get rid of him, I’m glad I raised a steer for the fair. I learned responsibility and I got to get dirty all the time, which I found out was super fun. I also discovered that I really, really, really like cows and now they’re my first favorite animal.

My seven top favorite things at the fair were:

• Showing a steer (of course).
• Eating the fair food. I liked the donuts and elephant ears best.
• Working in the 4-H food booth.
• Riding my first carnival ride. My favorite was the ferris wheel.
• Looking at all of the other animals
• The entertainment (the monkey show was my favorite).
• Working and playing with friends and making a few new friends.
• Seeing some of my family.

I hope you liked reading about my first fair and that you learned some fair things too. Come to the Twin Falls County Fair! We’ll see you there next year maybe!

My family with Charlie.

My family with Charlie.

Farewell Charlie.

Farewell Charlie.

 6 am stall cleaning.

6 am stall cleaning.

Working and playing with my friend after a big rainstorm at the fair.

Working and playing with my friend after a big rainstorm at the fair.

Good times with good friends.

Good times with good friends.

Fun on the ferris wheel!

Fun on the ferris wheel!

Categories: Blogging, Ranch kids

My First County Fair ~ Day 4

Today was an exciting day because it was the showmanship show.  This show is about how good you show your steer.  I was excited and a little worried about this show because I really wanted to do good.

Since I was the youngest, I was in the very last class of the day.  When we got back to the fair after the morning feeding, we watched some of the older kids show their steers so I could know what the judge liked and how to show my steer.  The judge that we had liked steers that stood still and so I was worried that Charlie wouldn’t stand good at all.

Getting  Charlie washed and ready for the show.

Getting Charlie washed and ready for the show.

To get Charlie ready for the show, we got him wet and scrubbed him with dish soap.  Charlie acted a little better than the day before when we washed him so I thought maybe he’d act a little better for this show than he did in the quality show.  Next we put him in our chute and brushed him and blew his hair.  For most shows, you fit the steer, but for the show at our fair, it is only about showmanship so you just wash them and blow them.

When we were done with Charlie, it was almost time for me to show so we walked him to where we wait and walked him around a little to get his energy out but it didn’t really work.  He was acting a little bit better than yesterday but he still wouldn’t stand very still.

Brushing Charlie after the judge felt him.

Brushing Charlie after the judge felt him.

I was third in line to walk into the show ring.  We walked to the front so we could stand in a line so the judge could ask us questions and feel the fat on our steers.  The judge asked me what my steer’s name was, how much he weighed, and what I feed him.  He also talked to me more than just asked questions.  I like this judge better than the judge yesterday because I could understand what he said.  Then we walked around in a circle and stopped to give the judge a head to tail view.  When I stop my steer, I have to hold his head up and scratch his belly or his brisket because this calms him down and feels good to him.  Then I have to set his feet us square and keep looking at the judge.

Charlie let me set him up good at first but then he wouldn’t stand very still so I had to keep walking him in a circle to get him to stay where he was supposed to.  I didn’t think I was going to place very high because Charlie wouldn’t stand good at all.  It was very hot in the afternoon but even though I was very, very sweaty and very, very hot, I kept smiling and looking at the judge and acting like I wasn’t hot at all.  When the judge got the microphone, he said that I was the best showman out in the ring, but Charlie wouldn’t stand still but I still got third place and a blue ribbon.  I felt really good, happy, and excited.  After I walked out of the show ring with Charlie, the announcer asked for the third place winner to come pick up her trophy.  When I heard this, I felt really, really, really happy!  I’ve never won a trophy before and I had no idea I was going to win one.  Yay!!

Setting up Charlie

Setting up Charlie

My 3rd place trophy!

My 3rd place trophy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the show was over, I walked around the fair with my family to get an after-show treat and I picked a smoothie.  We also got donuts that were so good.

Meeting Lt. Governor Brad Little after the show.

Meeting Lt. Governor Brad Little after the show.

We ran into Idaho’s Lt. Governor, Brad Little.  My mom knows him so I got to take a picture with him.

To end my day at the fair, we got to watch a entertainer and he picked out kids from the audience to play instruments so my sisters and I did.  It was super fun!

Playing music on the big stage.

Playing music on the big stage.

This was the best day of the fair yet because I got third place.  I love the Twin Falls County Fair!

My sisters love Charlie too.

My sisters love Charlie too.

My Grandpa and uncle came to watch the show and help with Charlie.

My Grandpa and uncle came to watch the show and help with Charlie.

Categories: Beef, Ranch kids

My First County Fair – Day 3

Today was a big day for Charlie and me because it was the quality show.  The quality show at the fair is about your steer and how much meat he will probably have and if he’s finished or not.

Getting Charlie ready for the show.

Getting Charlie ready for the show.

I have to get up really early because we need to get to the fair to feed Charlie before we get him ready for the show.  While he is outside eating, we clean out his stall.  Then we have to give Charlie a bath.  He doesn’t like this very much at the fair.  I don’t know why because he really liked getting washed at home.

After we wash him, then we blow his hair dry.  Then we put some really strong hairspray on his legs and spray some oil on his body to make him shine.  Then he is ready to go to the show.

All ready for the show.

All ready for the show.

There are 130 steers at our fair so the show takes all day long.  I was in the 4th class to go in the show ring.  I was nervous because when we were waiting for our class to start, Charlie wouldn’t stand still and had lots of energy.

When it was my turn, first I led Charlie in the show ring and stayed in a straight line in the front with the other steers so the judge could look at them.  Then we walked around in a circle and stopped in the back of the show ring.  Then the judge put all of us in line in the order he liked them best and then he told us about why he liked a steer or why he didn’t.

The judge getting a closer look at Charlie.

The judge getting a closer look at Charlie.

Working hard to keep Charlie looking good.

Working hard to keep Charlie looking good.

Charlie weighed 1218 pounds and he probably needed about 30 more pounds so I got 5th place in my class.  The judge said that at first he though Charlie would be a top contender but he needed a little more muscle.  A girl in my 4-H club told me, “Think of it this way, you got first place of the second half.”

I was kind of mad at Charlie because whenever I stopped him, he wouldn’t stay there.  My legs were shaking when I was in the show ring, but I didn’t let go of his halter and kept good hold of him.

After the show, we washed and scrubbed him again to get all of the hairspray and oil out of his hair.

A couple hours later, Charlie was laying down and I tried sitting with him and he liked it so then I started singing songs to him.  Then I thought, “Why not make up a special imaginary land for us to live and our own language.”  Charlie told me not to tell you what it was called.  How he told me no was by head butting me when I asked him.

This morning, I was a little mad at Charlie because he wouldn’t stay still during the show but I was only mad for a little while.  Then he let me sit with him for a long time in the afternoon and I remembered how much I like him.

Hanging out with my friend Charlie.

Hanging out with my friend Charlie.

 

Categories: Blogging, Ranch kids

My First County Fair ~ Day 2

Yesterday was weigh-in day at the fair. First, we had to go to school registration for 4th grade.

Then we rushed home to give Charlie his last bath at home. He was mostly clean because we’ve been washing him a lot.  But his hooves were covered solid in poop because we’ve had so much rain this month and his corral is really messy.  It took a lot of work to clean his hooves today.  (We had to chisel at them with a screwdriver).

When we loaded Charlie in the trailer, he didn’t really like it. He kept moving around.  Unloading him, he was fine.  Then we took him to his spot in the barn. A little while later, we weighed him in. He weighed 1,218 pounds.

Final weigh-in at fair.

Final weigh-in at fair.

There was a meeting a couple hours later about how the steer shows would work and what we’re supposed to do. Then I finally had a lunchable for dinner because we were super hungry and we didn’t want to wait until we got home so late.

I was tired and needed to get to bed; I had to get up at 5:50 in the morning (augh!) so I could go back to the fairgrounds and feed my steer.

Stay tuned to read more about my week at the fair.

Categories: Blogging, Ranch kids