Monday, February 28, 2011

Pete Sells Broodmares in Billings

With over thirty quarter horses at the Kurtz Ranch, Pete has decided it's time to reduce his breeding program. This winter he looked for the right oppotunity to sell two of our broodmares and found it in Billings, Montana at the Billings Livestock Commission's special "Sons and Daughters" sale, February 25, 26, and 27. The special section in which the mares would sell consisted of offspring of famous sires and dams.

He settled on selling Lena, a dark palomino mare, and Flo, a beautiful buckskin. Lena (Seven S Lena Doc), an own daughter of Genuine Doc, had produced five foals for us and Pete appreciated Lena as a good mother, a sweet horse, and a mare who bred back easily for the next season. The second mare, Flo (Shiners Flo Glo), is a well bred daughter of two World Champion Roping horses. Both mares are in foal to our stallion, Hesa Stylish Pepto, certainly providing potential buyers with a good value in both breeding and a two for one package.

Once back home after the sale, Pete was pleased with how both mares sold. But, he also struggled a bit with fond memories of these two mares. In thinking about it, he felt like he was letting go of trusted partners: the act of sharing their breeding and foaling creates an emotional attachment for any owner . But he hoped they had gone to good homes. He found out later Lena was headed to Manitoba, Cananda and Flo was on her way either to Nebraska or Canada.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's A Bling Thing

At a recent Northwest Colorado Products holiday craft show I spotted the right gift for my nephew's daughter. I told the creator, Karen Myers, the decorated levi jacket in size three was just about the cutest thing I'd ever seen. So, I ordered one for my nephew's little girl's upcoming birthday.

Karen owns and operates "Catch All Creations, It's A Bling Thing" here in North Routt County. Her line of clothing includes western embellished cowboy and cowgirl jackets, t-shirts, onesies, hooded sweatshirts, and hats. She is a member of Northwest Colorado Products, a local iniative to support and promote local products of all kinds including arts, crafts, local foods, and more.

Please visit to see her complete line of inventory.

Also visit Northwest Colorado Products at:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

First Foal of the Season

Andy reports that the foaling season has begun at Whitney’s Wild Oak Ranch. In the quiet of a California evening, a mare by the name of A Red Bell Pepper, owned by Andy’s client, Dawn Joyce, gave birth to a beautiful bay filly. Andy purchased the filly's mother for Dawn at the 2010 Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nevada. The foal's sire, Smokeelan, was winner of the 2010 World’s Greatest Horseman competition. Hopefully, this little one, with a bold blaze brushed down her forehead, will find her way into the world of reined cow horse events and feel right at home.

Andy will be watching closely the end of March for four more of Dawn's foals, all bred through in vitro insemination to recipient mares.

Watch for more news on recipient mares coming up next month.

Please visit Andy online at:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter Mantra

After snow shoeing to the top of a nearby hillside on the ranch, our dogs Emma and Griz, and I linger. Creatures of habit, we follow our own rituals when we arrive. If the winds are quiet, Griz and Emma hunt for scents among the sage brush, perhaps noting whether or not a coyote or fox or elk had traveled over the ridge. On other days when the winds out of the west rustle my jacket, Emma and Griz stand at my feet: Emma’s eyes settled on the track headed back home and Griz turned away from the snow storm roaring through Long Gulch and onto our private ground of perspective.

Today, I feel Emma and Griz at my feet, and for a few moments I repeat my visual mantra of the terrain below. In between blinks, a kind of snowflake dodge ball, I imagine the rugged edge of the Zirkel Wilderness to the northwest hidden beneath still and low lying clouds. I follow the Elk River as it meanders, crisscrossing meadow lands where our cattle and horses feed before it turns east out of view near Red Dirt Trail. Then to the south, I scan Elk Mountain standing unchallenged, a sentry at the foot of the valley floor. Then Long Gulch patiently draws my eye to the west, its rolling hills inhabited every quarter mile with a neighbor’s home.

Each I time I finish my mantra, I look out to the open valley and believe again in possibility. Recently, it’s the possibility that my sister and I will find solutions to the challenges my aging mother faces after a hospitalization; it’s the possibility that I will one day find relief from the shocking and unforeseen loss of my brother, who upon his death, was the same age I am today; or perhaps it’s just a simple insight of what’s possible for a piece of writing with which I am struggling. Whatever the daily struggles are, I find relief in the expansive view and the terrain I know by heart.

I see Emma shaking beneath her coat as the storm pushes east across the summit. I know it’s time to begin our descent and reluctantly, I set out onto the trail. In those first few steps, I carry a ticker tape filled with images: the Zirkel’s cloudy shroud; a curling band of mother cows feeding in the meadow; a cottonwood-lined Elk River disappearing into the valley’s end; a stalwart Elk Mountain; and my extended neighborhood nestled in the hillsides of Long Gulch. A creature of habit, I tuck away this landscape as if it were my very own possession and follow Emma and Griz on down the trail toward home.