Labor I: Slip, Shy Anne’s youngest, had an early and tough birth, but two days with our favorite Cody vet brought her through the crisis. Her first, but not most challenging, labor was learning how to look endearing.
Labor II: Next came self-grooming and bug control…..
Labor III: ….followed by learning to buck….sort of….
Labor IV: …and then to run…..a challenge for Slip….
Labor V: ….and to train the ranchers in how to train the colts…..
Labor VI: …and to calm those silly canine critters…..
Labor VII: ….and then back to a group counseling session with the ranchers. It was a long and challenging summer!
Even as we start our 56th year, Elk Creek is kept young by the arrival of the new and returning ranchers and by the young animals that we just can’t resist. Although Andy Tenny is not working with us this year, he did visit for a few days and he brought his Australian Shepherd puppy, Aussie, who did not hesitate to snuggle his way into any available lap or set of arms.
We almost lost Slip at birth because she was a bit premature. She had a tough weekend with the vet with blood tests, tubings of mama’s milk, and shots. Then she needed to be kept confined for another month. Since then things have definitely looked up for her. She spends most of the afternoon on barrel-riding days getting the spa treatment.
Last December we noted the passing of two ECR family dogs, Daisy and Gunner. The losses were great but Kyle and Andrew were determined to fill the void. They rounded up a chocolate lab puppy. Synner’s name, with a few alphabetical acrobatics, comes from his predecessors’ names. It took him about three days to win over a batch of fans among the ranchers.
Rob,Tina, and Keenan’s dog, Milo, is an adult in years but manages to pose wonderfully as a puppy. He is known by many ranchers as the spark-chasing dog around all campfires. He also loves any day in the snowfields chasing snowballs wherever they fly.
Colts provide us with the best of spring entertainment, and most of it has to do with their efforts to understand and finally to master their legs. Looking back three years, Chance couldn’t quite get his legs under control, but he did manage a good leap in front of several amused and curious onlookers.
Sanzi was born several weeks after Chance. She was the most natural runner of our recent crop of young horses, but her first moments provided us with some great chuckles. Sanzi and Chance will be three this summer and the focus of much training work by the staff and the ranchers.
Fritz was born on a warm evening two Mays ago, but a week later when his mother and he ventured forth from their stall, he was greeted by one of those spring snows. He seemed a bit puzzled, but not daunted, as he skidded around in the cold stuff.
Slip, Fritz’s half-sister, has lived up to her name. She is the clutsiest of our recent colts but also the most entertaining. She is long-legged and just has the darndest time figuring out what to do with those things. Slip will be the focus of much imprinting and work by the ranchers this summer; they, in turn, will certainly be amused by her antics.