Category Archives: Faith

A Cowboy’s Faith: Always dream then work

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Cowboys have always been the biggest heroes.

That continues, yet in maturity those even much older who are still working very hard have also become mentors.

Too many classmates have already passed to the great beyond, while being among those continuing forward on earth has challenges.

Just keeping up with what there is can be a fulltime job, yet those many decades older plunge fast forward.

Often television stories feature those celebrating their century birthdays and even years beyond. Those recognized are generally able to physically get around, of sound mind, and excited for every day they have.

Each situation is different of course, and none ever really have secrets to longevity. Yet they all get up and at it every morning, remaining active all day with an occasional nap. Each one eats three nourishing meals daily with maybe an extra snack and keeps up with what’s going on around. Many read regularly, have numerous friends and are strong in faith.

One friend at 98 was forced into assisted living away from home for a time. Not yet mowing his lawn or driving to town, he’s back on the farm feeling happier and healthier.

Every morning on the way to work at 6:30, another farmer friend’s kitchen light is on and he’ll be outside before 7 o’clock. Despite serious health issues, at 94 nothing stops him, always still going when returning from work 11 hours later.

At 89, a former teacher with more than one’s share of hardship started his ranch upon official retirement. Non-relenting entrepreneurship coupled with opportunities, the operation surpasses others built through generations. Not unique perhaps, but notable, covenants and dreams backed by hard work must be credited.

A Cowboy’s Faith: All those important mothers

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.There’s nothing more important than a mother.

Of course, everybody has a mother. They come in all sizes, shapes, forms, dispositions, peculiarities, each a unique distinct mother.

Everyone is the very best in their own way. None better possible regardless who wants to debate or argue.

There are always plenty of justifiable personal prejudices, and they’re all correct.

Many times personal reflections have been made about Mom who passed long ago at just 62 years old. Never a day goes by without thinking about her.

Mom always had a toothy grin for whoever it was because of her true happiness, with sweetness overflowing. Talkative to the extent of frequently being loud, she was. One can’t be too honest, and Mom was the most trustworthy ever known.

Not views through rose-colored-glasses, but readily verified by those who really knew her. She was authentic with the biggest heart possible. Nobody was a stranger to Mom, and she helped everyone in every way possible. That’s a fact.

While there is only one true flesh-and-blood mother, many others throughout a lifetime step in to provide motherly instincts. Think about it, what could really get done without so many in their vastly generous, motherly ways?

It’d be countless when reflecting all those who’ve stepped in to guide, help, been a “substitute mother,” when Mom wasn’t there.

Growing up, of course grandmas took on the role, equaled and often surpassed by aunts. On occasion perhaps even misidentified as “Mom.”

Help House News: Volunteer organization helps you help yourself

By Raylene Quaney

The next “Good Sense” budget class is scheduled for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, May 21, 2018.  It will be a one-day class. Participants must call to register and stop by and pick up pre-course work. Participants are to bring a sack lunch and beverage. The class is free and once complete the participant is eligible to receive assistance with heating or cooling bills.

Mobile food pantries across Osage County

Upcoming mobile food pantry dates:

  • Carbondale, 12-1 p.m. on first Tuesday, Carbondale Church of Christian Fellowship.
  • Osage City, 10-11 a.m., third Thursday, May 17, Osage City Community Center.
  • Melvern, 12:30-1:30 p.m., third Thursday, May 17, Melvern Community Center.
  • Burlingame, 10-11 a.m. third Thursday, May 17, Burlingame Federated Church.
  • Lyndon, 12-1 p.m. third Friday, May 18, Jones Park on East Sixth Street.

If you can be in line 15 to 20 minutes before starting time you will be in the counted numbers when it is decided how much of each item each family will receive.

Volunteers trained

Volunteer training was held on April 28; nine volunteers attended. Our goal is to have all volunteers complete the training at least one time.

New hours

A reminder of our new hours since the first of the year. We are now open 4-7 p.m. Monday evening for all services. Tuesday through Friday the hours remain 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Help House is no longer open on Saturday.

Nutritious lentils

On April 27, Anita Sobba, the SNAP nutrition educator with the Frontier Extension Garnett office, was at Help House handing out samples and recipes for baked lentils casserole to everyone that was in the center that day. The lentils are often part of the Harvester temporary emergency food assistance program given out in the healthy pantry. This was a way to show those who receive lentils a good, easy and nutritious ways of preparing them.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Replacements for poor service

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“That bull is bad.”

Such comment might be said defining a rodeo bull. It could be the bull is a bad bucker almost impossible to score on. Other times it might mean a bull is anxious to “hook the ‘W’ right off a cowboy’s Wranglers.”

Such dispositions of bulls used for breeding purposes on farms and ranches have not been uncommon in days gone by. However, with conscientious seed stock producers most are now producing bulls that are typically not fighters or troublemakers.

Still most ranchers with a dozen or more breeding bulls will often have one to “keep an eye on.” Now, that’s not to say they’re really mean, but not the friendliest things either.

One bull might have an ornery twinkle in his eyes, or sometimes snort when the herdsman or another bull walks by. Maybe shake his big head just a little to get first and extra at hay time.

Certainly a bull deserves caution when in his whereabouts. One push, even if considered friendly, by a ton-plus bovine can certainly be hazardous to one’s health.

Nope, it’s wasn’t an attitude problem with this particular “bad bull.” During the annual spring bull check, he came up “unsound for breeding,” the veterinarian said. Uncertain exactly what the problem was, but the bull wasn’t likely to get cows bred to have calves next spring.

Well now, the writing was already on the wall. Those cows he was supposedly serving last summer started “cycling” during the winter. They wouldn’t be gaunt, flat sided, tail in the air, riding each other if going to have a calf.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Excuse for bad penmanship

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Poor handwriting has gotten much worse in recent weeks.”

Some people never did learn to write. A number of older acquaintances from youthful days would only sign with an “X” when signature was required.

Despite dedicated teachers’ daily writing classes, certain students still didn’t write legibly. Now it’s even being reported students aren’t even being taught how to write. Evidently certain educators surpass this very essential tool insisting everybody uses a computer. It’s impossible to personally sign one’s name with a computer.

Anyway, all of the diligent efforts of at least eight grade school teachers have gone astray. Lessons on how to hold the pencil, correct diagonal of every letter are no good anymore. The writing hand just will not close to grasp the writing instrument.

That middle finger the two-year-old filly jerked and broke 30 years ago is the worst. But, the rest of the fingers are now in similar predicament.

For decades all those stories about arthritis went to the wayside until now there is the problem. True excuse for illegible penmanship, but there are considerably more issues, too.

It’s often impossible to pick up anything without risk of dropping it. That’s from a piece of paper to a fork to a cup of coffee.

What is this crazy arthritis doctors have diagnosed, but not been any help in relieving pain or improving writing?

A Cowboy’s Faith: Changing weather promises moisture

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Four seasons all within two days.”

Not quite, but that’s the way it seemed, perhaps shy of real hot summertime.

From the 80s to freezing overnight with spring and fall temperatures intermingled within and around.

One goes from not even a jacket, to a sweater with coat, soon long johns then back around again.

Like has been often said, “If the Kansas weather doesn’t suit the fancy, just wait and it’ll change.”

All professions have their downfall, but weather forecasters likely get more than their share of ridicule.

Interesting though tuning to a handful of different predictions, how varied they can be. Yet they are sometimes almost identical outlooks and still completely wrong.

With hail one place, sun shining a mile south, then raining cats and dogs nearby, how could anybody know?

However, did appreciate one newsman attempting to keep listeners up on storm alerts. Two reports within 20 minutes changing from “quarter-size hail,” then “get inside a tornado has been sighted.”

Parts of the Midwest experience flooding, blizzards, high winds, tornadoes and extreme fire hazard all at the same time.

“It’ll be a miracle if there’s any brome this year,” the ranch partner assessed. Even when all soil nutrition is properly managed, Mother Nature has the final hand.

Help House News: Life skills assistance includes budgeting, computer, job search

By Raylene Quaney

Budget course continues

The next “Good Sense” budget class is scheduled for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday April 23. It will be a one-day class. Participants must call to register and stop by and pick up pre-course work.

Participants should bring a sack lunch and beverage. The class is free and once complete the participant is eligible to receive assistance with heating or cooling bills.

Mobile pantry dates

Local mobile food pantry dates include:

  • Carbondale – 12-1 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month, Carbondale Church of Christian Fellowship
  • Osage City – 10-11 a.m. third Thursday (April 19), Osage City Community Center
  • Melvern – 12:30-1:30 p.m. third Thursday (April 19), Melvern Community Center
  • Burlingame – 10-11 a.m. third Thursday (April 19), Burlingame Federated Church
  • Lyndon – 12-1 p.m. third Friday (April 20), Jones Park on east Sixth Street.

Those in line 15 to 20 minutes before starting time will be in the counted numbers when it is decided how much of each item each family will receive.

Food pantry provided more than 52,000 meals in 2017

During the month of January 192 households were able to shop the healthy pantry. This number included 515 individuals. In February, 157 households shopped the pantry, a total of 400 individuals. During 2017, Help House purchased 62,570 pounds of food. It takes 1.2 pounds of food to provide one meal per person. This would have served a total of 52,142 meals.

Volunteer training

A volunteer training will be held on April 28. All volunteers are expected to complete this training at least once.

New hours at Help House

A reminder of our new hours since the first of the year: Help House is now open 4-7 p.m. every Monday evening for all services. Tuesday through Friday, the hours are 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Help House is no longer open on Saturday.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Good fence retains cattle

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s that time of the year when grass is greener on the other side of the fence.”

Wherever tame grasses border native pastures, there’s always a bovine sticking their head under or through the fence.

Woven wire surrounds a pasture on the highway to work, but still there’s pressure from livestock picking for green sprigs. Quality of fence is part of the determinant. When there are half-dozen tight strands of barbed wire with silver tinge showing, old cows aren’t as persistent. Still smaller calves always push under.

Despite continuous efforts to build fence, there’s miles and miles of loose rusted barbed wire fence. Only three or four strands, maybe 30 feet between posts, never were any stay wires. And then one old hedge is broken off, one wire’s broken and another isn’t tied to a post.

That’s common fence description here and many miles every direction. It makes pure happiness for those cattle scavenging for that tender new growth.

Fence isn’t any good in the first place, then calf goes through, momma follows, much of the herd is out.

A call from mailman or neighbors is unappreciated yet necessary evil: “Get ’em and cobble fence back together at best.”

One time out means they’ll be out again sure as the world. Even when steel panels plug the hole, those smart biddies just keep walking till another loose, broken wire lets them through.

A Cowboy’s Faith: No knack for racehorses

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Let’s race and see whose horse is the fastest.”

Challenges like that have been common since man started riding horses. Anybody on their favorite horse anxiously wagers a horseback friend to a race.

Larry on Rebel challenged Nellie down the straight away. Whew, Nellie won hands down, bringing big grin to her grocery store carryout boy rider. However, all outcomes weren’t that pleasant.

Of course, patterned racing, like running around barrels, has been sport ever since Spot came in ’62. But, real racetrack competition was later.

Without any prejudice, Quicksand was fast, but when the gate opened, he soured. True story though, that big grey gelding still just about caught the field, but not quite.

Riding horses for a number of customers, opportunity arose to also train a couple of racehorses. Success had semblance to attempts at being a bull rider. Not too good, yet some fond memories of horses, their owners and races.

Bo was a sorrel gelding entered in the breeder’s race futurity and then to sell at his annual auction. Exercised at the ranch, Bo was given practice outs at Emporia’s Bluestem Downs and official starts at Eureka Downs.

“Dead last.” Excuses were he “wore himself out prancing ahead of time and the jockey was too big.” Efforts to fix those problems were of no avail as Bo came in last at the futurity. Nevertheless, reprieve came when Bo sold for a high price at the owner’s production sale.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Year’s most important week

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Holy Week” climaxes Easter Sunday, celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection giving eternal life to all who believe in Him.

Sadly too many people have no idea Easter’s true meaning, literally often relating it only to bunnies and colored eggs.

Holy Week marks the final week of the season of Lent recounting the final days of Christ’s life, as well as his death, burial, and resurrection.

Lent is the 40 days before Easter during which many Christians refrain from certain pleasurable activities as a way of remembering the suffering of Jesus Christ. Ash Wednesday marks Lent’s start as worshipers receive ash cross marks reminding: “Man, dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.”

Palm Sunday is the sixth and last Sunday of Lent commemorating Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. It is named for the palm branches that were spread on the road to mark Christ’s arrival. Palm Sunday fronds are burned, and ashes used the following year’s Ash Wednesday.

Maundy Thursday celebrates Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples thereby instituting the Eucharist. Consecrated bread and wine symbolic of body and blood of Christ are eaten and drank during the ceremony of Communion. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet as an act of humility and service, setting example that all should love and serve.

Good Friday is a day of sorrow and mourning marking the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Holy Saturday commemorates the day that Jesus Christ lay in the tomb after his death. It is a quiet day of prayer and reflection.

Easter Sunday is celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Dedicated exercise yields action

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Calisthenics are the dreaded yet always insisted criteria for body fitness.”

Never really ever into much of a dedicated exercise program, a leisurely morning run had been followed for a while. Then it started being work, not fun, perhaps a bit of pain.

Come to find out, there was legitimate ouch, requiring treatment. Seeking others’ opinions before consenting to the knife, advice was always the same.

“Get it done, but make sure to do all of the required therapy.”

That statement was instantly followed by, “Those who don’t have a dedicated exercise program never recover completely.”

Reflection came to mind of Uncle Elmer having knee replacement decades ago. He was strong as an ox, but got so he couldn’t get up or down.

Elmer had the surgery, sat down in the chair, did very little walking, never got better, worse than before.

That lesson was remembered along with our cowboy mentors Dan, Andy, Gene and others who followed therapy guidelines precisely. They were again riding in a few weeks.

Up and at it hours after waking up, walking the halls became twice-a-day routine. After recovery stay, walking continued. First with four-pronged metal-helper, then a cattle sorting stick and a Christmas-colored cane in public. Sure didn’t want to fall down and make damages worse.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Wind powered blazes insurmountable

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“March winds bring April showers bring May flowers”

That often repeated quotation is on the minds of most everybody.

Despite moisture forecasts, and sometimes a few drops, the Midwest has not received sufficient rain.

More than one commented, “Too bad we can’t have just a tad bit from those poor northeast folks snowbound and flooding.”

Combination of dry conditions and record winds has made wildfires more widespread than even year earlier more isolated damages.

A call in the middle of the night informed a pasture was burning nearby, but fire trucks had been called. Fortunately, those local volunteers were efficient in limiting damage to a small area. That the area ablaze had been hayed last summer, helped in keeping spread slowed.

Up and down the highway in every direction from headquarters, there have been pasture fires. All were brought under control before extensive loss.

Returning from work, three fire engines were headed east – telltale sign: “There’s a fire.”

Nightly news revealed location, but simultaneously another one was being battled two counties to the south.

Thousands of acres of Flint Hills were consumed between the two, but lives were saved. Biggest fright was possibility of fire spreading into one rural community.

Again, assistance gathered from every direction, miles and miles away with every form of water and extinguishing agent possible. Amazing the generosity and working together efforts of all in a time of need.

It does help override the bad publicity so often given today’s society. Neighbors helping neighbors is the way the country was built and remains in true ranchland.

Harveyville church plans family fun

The Harveyville United Methodist Church is offering a couple of upcoming fun activities for kids and families.

The church is hosting a St. Patrick’s Family Fun Night Saturday, 7-8:30 p.m. March 17, 2018. There will be games and activities for all ages, snacks and the chance to learn an Irish folk dance. Everyone is invited to bring their family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy an evening of fun and fellowship.

Then 1-3 p.m. Thursday, March 22, the church is hosting a “Kids Day Out” in the church basement. Games, crafts and activities for children ages 4 to fifth graders. Parents are invited to bring their children for a couple of hours of fun and games.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Season’s change on horizon

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Spring is in the air.”

Nearly two weeks before official start, the robins are searching for worms. Already green sprigs show through yesteryear’s dry grass.

Always contending fall was the best time because one could catch up on undone chores, attitude seems to have altered. Hadn’t thought about season’s changes until Grandma Davis’ funeral decades ago, when the pastor commented spring was her favorite time.

She anticipated the new flowers, birds chirping and planting a garden. Yes, spring does bring anticipation of more calves, colts, and lush pastures.

Seemingly everybody has the feeling as stores have potted plants for sale. Business was so brisk at one location, demand fast exceeded availability. Almost no sooner had filled carts been wheeled in, they were empty with green thumbs eager to plant.

No thought given that this is still winter, and there could be many freezes in days ahead. Contention obviously is “Oh, we’ll just plant some more.” That’s good news meaning more business for the flower and vegetable starters.

Can’t help but remember one of the biggest snow storms in recent times was March 8, 1998. It was snowing when cow chores started 10 miles from headquarters. Done and headed back, intensity expanded as wind blew huge drifts until finally the truck would go no further.

Stranded in the blizzard before cell phones were ever heard about, fortunately there was a farm home in sight. Treacherous walking through the blustery downfall and near hip drifts, knock on the door brought a welcome inside.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Sun improves cowman’s outlook

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Don’t tell anybody, the sun’s shining.”

The Sunday morning comment brought promise and brightness to the past week of weather gloom.

“Those cows and calves need it bad.”

That’s a fact as well, considering all of the predicaments bovine mommas seem to get into during inclement conditions.

Nice days go by with no or few calves, then when cold, snowy, wind come so do cows’ birthing instincts.

Twin calves mean double the income to outsiders looking in, but in reality that’s more typically twice the problems.

Late afternoon, sharpest shrillest blizzard-like day of the week, proven-producing cow dropped baby twins. They were wet, shivering, nearly freezing.

While with maternal knowledge, the cow was still disoriented considering two instead of one. Mothering impulse did take hold as she started licking one calf so it became more aroused with life bellowing softly.

Nearby twin gets colder, closer to freezing by the minutes. Satisfied the baby being nurtured by momma will be fine, cow foreman loads cold mate into the pickup to assist warm up.

A 30-minute ride soon had that orphan showing spurts of life as well. Brought into the home mudroom the baby with rubbing, hair dryer and heaters perked up even more.

Big plastic nipple bottle with warm first milk replacer suited the little one’s fancy as he sucked it down.

Before bedtime, the little booger was healthy enough to go out to the heavily bedded barn stall.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Legs sure are important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“She has good legs.”

Somehow it seemed an ornery mentor professor’s jive when congratulating him on engagement and upcoming marriage.

Thinking of the comment numerous times since, Dr. Norton, dairy team coach, was in most seriousness about his bride-to-be. Being just out of college, going rambunctious with a young family and pursuing dual careers, being able to get around well was no concern. It certainly was to a professor looking to retirement with pleasures and enjoyment intended.

Well, the comment of nearly a half century ago has hit home.

After one of the best years ever competing in local horseshows, everything seemed fine in early October. Then all of a sudden the Big Man upstairs showed his power, whatever it was: “Slow down.”

Never having much any pain in a lifetime, despite falling off way too many times, all of a sudden the left knee hurt.

“Oh, it’s just imagination.” Maybe so, but it still hurt, and seemed to be getting worse. “It’s just in the head, get the work done, quit complaining.” Never had been to a back cracker, but more than one suggested that was the problem, and he’d cure it with one whack.

That wasn’t the case. The good back doctor gladly accepted the insurance money with co-pay: “Can’t do anything to the back, it’s the knee.”

Okay, okay, maybe it isn’t just in the head.

One look, one pinch by the knee specialist diagnosis: “the knee’s caput.” Maybe a little shot of steroids like those 90-pound jockey use to keep weight off will help.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Romance of producing calves

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“That heifer’s going to do it when she gets doggone good and ready.”

All’s havoc around the barnyard – stewing, checking, helping, pouting about the 40 first calf heifers ready to drop.

Actually another two beat the clock, had healthy babies in the winter pasture before being brought to headquarters.

Now, it’s mostly watch and wait. “That ‘659’ looks like she needs to be gotten in.”

After a few days, the girls learn the routine, walk down the barn lane without resistance. Then, it’s not too tough to sort off the one wanted.

But sure enough middle of the night call, “692” decided it was time. Out in the lot, 10 above, wind blowing snow, she dropped one, fortunately it’s alive. Tiny, wet, shivering baby with a first-time momma who has no clue what’s happened.

Cowman’s job is helping cattle in distress. But, in the cold shrill, getting heifer and newborn under cover becomes more complicated. Big stout cow foreman carries the calf, but momma isn’t smart enough to follow.

So baby in the barn, come back, rouse heifer every way thinkable to get her there, too.

A Cowboy’s Faith: A well deserved retirement

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Missy is a good ole gal.”

Perhaps that’s insufficient credit for all the 27-year-old Appaloosa mare has done in a fulfilled lifetime.

Still, it’s appropriate description of the old girl now in well-deserved retirement. Like many folks, Missy really doesn’t know what to do with herself when there’s not a regular job.

Her profession was running patterned horse races along with grudgingly obliging other expectations of owner.

Now Missy’s a small horse, somewhat athletically built. She’s neat-headed, such others have even called her “cute.”

At 24, Missy truly was the best claiming highpoint speed horse awards in two major circuits. That was with a sometime gimp that x-rays and the best veterinarians demanded Missy be retired. No way, she’d have died from a broken heart.

Another year older, Missy’s lameness worsened not bearing weight on her right front leg much of the time. Yet, hook the trailer, start the pickup, Missy’s ears up, nickering, anxious to load.

At the shows, competition beware, Missy was there. That darn wince might be noticed occasionally at a walk. Yet, when name was called high-stepping-prance with a little rear the excited urge to run became most apparent to all.

Missy’s expulsion to the first barrel set any rider back in the saddle, hanging on for dear life. Only thing slowing the speedster down would be pilot error, sadly occurring too often. Crossing the finish line, time was always near the top, often fastest of any runners that day.

Then is when Missy gave in to the pain.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Another tribute to Dad

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Dad would have been 108 years old on Monday, January 29.”

Sadly, he’s been gone nearly 38 years, passing away in the summer of 1980.

It was always easy to remember Dad’s birthday, the same as Kansas.

A bachelor until 30 years old, Dad knew how to take care of himself, his horse, a little bit of livestock and the small rented farm. He knew how to fry steak and potatoes and make gravy, always the best there was.

Those who remembered those days insisted there wasn’t anything Dad couldn’t do and wouldn’t undertake. His sorrel gelding Bar was the best around, even standing on back legs with finger snap.

Young woman riding the spotted pony to teach the one-room schoolhouse caught Dad’s eye. Before long, they were wed despite her 10 years his junior.

Poor farmers trying to make do. Times were tough. Tractors were replacing stock horses used for riding, driving, and working fields, too.

Even in those days it took a little bit of everything to make ends meet. Mom taught school, milked cows, had chickens, kept house and all. Dad farmed and had a job at the hardware store in town.

Tragedy struck.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Many help make successes

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Always give just credit where credit is due.”

During several recent horseshow awards presentations, many accolades were bestowed, received and acknowledged by applause.

Recipients were exuberant with big smiles nodding and towing away hardware and tokens.

They’re the ones who campaigned the champions.

With limited exception little recognition was given to the most important part of every title.

While the real reason for success was generally named in passing, “Joe Blow on Tiny won…” That was about it recognizing the one most responsible.

A horse is the No. 1 ingredient in cowboy and cowgirl success, and should be honored most.

Yes, as was pointed out in a recent national horse publication, many potential champions never become such.

It’s because, nobody trains and shows the outstanding horseflesh to what they could become. Many horses are never used period. Let alone put into competitions.

Still, every horseshow award truly must first go to the horse, then to the exhibitor and many others out behind the barn.

Achievement actually starts with planned mating mare and stallion, birthing and a long line of hands. Years of continued preparation, hundreds of competitions, plus miles and miles of traveling combine for top end results.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cows must have calves

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“They’ll either have a calf or they won’t.”

One of the very best, most prominently known cowmen answered years ago when questioned about pregnancy checking his cowherd.

That philosophy contrasted management recommendations promoted by college cattle experts. Yet, Andy’s analysis had lifetime experience.

“Even when cows are examined ‘safe,’ a lot of things can happen before they have a calf come spring.”

Of course, observant cowboys can generally “tell by looking” if a cow’s bred. Likewise, seeing abortion evidence ahead of calving date is telltale no calf at weaning time. With exceptions, cows continually seeking bull romance aren’t “in calf,” either.

Often reflecting that good friend’s admirable ranch work from every angle, Andy has come to mind frequently in recent weeks. The most conscientiously observant ranch foreman has seen a number of cows “cycling.”

No, the cows were not checked for pregnancy in the fall for various right or wrong reasons. Perhaps, it’s because “they’ll either have a calf or they won’t.”

Anywhere, with fair certainly, a couple dozen mommas who keep “intimately nosing around” herd mates won’t drop spring babies.

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