Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Breaking Name

Ever wonder how names are chosen for the average working stock (horses) on a Southern Alberta ranch?
I know it's kept me up a night or two . . .
Berg Family

In Southern Alberta, between the communities of Millicent and Duchess nestled the Berg family ranch. There, in the fertile, wide open acres, the family raised crops and cattle and horses.
And eight strapping sons and one daughter, my mom.
The family usually ran about 150 head of brood mares which were left to roam the open spaces with their colts. Each fall, the horses were rounded up, the colts weaned and the mares released. Those colts were kept till spring, then they, too, were ‘turned out’ and left to roam until they were three years old.
Then, the fun started.
The three-year-olds were brought in, carefully inspected for soundness of feet and legs, temperament and spirit.
And then broken to ride.
And now we get to my story . . .
A deep chestnut coloured horse appeared in one of the spring roundups. He wasn’t tall, but was chunky and muscular and though his looks weren’t spectacular, he demanded attention by running alongside or ahead of the herd, revealing rare character in his movements as he reached full flight.
When the cowboys were making their first inspection, this three-year-old was noticed and selected as one of the first to be broken.
Picture it: A noose snakes out and snares the young horse around the front legs, sweeping him off his feet. The instant he hits the ground, a cowboy pounces on his neck, twists his head back and clamps strong, white teeth into the horse’s ear, distracting him. A halter is installed by another cowboy and a gunny sack blind fitted snugly over his eyes. Then the rope is removed and the horse springs to his feet. Two men hold the halter shank as the saddle is buckled on. The bronc buster (hereinafter known as BB) mounts.
Now in this young horse’s case, one of the cowboys advised BB to get ready for a tough ride, but BB just laughed. “This little runt ain’t big enough to give me a bad ride.” With that, he set himself into the saddle, took the halter shank in one hand and gave the signal to turn the horse loose.
In the moment the blind was yanked off, the horse stood, startled, and blinked once.
Then he exploded in every direction. So complete was his frenzy to remove his unwanted load that even the muscles in his eyeballs worked! No one could have stood that punishment for long. BB’s long legs gradually lost their grip. Then space showed between he and the saddle. Then, in two or three more bucks, BB was airborne.
When he hit the ground, the cowboy who had warned him laughed and said, quietly, “Yeah. I guess he is ‘Big Enough’.
Ever wondered how ranch horses get their names?
Now you know.

Uncle Roy when he was just 'Roy'

10 comments:

  1. You don't have to be the biggest to be the toughest.

    ReplyDelete
  2. More Than Big Enough would have been a fine name too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes. Just rolls right off the tongue!

      Delete
  3. Horses can really tug at your heart strings no matter what their names.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Replies
    1. A lot of spirit packed into that little hoss!

      Delete
  5. It sounds like a rather cruel way to introduce a horse to riding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quick and effective. On a large ranch dealing with hundreds of head of horses, the best way!

      Delete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

All of My Friends

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and .ca and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?