Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Rain, Valentine’s Old West Days, roping at Circle T, Sunkawakan Ta Wounspe | TSLN.com

Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Rain, Valentine’s Old West Days, roping at Circle T, Sunkawakan Ta Wounspe

We are living the good life here. We got two inches of rain and didn't have any third cutting alfalfa laying on the ground. I wound up my irrigating just before the rain so I'm going to look like an irrigating genius with no dry spots showing on the pasture! Our grandsons (four and two and a half) have been visiting and that's been icing on the cake. The mud, rain and wind did rather limit the outdoor activities and riding but we found lots to do indoors. I think I get as big of a kick out of building corrals and playing with the little livestock on the floor as they do!

I was dismayed but not surprised when ebola was diagnosed in a person in Texas. We can't import any livestock without quarantines and suchlike, but people just travel in and out with no restrictions. I hope they can nip this in the bud, but I'm not very impressed with the initial handling of the situation. The guy went to the E.R. and was sent home with antibiotics, then went to a different hospital E.R. a few days later. Wouldn't you think that medical facilities would be on red alert with this disease in the headlines daily and the terrible toll it's taking on the African nations?

In regard to the seizure of the horses and the great stallion Dual Peppy in Colorado, the owner, Sherri Bunzell, has been stripped of all privileges within the AQHA, pursuant to rule number V10200 "No person shall treat any horse in a cruel or inhumane manner." There's a great deal more to the story of this woman's wide swing from wealthy investor in fine horse flesh to where she is now. I'm just glad the horses are out of that situation and that they are being taken care of and that Dual Peppy may get the chance to return to his former stature in the working horse world.

On a brighter note, there's a great shindig coming up at Valentine, Nebraska on Oct. 9-12 when the 23rd Annual Old West Days and Nebraska Cowboy Poetry Gathering takes place. There's BBQ, Old Time Melodrama, cowboy poetry and music and a western trade show, plus other good fun going on all over town. Valentine is a fine community in the heart of the beautiful sandhills country, so sure worth the trip anyway.

Tiltrums Circle T Arena, Hermosa, South Dakota will be hosting a roping on Sunday, Oct. 12, at 11 a.m. There's both Open incentive and Draw incentive, and all roping are four head progressives after one. It's $25/person, can enter four times on each end, They're using WTRC numbers. Call Jim at 605-209-8064 or Les at 605-209-8065.

There will be a Sunkawakan Ta Wounspe: Teaching From The Horse Nation community demonstration Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ft. Yates Rodeo Grounds, Ft. Yates, North Dakota. This is a culturally based Equine Assisted Wraparound and Equine Assisted Learning program that helps with personal strength and balance. For more info, call Jon Eagle, Sr. at 701-455-3535 or Project Launch Manager Tamara Baker at 701-854-8571.

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I had never stopped to think about where or how anti-venom was produced, but was reading an article the other day about it and found it interesting that they use horses to produce it. The process has changed little in the 130 years since French immunologist Albert Calmette first commercially developed it. The horses at the production facilities, which are mostly in India, are given large amounts of snake venom and adjuvants or "helper drugs" over a period of months to create antibodies. The horse's blood is then drawn, the blood plasma removed and then purified to prevent allergic reactions in humans. The horses are well taken care of and are in the program for years under strict animal welfare guidelines. So, next time you're bitten by a cobra and receive anti-venom, you can thank a horse when you survive!

I'm going to nag you again about gelding those colts, now that the flies are about gone. We prefer to do it before they are weaned, so that they recover on the mare on pasture, but I see no reason to put it off even if you're weaned already and have the colts in the corral. Your vet will give them a sleepy time shot and when they wake up, they are a gelding and maybe even branded and their wolf teeth removed. We never have had one swell up or anything doing it this way.

Well, that's my circle for the week. Be sure and send me any upcoming events, news items, results, and suchlike so I can share them here.

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