Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Brrrr, SDQHA awards banquet, Broncs for Breakfast, ranch roping, practice show | TSLN.com

Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Brrrr, SDQHA awards banquet, Broncs for Breakfast, ranch roping, practice show

Man, did it ever get cold! It about froze the brass monkey out here on Cottonwood Creek. I had a wonderful Christmas with my family. I've had the grandboys here since school got out for them and it's been quite a deal getting them bundled up enough to be out in below zero temps before it's too dark to go do chores. Of course they are coming in handier because they can open the pipe gate in and out of the place, thus saving me some steps. They're a little short on both ends to open the tight wire gates yet, but given time, they'll be handier at that too. They enjoy watching for deer and antelope, plus they get to see their cows when we cake them. Daily petting of horses is a part of it too. Some of those horses haven't been around little people before so are really curious about them. It's funny to watch them examine the boys. One of them sniffed the seven year old from head to toe and then decided he was definitely a small human who would be able and willing to feed her some cake. Good for all of them.

In regard to the temps, I suspect old Santa left a gate open coming out of the North Pole. I'm sure his team was pretty fresh yet and he didn't trust them to stand to get out and close it. Probably didn't go back that way, so forgot he left it. Doggone I wish someone would close it.

The New Year is upon us. It's been quite a year of changes for me, all for the good, and I'm looking forward to 2018 and the first full year on my new place. Life is definitely an adventure these days. I hope yours is too.

Well, events are a little slow right now, but I'll tell you about what I've found. The South Dakota Quarter Horse Association Banquet is January 6 at Pierre, S.D. They will be awarding Breeder of the Year to the very deserving Cee Heart Quarter Horses, who are Clayton and Sally Chord and family of Edgemont, S.D. They've raised good using horses for many years and very nice folks. Congrats to all of them. Also, the National American Heritage Breeder of the Year is Crago Quarter Horses, namely Kristy (Crago) and Clete Schmidt of Belle Fourche, S.D. They've been hauling and showing those good rocking chair branded horses raised by them and her folks, Ralph and Becky Crago. Both are really good hands and cowboys and I'm proud to know them.

The Black Hills Stock Show is coming up the end of January and has a vast array of events I'll be telling you about in the next couple of weeks. One of my favorites is the Broncs For Breakfast ranch bronc ride at the Event Center on January 31. It starts at 8 a.m. with a biscuits and gravy breakfast, followed by a calcutta at 10 and the ranch bronc riding at 10:30. Featuring 24 ranch bronc riders in the long go, it will have 8 back for the short go, vying for $5, 000 in purse money on those double tough Burch broncs.

There's tentatively going to be a ranch roping clinic for beginners and intermediate levels in Gillette, Wyo on March 24-25. I'll keep you posted as soon as I hear more about it. They're also planning a more advanced clinic later on and I'll keep my ear to the ground for it too.

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There will be a Spring Into Action Open Schooling show March 24 at Big Sky Arena, Billings, Mont. It will have English classes, western classes, novice and walk/trot classes. There will also be a tack swap and drawings for prizes. For one all day fee, with a special price for 4-H kids, it's a good way to get a whole bunch of y experience under your belt and some show expe rience on your horse for not too much money. For information, call Diana at 406-861-4996.

Well, that's my circle for another week. I think I'll go thaw out my fingers and toes and call it a week. I hope your 2018 is blessed in special ways.