Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Grass founder warning, lots of clinics, horse racing and horse sales

We are finally busy calving now. I brought the cows home last week and started feeding hay to supplement the green that’s trying to come. I love this time of year. Nothing better to watch than baby calves having calf races in the morning.

In view of it greening up, it’s time to start watching out for grass founder in your horses, ponies, mules and burros. This new grass is the worst as it’s a cold season grass that grows quickly. It stores the equivalent of sugar in its blades when it gets cold at night so in the cool morning hours it is dangerous for horses prone to founder. Horses that are already fat are particularly susceptible and breeds that are more likely to have problems are ponies, drafters, burros and horses of feral origin. Any breed can founder though, so don’t think you’re safe. If you must graze a horse that is likely to founder or has foundered in the past, limit the grazing to the hottest part of midday and lock them up when the temperature drops. On cool days, keep them in the corral. If you see your horse standing with its front feet extended out ahead of normal or the horse is laying down more than would be normal or at an odd time of day, get it off of the grass immediately. Call your vet for further instructions. It’s a good idea to keep a tube of bute paste on hand and if you have one, give your horse the maximum recommended dosage right away. Lowering the temperature in the feet is beneficial so stand him or her in water or mud to cool the hooves. Once foundered, a horse will be likely to founder again. It can lead to severe laminitis that can be fatal.

There’s a Lisa Lockhart Barrel clinic being held at Hermosa, S.D., May 1-2 and 3-4. The clinic is full but you can still audit, so call Sammy Meeks for more information at 760-217-4524/

There’s one more weekend of horse racing at the Stanley County fairgrounds in Ft. Pierre, S.D., May 3-4. Call 605-223-2178 for info on Ft. Pierre races. The races then move to Aberdeen to the Brown County fairgrounds and will be running May 10-11, 17-18 and 25-26. For that meet, call 605-715-9580.

The next Interior Roping Club meeting will be Monday, May 12, 7 p.m. at the Cowboy Corner. There was no April meeting.

There’s a new display of Casey Tibbs photos, letters, memorabilia and journals at the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center in Ft. Pierre, S.D. It sounds like it would sure be worth stopping to take a look at.

The 11th Annual Mattson Invitational Performance Horse Sale will be May 16-17. On Friday, May 16 will be the preview and the sale will be Saturday, May 17 at 1 p.m. There are 53 head of top performance horses and 125 head of fresh roping steers being offered. This year’s sale is in a brand new location at Mattson Arena, Sturgis, S.D. You can look at the catalog online at or call Jay at 605-920-1532.

If you don’t get the horse you want at that sale, drive like the dickens to Shell, Wyo. to the Flitner Ranch Quarter Horse Production Sale Sunday, May 18. They will be selling 85 head of ranch raised, ranch ridden horses, with horses of all ages from broodmares to finished bridle horses. The Flitners have a sale only every five years, so this will be a great offering. The drive to Shell and the country around there is certainly worthwhile on its own. Call 307-765-2552 or check it out at

There will be a Buck Brannaman Horsemanship I and Ranch Roping Clinic on May 23-26 at the Central States Fairgrounds, Rapid City, SD. Enrollment to ride in the clinic is full but there is nearly limitless room to audit at $30/day. The Horsemanship I clinic will start at 9 a.m. and the Ranch Roping Clinic at 1:30. Call 605-255-4276 for info.

A Judy Myllymaki Barrel Clinic will be May 23-25 at the fairgrounds at Bowman, N.D., outdoor arena. It’s $450 tuition for the clinic. On the first evening there will be a 6 p.m. meet-and-greet and bit discussion, then on May 24, the clinic starts at 9 a.m. Call Bailee Murnion for more info at 605-381-0390. To hold your spot, send your fee to Sarah Halverson, 3721 117th Ave SE, Valley City, N.D., 58072.

Well, that’s my circle for this week. Send me your news items and I’ll gladly share them here.