Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Taton wins average at steer roping, SAFE Act back in Congress, Barrels at Sidney, Playday at Torrington, roping at Hermosa, grass founder | TSLN.com

Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Taton wins average at steer roping, SAFE Act back in Congress, Barrels at Sidney, Playday at Torrington, roping at Hermosa, grass founder

We had some wonderful rain that sure gave the grass a big boost. It's growing so fast you can nearly hear it! I hear from friends all the way to Texas that there's been rain where they hadn't had any for a long time, so that's sure good news too. Parts of the northwest and of course, California, are still dry. That drought is really hanging on for them.

Congrats to Ora Taton, Rapid City, South Dakota, on winning the six head average at the National Circuit Finals Steer Roping in Torrington, Wyoming April 25-26. He broke the barrier in the semi-finals, so didn't make the final round. Troy Tillard, Douglas, Wyoming, son the semi-finals round but had a no time to finish fourth in the finals round. His great horse Rowdy was named top horse of the finals, so that's sure a nice honor.

In less than good news, federal lawmakers have reintroduced legislation that would prevent the slaughter of horses in the U.S. and also end the transport of horses for slaughter in Mexico or Canada. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE Act), H.R. 1942, was introduced by Frank Guinta (New Hampshire), Jan Schakowsky (Illinois), Vern Buchanan (Florida) and Michell Lujan Gisham (New Mexico). The bi-partisan bill has been there before and been shot down, but they just keep hammering away at it. I don't know where they think 144,000 horses are going to go that now go to slaughter, but that's not of big concern for them, since they don't own land or horses to run on it. Naturally, ASPCA, HSUS, and other anti-everything groups are blissfully supportive of this legislation. Gee, I wonder if those groups are financial supporters of the people who introduced H.R. 1942? Big mystery there.

Anyway, call your congressional reps, and just in case it slides through, your senators and let them know that the SAFE act will only make horse welfare worse than it already is, and that you expect them to oppose it when it comes to a vote. Remember when everyone thought someone else should do something when they were shutting down horse processing plants in the U.S.? Well, it's time to be someone and speak up before this becomes law too.

There will be a 4D Barrel Race at the Franzen Arena, Sidney, Montana on May 12. Exhibitions run from 3:30-5 p.m. with the 4D starting at 6 p.m. Call Jerriann Franzen for info at 406-478-3773.

On May 17, the Platte Valley Riders will be holding a free gymkhana at Torrington, Wyoming. They will have seven fun events that will run all day. Signup will be at 9 a.m. with the events to start at 10 a.m. They are planning to hold these fun days on June 13, August 29 and October 31 too. The secretary to call for information is Nikki Davis at 307-575-4721.

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The Hermosa Roping Club has set the dates for their team roping buckle series and they are: May 24, June 7 and 28, July 26 and August 23. Held at the Custer County Fairgrounds in Hermosa, South Dakota, and you enter at 1 p.m. and rope at 2 p.m. For more info, call Jack Dye at 605-381-5302 or Fred Matthews at 605-255-4439.

There will be a saddle roping at the same place on July 12, with a warm up roping ahead of it. Enter at 9, rope at 10.

With the green grass coming on fast, it's time to be watching out for grass founder in your horses. The grass is most dangerous in the morning after a cool night, but even a hot day's grass can get a founder prone horse in trouble. Any breed of horse, plus mules and burros, can founder, and the fatter they are already, the more likely they are to succumb. If you see your horse standing with it's front feet out in front of it, catch it quick and get it off that grass! Call your vet for instructions, but it's good policy to have a tube of Bute on hand, as that's usually the recommended treatment to cut down on the inflammation in the feet. Standing your horse in cold water or even mud can also help reduce the temperature in the feet. Founder can actually be fatal in extreme cases, and once a horse has foundered, it is most likely to again with very little green grass. Our pony Tim has been badly foundered in the past, so the only green grass he gets is what gets fed to him by hand by two little boys and occasionally, Grandma.

Have a wonderful week, enjoy the beautiful weather, and send me your news items.