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Showing posts from June, 2015

Stockmanship Notes: Correction vs. Punishment

I spent Saturday morning at the California 4-H Classic Horse Show in Elk Grove watching my youngest daughter, Emma, show her pony.  Emma's good friend Anna showed her horse, Cash.  Without going into great detail, both girls did well - and both had some challenges.  At one point, our conversation turned to what could have gone better in a particular class (as conversations inevitably go at horse shows!), and to who was to blame - the rider or the horse.  I asked Emma and Anna to explain the difference between correcting their horses and punishing them.  They struggled to answer my question, and I realized how difficult this is for me - and for most people who strive to become better stockmen (and women).

Punishment, to my thinking, involves memory and emotion.  The punished must remember what he or she did to merit the punishment.  The punisher, in my experience, is upset about the transgression suffered at the hands of the punished - and this emotion is directly conveyed.  Corre…

Californication

I can't remember when I first heard the term, "Californication," but I can remember that it came up in a conversation with my uncle Doug, who lives in Walla Walla, Washington.  I'm sure he didn't coin the term, but he did use it correctly: it refers to the way in which Californians seem to ruin parts of the rural West through overdevelopment.  This week, I've driven with my oldest daughter, Lara, through northern Nevada, eastern Idaho and western Montana on our way to visit Montana State University in Bozeman.  Our travels have given me the opportunity to think about, and to some extent, observe the process of Californication in the intermountain West.

On our first day out, we crossed northern Nevada on I-80, turned north on Highway 93 at Wells, and stayed the night at Jackpot.  I always enjoy spending time in the Great Basin.  While the geography might seem monontonous to some, to me, the landscape and skyscape offer rewards if I observe carefully.  As we dr…