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NCHA

This is the final week of the NCHA Futurity. The semifinals will be held this Friday, with the finals following on Saturday evening. For those who have managed to get past the bad cows and all of the other things one faces in a show of this caliber, it is the reward for having made it this far for whatever reason. Lots of the best horses have fallen by the wayside because of injury, bad cows or a myriad of other issues. Such is the nature of the sport.

It is not unusual for a very talented horse to have unsuccessful shows early on in their career to then star in virtually everything they attend. Holy Cow has had several horses like that who had bad luck in the beginning but then did very well in subsequent years. Sheza Shinette was one who won her first pre-futurity and then went on to win the Preliminaries at NRCHAís Snaffle Bit Futurity, six points higher than the nearest competitor. In the finals, she lost a cow in the herd work, the first event, and we were devastated. I worried that no one would ever know what a talent she was.

As time has gone by, however, there is almost no one who doesnít know about that golden mare who not only was a World Champion herself but as she began to produce foals, she has outdone herself in the number of champions she has created. No matter who the stallion was, she has now produced champion sons and daughters in reined cow horse, reining and cutting. The journey with Norma Jean the blond bombshell as we call her has been nothing short of extraordinary, given her beginning.

Nabisco Roan is another horse, a rose-colored roan stallion that has overcome some pretty daunting beginnings. Holy Cow purchased him after having lost their stallion CD Survivor, seeing him at a show in Paso Robles. At first, he never seemed to have any luck at all. While he was very attractive to look at, he had some unattractive moves in the herd work part of the event. We sent him to another trainer who could fix that problem and soon he had a different look.

His performance at the shows began to improve, almost like he felt better about how he was able to move around. Little by little, he moved up in the standings and by last year he became eligible for the NRCHA World Championship in the Hackamore for 4- and 5-year-old horses.

Although well-qualified and making the finals with a beautiful run in the preliminaries, a crafty cow tripped him up as he was changing leads circling the cow in the fence work. He made an astounding recovery from his sure to be huge wreck of a fall. Everyone in the audience, including me, gasped as we saw the fall happening. The trainer, Jake Telford, was holding up the reins with everything he had as though he could hold the horse up. In fact, I think he actually did give Triscuit, as we call him, the balance point to keep from going completely down. My husband captured the entire episode on film.

Needless to say, the fall ruined the otherwise excellent run and so we had to wait another year for Triscuit to truly shine. This past year, as a 6-year-old, he was shown in the Two Rein that is the transition from the Hackamore to the Bridle. A horse can only be shown in this class in its 6-year-old year and then must, if able, move into the final class where all of the finished horses show. This is the most difficult level, as the horse is now going to show against other horses that may have been showing in this class for years. All of the breeding stallions, if able, will show in the Bridle class at least once a year in a big Spectacular to remind the mare owners that this horse is something they want to breed their mares to.

By the end of this year, prior to the Championships and Futurities, Triscuit was gaining a reputation as unbeatable in the Two-Rein. He finished the year qualifying not only for the NRCHA World Championship show, but also the AQHA World Championship in Senior Working Cow horse. As you already know, Triscuit ended up Reserve World Champion. Despite difficult beginnings, a horse can shine later given enough opportunity. Thus, I have hopes for those futurity horses that didnít have a good first show this year. Time will tell.


Changes

Pictures I have gotten from the Valley tell me that finally winter has arrived. The rain is falling, and the grass is beginning to poke its head above the dry grass from last season. The calves have all been born and are growing rapidly. The cows are now being bred to produce another calf next year. The bulls are working hard to make that happen. While they are fat and happy now, by the time their job is done, they will be a bit thinner and tired. They will then return to their pasture to relax and regain strength to do their job again next year.

The weather here in Texas is changing, too. It has been an atypical fall with temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s all through the first part of December. It was difficult to know how to pack for this long trip, as I know the weather is very changeable here. It was colder in Oklahoma than in Texas, and it was frustrating driving back and forth on I-35 from one to the other when both reining and cutting were going on.

Now in Texas, winter has arrived with a very sudden drop in temperature. It was 72 yesterday and today it is in the low 40s with nighttime temperatures in the 20s. Brrrr! Fortunately, Texas is known for its variable weather, so we were prepared. The saying goes, if you donít like the weather, wait 10 minutes, itíll change. I have found this to be true.

Here the trees have all lost their leaves, the grass is brown due to having had a frost already, and it is windy and cold. It looks very different from the Valley, which is now beginning to green up. Hopefully, the rain will continue so that we will have an adequate water supply and enough grass to feed the livestock. While in Texas, I have heard rumors that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to declare rain as a pollutant.

I think the EPA has been misnamed. There is nothing protective about this agency; in fact, I believe that it is one of the most destructive agencies in American history. I also believe that this is no accident. It cannot be happenstance that virtually everything that makes humans able to live, including food and water, is under the control of the EPA. What an easy thing it would be to bring the U.S. to its knees by controlling the food and water and living conditions of the population. Am I reaching you here?

I am very curious how declaring rain as a pollutant would be used to make our lives even more difficult than it is now. I am just not as devious as whoever is making up these rules. I guess we will find out soon enough. It makes about as much sense as putting corrals for cattle on top of hills. Obviously, whoever thought that one up didnít know anything about cows or the fact that liquid runs downhill. I think you get the point!


Cliffs

There is a lot of talk on the news about fiscal cliffs and how the impact of taxes will negatively impact our already sorry economy. I donít get the conversation they are having, because there are so many other things contributing to what is happening financially. Raising taxes on the job producers is just one part of what I believe is going to be a financial disaster of a magnitude we have never seen before. Frankly, I think the Republicans will cave because the Progs (progressives) clearly have no intention of not stealing money from people. They have said it repeatedly. Why donít people believe them?

Already we have massive tax hikes coming Jan. 1 that are in the so-called healthcare bill that we had to pass in order to know what was in it. What idiots we were to accept that? Then our so-called leaders in California decided that they needed more of our money and made sure that our taxes will go up on the state level on top of the national tax level. Do you really think this will get us out of the financial mess we are in?

That will only happen when the spending stops. I have heard nothing about that. I keep hearing, instead, about the non-existent tax cuts that small business has gotten; 18 of them according to our leader. What a joke! I own several small businesses, including this newspaper, and have not received one dime of a tax cut for anything!

In fact, because California did not pay the Feds for the extensions of unemployment, our state put that expense on the backs of small business, even though we had no say in whether to extend it or not. Itís no wonder businesses are fleeing from California.

This state has always been considered one of the shining stars of the U.S. because of all of its resources, an educated population, beautiful landscapes, unbelievable weather and location on the West Coast.

Unfortunately, this state has not only suffered from the last 30 years of squandering and over-regulation, but it appears to be on the brink of financial destitution because of irresponsible spending by the politicians. We have also now lost the ability to control our electoral process due to massive, national election fraud, so we have to figure out another way to make the massive changes needed to bring us back to solvency.

I donít know what our future holds, but at the moment it is clear that we will be having some hard times very soon. Our leaders are just thieves who couldnít care less about you or me, the environment or anything else remotely related to the good of the people. All they seem to care about is lining their pockets with our hard-earned money. Do you think we can turn this around? Are you willing to help?