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Hanks: Handy hints from the O-NO Ranch

As a casual observer of the human condition and someone who's made a good many "horseback observations," I would like to share with you a few jewels I have gathered up over the years.

It was always important to me to be organized at branding time. Nothing is more frustrating than to have the fire going, the vaccine guns ready to load and the castrating knife ready to sharpen (or the bands for castrating) and you left one of your branding irons back at the barn or didn't get enough vaccine to cover all the calves.

Those sort of things could get my blood boiling in a hurry. Make a list of what you are going to need the day before and check it TWICE!

Before you turn those heifer calves out just off of their mommas, be sure you have been around the pasture fence and spit in every corner to assure yourself they won't be bustin' out at 2 a.m. and the sheriff shows up at your door.

I remember driving for four hours one time to help a friend move 300 pairs of cows and calves and 15 head of horses some 70 miles across the mountains.

We were having a night cap in the local saloon just past my bedtime when he ponders, "I reckon we ought to go and get some shoes on a few horses I didn't get to."

I was ready to pack up go home wondering what kind of man is in charge of such a large operation and is that careless with his decision making.

I was only able to make the first three days of the drive as I had business in Durango, Colo., the next day. All in all, I reckon things went as smooth as one could hope for under his leadership. We had a number of capable hands with us.

There are a couple of things I would like to offer up. One is, when you are replacing a fence brace (the center brace) between the two post. I have found that landscape timbers which are treated and are rectangular in shape rather than round are easier to install.

You have more space for driving nails and they are just easier to handle. The other thing I wanted to mention to you guys a'horseback in snake country is I keep a 9-inch length of log chain tied to one of my saddle strings behind the cantle.

I also have a "piggin' string" on the back of my saddle. I slip a loop of the piggin' string through one end of the chain to use as a weapon to discipline rattlers if necessary.

A crazy thing I heard the other day on the news is of a child-bearing woman who could not seem to deliver and was having a very hard time nowhere close to a medical facility.

Maybe this was on a reservation because someone suggested they crush the rattlers off the end of a rattlesnake into powder and have her drink it. She did and the baby was delivered within 6 minutes.

I ain't makin' that up and I didn't get it off the internet! Well, dear friends, keep your enemies close and your pistol closer!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and remember, "the most important things in life are NOT THINGS" I'll c. y'all, all y'all.❖