Hidden History On A 100 Year Old Ranch!

The last month we have been designing our new horse set up across the road from the house with corals, barns, paddocks, power, water for the auto waterers and etc. In the process we had to move some things….and in moving some things we came face to face with my Grandfather’s life here homesteading and farming our land.

This may not look like much…but it is the history of this ranch being dug up.

Do you know what it is? In my life time it was a water trough…see the pipe in it and the cement bottom.

In the late 80’s and 90’s it became my hotwalker anchor…you can barely see the old water trough as my mare Lottie was in front of it. But what was it originally?

Shez Allotta Leo aka Lottie was one of my best horses…I loved her tons and miss her even more…she was used to the hotwalker and she liked to play around on it like she is doing here. For those of you who wonder what a hotwalker is, it is a form of an equine exercise machine for the horse…I would put my younger horses on it to let them walk out and warm up…it is the same as a treadmill is for us.

So what is this big old rusty water trough anyway? A  flower-pot or a kettle pot for a huge barbecue…hmmm…no I don’t think so…however it can make a perfect flower-pot full of flowers and memories, blooming beautifully like the one above next year. But what the heck is this historical thingy that we dug up???

What was this massively heavy and huge round wheel like formation…hmmm…we are going to alot of effort to save it…so it has to be something near and dear to this country cowgirl’s heart?

Ka-plunko….cough cough geezo Wild Bill…he is laughing at me…he did that on purpose…the big smarty pants..har-de-har…pay back buddy is a b****:)

After WB heard that the payback will be not fun at all…and I am still coughing…I think I scared him…WB lifts the old water trough/hot walker platform, trying to stand it up in the correct original  position.

Could it be one of these?

Yes, it is one of the iron wheels off my Grandpa’s tractors…it looks like my Dad cut the cleats off of it…taking the old iron wheel, pouring a cement bottom into it, making provisions for the water pipe to come up and fill the trough…Dad had two of them fabricated into water troughs when I was growing up…I loved the one that was at the barn the best…

It’s now the one you see in the corner of the yard with all the flowers.

I got caught drinking out of it with my first horse “Prince” when I was 4 years old by my Uncle Rich who gave me a swat telling me to not ever drink out of the horse/cow trough again…your Mother would kill me and your Dad if she found out:) Ok and ok…I never did after that…until we moved to the mountain cattle ranch…Dad taught me how to drink water out of creeks and springs on my belly…oh my gosh pure cold mountain water was the best!!! And I loved drinking with my horse after a day of gathering cattle or even if we were just out for a ride….it was heavenly:)

And that is what history and heritage is all about on a century farm and ranch…it is about finding some odd-looking thing that connects you to your Grandparents. When you live on a 100 years of down home with family history, pay attention to what you are throwing away…what you think is junk may be the very thing that saved your land or built your home. Next summer this old iron wheel will have a new purpose in life…and will be blooming away in the other corner of my yard…it is already in place:)

Have a beautiful weekend wherever you are…look around and enjoy all the life that you see.

And remember…no matter how busy you are….stop and smell the flowers of summer…soon they will be gone:( I am not ready for summer to be over, but I do love fall too:)

HRCG over and out until next time!

35 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wolke205
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 09:13:33

    It was a pleasure to read this post & get to know all the history. As usual your photos are just stunning. Lottie must have been an amazing horse :) My horse is also used to the hotwalker, it just looks a bit different here :)

    Happy Weekend :)


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 08, 2012 @ 09:17:36

      Thank you:) Yes this hotwalker was older too and they have improved over the years….but it worked great. I had one of my colts gelded and the vet said to walk him alot…well fortunately I had broke him to the hotwalker and it sure helped out. Yes Lottie was amazing…I will do a post on her one of these days soon…lots of good times and memories:) Happy weekend yo you as well:)


  2. Lissa Rabon
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 09:34:43

    What a cool way to use a piece of history over and over. Ranch folks do that, don’t they? Great post!


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 08, 2012 @ 09:47:18

      Thank you:) Yes it is one of those things born into you to use things again and be creative with them…I love knowing the history and how they have always served us well….four generations now:)


  3. bulldogsturf
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 10:32:51

    Now that is a fine find… that must be kept for prosperity, and a good use found for it… I love the story and pictures sure sounds as though you’re having lots of fun… love it…


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 08, 2012 @ 11:00:10

      Thank you so much:) I love finding my heritage with discovering the old relics that were used by my Grandpa to farm this soil…and I would much rather find a cool unique pot to plant my flowers in…those iron wheels are huge in size, I know how hard it must have been to truly farm and keep your focus on the finish line….our forefathers worked with tenacity and incredible dedication to their families and future families. The memories of drinking out of the barn water trough with Prince and getting caught are feel good ones….Uncle Rich lived here in the bunkhouse for a few years before he got married, he was 15 years younger than my Dad so he always either teased me or helped me if I needed help….such as taking my training wheels off my bike and jogging along next to me to be sure I did not crash…he was one of my favorite fun uncles:) I had always told WB that if it is time to do something with the barn water trough that I wanted it in the yard…now I have one more…yiiipppeeee!


  4. bobmielke
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 13:32:48

    I live in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon. As an avid photographer I love all things in nature. I liked your post and intend on keeping and eye on your blog for future posts. Stop on by to mine if you love beautiful scenics of the outdoors. I’m at http://pacificnorthwesttravelerdotcom.wordpress.com/. Later! – Bob


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 08, 2012 @ 16:16:01

      Hi Bob and thank you for stopping in on my blog…yes I will look further at your blog too as I subscribed to it too. I love landscapes and just any type of scenic shots…I just got a new camera and hope to get out and about with it soon…I love that it is more professional…I love photography and looking for the artistic shot with the magical light:)


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 08, 2012 @ 16:17:23

      We are located over in the Eastern part of Oregon…real close to the WA. and ID. border.


  5. Where God Takes Me
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 14:26:31

    Hi HRC, Looks like you are busy! B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l post! Love the way you weave your past into your stories and your life:)


  6. Dianna
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 14:50:43

    I love OLD things too. To the point that I sometimes embarrass Motor Man by some of the “junk” that I bring home! Good for you: saving all those memories!


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 08, 2012 @ 16:23:06

      Hi Dianna…thank you for stopping in:) Yes I have embarrassed Wild Bill many times with what I drag around and hang on to until I get it refinished or into the place I want it and then he tells everyone how amazing it is…there is something about old things that pulls you into an era that seemed simpler and I am sure it wasn’t but…and I love old furniture and dishes etc. too…with the oak furniture or even red fir cabinets the wood is real and the object is solid and made the right way…no plastic of fiber board either:) We could have some fun shopping antique stores together:)


  7. Terri at Time To Be Inspired
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 15:23:56

    Lovely to share your family history, and so glad you can keep it alive.


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 08, 2012 @ 16:24:56

      Thank you much…I need to write a book so that it does not get lost as I am the only child and my parents passed away almost 15 years ago…part of why I love to blog I suppose as I want to tell the stories:) Have a Super Saturday and Sunny Sunday:)


  8. jesusknowsmyname
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 15:54:48

    Love your re-purposed old wheel… pretty, pretty!


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 08, 2012 @ 16:31:04

      Thank you much…I knew that the old water trough was sitting for about a year as they installed new ones…I have so many memories of being down there with my horses and eventually with my kids who had some goldfish in the trough to eat the scummy stuff….worked great but our goldfish turned into huge fish the size of a trout! Funny stories and old times…the water trough one with the flowers growing currently we placed back in 2005 and planted the perennials in 2006…I knew of the one we just dug up too and was anxious to get it up to the house to do the same thing with. I love using the old stuff and the unusual as it makes whatever it is stand out which is fun:)


  9. SKEdaddle
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 19:56:34

    Great story and love that you are recycling a part of your history.


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 08, 2012 @ 21:58:59

      Thank you:) Truly for me it s something that my Grandpa used that speaks to my heart and spirit…he died 7 years before I was born…its about how he lived his life and the things he accomplished. I think of him and Grandma often as they were so very tough, working hard for their children and future grandchildren like me…using the old iron wheels is my way of blessing him and honoring his life here and connecting to the heritage they left for me for me to live:)


  10. tbnranch
    Sep 09, 2012 @ 07:56:19

    Great post! Thanks for sharing… and it makes me very happy to see you cherish ranch history. :)


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 09, 2012 @ 11:50:13

      Thank you:) I think that our history and our heritage, whether we live in the country or heaven help me a city, is very important as it tells the story of our lives…the fabric of our lives and how we became who we are. Sharing our history and lovingly restoring the relics of the past gives honor to those family members that came before us…I love old stuff:) I love taking something that most people look at, thinking it is a piece of junk…I will take it and if it is furniture will strip off the old paint and restore the wood or if it is old piece of tack too…I love seeing the look on their eyes when I have it done and the person will say where did you get that? I smile and say you know…it was the thing that looked like junk…fooled you huh? I do cherish my history, my parents and Grandparents and Great Grandparents:) I know that I am very blessed:)


  11. philosophermouseofthehedge
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 10:36:48

    As kids it used to be a lot of fun to wander around the farm/old homestead areas and dig up stuff – we played archeologists! ( and buried stuff, too, for “future generations” My cousins and I recently tried to find one of our buried relics. I have some old wagon metal parts and a wheel hub in the garage – had it outside in flower bed, but decided save that one piece from elements.
    Would have loved on of those horse walkers – great invention! It would have kept us from having to nag / wait for a big person to have time to “gentle” horse down after it being rainy weather and horses kept up – or the cold weather gave them too much energy. Waiting to ride is so hard…and it always took foooooreeeevvvver!
    Nice post


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 13:43:09

      Hi there and thank you:) The hot walker was actually home built….WB said it was made out of a rear axle I think and then the booms were welded together to form four strong positions for the horse to be secure and walk with it. I loved it too and I would still have it except when we moved to Central Oregon I took it with me….it was still on our flat bed trailer when the 100 year flood hit the ranch we managed and it carried the flat bed quite a ways loosing or mangling the booms etc on the walker…I was sad as it had a lot of history too but I was thankful we were all still alive and that we did not loose any of our horses or dogs or cats….that was the important thing. I will be doing a post on the flood one of these days in the next few months…I did not have digital pix then but they show a lot of devastation. Happy Monday:)


  12. campfireshadows
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 14:50:45

    What a great way to keep history alive!


  13. Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 16:08:46

    I love the way you are using pieces of your family history in your yard and filling them with gorgeous flowers. They will remind you of you you are and where you come from every time. Beautiful story.


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 21, 2012 @ 20:23:31

      Thank you…I am one of those traditional persons, I am very respectful of the history and heritage of my family and I love stuff like this:) Can’t wait to take pictures next summer of flowers growing in it:)


  14. Heather @ SugarDish(Me)
    Sep 22, 2012 @ 04:39:13

    Such a really lovely story, as always. Lots of people reclaim and repurpose items, but not very many people can say the history is their own.


    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Sep 22, 2012 @ 15:49:37

      Thank you much:) I have always been that way with heritage and the things passed down or used way before me…I think part of it is for me that I can feel closer to my Grandparents…and I am so thankful to them for blessing my family with a beautiful place to live. I think of all the sacrifices they made and the things they gave up…..so I treasure old wheels and harnesses or old furniture as my heart feels like it is touching their hearts:) As always thank you for dropping by:) Happy Saturday:)


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