Sunday, July 24, 2016

Quality Time

Have you ever read the book, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman? That was one of the few books that Randy & I had both read before we met. It talks about 5 different ways that make people feel loved: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. To Randy and I, Quality Time is our most important "love language."

I'm not sure what our kids' love languages will be, but for now, we try to spend quality time with them. It makes it easy for us, that they want to ride as much as we do. When they grow up and choose to explore different activities, our lives may get a bit more chaotic to keep that quality time together, but we will try!

A few days ago, we rode: Reata learned how to move our steers by herself! Rhett learned how to move steers with dad. And, Kaehl and I watched.

Moving cows was great for our "border collie," Reata. Instead of just riding Curly Mae around the arena, it gave Reata a focus. She learned how to direct the steers' movement by getting ahead of them.  No, wasn't perfect. No, she wasn't smooth. No, she didn't do it without dad directing her. What she did was learn patience. She learned that moving animals is a reaction to her action. She learned more control of her own horse by focusing her energy on the task at hand. Maybe she can't pinpoint these learning points, but she is learning by doing.

Rhett walked through the motions as well. No, he can't ride by himself, but I'm sure that he picked up subtle things that even we, as parents, don't realize. What exactly he learned, I'm not sure. Maybe he learned nothing? All in all, he spent time with his dad. That is the best part of it all.

Kaehl gets to watch. Something about siblings is just fun. He gets so excited to see Reata & Rhett in action. One of these days, he will get a turn too! As of now, his milestones are cutting teeth and learning how to stand and walk along furniture.

I love our life. I love that we spend it together. I love that we get our Quality Time.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Meet Big Al

Big Al is one of our favorite horses. He is a Quarter/Percheron/Thoroughbred cross. He is 5 years old, very gentle and very sensitive. He stands 16 hands high and is stout. He can travel in big country or lope relaxed circles in the arena. He has roped every size of calf, cow and bull. He is not overly athletic, but feels like he can pull a freight train.

Big Al has been Randy's main mount for a few years now. He started him as a 2 year old when his mind was supple and ready to learn. (Randy likes to start horses when they are 2 because horses seem to learn faster, younger. No, we don't ride them a lot when they are that young, but introducing them young can get their minds engaged. It is similar to teaching a child: reading to them and talking to them as infants and toddlers can develop their language sooner.) Randy has used him in all aspects of ranch life: riding, roping, cutting, sorting and has even put an English saddle on him. He was started in the snaffle, progressed to a hackamore and is recently working in a 2-rein.

Last week, Al was given the opportunity to be a model in a styled wedding shoot at Bannack State Park! He was a trooper. He was very alert to the new place, but was a good sport. He got brushed and pampered from head-to-toe (literally), put on his normal gear with some big tapadero stirrups and stood for lots of pictures. I did learn exactly how sensitive he is though; he was not overly thrilled about having the model ride and handle him!

Al is so sensitive, that he got a little worked up when the model mounted him and gathered up his bridle. As the model admitted- he was used to horses that you had to muscle around, not one that moved and tried to please at every rider weight shift. Needless to say, we didn't get any photos of our groom racing to his bride on horseback, but Al did pose pretty well. Al's babyface is pretty photogenic.

Thank you Autumn Kozimer (, for the opportunity for Big Al's modeling debut! Autumn is an event planner in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana whose specialty is weddings. She does fantastic work and I have worked with her in the past. 

Waiting to see the professional photos by Stella Kelsie Photography!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Welcome to Jones Leather and Livestock!

We are Randy, Kim, Reata, Rhett & Kaehl Jones. We have a lot of passion in our life and love to spend time with each other, our extended family and doing many different things. We have our business for fun: to share what we enjoy with others.

Randy trains our own horses, builds saddles and is a great roper. He is a very active person. He trains our horses in his own Montana-made-style (Californios influenced): starts colts in a halter, then snaffle, hackamore, 2-rein and finishes them in a bridle. Our horses are selected for performance. We do not raise horses, but our idea is that he trains them to do whatever we want to do: ride, rope, work cows, even dressage or polo if we are so inclined. The horses that he trains are very sensitive and light to ride. His saddles are mostly wades with a few association-types. He loves to be creative and tool, carve, and design saddles. His biggest passion is probably roping, though: he gets to use his horses and his saddles to have some fun!

I (Kim) am a busy mom; I have 3 kids, 3 and under. My. kids are very active and keep me on my toes. I cook, clean, garden, play the guitar, sing, write, rope, take pictures, and thrive off of spending time with my family.

Reata loves to ride. She would ride her horse all day if she could. She is 3, but is already loping on her horse, Honey Bunny, in the arena by herself. We have nicknamed Reata the Border Collie Dog. If you are unfamiliar with border collies, let me explain: high energy, moving all the time, in trouble if they don't have a focus, very loving and sweet.

Rhett is a lover and his nickname is Ham. He is cute and he knows it. He loves to wear his jeans, boots and cowboy hat like his dad, but he is really a mama's boy. He tries to keep up with Reata and does a pretty good job! He loves riding his stick horse and bucking himself off. He loves anything horse related and has a collection of small horses that he plays with everyday.

Kaehl has just learned to crawl and is standing up by himself. He wants to be part of the action at all times.

This blog is to share with you, our Montana lifestyle. We hope that you learn some tips to better your horse handling, learn more about wade saddles, try new recipes, enjoy our fun adventures, and get to experience the modern Cowboy Lifestyle through us!

Thanks for following us and our stories!