“Sorry, I didn’t get back to you earlier. I’ve been helping gather double stocked cattle every morning.”
It’s that time of year, and Adrian Vogel of Cottonwood Falls daily has a horse saddled ready to go well before daylight.
“I might miss a couple days. It started July 15, and goes through August 7, unless somebody else calls,” the cowboy said.
Time for visit set Friday noon after dinner, telephone rings. “I just got in from shipping. I have to unsaddle my horse. I’ll call you back in a few minutes,” Vogel apologized.
There’s little downtime for a top cowboy in the Flint Hills.
“All I ever wanted to be is a cowboy. I’m fortunate to be a cowboy, live the life I love.”
No question about it: Vogel talked about working cattle on horses he’s trained.
“The main thing is to give the horse a job. Horses learn from doing. It is easier to start them correctly, rather than have to work problems out of them later,” Vogel explained.
“Horses are better bred today, and I’m always learning more, too,” he added.
Abilities of horse and cowboy come together to be the best.
Vogel mounted on Patch collected the trophy as the Top Horse at the recent Santa Fe Trail Ranch Rodeo in Council Grove.
“Some horses just do it naturally. That’s the way with Patch. He was great from the start,” Vogel humbly acknowledged.
The award was presented by the American Quarter Horse Association at the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA) competition.
Recognition will be inscribed permanently on Patch’s registration paper, if there’s enough room.
Honored as Top Horse at three ranch rodeos this year, Patch has collected awards at other major ranch horse competitions.
Registered as Four Chex Figure, Patch, as all refer to him, is a son of Four Chex Figure, a grandson of King Fritz and Happy Hancock.
Four Bayou Gray, a granddaughter of Colonel Freckles and Juan Cortez, is the winner’s dam.
“Best thing about Patch is my kids can ride him, too. He takes care of them and gets the job done,” Vogel recognized.
Owned by Dr. Tom Jensen, and his wife Jan, at Blue Mound, Patch was purchased from the Haythorn Ranch at Arthur, Nebraska. “I had the opportunity to train Patch, and we won the Haythorn Futurity in 2014,” Vogel appreciated.
Now a five-year-old, the gray gelding returned to Linn County without much work until last fall.
“When my ranch rodeo horse came up lame, I borrowed Patch, and he hadn’t forgotten a thing,” Vogel insisted.
“Tom owns Patch, but we have a partnership. My family gets to use him. Patch is a great horse,” Vogel qualified.
Growing up at Wright in Ford County, Vogel reiterated, “Other kids wanted to play baseball. I wanted to be a cowboy.”
Moving to Topeka as a high school senior, Vogel graduated in 1995. “I had the opportunity to ride several horses for Larry Bogart of Dover, which helped quite a bit,” Vogel credited. “Larry is the one who really opened my eyes to the world of horses and horsemanship.”
While completing evening Allen County Community College satellite courses, Vogel worked for leading-horse-trainer Dean Smith at Council Grove.
“I only worked for Dean about a year. I wish it could have been longer,” Vogel regressed.
However, the young cowboy put his talents to work professionally oHHhas trainer at the Rocking V Ranch, west of Topeka.
A graduate of the Oklahoma Horse Shoeing School, Vogel completed animal science degree requirements from Kansas State University.
Marrying his wife Abbey from Wichita, they developed a small ranch south of Alta Vista. Vogel was a Junction City fireman, while Abbey managed Jim Bell’s clothing store at Cottonwood Falls.
“I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I shoed horses, trained some, and did ranch day work,” he said.
Life brightened when the Vogel family moved to Chase County, where he now manages the W Bar Ranch at Matfield Green and the Robbins Ranch at Hymer.
There are thousands of Flint Hills acres, and thousands of cattle. “Horses, cattle and grass provide the job for a cowboy,” Vogel insisted.
Biggest benefit of all, according to the cowboy: “It’s the best place to raise a family.”
Pax, 11; Piper, nine; and Lola, six, have their Dad’s adrenaline for the ranch life. “They enjoy horses and cattle. My happiest times are watching my kids live this lifestyle,” Vogel insisted.
“They’re really learning about livestock, and horsemanship, too. Pax always wants to go with me and is very conscious of how his horse works. He wants to team rope, so we do some of that, too” Dad said.
The children have been successful in junior ranch rodeo competitions and showing their horses in the Midwest Ranch Horse Association.
“While her grandparents had cattle operations when she was growing up, Abbey would rather cheer us on and support us then compete herself. She makes for our Number 1 fan,” Vogel said.
Now shoeing just horses he rides, Vogel has a handful of his own horses, trains a couple-three select partnership-friend’s horses. Of course, keeps busy being a Flint Hills cowboy.
“I want to keep doing what I’m doing, riding good horses to make horses my kids and I can enjoy.
“It’s great life. It is the one I went after,” Adrian Vogel surmised.