Pete was born Feb 26, 1906 in Walla Walla, Washington. Pete was the son
of Frank Foredyce and Rhonda Able Foredyce.
Pete went to work as a teenager for Miller and Lux, with the Black Rock
Quinn River crew, consisting of Bill Thomson, Boss, Ross Thomson, Waltzy
Elliot, Frank Lorenzana, Shirley Scoggins and Weaver Bond as his fellow
Pete was transferred to the Island Division, Burns Oregon, when Miller
and Lux sold their Nevada holdings.
Pete came back to Nevada in 1928 and worked for several ranches in Humboldt
Pete Foredyce signed on with Miller and Lux as a teenager in the early
20’s as a horse wrangler at the Quinn River Ranch. He went out one morning
to bring in the horses and got off his wrangle horse to answer the call
of nature. His horse spooked and got away. He knew he couldn’t walk back
to camp or he’d lose his job. There was a rank old horse in the remuda
that was blind in one eye. Pete snuck up on his blind side and jumped
on his back, with a piece of string he had in his pocket (all cowboys
carry a piece of string) he fashioned a loop around the horses muzzle,
hackamore style, and drove the remuda back to camp. Pete said it was one
of roughest rides he ever made--but he didn’t lose his job!
Pete first married in the early 1930’s and fathered two daughters. He
worked for the State Highway Department through the depression and World
War II. They say there wasn’t a piece of equipment he couldn’t operate.
He stayed on for the Highway Department until his two daughters were through
Pete worked for Frank McCleary in Paradise Valley and was the Buckaroo
Boss on the CS ranch in 1952/53.
He went back to Oregon and worked on the Alvord and Mann Lake Ranches
on the East Side of the Steen Mountains.
While living at the Oregon End Ranch in the 60’s Pete was helping his
neighbors one-day and one of the men had a brand new saddle. Pete said
as they were all saddling up that he was going to get a new saddle too.
They rode all day and after they returned to the ranch, he said, “It’s
going to be a damn good one too. One that don’t leak.” He hadn’t said
one word between the two declarations all day.
None of the saddle horses in those days were started until they were 5
years old. Any earlier and they were too young to take the rides. Pete
loved to work with horses. “He’d rather work horses than eat”. We would
start work before daylight and wouldn’t get back until dark. There weren’t
any Sundays off or vacations when you worked you worked. On stormy days
they might take it easy and show horses all day. There were no cars, so
they only got to town (Winnemucca) once or twice a year. The horses came
from the Mustangers. They were culled every 3 or 4 years and different
stallions were put with good mares to keep them from inbreeding. Some
of the herds had as many as 300 head of good healthy stock and were well
taken care of by the ranchers and Buckaroos that worked them.
In all Pete’s years he said he’d never put out a perfect-handling horse
because "every horse has some special quirk". Some fellas say
they can break a horse in ten minutes, I say it takes two or three years
to break a horse. Some horses break easier, but I couldn’t tell just by
looking, I always had to get on to tell. Sometimes I’d think I was smart
and knew, then I’d find out I didn’t know.”
Pete’s idea of a good saddle horse was one with a good attitude, one that
will go along with you without having to fight him to do it. “I rode quite
a few colts before I started working for ranches. I learned a little before
I got there and learned lots more afterwards, I didn’t know it all then
and still don’t know it all, I could live 100 years and still learn more.
I got by the best way I could, sometimes I got by and sometimes I didn’t.
One time my horse fell and I got knocked out. That was at sunlight and
I didn’t come to till eleven O’clock that night. Didn’t hurt me, just
bashed my head. We had a lot of fun with it."
When Pete was just 20 years old he and another Buckaroo herded right at
100 head of horses from Soldier Meadow Ranch to the Island Ranch near
Burns, Oregon, a distance of 200 or more miles in just three days. We
got there Thanksgiving Day and they had already eaten so we got what was
left. It was no trouble herding horses, you know where you’ve got to go,
so you just pick your own speed and get there.
When asked about his saddle Pete gets a gleam in his eye. “Can’t say how
many miles are on it, but I’ve used it for 30 years. It’s a good saddle,
just leaks once in a while”. The reata is for catching small calves at
branding time. It’s a hand braided rawhide rope that everyone used. One
still hangs on Pete’s saddle.
Pete only made one trip to the doctor that anyone can recall and that
was when his horse fell somewhere between Denio, Oregon and Cedarville,
California and broke Pete’s leg. He climbed back on the horse, rode back
to the ranch and was taken to town by automobile. No one knows which ranch
Pete at the age of 55 along with Bill Swisher won the Big Loop contest
in Vale Oregon in 1961. He is memorialized in a poem written by Conchecta
Miller and was written about in “Ruralite” the Harney County Electric
Co-op newsmagazine in August 1983.
Pete came back to Nevada and ran a small bunch of cattle of his own with
Warren McClean out of Denio, Nevada and was still breaking his own horses
in his later years. He later took his cattle to Denio and ran them with
Bill Mosher until his death.
Pete departed this life on May 5, 1986 after putting a little over 80
years in helping his fellow man get on with chores. He took excellent
care of animals that were entrusted to his care, and is fondly remembered
by those who knew him.
Pete Foredyce was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September
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