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Pete Foredyce

Pete Foredyce (1906-1986)

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 Buckaroos.

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 County.

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 school.

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 or town.

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 of 1998.