Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-NO Ranch 5-30-11
Ryan Summerlin May 31, 2011
Last week, gentle readers, I wrote about having to put down a really good ranch/family horse down on the Texas ranch. It was a difficult thing to have done and now it’s gone and repeated it’s self.
In 1996 I encouraged my daughter Sunni to buy her another horse and I would keep it out here at the O-No. It had been a good many years since she had her own horse sidelined by getting her education, getting married and having kids. She purchased a 6-year-old gelding and called him Gabriel. He was her angel. Gabriel was a good minded ranch horse that fit her to a tee. I think everybody in our family rode that good ole pony at one time or another.
I used him a good many times in the timber west of Tie Siding, Wyo., which is a scant 50 miles northwest of the O-No. I was looking after some summer pairs for another feller. Ole Gabriel was one of those ponies that when you threw your leg across him you felt you’d be safe.
A couple of years ago when Gabe was in semi retirement and only getting ridden on occasion he came down with Cushings disease. He began to slowly start a downward spiral which ended
this past Saturday when the good Doc Stacy gently put him down as Sunni, her husband Mark and I were present.
Gabe had gone blind and mostly just walked in circles when he was out on pasture. When he went down, Sunni went down beside him and held his head. She stroked his brow and neck and Doc Stacy gently explained to her how the process was working. She teared up as did Mark and I turned away with something in my eye as I looked off towards the mountains.
It’s always hard to see a good friend go. It can be a person or an animal. Sometimes the animal seems more special and has meant more than maybe someone you have known for years. Gabriel was a special horse and my “fridge” is covered with pictures of him packing around adults or the grandkids. It was a sad day.
Some ole preacher declared the world would come to an end on that particular day and it did for Gabe. We all loved him and he will be greatly missed as we go into the summer months when you want your good ponies to be out there grazing the sweet grass that Colorado offers up this time of year.
Well, the summer is here for us to enjoy and I trust that you will. Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. ya’ll, all ya’ll.