Baxter Black: On the Edge of Common Sense 1-31-11
January 31, 2011
The new Mustang has a dual personality. Not the BLM’s millstone, but Ford Motor’s snazzy new muscle car called “The Boss 302.” It offers two keys!
One key, the ‘limiter,’ uses sophisticated computer software to allow it to perform such as would be fitting and safe for Grandpa Tommy or your 17-year-old son. The second key turns it into Boss 302, a race-ready, hopped-up stock car suited for Dale Earnhardt or a San Antonio cabbie!
How many times have you wished you had two keys on your horse? It’s daylight. The crew’s heading out on a big circle. The ranch foreman is riding a quarter Thoroughbred buckskin that’s 16 hands at the withers. He takes BIG steps! The Peruvian on the Paso Fino, the banker on the walking mule, and the neighbor on her Arabian stud seem to have no trouble keeping up. My horse is following at a pace the equivalent of an ol’ timer doing therapy for hip replacement! He’s got his head down. The closest description to his gait would be “plodding.” Every five minutes, or when I can’t see the riders anymore, I kick him into a trot and catch up.
They stop to let their horses blow occasionally, but by the time I reach them they’ve taken off again! It’s like this all day until we point our steeds barnward and start back home. Everybody else’s horse picks up the pace a little headed toward the corral but mine suddenly is engulfed with the energy of a caffeine-addled muskrat in a squirrel cage! He’s jiggin’ and prancing, side passing, throwin’ his head, chomping at the bit and whinnying like an Alpine yodeler!
You are bouncing along, the reins tight, trying to have a casual conversation with the Arabian princess about the endurance of Arabians vs. the gas mileage of a Chevy Volt. After five minutes she remarks that she used to stutter, too, when she was young. Would I like the number of her speech therapist?
After you get your horse unsaddled, you remember when you traded for him. You test-rode him in the arena, no problem! But down the road you were eventually forced to accept his eccentricities like; being cinchy, not being able to pick up his hind feet, and if you ever tied him solid he’d pull down the porch roof or uproot the hitching post!
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And then you remember the day you suddenly realized that they didn’t name him because of his color. I’d never heard of a horse being named Paint Shaker!
What I need is a key!