Fort Collins, Colo
I don’t know about the rest of you but I enjoy going to horse sales and ranch rodeos, especially with friends who feel the same way that I do about horses. So on Saturday, Jan. 19, I met a bunch of friends at the Winter Colorado Horse Sale. It’s just a good old fashion working horse time with Ranch penning, Yearling Tie-Down roping, and Wild Cow Milking. We also had a friend who raised good horses and when these yearlings came through, he wanted us to tell about what we had seen about this breeding. But for some reason we were out back looking at some other horses and didn’t get to say what we knew.
George was at a point in his life, health-wise (between himself and his wife) where he needed to thin down his stock. I apologize for not being there to help him because I have competed against his stallion and offspring first-hand, viewing the quality of horses and ability.
However, winter horse sales are not the best time to sell your horses, therefore the yearlings sold did not go for a good selling price. But had I been interested in yearlings, you can bet I would have jumped in. In fact my friend, Brenda, bought a yearling, which should say something for the horses, since she already owns a gelding?
But the sale was a good one and I went out back to look at a gelding that received a “no-sale”. The bid was only a hundred dollars off from what the seller wanted and I became interested. The seller let us walk into the stall for a closer look at the horse ” a nice 8- year-old, well-built, well-balanced gelding. He wouldn’t look at me when I walked in, but that was okay because I could work him through that. I had a little trouble haltering him but figured I could work through that as well. It just meant that someone had been heavy handed with him.
I had my friend, Brenda, walk him around and watched the way he traveled and handled. The problem was when I tried to pick up his feet. He was good on his front feet, but had problems giving up his back feet. He didn’t kick, but wouldn’t stand well so I could see his back feet. We worked with him for a while and I decided that living alone and doing all my own shoeing would not work if I had a hassle with his feet. I am getting old and cannot struggle with a horse’s feet. So I told the seller so and apologized for taking up his time. Turned out, it was okay because there was another man standing there who bought the horse because of the way I had shown him.
But during the sale I would get distracted when there were horses I wasn’t interested in. So I’d look around for an interesting photo to take. I found one in a little girl who sat with her mother and friend, and tried to be patient.
Turned out that when a nice little pony came through, that girl’s mom bid on it, and because of that, I kept quiet; but they quit bidding and didn’t get the pony, and neither did I.
My friends then said they were going to eat at “Hooters” and asked me if I wanted to go. Thinking that “Hooters” is just another steak house and letting my stomach answer, I said “Sure”. When we walked in, my heart did a flip-flop and I could hardly order much less eat very much. I had not seen that much skin in along time and wasn’t sure this “old man” would survive the event. On the way out, leaning down to a little boy waiting with his parents, I said, “Son, that is not a place for you.”
“Meanwhile, back at the Ranch” I felt more at home and back in my element. We enjoyed the event and I once again made a promise to myself to get it all together and enter the Spring Sale with a team in the ranch rodeo (as long as I don’t have to get off my horse and be one of the ones to mug one of those cows.
Roger Thompson is a CHA certified instructor of advanced Western horsemanship and beginning English riding.
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Of the approximately 2,270 acres that burned in the April 1, 2021, Medora, N.D., fire, rancher Doug Tescher said all but about 100 acres were U.S. Forest Service land that he utilizes for summer grazing.