Horsin’ Around 2-8-10
Fort Collins, Colo.
I’ve been looking for a new horse for a long time now and have saved up my pennies to try to buy one. I didn’t know for sure if it was a good idea or not because I am getting old and it’s getting harder for me to compete anymore. But I do love the cow-catch competition and the folks I meet there.
So I’ve been going to the horse sales on a regular basis and keeping my eyes open. I have run across a few that I like but then the bidding gets way over my head and budget. I go home thinking that maybe it is just not to be and I should lay back and watch some more television. Last Saturday on Jan. 23, I went to the horse sale sponsored by Jared and Nicole Florell. It wasn’t the first one, and I had been saving money for “that special horse” since I made the decision to retire “John.”
My horse John is getting old, as am I, and not as limber to compete in the top end of cow sort contests. Last summer I was trying to make a good enough run to qualify for the Cheyenne Rodeo but was just out of the money and didn’t make it. Oh, John tries and loves it, as I do. He came off of the quarter horse race track and I was never outrun on steers but his cutting ability left little to be desired. He has the heart and cow desire but his long legs make it harder for him to scramble.
However, on the day of Cheyenne I drove up and watched my friends, Kevin and Sherry Teppo, who had both qualified, make a run in the beginner class. They wound up winning their class, earning a big buckle each and cash. That’s when I got the desire to make another run at this year’s competition.
So there I was at the winter catalog and open consignment sale. I had to stand at the back of bleachers because it was so full of folks looking to buy a horse and I was afraid horse prices would go up tremendously. But I was glad to see all the folks there because Jared and Nicole have worked so hard over the years to produce these good sales. Nevertheless, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find something in my price range with all the other folks looking to buy horses.
Oh, I made a few bids and then backed out when the price got out of my pay scale. Then I went up and sat on the roping chute with some friends. From there I made a few more bids and suddenly wound up with a horse. Trouble was I thought I bid on the horse just before the one I bought.
So when I went to get the horse it wasn’t the one I had bought, and the lady, Mrs. Byam of Julesburg, Colo., who sold him was upset that I was trying to take her horse home. After checking with the ladies in the book keeping department I decided I hadn’t bought a horse and went home to watch T.V.
Sunday evening I got a call from Jared and we got it straightened out. I had bought a 5-year-old quarter horse mare with breeding back to Doc’s Hickory, Doc Quixote and Smart Little Lena. She is a sweetheart and very gentle, for an old man, but has only had about 30 days training on her. I drove out to the place in Nunn, Colo., to talk with the trainer, Levi, and discovered he thought the same thing. So I spent the rest of the day watching him work another horse and talking with him to get a feel of how I should go about working “Quixotes Thunderlena” so I wouldn’t blow her up and get in a storm.
Now this whole story is to inform folks that they are not the only ones who get mixed up at horse sales. I have been going to them all my life, but like I told Jared, they should think about banding old men from participating in their sales because they do get confused from time to time. But I do think our Lord was blessing me, I just didn’t see it coming.
However I did tell Him that He was going to have to slap me in the face with the right horse if I was to have one. He did that very thing … so be careful of what you pray for.
Prior to his retirement, Roger Thompson was a CHA certified instructor of advanced Western horsemanship and beginning English riding.