Horsin’ Around 7-27-09
Fort Collins, Colo.
Last March I got invited to Dennis Marsh’s place when he was having a gathering of folks with teams that wanted to demonstrate their ability to plow with teams. It was very interesting to me, mostly because I used to feed and put up hay with teams. I learned a lot in those days but never enough to say that I was an expert. Oh I could work my teams but I had a few wrecks with them.
The team I was most impressed with was one my friend and I were driving as we headed out to the feed ground. Halfway to our feed pasture, my friend told me to throw an old gunny sack we had along with us out into the nearby willows. Well I was younger and did as I was told. The problem was my finger hung in the sack and it flew out beside the horses. The horses stampeded over the snow and the feed sled bounced like a bucking horse. If my friend, Bob, hadn’t been so busy trying to get the team under control, I think he would have punched my lights out. Once he got them settled down and all he could do was shake his head and say, “Dumb kid on an outfit.” That title stuck with me for the next few years.
Dennis had five teams show up for plow days. The four from Wyoming were David Hardin, Day Landers, Jeff Metzger and Virgule Taylor. Virgule was driving a three up team and I thought that was interesting because, in my mind, that would be difficult to control.
The fifth team to show up was a four up, like a stage coach you see in the movies. Don Garret and Jerry Weibel did a good job of handling and driving the team. Each learned from the other and when one would have trouble, most of them pitched in to help.
I had a very interesting day and I wish I had learned all this when I was younger and would have put it to use at that time.
Prior to his retirement, Roger Thompson was a CHA certified instructor of advanced Western horsemanship and beginning English riding.
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