Mad Jack Hanks: First impressions not always what they seem |

Mad Jack Hanks: First impressions not always what they seem

Gentle readers, sometimes first impressions are lasting impressions and sometimes they are not.

Let me explain to you my humble cowboy opinion. If you meet someone for the very first time and you have been wanting to meet them because you admire them for themselves or for something they have or have done, you want to come across as acceptable. You want to impress them so they will remember you for whatever reason. When you meet, you form an opinion, good or bad of them, and them of you.

Now if you don’t ever have the opportunity to meet them again, most likely your opinion of them will not change. However if you do become friends, or at best have the opportunity to see them once in a while, you may change how you think about them. Why? Well, because you have had an opportunity to see the chinks in their armor and they yours.

That’s just a fact of life, or it is in my world. I’m sure I have disappointed folks now and again and I have been disappointed by some I held in high esteem.

I have had good first impressions of horses on occasion and on some folks as well. I remember a couple of horses that I bought that never disappointed me and at the moment I can’t remember those folk’s name one way or the other. I reckon they didn’t impress me all that well.

I went to a horse auction in Amarillo to try and find an extra horse as I had taken on the responsibility to look after a feller’s cattle and I only had one horse at the time. I’m wandering around the parking lot watching folks ride or talk about this great hoss they were reluctant to sell but, you know, life happens and he was just gonna have to go to another home.

Here comes these three kids aged from maybe seven to twelve all riding this little sorrel stud horse bareback with a halter. He was quiet, attentive and it seemed nothing bothered him. Not the traffic, dogs, kids, other horses or all the commotion taking place inside the sale barn. I approached the kids and ask if that was their horse and why were they selling him.

“Yes sir,” the oldest boy spoke, “he’s ours, we raised him from a colt, but Daddy said we had to sell him when he got grown. He’s just past two and really gentle.”

I thanked them, watched them ride off and considered some other horses as this sorrel was pretty small for me, even at two years of age. Just the same, I bought him and took him home.

I rode him some and he was just as good as I had him in my mind to be. I had him castrated and when he got well, I started to ride him a little checking on pasture cattle and swinging a rope off him. My first impression of him was a lasting impression and he just got better and better and big enough to handle that old brushy country and the livestock that grazed it. I purchased another hoss on the spot because I knew the man riding him couldn’t be less of a cowboy even if he tried and this hoss seemed to be really gentle and was always at the right spot at the right time. Again, I found no fault in this horse for the three years I had him. He was about as good a cow pony as a fella could want to throw a leg over and know he was a’horseback.

I think we all do our best to impress when we meet new folks that impress us for whatever reason. When I ask a really cute lady to dance that I have not meet before, I know I do my best to be George Straight not Howdy Doodie. Sometimes it works and sometimes I fail to impress. I never fail to try as I have been surprised many, many times when some cutie says, “I’d love to, thanks for asking.”

That’s always good for an old guy’s ego, just ask “The Donald”.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, don’t be afraid to try. If you don’t try, you never fail, if you never fail, you have never tried.

Lay silently in the tall grass and keep yer powder dry. I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

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Mad Jack Hanks

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