In a Sow’s Ear: The annual horse drive | TheFencePost.com

In a Sow’s Ear: The annual horse drive

Each year, proceeds from the annual horse drive event in Gardiner, Mont., benefits a worthy cause. This year the drive will allocate the money to buy chairs for wounded and disabled military men and women. In case you're not familiar with the horse drive, it involves 100 or more loose horses driven up the trail to Hell's a Roarin' guest ranch. People can follow the drive in their cars and take pictures as cowboys keep the herd moving up the trail. At the camp, the horses are corralled, fed and watered. So, too, are the people — fed and watered (but not in a corral).

Humans browse a smorgasbord, fill their plates and go outdoors. Some sit on the grassy slope, but there are folding chairs set up in front of an open-sided pavilion. While the crowd ingests their vittles, two cowboy poets recite poems. For the past three years, it's been my privilege to be one of the poets. Here's my attempt to put the horse drive experience in verse form.

MONTANA HORSE DRIVE

(Tune: Jack O' Diamonds — same as Rye Whiskey).

“Humans browse a smorgasbord, fill their plates and go outdoors. Some sit on the grassy slope, but there are folding chairs set up in front of an open-sided pavilion.”

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Oh, the Horse Drive, the Horse Drive

Oh, I know you so well

Where cowboys trail horses

Up the mountain pell mell

Refrain…

The Horse Drive, the Horse Drive,

The Horse Drive I cry

I'm goin' to Montana

To see the Horse Drive

The Drive starts in Gardiner

That old western town

The horses are restless

At the rodeo grounds

Soon comes the signal

That will open the pens

While tourists take photos

With high-speed zoom lens

Refrain…

The horses surge forth and

They're glad to be gone

In wild west tradition,

They thunder along

Hooves sound a drumbeat

On Gardiner-town streets

And folks on the sidewalks

Clap hands to the beat

Refrain

Nine miles up the mountain

To Hell Roarin' camp

No matter the weather

Cold, hot or plumb damp

I follow along

In my old pickup truck

Put it in four wheel

And trust to my luck

Refrain…

I chow down on vittles

As poets recite

Wild western verse

The kind that I like

Then comes an auction

And I bid on a prize

And hope that my checkbook

Will cover the price

Refrain

And next year again

Under Montana sky

I'll head up to Gardiner

For another horse drive

Refrain

The Horse Drive, the Horse Drive,

The Horse Drive I cry

I'm goin' to Montana

To see the Horse Drive ❖