Tales from the O-NO Ranch
Gentle readers, recently I wrote this column about how hard it was for cowgirls and cowboys to come to grips with having to admit they were just gettin’ too old to do the things a’horseback that they could have done in years past. I believe that we try to hang onto the past as long as possible, and in the interim, we do what we can. We help the neighbors on occasion, we team pen, rope or just get out and ride when the occasion arises.
Old horses, I think, sometimes hate to just completely resign themselves to the retirement pasture just because that’s where we decide that’s where they need to go. Let me take this a step further and give you a couple examples of what I’m tryin’ to get across.
It hasn’t been that long ago that the Fence Post’s own Roger Thompson took a dirt bath from the back of a friend’s horse that he was tryin’ to help. It hurt, and it hurt bad. Ole Rog was lucky he wasn’t pushin’ up daisies after that buck off.
More recently, my friend, Larry, who with his wife, Karen, operate a local tack and saddle store, took the dirt bath. Now, Roger is a few years older than I, and Larry is a few years younger; however, we all are gettin’ a little long in the tooth to be doin’ some of the things we do if we just throw caution to the wind and pretend it’s 30 years ago.
Larry was going to rope steers with their daughter in the practice pen. Why, he really didn’t need to warm up that ole 19-year-old gelding that he had ridden for so many years and roped off of ” no sir, tweren’t necessary.
T’was so! As Larry rode in to scoop up the heels, according to Karen, his ole pony decided that he was just 5 years old again, and still a bronc. He broke into his bronking and Larry stood in his stirrups; Karen said his feet were a couple of feet above the saddle horn when he launched, and the ole pony was probably a couple feet off the ground.
Do you get the visual? The end result for Larry was four broken ribs and a punctured lung. Tell me THAT didn’t hurt! The horse was fine, by the way. He was still just a 5-year-old bronc out to have a good time. Larry looked purty good last week, but he also looked a wee bit smarter than when I had seen him before.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, and I’ll c ya.
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