Tales from the O-NO Ranch 5-25-09 | TheFencePost.com
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Tales from the O-NO Ranch 5-25-09

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Last week, gentle readers, I expressed my views on what I thought was the perfect cow if there is such a thing. In today’s class, we will discuss my views on the almost perfect horse, as I don’t think that there is such an equine as being perfect.

Charlie, put yer beer down, adjust yer bifocals and pay close attention. Thank you.

I have thrown my leg over many a hoss, and many a hoss has thrown those legs off in every direction. I always appreciated that ol’ pony that I could walk in the corral and catch without having to push ’em up in a corner or try and rope them, which probably wouldn’t happen anyway.

If I needed to load that hoss in a trailer and haul to some distant pasture, he would step in the trailer without as much as a whimper. When I got to the pasture and stepped up on him I knew down deep that he would be paying attention and following whatever cues I fed him.

I knew he was a safe as a horse can be and wouldn’t unload me unless he had a real good reason. My purt-near perfect pony would come to attention if I took down my rope while approaching a single cow or a bunch of bovines. He would try to locate the victim as soon as we picked up the pace a little. If I missed my first loop or two, which usually happened, he would stay on course like radar until I got the nylon corral on the ol’ cow’s neck. After tripping my victim and stepping off, he would hold the rope tight until I got her secured, so I could doctor her. He wouldn’t start grazing and walkin’ up to her right behind me. That’s always a real tough situation to overcome. You usually lose.

I could depend on my mount not to jump sideways if an antelope, rabbit, coyote or anything suddenly appeared before us. I had an ol’ medicine hat paint that would just run in circles when I would try to mount. In the corral I could shove him up against the fence and get mounted, but in the pasture it was war. I finally figured that if I pulled his head around and stuck my finger in his eye, he would stand almost still for me to mount. It didn’t take but about three times of doing that until he got the message, and I could get on him anywhere.

Over at Ridgway, Colo., I traded the postman, who was an avid team roper, a colt and some cash for a seasoned rope and ranch gelding. This ol’ pony was wonderful in the arena and was a good reliable horse in the pasture if you had a cow in front of you.

If you were just prowlin’ the timber up on a mountainside he was as goosy as Joe Biden at a TEA party. He was lookin’ behind every bush and under every rock for that bugger he knew was gonna’ get ’em when he wasn’t looking.

Then there was that purt near perfect hoss down in Texas that I loved to ride. He was better than good at every thing he did and he had just an easy running walk, I tell ya, it was to die for. And I almost did when I discovered he couldn’t swim. That was his only fault, he couldn’t or wouldn’t swim. He almost drowned and could have taken me with him, but that’s another story that I’ve told already. A good pony doesn’t have to be “pretty.” Cowboys can be a little vain, and we like our horses and our wimmen to be pretty. Pretty wimmen don’t always make the best wives nor do pretty horses always make the best mount.

Those good horses are out there. They may be penned up in someone’s back yard, or on that ranch up the road or in the sales catalogue for the next big horse sale. Those good wimmen are out there also. If you haven’t found yer good hoss or yer good woman, keep lookin’. Just remember that pretty ain’t always perfect.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, and I’ll c. ya.


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