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A wet blanket Christmas

Tales from the ONO Ranch
Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

All of Christmas for me was not a “wet blanket Christmas,” just one festive evening I went out to dance, see friends and enjoy all the surroundings and decorations and music. I happen to spot a lady friend I had not see in forever.

She smiled as I approached and asked her how she had been and what had she been doing. She mumbled something about “not much and I’m doin’ okay.” I reflected on my “hoss wreck” back in May that laid me up all summer and how lucky I was to even be there.

She: “Did your horse make it home okay?”



Me: “Don’t make my eyes bleed!”

“Truthfully, I do not know this woman’s background, but if every horse she has been on bucked with her, she is a hell of a bronc rider or not a very good judge of hossflesh!”

She: “What does that mean?”



Me: “It means I sold that bronc and was hopin’ he would go to a killer, but he didn’t”!

She: “Jack, (in a condescending tone), ALL HORSES BUCK!”

Me: “No … they don’t”!

She: “I’ve ridden horses all my life, and they all BUCK!”

…I’m thinkin’, now that just clears everything up, doesn’t it?

Me: “I’ve owned and ridden horses for years that were in situations when they had every opportunity to buck and didn’t!”

Gentle readers, there is a difference in sayin’ “all horses buck and all horses can buck!” I hate it when someone like her, whom I suspected was a backyard horse person, decides to lecture me about something I know a LOT about. Truthfully, I do not know this woman’s background, but if every horse she has been on bucked with her, she is a hell of a bronc rider or not a very good judge of hossflesh! We both glared at one another as our friendship was melting away.

Had I known that pony was going to try and jump out from under me when I mounted, I would have done one of two things. I would have walked him home (in shame) or I would have grabbed his headstall with my left hand and pulled his head around towards me and got a grip on the saddle horn or his mane and swung up low over the saddle. It’s called “cheeking a horse up.” I have done this on broncs before and always landed in the saddle. At my age now, I don’t know.

At my table little puffs of smoke were drifin’ out of my ears as I considered some people with their horses and dogs. Not all horses buck, not all dogs bite and all humans don’t go out and take someone else’s life.

If a pit bull drug some old woman down by the neck and killed her, I guarantee you there would be someone that would come to the dog’s defense: “Poor thing, he must have been having a bad day and was mistreated as a pup. After all, SHE IS in a better place!”

Some dogs bite, some people kill — and the prisons are full of them — but we don’t all do it, and yes SOME horses buck! Yup, that gal tossed a wet saddle blanket on what I expected to be a fun, holiday experience. It really was okay after I got in a dance or two!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all and HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR, and by the way I am sold out of calendars and a big THANKS to you guys! ❖


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Mad Jack Hanks

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