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No luck at all

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

It’s sort of funny, gentle readers, those times we are certain we’ve been snake bit. I happen to be sittin’ in that saddle as I write. I have written about trying to find that special “old man’s horse” for this old cowboy. I was offered one by some nice folks that read this column but she (mare) just wouldn’t work for what I needed, however I was grateful for the offer. Next I purchased a horse from some traders up in South Dakota. A really good lookin’ bay roan, 13-year-old gelding. It turns out he was neither sound or safe to ride.

Ah ha! He came with a guarantee. You can’t retrieve your money but they will trade horses with you until one suites you. Of course there are transportation fees, veterinarian checks etc. to consider. I sent this horse back and they sent me a video of “the perfect horse” for me. Another big 13-year-old bay ranch horse that was really broke. I liked the way he licked his lips while being ridden in a round pen with 8-foot high wooden walls. Never dawned on me that they had “aced” (medicated) him to keep him calm. I liked the way he considered every move and I had to throw in an extra $1,500 to make the trade. “Send him on,” said I, “send him on.” Now children, this is as good lookin’a bay horse a man would ever want to throw a leg over. I know, I know, when a horse that age is for sale, he (she) has a hole in them somewhere. I told my brother that if this one falls on me I want to go through that hole! ha ha ha!

They called the horse Daddy. I let Daddy relax around the ONO for a couple of days and had my vet scheduled to come out today and check him out and look at this video before I decided to ride him. I had coffee with me Amigos and came home to turn the bay out in the yard and around the shop etc. to get some green grazing. “I think I’ll just throw my saddle on him and let him pack that around a bit while he is grazing” thought I. He had been a little “juicy” at having the fly spray put on him but he was doing better. I tied him up to a timber at the front of my saddle room which has a little covered porch and a large wooden door. I brushed him down, put some fly spray on him and tossed a saddle pad on him as he watched me with a cautious eye. Hummm, I wondered, “what’s all this about?”

I carried my kack (saddle) out and tossed it as carefully up on his back as I could. He danced a little three step jig when I did. I reached under him after I had the saddle where I wanted it, and pulled the cinch up to where I could get the latigo to go through it. I barely had it in there and reached back and buckled the back cinch. I would ever so lightly cinch him up to graze, just enough to keep the saddle on.

Folks, I had barely pulled the cinch an inch when he reared, threw himself into me, knocking me down and nearly putting me back inside the saddle room, BAM! He ripped the metal bracket out of the timber and off he went. Now, this is where the GOOD LUCK came into play. “Huh?” you say, “GOOD LUCK?” Yep, had he not busted loose, gentle readers, he would have stomped me into little pieces, no doubt in my mind. He got the lead rope caught in the fence just before he made it to the road, more GOOD LUCK! I got him back to the hitching post, unsaddled him, put him up and counted my blessings. He will not be replaced by those folks, two for two is enough. This horse will go to the sale and be sold as unsafe unless you like broncs!

Of course I called the folks where I got him and no, they didn’t pick up and yes this old man was mad, as they knew my history and that I need a really gentle horse, and I didn’t spare my words or my feeling about horse traders. Yes, I know they are not all like that, but the fact remains too many of them are!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, and remember, it’s wise if when your wife is mowing the lawn, you don’t ask her when will dinner be ready! By the way, I’m okay, you betcha, this old cowboy is okay! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖


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