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Old Goats

Old Goats blog photo 1

This here’s an actual old goat, boingin and bouncin, albeit likely not as hard as it boinged and it bounced in its youth.

 

When you’re an old goat, you get treated different. It kinda happens over time. Young goats get treated different, too, such as spooked at more by some horses on account of young goats bounce a whole lot more than old goats and their bouncin can be downright suspect even to an honest horse. Old goats get more leeway ‘cause they ain’t got as much bounce left in ‘em anymore, and it seems like a horse can trust ‘em, mostly, unless that horse is entirely terrified of goats beyond reason, which is known to happen. But, to be an entirely honest horse, I ain’t talkin about goats. I’m talkin about me, though I suppose some of this might hold true for actual goats, too.

What happened is this. I had my 28th birthday, which is the anniversary of the day my dam foaled me out into the world. County Island horse folk is obsessed with a horse’s birthday, or how old a horse is or ain’t, and generally obsessed with keepin track of time as regards a horse, but not in a purposeful way that’s centered around feedin horses on time, all the time, every day. And it ain’t even centered around usin their good horse for gettin ranch work done when it should, on account of there ain’t no proper ranches at all on the County Island, and people go to work in their rumbly-cars and leave their pet horses home.

But on my 28th birthday, I didn’t get left home. This old goat got loaded into the rollin white horse-box and taken to a place named for ME for what the bucket gal called a birthday trail ride and a picnic. No, the place was not called Old Yellow Goat Hollow. Nor was it called Slow Old Geezer Pass. Also, a picnic appears to be like grazin, when the people sit around and graze on whatever it is people graze on. But it was a shorter ride than I’m accustomed to, even for a County Island pointless pet pleasure horse ride around a loop for no good reason. I guess it was shorter on account of bein my birthday, although I might have preferred no ride at all and only makin a small loop from my hay to my bucket and back to my shade tree in our own li’l horse-corral, instead. And also a whole day of standin around and nappin. And I think it was also shorter on account of the people wanted to start the picnic real quick. For that reason, I think I like picnics. It reminded me of when I would go look for rabbits with the floppy-eared, short-legged cattle dogs, which is called beagles, durin an activity which is called the hunt club. After we spent a fine mornin runnin after rabbits without catchin any, and herded all the dogs back to the trailers, it was time for horses to eat hay, and people to eat, again, whatever it is people eat.

In preparation for my birthday ride — and it appears a large part of a birthday ride is makin proper preparations for it — I had to get my goat whiskers clipped up, or started to. I was proclaimed to be hairier than a homeless mountain goat. And I guess this old goat done broke the bucket gal’s clippers with my thick, fine winter haircoat, regardless of any aforementioned resemblance to mountain goats with or without proper homes. So maybe I wasn’t clippered quite up to par, but I was always taught purty is as purty does.

Goats ain’t what a horse’d call purty, and for the life of me — all 28 years of it — I also couldn’t tell ya what they do. My horse-buddy Coors Light and me got the same opinion of goats, young or old. We ain’t scared of ‘em; we just don’t see the point. There’s a place on the County Island that’s full up with goats, and in goat-foalin season, they can be far more than full up with bouncin baby goats, sometimes upwards of 25 tiny, boingin, bouncin head of ‘em that’s always got to bounce all over to tell a horse HAI! Coors Light likes to stop and stare, with his ears pricked forward as if to say, and pardon my french here, “What the hell—??” But me, I amble on by without even prickin me ears much. It ain’t my place to wonder what the hell about goats. Original Coors likes goats. That ought to tell ya all ya need to know about Original Coors. He also likes pigs, sheep, chickens, donkeys, and cattle, but not in the proper way a ranch horse likes to work cattle. He likes ‘em to be his friends.

Me and my friends had a right nice birthday ride and people-picnic despite my old goat whiskers bustin the bucket gal’s best laid plans and her clippers. And I realized while munchin on my hay back at the trailer, and mostly droppin it ‘cause when you’re an old goat, sometimes your own teeth inside your mouth don’t work so good, or they plumb fall out of your own head, that bein a mostly retired County Island pet pleasure horse is a lot like bein a goat. We ain’t particularly purty to look at, and despite all the people-words I tend to make about it in my attempts to try, I also rightly couldn’t tell ya what we do. And that’s alright. By the time ya get to be an old and hairy homeless mountain goat, it don’t seem to matter much what you do anymore. It matters more that you are, and continue to be.

Old Goats blog photo 2

And this old goat is me! Yep, it’s me, at the end of my own 28th birthday trail ride, but before the people-picnic, and before the horse cookies and the hay for me, and also before my friends all sang “Happy Birthday” to me, like it’s a real important thing to sing “Happy Birthday” to a horse. But it made them happy, and like I always say, happy people means happy horses.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Happy New Year. Now Take It Down a Notch.

People go too fast. Thus has been a chief observation of mine ever since I came to be a retired pet pleasure horse on the County Island. They go too fast with their rumbly-vehicles runnin up and down the roads all day long, and with their pointless runnin to and fro in their own undergarments, which is called joggin. They go too fast with us horses, too. Not that we can’t go fast, and sometimes we even like to.

I was bein rode at my usual amble through the big wash one time, when we was passed by a bonafide endurance horse, which is similar to a cow-track race-horse only more Ayrab-like, but less Ayrab-like than, say, the Ayrab horses that’s only trained to wear a halter and snort at the end of a string. It cantered on by with a brief howdy from its rider, and then I ambled on.

And then it came back, passin me again. The endurance horse pricked her ears and I returned the salutation.

I went back to my moseyin and takin time to look at all the purty cactus, and the rabbits sittin underneath the cactus, and bit of grass that maybe I might try to sneak a bite of, and all the things a horse likes to take the time to observe when he’s bein rode nice and slow, listenin to the birds, and the critters, and the sound of my own hoofbeats, and feelin the warm sun against my hide.

And the endurance horse came back again. I had to wonder how many passes of the wash it intended to make, and so I pinned my ears to inquire. It snorted, as it went past me, that it supposed it would canter back and forth until it’s rider got tired of it. And it’s rider had a big ol’ grin set upon her face. The endurance horse seemed amiable and capable enough. They really wasn’t botherin me in the bothersome sense of the word. But still.

They was slightly interferin with my own enjoyment of a peaceful day in my own generally peaceful wash. The best part of bein retired is bein able to go as slow as I like, which can be purty damned slow, pardon my french. But most times, I get the feelin our own bucket gal likes to go slow, too, and so I do my best to help her with her own slow-down.

Helpin people relax and enjoy the ride is one of the best things a horse can do — that is, if he ain’t doin somethin useful such as lookin after cattle, or helpin to mend a fence, or doin real work. But if ya ain’t workin, there’s no need for speed. And even when you’re workin, speed can get in the way and cause ya to scatter the cattle, which means your own work day is gonna now be twice as long and hard. Seems to me the County Island people spend so much of their days goin fast at their people-jobs and such, and in all their rumbly-vehicles, that they need us horses to help ‘em gain a li’l of the calm us horses take for granted as part of our own horseness. I reckon if canterin back and forth across a wash upon the County Island makes the endurance horse’s own bucket gal feel good and calm, then an endurance horse has got to do what an endurance horse does best.

Like it’s my job to slow the bucket gal down and make us both take time to appreciate the li’l things along the way.

So, on behalf of all horses everywhere, I’d like to remind y’all kindly to slow down, while y’all is busy racin into your own next people-year as if countin up your people-days and people-hours even matters at all, which it don’t.

Except at feedin time. Then you’d best kick it up a notch, because a hungry horse ain’t got all day.

 

Happy New Year blog photo

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

County Island’s Very Own 2015 Year in Review

The real nice WordPress.com “stats helper monkeys” — which I reckon is kinda like ranch dogs, only less useful — done prepared what’s called a 2015 annual report for the County Island. Well, how ’bout that?

They mostly got everythin right, except for they entirely missed notin my amigos from the real fine ranch called the COTH Ranch, or, to be prancified about it, the Chronicle of the Horse. That’s on account of one time I thought they was spam critters, which is worse and harder to get rid of than a whole herd of pack rats, and so I told the stats helper dogs to shoo ’em off. Anyhow, I suppose it’s alright, on account of THEY thought *I* was a spam when I first meandered through their own front ranch gate. But they got my Facebook Ranch friends accounted for, and those of y’all who visit me directly and such.

But a horse digresses, as a horse often does… I hope y’all enjoy the fireworks below, as I know County Island people like such nonsense. Fireworks can unsettle us horses, though, so I’d be obliged if y’all would keep that in mind.

And also, here’s an excerpt from what they said, which don’t mean nothin to a horse. I don’t know why anybody’d want to take such a thing as a train when they’re got a good ranch horse. But still, here it is:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,000 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

And here’s the entire, overly wordy as people tend to be, deal: https://countyisland.wordpress.com/2015/annual-report/

Thanks sincerely for bein my friends!

Best horse regards,

Whiskey

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

The Tree Fellers

The Tree Fellers blog photo

 

It’s a li’l early for County Island people to start festoonin their ranches with colored lights, mostly of red and green, and abominable inflated snow men and lighted deers that bob their heads up and down at us horses when we ride by and such, such as I told about before. But they are, for people-reasons I’m sure a horse is better off not knowin about. All the activity reminds me of an entirely true tale I heard one time related by a reputable cowboy upon the County Island. I been tryin to make sense of it ever since I first heard it. I figured maybe relatin it here might help. And if it don’t help, at least I got it off my own mind. It ain’t good for a good ranch horse to be carryin around questionable and partial thoughts inside his own mind. It leads to spookin and also balkin. And all of that leads to getting a spur stuck in your side.

Also, as I first heard it, it made no mention of a horse directly. But I’m sure there was at least one big horse involved, and likely a team of ‘em. Otherwise it makes less sense than it did to start with. So I’m puttin two big horses in it.

One time upon the far corners of the County Island, the reputable cowboy and his own brothers took not a rumbly-truck but instead a proper team of big, steady work horses into the woods to go huntin. They wasn’t huntin big game, nor even quail-birds, but trees. I reckon it’s similar to gettin a tag on an elk durin elk season, only with trees instead of elk. They went into the woods aimin to kill, bag and drag home the biggest, purtiest pine tree they could get, on account of durin the red and green lights time of year, County Island people kill big, purty pine trees and drag ‘em inside their own people-barns to dress up their branches with pointless decorations until the trees are dry and dead, which is called “holiday cheer.” I know it sounds ridiculous, but it seems to be a real thing. And of course the reputable cowboy and his personal posse needed good work horses to do it, on account of a rumbly-truck wouldn’t make sense to do a horse’s job.

Most of the time, County Island people go to great lengths keep trees alive, and do things with and to trees, such as I once told about here. But the red and green time of year is all about killin ‘em dead.

So off they went with their loggin team of horses to kill a tree, with a buzzy sharp-chain saw, on account of I guess that’s how a person kills a tree.

And also with beer.

And shotguns.

Brothers bein brothers is somethin that crosses all of what’s called the species. Meanin brother people and brother horses, such as Original Coors and Coors Light, is all the same with their real strong family bond, and also a whole lot of ear-pinnin and posturin and squealin and also tryin to one-up each other all the time.

So likely while the team of good big horses stood where they was whoaed, at the ready with their loggin wagon to haul off the biggest, purtiest pine tree in the woods, the brothers set to poppin a top or two and boastin of their tree-killin abilities.

One bet the other, over the top of their emptyin beer cans, he could fell the intended tree with his shotgun instead of the buzzy sharp-chain saw.

The other said somethin akin to, no you can not.

And another said somethin else akin to, hell no you can’t, but I surely can.

And yet another said somethin akin to, hey y’all, watch this!

And so on.

And the horses hitched to the loggin wagon likely exchanged a real long look.

Next thing the horses knew, the beer cans was all left crushed into the ground, and the shotgun shells was flyin. Bein well-broke, the horses barely budged.

And in a similar way, the biggest, purtiest pine tree barely budged, despite bein shot at more than several times.

More ammo was clearly called for.

The brothers all took aim at the biggest, purtiest pine tree, again and again, and again, until they’d near blown away its entire trunk and it keeled over and fell to the forest floor in a big puff of shotgun powder.

After they’d sobered up, shouldered the blasted tree onto the loggin-horse wagon and drug it home while their good big horses sighed, they caught hell from their wives, on account of apparently an important part of puttin a dead pine tree in your people-barn for the red and green light time of year is havin an intact tree trunk to stand it up with.

They didn’t have a leg to stand on amongst ‘em when they was pressed for an explanation for the exploded tree trunk, either. And the cowboy, whose house it was intended for, had to fashion a new trunk for it out of a giant hollow metal pipe so that they could stick the poor tree’s stump into it to stand it up to be festooned with holiday cheer. It was a real sad tree stuck with its blasted stump inside a metal pipe, droppin dead needles from day one despite its ornamentation.

That’s the entire tale. I gather it was meant to be humorous to a person. If anybody or anyhorse else cares to make heads or tails of it, best of luck to ya.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Devil in the Details

Some days, a good horse is damned if he does and damned if he don’t. Such was my thoughts as I took a nap like the steady ranch horse I am while the bucket gal was busy sprayin my tail with some kinda smelly red paint-spray, and also afixin what’s called red glitter — which I heard another wise ol’ horse say is the devil’s dust — to most parts of my hide, and also paintin up my own mane with red paint and devil’s dust, and addin flames to me to make me look like I was a devil on fire, I reckon, like a horse on fire’s a good thing. Glitter’s like the gritty sand when it blows across the plains of the County Island, except it’s real shiny and it blows across a whole horse and sticks there. Seems like every people-year when the air turns cool after the long hot time, I got to be the devil, with what’s called red devil horns affixed to my bridle, too, like I’m some sorta mad bull.

I make a real good devil.

Off I went to a pleasure ride, which for horses that don’t know is like goin out to do ranch work only without the ranch work part, where there was also many other good horses festooned with ribbony things, and beady things, and also glitter, and paint and what the people call “costumes,” which is sorta like when a prancey horse wears a tarp-blanket when he’s cold on account of bein sheep-sheared, only instead of keepin a horse warm, it makes a horse embarrassed and appears to make some people happy, mostly women-people.

I think I even entertained a proper rancher who came to the ride with a proper ranch horse in a proper stock trailer and pulled up beside us. He gave me a real long and sorrowful look and shook his head at me, but when I trained my devil-horned ears at him, he made as if to laugh. His horse started to pin an ear in my general direction, so I turned one eye at him to let him know I might be old and glittered, but this devil could still kick the snot out of him with one back hoof. If warranted.

Long pleasure rides warrant slow walkin, especially for devil-horses. Even the devil don’t like bein bedeviled by a bunch of fast-walkin horses kickin up clouds of dry dust. We’ll all get where we’re goin by the end of the trail, which ain’t no more than one big circle ‘til we get back to the trailers, anyhow. And on account of bein a slow devil, I met a real nice li’l devil.

Turns out we had a lot in common, both bein devils — albeit at opposite ends of the experience.

His voice was kinda creaky on account of it was changin from baby-colt to a proper stud’s talk. I hardly recognized him as a young stud at all, on account of his own good manners. Whatever ranch he came from, they’d done raised him up right.

And his whinny, when he made to whinny, also sounded like kinda a mouthful, and he asked me to kindly overlook it as he chewed on his bit, on account of he was losin some teeth.

“Well now, me too,” I told the li’l devil.

He also asked me to overlook how slow he walked, bein smaller than many of the other horses. Well, I am smaller, too, bein proper ranch-sized and all, and also when ya get to be old and wise like me, ya like to slow down so as to hear yourself think while you walk. So I told him walkin slow was the right idea for a devil-horse of any age or size.

Turns out li’l devils benefit from stickin close to old devils, and that we did as we moseyed through the brush and in and out of some of the dry creek beds, and also through one or two that had some water in ‘em. And it further turns out li’l devils can get scared of some things, such as scary-lookin dead trees, and the best way to pass ‘em is for the older, wiser devil to lead the li’l devil down the right road past ‘em. We made a real devilishly good team.

Except for my tail. Li’l Devil couldn’t stop tryin to sniff it and touch it with his nose … He said it was the strangest shade of sorrel he’d ever seen, bein all bright red and glittery like it was, and yet it was also downright purty, kinda temptin him to try to touch it in case maybe it was a best and brightest shiny red apple he’d ever seen. Oh, he still minded his manners, but he liked my shiny red-apple tail a lot, maybe a touch too much. I didn’t intend to tempt him, but I had to swish my own tail from time to time if it needed to be swished, thusly increasin the temptation.

That’s when it occurred to me why the people say that expression about tails and devils like they do, which I always thought was nonsense-words but which now made considerable sense, and which wisdom I wish to impart here — ‘cause, after all, the devil’s in the tails.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

The Face-Off

If you're the squeamish type, ya might want to turn around and take another trail right now.

If you’re the squeamish type, maybe ya might want to turn around and take another trail right now.

As an old and wise ranch horse, there ain’t much that spooks me no more, not even much about the County Island. There is one thing, and one person, though, that sets me to quiverin inside my own hoof prints, and makes my lower lip flip against my upper lip with dreadful anticipation of what’s to come. That one thing’s the deep, rumbly sound of one particular big, white rumbly-truck, and that person is one particular evil but sweet-talkin vet lady. And after I observed what she did to poor ol’ Coors Light that one time — and y’all know I don’t call him a poor horse ever, nor lightly — I know that any horse worth his salt block should most definitely keep himself at the farthest end of his pulled-tight-against-his-handler lead rope as he can muster without havin bad manners.

What she did was cut part of his own horse-face off.

Yeah, ya got that right. She cut part of his own horse-face off.

If you’re a squeamish type, you’d best turn back now and take another trail. This one’s about to get grisly. And I ain’t makin not one whiff of this stuff up. I saw it with my own wide eyes from beneath the palo verde tree at the farthest end of our own li’l horse-corral where I was makin like a tree myself to hide my own self from her knife.

It happened after she stuck us all in the neck with her sharp stick, like she does twice a people-year. First she stuck me, as I held my breath like I always do, and then she put the tickly round thing on both sides of my belly to listen to my breakfast rollin around inside my guts, and then she grabbed my own tongue and pulled it to the side, and pondered my teeth. When I got let go, I made a beeline for my tree. And then she proceeded to do the same to Coors and Coors Light. Only, then … she didn’t let Coors Light go.

Coors Light’s had a pestery lump of a thing on his face right by his lips that he eats with since the hot time, which is properly called summer, but he said it don’t bother him none. It itches, he scratches it, it kinds peels and breaks apart, and thusly it don’t itch no more. Well, until the flies get at it again. But then he itches, it busts open, it feels better, and so forth. If it gets to feelin kinda gooey and bloody, he wipes it off on his foreleg, or on the fence, or on a tree, or one time on his own brother Original Coors’ butt. Point bein, Coors Light says the lump ain’t a big deal as far as he’s concerned. He can chew and eat fine. It don’t even concern him when he’s wearin his bit and bein rode. But what concerns a horse and what concerns a County Island person ain’t always the same thing. And the bucket gal spent far too much time fussin at it with the pink goo she thinks’ll keep the flies off of us when we got scratches and bites, callin it a sore which I guess is on account of it made her feel sore and mad at it.

It was a tiny, pointy knife the vet lady aimed at Coors Light’s own sore lump. I saw him get real sleepy and droopy-eyed, like I often feel out of the clear blue sky when the vet lady’s around. And then, with our own bucket gal standin right there watchin but not liftin a hand to stop her, the sweet-talkin but evil vet lady wielded her tiny knife and cut – no, she carved – the lump out. No, she whittled it out of his horse-face. Like it was a good thing. Talkin, with happy people-talk, about how much better it might look now, and feel now (when I knew all along Coors Light said it felt perfectly fine almost all the time).

I ain’t got to describe the details. But they involved fly bits which is called “lar-va” and also blood and pus and even more drippy blood and bits. And then the lump from his face fell plumb to the ground and there was no more face lump to be found on Coors Light. And the flies landed all over the lump on the ground while Coors Light wobbled on his legs with half-closed eyes, droolin horse drool and also bright red bloody drool that finally stopped drippin drooly blood after a real long while.

I’m real glad to spare ya the details.

Coors Light never knew what hit him.

At feedin time a while later, when he was overly bright-eyed again, I asked him how his mouth was feelin, and he said fine, and also he said, hey, the lumpy thing’s all gone. And I said, yeah, it is, and I told him and Original Coors exactly how it happened, only worse than what I done told here. And they, bein Ayrab horses, told me I was makin it up, on account of Ayrab horses make things up a lot therefore they always suspect other horses do likewise. They said they never seen no vet lady do such a thing, not even back at the California ranch where they was raised, where vet ladies fussed at horses, especially prancey horses, all the damned time even worse than they do on the County Island, if ya can believe that.

But now I know the depths of vicious savagery our own vet lady’s capable of, and to which our own bucket gal’s willin to be a party. I ain’t real sure what a good ranch horse can do about it, but I got knowlegde of it, and no horse can unknow a bad thing once he knows it.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

An Obvious Tail

Point one: I got no real bite to speak of. And I don’t ever bark. I likely wouldn’t even know how if I tried, which would be ridiculous.

Point two: I got four hooves, and a mane, and a tail, and a long forelock. Also, I got a horse nose, and horse ears, and a general horse face.

Point three: I eat hay, and grain, and carrots, like a horse.

Thusly: I am, in fact, a horse. But sometimes on the County Island, seems like a horse has got to state what woulda been obvious back when he was a workin ranch horse.

One time the bucket gal was leadin me home at the end of a long ride, like she does sometimes instead of ridin me all the way to our own li’l horse-corral gate. I don’t know why she does it, but sometimes she swings out of the saddle when we’re nearly home and walks me the rest of the way, I suppose for people-reasons that don’t matter to horses. We was walkin along the side of the big road in such a manner, when a tiny rumbly-car pulled up alongside us and slowed down, and the man inside the rumbly-car said loudly, “You’re supposed to WALK a DOG and RIDE a HORSE!” He said it like he said the funniest thing in the whole entire world. He also wore his hair in a long and proper pony tail, which struck me as downright silly for a man-person, mainly for a person and not a horse, or a bucket gal.

Before I could even flatten one ear in his general direction, the bucket gal shot back, “You mean this” — and she pointed directly at me — “isn’t a dog?” And the rumbly-car man kinda laughed, and kinda stared at us, and then he and the rumbly-car rumbled away.

And then it hit me, like a hard hailstorm outa nowhere when the sun’s still shinin bright in the sky and you trot toward the nearest trees for cover.

Does the bucket gal think I’m a real big dog? And also, would it be so bad for a horse if she did? County Island dogs is nothin but a bunch of pampered pets. So are most of the horses. Maybe it’s on account of the people don’t know we’re actually horses that can handle doin horse things instead of pet dog-like things?

Therefore, point four: I’m willin to be a dog.

And point five: Mind you, I’m not proclaimin I AM a dog. I’m merely sayin I remain open to a dog option if that’s what makes for happy horses and people here on the County Island.

Point six: I know how to bite, although I don’t use my bite because that’s still bad ranch manners whether you’re dog or horse, unless I aim to bite Coors or Coors Light for good reason.

Point seven: I’m already “leash”-broke, and I’m far more house-broke, or stall-broke, than either Coors or Coors Light when it comes to keepin my beddin neat.

Thusly: I reckon I’m already one damned fine dog, even considerin I’m still a lot more hoof than woof.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 
 
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