Get Over It

Get Over It blog photo

If you’re gonna run with the big dogs, first, you got to get over it. By you, well, I mean us horses. By run, I mean mostly trottin and also some lopin. Well, truthfully, mostly walkin. By big dogs, I mean beagle-dogs. Do ya see where this is goin?

By get over it, I mean hurry up and get over it. We can’t go nowhere chasin after bad beagle-dogs with the “hunt club” ‘til every last hunt club horse gets over the step-over and into the beagle-chasin, rabbit-runnin hills. On this particular day, it took a lot longer than it should.

My hocks could really bend back then to get over anythin at all. But I had to wait my turn that day and every day. In pointless rabbit-chasin, there’s a proper way to do it, called a “protocol,” just like in proper ranch work — although nobody would think there’d be anything proper nor orderly about somethin as silly as runnin after dogs that’s runnin after rabbits for no reason. But the tallest, most keyed-up horses have to go first, as they do the most runnin. Also, there’s more of them than of us. I was more than happy to be to be ridin at the back of the trailer, so to speak, with what’s called the short bus for nonsense people-reasons, as well as ‘cause most of us short bus horses were short. But my patience with the big horses ran a li’l short. I stood still and good like I always do, but maybe my ears betrayed me.

If the first horse won’t get over it, nobody can get over it. The first horse that mornin had some right cat-like cuttin horse moves on her — although she was a big ol’ warmblood and therefore not cut out for cow work — the way she danced left and right in front of the step-over. The bad news for her was we wasn’t cuttin cattle, and even if we was, we’d be more likely to find ‘em on the other side of the danged step-over. Eventually, the big mare squeezed her eyes shut tight, and jumped it like she was a jackrabbit herself. Her rider went with her, so that worked out alright for her.

The second horse planted his hooves ‘til they near grew roots. A team of beagle-chasin women dressed in their beagle finery finally formed a chain to lock their arms around his butt and try and push him over it from behind. It wasn’t pretty, and his hind hooves left long drag marks in the deep dirt, but it did work.

The third horse must’ve been payin close attention to the first two, on account of he also seemed to have a bad balk to him. A couple crop marks on his butt set his mind right.

It was set to be a real long day.

Didn’t these horses realize the quicker we got over the step-over to get the job done, the quicker we could all get right back here to our own hay nets at our own rollin horse-boxes? But, turned out, logic was scarcer than jackrabbits that day. Maybe it was the wind. It was a windy day, and that rattles some horses’ ears loose. Maybe if you’re a taller horse like these all was, the wind reaches more of the insides of your ears and tickles ‘em worse than how it reaches us smaller and more sensible horses.

Any horse can jump, the County Island people like to say, and I suppose that ought to include pickin up your own hooves from a walk to step over somethin.

Any horse can jump, that is, except for my buddy Coors Light. And even he likely could if he really wanted to. He can even step over a step-over, when he wants to.

But Coors Light trained the bucket gal to step down out of the saddle and walk him over. How about those apples.

That mornin with the beagle-dog and rabbit-chasin-after club, nobody was steppin down out of the saddle. That might’ve been easier, though, and surely it might’ve been faster.

I am generally opposed to speed. But I shuffled my own feet to try to say, come on, y’all. Let’s get this thing underway so we can wrap it back up! I could see my own hay bag out of the corner of my eye, hangin all by itself off my own rollin white horse-box, without me there rippin and tossin my hay from it with a happy hunger.

Finally, some sensible big, fast horses appeared, and right on over they went with their riders, lickity-split. Some of ‘em even split from the step-over at a dead run. This was more like it.

When our riders was finally tired of pesterin dogs and rabbits hours later, we all headed back to the horse-boxes with the same step-over between us and our feed. And I’ll be damned if there wasn’t one horse who required great persuasion to step back over the same step-over he didn’t want to step over to go out and run. And his rider did step down from the saddle. A great tug o’war commenced with her one one side, and her horse on the other. Both was flarin their nostrils pretty bad. Finally, he jumped the step-over like it was a great rattlesnake-infested ravine instead of a plain ol’ log not even as tall as his knees. Then the rest of us could go, too.

I suppose of the moral of the story is, some horses don’t have the sense to think ahead and consider the consequences of the way they behave. I don’t mean consider the way people consider, and consider, and consider, and keep on considerin and refusin to simply let go and get over a thing. People are terrible at lettin go. I mean consider your own hooves and your own stomach and where your hooves need to be to best serve your stomach. Also, there’s one in every herd that holds up the whole band’s forward progress, every single time. When it happens, all a good short-bus horse can do is wait his turn, get over it, and let it all go back to the rollin horse-box and his own sweet, sweet feed.

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Posted by on August 9, 2018 in Uncategorized


Top Secret: About Whiskey. Totally Do Not Tell Him.


Top Secret blog photo 1 

Dudes, hay! This is totally Coors Light.

So it takes Whiskey longer to get up from a nap these days, because of his “bad hawks and also a bum stifle, fetlock, and pretty much bum everything, so I am totally taking advantage and posting this before he figures it out and tries to get up to stop me.

So a while ago, me and my bro Original Coors snuck through the fence when the hotwire was down, over to his Facebook Ranch, and asked what you guys REALLY want to know about Whiskey.

Me and Original Coors know ALL the dirt. Literally, we know dirt. Here’s some of it. If you like it, great. If not, whatever. We totally had fun doing this.

Is Whiskey a real horse?

Yep, he’s as real as me and Original Coors are! Sometimes he’s a little too real, like, y’know, “keepin it real,” but the cool thing – and you guys can never tell him I said this – is you always know where you stand with him. Like you never have to wonder if he’s going to bite or kick you. By the time it happens, you’ll totally know it’s coming because he told you for like at least 10 minutes before. I personally know where all his buttons are, and I like to push them. Me and him are cool like that. It’s a game we play, or well, I play. Whiskey doesn’t play games.

 Is he really 30 years old?

We actually don’t know. But everybody says he is, and they say it’s like it’s true, so it must be true. I mean he’s got to be at LEAST 30. Also don’t tell him, but we like having him around even though he’s all bossy and “look at me, I’m Whiskey Ranch-Horse, a good horse ain’t never a bad color, neigh blah neigh blah…” So we hope he gets to be 31, or maybe even 36. Original Coors’ dam got be 36.

How are the bucket bunnies these days?

They’re bunnies, so they’re always good. Whiskey really needs to tell you guys more about them, because they’re really entertaining. And they’re not mean, or smelly, or annoying like a lot of the other critters on the County Island. Bunnies are cool.

What is the deal with Original Coors’ tail? Why does it curl around look so totally awesome? Does it help with propulsion make all the mares think he’s handsome?

Hi – this is the original OC, Original Coors! Your question was very rude, so I made it nicer. I have a fabulous tail that floats when I trot. All the mares in the ‘hood think it’s hot. Thanks for asking.

Is there really an island in the desert?


Is Whiskey really a double-branded warmblood as he claims?

If your definition is that he’s got two brands, and his blood is warm.

Was there ever really a barenekkid jogger, really now?

Sadly, there was. Like, he was a local LEGEND. People wear clothes for a REASON, you guys. Us horses got to see WAY too much of his reason.

 How tall is Whiskey?

He’s 14.2 the day the farrier’s been overdue by like a week.

Why does Whiskey hate apples, or does he?

I think he’s got texture issues. He won’t touch them, at all, ever. More for us!

 Is the “sweet talkin but evil vet lady” really evil?

She’s super chill and nice and we don’t know what his problem is with her. She’s not even semi-evil. She takes really good care of us, and once in a while she brings cookies or an apple. (But Whiskey hates apples; see above.)

Who’s the smartest one in the herd?

Obviously me, Coors Light.

Who’s the tallest?

Also me, Coors Light. I am 15.2 hands.

Who’s the youngest?

Original Coors is 22 and the baby. I’m 24.

Does Whiskey ever talk in his sleep?

NO! Thank GOD.

 Do horses hear “laurel” or “yanni”?

No. That’s a really weird question.

Did you guys watch the Royal Wedding this year? Did Original Coors cry?

If it doesn’t happen on our road on the County Island, we don’t watch it. Coors cries a lot, though, especially when we go out and he gets left behind. We watch bucket bunnies get married all the time, if you mean something different by “get married” before they have a lot of little bunnies.

Is Coors Light really a bonafide national prancin champion?

Seriously, yeah! It’s a real thing. I wore red roses around my neck and everything. But nobody would let me eat the roses, which was really dumb and so in my fancy win pics I look totally bored and disgusted and like maybe I might eat the roses anyway. Man, I could really prance back in the day.

Can Whiskey foxtrot, since Texas A&M’s DNA test says he’s a Fox Trotter?

Only when he wants to.

Why are Arabians so much better than ranch horses?

Some things defy explanation. We just are.

Top Secret blog photo 2


Posted by on July 8, 2018 in Uncategorized


Shields Up

Duct tape ain’t good enough for the County Island no more, and that’s a bonafide fact. Neither is the stretchy wrap that’s named after the sweet-talkin’ but evil lady – called the vet wrap. Now,’ my busted ol hawks has suddenly got to be shielded. But they can’t be shielded with wraps of duct tape that can fix up a whole entire ranch plus all the critters on it, nor with the vet wrap stuff. What I heard is they suddenly got to be shielded from the dirt and the dust, which don’t make a lick of sense, and bein a 30-year-old horse now, I got sense to spare. My hocks is well-acquainted with dirt and dirt sores. They ain’t no big deal. But, I suppose the bucket gal means well. And I still get fed. A lot. Sometimes I even get double breakfasts or even double suppers if I ask with a real polite nicker.

More and more I got to wonder what the point is of ever tryin to understand the County Island. On the other hoof, if the bucket gal’s made happy shieldin my hocks from the sand, so be it. And they ain’t near as funny to try and walk in as a horse might think, the hock shieldin devices.

I think the County Island’s a place a horse just got to accept if he wants to be happy, same as everythin else that matters in a good ranch horse’s life. In the end, a happy horse is an acceptin horse, no matter how his bucket gal dresses him.

I mean they an’t half bad, but they also ain’t doin no good as far as I can tell. All I know is they ain’t worth fussin over, no more than what I already done here. The County Island works in real mysterious ways most times.


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Posted by on May 31, 2018 in Uncategorized


Neither Young Nor Stupid

Neither Young Nor Stupid blog photo

Bein old and bein young has got a lot in common when you’re a horse.

For instance, when you’re three and ya do somethin’ good, the people say AWW GOOD BOY to let ya know you’re special.

And when you’re 30, they say the same thing – AWW GOOD BOY – if ya do any damn thing at all.

Ya eat all your dinner – AWW GOOD BOY. Ya walk around the trail for a borin slow ride – AWW GOOD BOY. Ya stand for picture-takin with a sparkly birthday “30” crown upon your head – AWW GOOD BOY. Ya stand up on your own hooves after lyin down for a nap – AWW GOOD BOY.

There ain’t nothin special about bein special.

The older and wiser I get, the more I know it to be true deep down inside my own time-worn bones – how much alike bein three and bein 30 is.

I’m pretty sure the bucket gal knows I know how to step over and through all manner of things by now, on account of we’ve done it together enough. But lately she don’t act like she remembers any of it.

Could she be gettin old and forgetful?

There was once a time when I leaped across a bonafide oxer fence all by myself, and as tall as myself, with the bucket gal, carrot guy and other witnesses watchin. I walked right up to it when I was turned loose in the jumpin arena, and gave it a thought. Seemed like a fun thing to do. My hocks set down upon the ground to launch me up and over that oxer from a standstill so I could fly. I suppose that’s why I thought they was called hawks before, on account of the flyin.

When me and the bucket gal chased all them bad beagle-dogs across the range in search of jackrabbits all those times, with the hunt club that never hunted nothin nor fired a gun, I jumped across more arroyos than I can count. We jumped ditches and banks and downed trees and cactus. We crossed deep muddy washes and sandy slip-slidin spots too. I was sure-footed to pick my way across and through and up and down any kinda terrain in any weather.


I surely got to be led by the halter-rope at a easy walk, back and forth across two tiny flat poles on the ground inside the prancin arena, like a greenhorn baby that don’t yet know it’s got four feet much less where they all are.

It’s harder than it ought to be.

It’s harder than I ever recall it bein, in fact, even when I was three.

My old, bad hocks don’t like to bend no more. For most of my days they been real good and useful hawks. They started goin bad before I came to live upon the County Island, now that I care to think on it. Then they went real bad, and I learned all about hawk jail. When ya get released from jail, of course a horse is gonna feel better and it ain’t got a think to do with vet ladies and their diabolical ways of pokin stuff into horses. They’re unrelated. I never knew hawks could also go from bad to worse, but mine have gone and done it.

Even when they’re worse, though, I still try. A horse has always got to try. It’s the right thing to do, and also the only practical thing. Young horses waste a lot of their good hawks on impractical things that get a horse in trouble one way or the other. There’s nothin special nor good about that.

The trouble is, when I want to go, often my hawks do not. And they have the power to make that decision for me, seems like.

And so I get led around over poles upon the ground. It ain’t so bad. But sometimes my hawks don’t even want to do that much. You keep puttin one hoof down in front of the other, and ya do it with a hitch in your get-along if ya got to. And ya do it even when it also feels dumb and pointless. Maybe ya wish the bucket gal would raise ‘em a little bit so ya could at least hop over and have some fun, and then ya think, no, never mind.

The bucket gal has promised me of late that she’ll do everythin in her power to keep my hocks from hurtin, and she won’t let me hurt bad. And I did believe her –

Until, after such a deep and meaningful promise, she went and summoned the sweet-talkin but evil vet lady again, who never has made me feel better except when she leaves. The bucket gal directed her to poke me in the neck two times and also directed her to demonstrate how to stick sharp things into me herself, even when the vet lady ain’t even there! I don’t remember what occurred after that, ‘cause they knocked me out cold.

What kinda promise is “I won’t hurt ya/here’s the vet come to hurt ya?” And oh, by the way, “I am now fully trained to stick needles into ya myself, and maybe I’ll do so whenever I feel like it and with no warnin to a sensible horse?”

No wonder so many County Island horses got trust issues.

Now, of course, I do feel better. Any horse would. As usual, it ain’t got nothin to do with things bein stuck into me by neither vet-ladies nor bucket gals.

I can only smartly conclude the bucket gal’s goin senile, with all her strange behaviors.

I did not get to be 30 by bein a stupid horse.

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Posted by on April 9, 2018 in Uncategorized


A Hole in His Head

A Hole in His Head Blog Photo

One time, Original Coors got a big hole in his head. More than the usual one I joke about sometimes, I mean. He didn’t know how it came to reside in his head, and you’d think if anyone would know, it’d be him. The thought would trouble me more, but I’m a sensible horse that ain’t got a hole in his head. If it don’t concern ya, it don’t concern ya. So far I lived my entire life with only the proper holes in my head for my nose, eyeballs and ears, and seems likely I’ll remain that way. If I don’t, I don’t.

But Coors went on and on about it. He claimed it itched, a lot. He itched it on every itchin place he could find in our own corral until he’d itched it raw.It itched it ‘til it blew up apple-size, or even bigger than that, as if he had a apple stuck in the back of his craw and could not spit it out – which is the only proper way to handle a mealy, disgustin-sweet-sick thing like a apple. They ain’t meant to be ate by me, nor by Original Coors from the looks of his apple-swelled-up head.Worth notin: When a horse’s face swells up like a bad apple overnight, but he ain’t ate an apple recently and he rubs it ‘til all the hair falls off and it looks like a apple you’d find run over on the side of the road, County Island people come undone.

Do you want to know how many times the evil, evil, but sweet-talkin’ vet-lady stuck her own hand inside Original Coors’ head that night, and pulled out a horse don’t even what to guess how much of what kinda gunk from Coors’ head, after the bucket gal told her tiny telephone that lives in her pocket to make a emergency call?

I couldn’t tell ya. But it was lot. I high-tailed it outa there. No part of whatever was goin down that night would ever get the chance to reach down inside my own parts. But I swear I heard the vet lady say her hand near about touched the underside of Coors’ tongue, up inside his mouth, inside his head. Later, Coors verified it felt both awful and true.

Once she cleared out all the bad junk there was, and her and the bucket gal made reference to somethin they called “a thousand island dressin” now bein ruined forever for them, Original Coors was left standin with an even bigger, now hollowed-out hole inside his head. And it made her and our own bucket gal happy.

The bucket gal spent the next forever days wipin Coors’ head hole clean and waterboardin him, which is when a person, under the direction of an evil vet lady, makes a horse stand still as a board on the side of a barn while she aims a water-hose inside his head to flush it out and then pours medicine that stings like a bee in it, too. Or so I am told.

The bucket gal also went damn near sideways swipin clean every single part of our corral and everythin inside it. She cleaned the buckets and the hay holders and the fence rails and gates and latches, and even aimed cleaner stuff at the damned dirt underneath our hooves. She cleaned her own people-feet. And her hands. And changed her clothes more than once while she tended to us. I swear I figured she’d set to wipin down the rabbits next. She was that crazed.

That’s when it came to me it must be the strangles like what swept through the ranch sometimes.

I could tell everybody a whole lot more about how the hole in Coors’ head gaped and oozed, and also about how it gave forth a real foul smell, and for how long, as counted by forever days by the bucket gal. But I won’t.

Turned out it wasn’t the strangles at all, and so the County Island rabbits was spared bein wiped clean up one side and down the other cottontail side, as was me and Coors Light. We was also spared any more of the tiny stick set up our nether regions to tell a person if we was feverish or not even though we knew we wasn’t.

The cause was found to be a cow thing, so they say, but that don’t make sense ‘cause we ain’t got cattle nor have we associated with none in a real long time. Likely that’s all I can tell about it, without bein a horse that cares to truly listen to the sweet-talkin but evil lady. Also, despite what I said back here, Original Coors ain’t a actual cow.

The hole in his head lasted from well before the time of the red and green antler hats set upon County Island horses’ head, to plumb near when we was all shed out in preparation for the hot time. Or, in people parlance, “forever.”

So now y’all can easily comprehend how the giant cow hole in Coors’ head remains a great mystery. It’s gone now, and so’s the evil vet lady, which is all I care about. Original Coors cares that his head’s whole again, and also that the vet lady’s gone. Coors Light got off the easiest in all this whole deal, as he had neither a extra unexplained head hole nor a near daily fear of the vet lady like I endured.

And I hope not to know anymore about cows nor their holes ever again.

Actinomycosis in horses:

Actinomycosis in animals:

Merck Veterinary Manual:

 If you’re a person that’s squeamish, kindly whoa yourself right here and turn back. This ain’t the trail for you.




If you’re a person that likes to look upon disgustin things, then keep goin. Thusly, here is Original Coors’ hold before it even was a hole, when it was more like a swollen-up apple under his jaw by the crick of his throat latch. And then two days later what it looked like empty and damned well dug out by our very own sweet-talkin but evil vet lady.




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Posted by on March 11, 2018 in Uncategorized


On the Occasion of My 30th Birthday (Big Deal)

30th Birthday 1

I got woke up from a good sun nap in the warm, soft sand after a cold, rainy County Island mornin. The bucket gal was kinda rude about it, too. “Get up, Whiskey! Come on, get up!” she clapped at me, wavin my halter and rope to and fro near my hind end. Only she wasn’t even dressed in her ridin clothes yet, only her fancy, might melt if horse snot touched ‘em not-ridin people-clothes. So I failed to understand the hurry. She wasn’t ready to do nothin useful, nor was I. That’s when it’s good to be a retired mostly retired pet pleasure horse, when ya get to say, hold on, I ain’t ready to move just yet. It’s helps if you’re old and wise in your years, too.

After a moment, I moved. Damn, the cold made my old joints stiff, but I got up and I loped off a few steps to reacquaint my bones with my blood flow. Then I allowed her to halter me since she still seemed set on it.

She led me over to the corral fence rail, where Original Coors and Coors Light had already planted hooves to grow roots, and was bein stuffed full of cookies and carrots by a whole lotta people. There was the carrot guy dispensin the carrots to ‘em all, and some big folks I know cordially, and some little folks too, and a real nice lady who sounded like our own sweet-talkin but evil vet lady, only she didn’t smell evil that day, and her normal rumbly-truck wasn’t parked out back by the barn where it goes when she means to do us some kinda veterinary harm such as poke us and prod us, or knock us out cold.

It was a suspicious amount of folks. And they stuffed us horses with treats at an alarmin rate, which was fine by us but for the suspicious part.

Then the bucket gal said, OK, on the count of three, go… one, two, three…! And even though I stood still and quiet, I wondered if I ought to gather my hocks under me to get outta Dodge quick if they aimed to stampede us?

They began to neigh at us, as far as people can neigh, and then all together came their words in a real loud discordant song-birdy rhythm, when a song-bird ain’t well and sings off-key but is still real happy to be alive and able to sing at all:

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you,

Happy 30th birthday, dear Whis-keeeeeeeee…

Happy birthday to you!

Birthday? I tried to recall what it was like the day when I met my dam for the first time, but that picture seemed faded. It didn’t feel like that day fell durin the cold time, maybe later in the grass and sunshine when she and I and the herd walked all across the wildflowery hills. Was it my birthday that day? Did it matter if it was my birthday that day? Why was County Island people so obsessed with a horse’s birthday? Maybe it was my birthday. But 30th? I tried to count all the seasons I’d known, but horses don’t care much for countin pointless things. Maybe I counted up 30 seasons, who knew?

That’s when I realized I had somethin set upon my head, other than my halter, ‘cause Original Coors gave me a look. It was one of those people-holiday decorative headgear things we got to wear sometimes on the County Island, such as devil horns and Santa Claus hats. I still don’t know what it was, but it seemed to make everyone real happy. I reckon it was related to my birthday.

There was much pettin of us and scratchin at our itches, when the treat train finally left the station for good, and happy talkin and laughin. Then the bucket gal declared it to be time for somethin called “cake,” which did not sound like it involved horses. I was unhaltered, and hugged tight, which was warm and nice but also unnecessary. Coors Light said “cake” was like the “cupcakes” the bucket gal had tried to feed us one time, on the occasion of her own birthday. A cupcake smells like a sweet, sweet palo verde flower, but tastes – pardon my french – like cowshit. But the bucket gal likes ‘em.

They dispersed to the people-barn for “cake,” I guess, and me, Coors and Coors Light dispersed back to bein horses.

So that’s what it’s like to be a horse who’s 30. It’s no big deal, but ya do get more treats than normal. And it makes the people happy. Like I always say, happy people make for happy horses, so what’s good for all of them is alright by me.

30th Birthday 2

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Posted by on January 30, 2018 in Uncategorized


The Mirage

Have ya ever put your head down to take drink of cool water from a creek and caught the startlin sight of a real handsome horse starin straight back at ya? Unless you’re a special kinda horse, you knew it was you. Or at least ya knew it wasn’t you exactly, but it also wasn’t another bonafide real horse, no matter how much maybe ya arched your neck at it, or tried to nuzzle it, or strike it with your hoof. That’s just creek-water-you. It ain’t like a horse could ever see himself in a flake of hay, or at the bottom of a grain bucket.

So it ain’t normal to meet another you that ain’t you anywhere but down inside some creek water. That’s when I knew I was finally losin my very last shred of horse sense after livin on the County Island for such a long stretch. ‘Cause I was out for a short, peaceful, lazy kinda trail ride when I spied a bonafide tiny mirage of familiarity out there in the desert brush.

Ya see, I saw myself.

Only shrunken down. By a lot.

It was “me,” if I may use my ironical pointed horse ears.

mini me air quotes

And I did indeed point my ears. And so did mini me.

And then I set my ears back a bit. And so did he.

There was no need for neither posturin nor strikin.

That’s when I knew me and mini me was gonna be alright. We’re copacetic, which means I’m cool with him, and he’s cool with me.

dr evil mini me

And he’s real, alright.

He stands about Shetland size, like the ranch boss’ kids’ li’l cowpoke pony back at the ranch. And full of boss pony attitude but in a real friendly and no-nonsense way. I’d be more than content to be a County Island co-boss horse with such an upstandin li’l fella.


I asked if he was meant to have a job, as he lives with a bunch of full-size reputable Quarter Horses that got part-time cow jobs. Not a real cow job like I used to have. I mean stupid but fun County Island cow games. But he said as far as he knows, his job’s to be the pony pet. I congratulated him on gettin that gig, ‘cause it’s real solid gig to get.

Now me and mini me say our howdys whenever I get rode past his pen. And he tells me how he likes to startle some of the more looky horses in these parts who think he’s me only chopped off at the knees. And we chuckle under our breath together, and that’s that. As long as nobody gets hurt, it’s good to have a li’l fun now and again. It’s one of the best parts of bein a mostly retired pet pleasure horse, or his tiny pony pet compadre, livin the good life on the County Island.


complete me


Posted by on January 21, 2018 in Uncategorized