Trash Talk

One time, and one time only, a terrible thing transpired here on the County Island.

I was bein rode along one of our less usual roads, by the bucket gal, of course, and it was a dark ‘n windy winter day, gettin on toward sunset, and also feedin time. The shadows was layin long upon the ground, and the hunger in my belly was such that it nearly swallowed up all my own ability to pay attention to my surroundins — which was hard to see anyhow, on account of all the shadows that might spook a lesser horse.

I know I talk a lotta trash about lesser horses, but there’s lot of ‘em to talk trash about, especially upon the County Island. So my horse-thoughts that day was mostly trained on my empty insides and not so much the world outside of me, on account of I ain’t a lesser horse. I seen so much of the outside world, sometimes what’s out there hardly even matters to a horse, lest it’s a rattlesnake or maybe a hole in the ground a horse could twist a hoof in.

When out from the out from the shadows on the side of the road leaped a big, black BEAR. No, it was a whole HERD of big, black bears!

Now, I’d never seen an actual bear before that time, but I’d heard other horses tell about ’em from up in the more mountainy ranches. Mostly they was big, and black as a night that’s got no moon in it, and scary, with big, scary sharp teeth and claws meant to make meat out of good horses. So I surely wasn’t about to let a bear get ME. Much less the bucket gal, on whom I depend for my bucket and my feed.

Before the bears made their attack, I did the bucket gal — who was ridin me on the buckle and likely payin less attention than I was — a solid favor by duckin sideways and pitchin her — and me — away from them, and spinnin in a circle so as to maybe confuse ’em and throw ’em off for a second.

Let me say first, I fully expected her to stay in the saddle.

When the bucket gal hit the ground, I whirled around to face our attackers.

And saw they was just a big pile of big, black, shiny trash bags. Just normal trash, too, not bear-like in the least.

No shadow of a doubt about it, this trash had put me in the middle of a big mess.

And let me say second, it was good that they wasn’t real bears, ’cause while I was fully prepared to gallop for home and take the bucket gal with me to escape an all-out bear attack, gallopin wastes a whole lotta energy that’s best conserved for eatin and nappin, and also any time a horse turns and bolts for home, he’s gonna have a whole lotta explainin to do after the fact, likely at the end of an angry lead shank. Trust me, horses. It ain’t worth it, not even for bears.

Also, if ya ever mistake a trash bag for a bear like I done, don’t bother tryin to run from the deed after it’s done. Extra spookin serves no good purpose at all. Horse up and own your own deed.

The bucket gal recovered her pride quickly, as I stood there in my attempt to say sorry. She was mad, alright, likely more so at landin on her behind than by bein saved by a false bear attack by me. She led me what seemed like the long way back home to our own li’l horse-corral, and we went slow ‘cause she seemed to be slightly lame in her gait. We arrived right as night fell. My buddy Coors (this was before we got saddled with Coors Light, too) waited at the gate with a curious expression, even for an Ayrab-horse.

“Bears,” was all I told him by my flattened ears. His eyes got real wide at that. He blew hard through his nostrils.

I never dumped the bucket gal before that, and I ain’t never dumped her since. Dumped her from a dead walk, though, in my own defense. I never planned to dump her that day, but then I never planned to get ambushed by bears, neither.

And that’s why I still don’t fully trust big, black bags of trash along the road. They fooled me once, and I ain’t even a lesser horse. I don’t intend to ever let ’em fool me again. It’d be too much for an old, broke ranch horse to bear.

Trash Talk photo

Horses, don’t trust ’em. Bears or trash bags. And y’all know you can trust me on this, on account of I’m the most honest horse you’re ever likely to know.

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Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Uncategorized


Big Deal

Big Deal blog photo dust

When you ride out with the big horses, you got two choices: You can go big, or you can go home.

My dam always told me bigger ain’t better. I didn’t listen much, as a growin colt, seein as how my main job as a young ‘un was to grow bigger and become a real big, bad-ass ranch horse. Pardon my french. But in the end, a horse is only as big as the job he gets done. I spent a whole lotta time gettin the job done before I came to live on the County Island. And a horse only needs to be so big to get the job done. If he’s too big, how can he duck under brush and tree branches to flush out stray cattle, or quail-birds if his rider is aimin to bag a few of those? If he’s too big, his rider can’t reach down real good from the saddle to open and close the gates at fence lines, neither. So then, there’s big, and then there’s big enough. There’s also BIG. This is about the time I rode out with some BIG horses, who’re also kind of a big deal.

I met the horse police before, sure, such as this one time, but I guess I never cared to get real up close and personal with ‘em until that day, to realize the BIGNESS of their whole, entire, earth-quakin, trail-dustin size. Horse police, so it turns out, is GIANTS among regular horses, in ability but also real obviously in size. This is especially true if they got draft bloodlines in ‘em, which makes ‘em grow even bigger than big. They got hooves as big as a weaned colt’s head. Nostrils wider than a wide rattlesnake hole in the dirt you’d best not step in by accident with your own big-enough hooves. They certainly ain’t too big to get their police work done, ‘cause roundin up and ropin bad people has got to be real hard and call for extra horse power.

And each one of ‘em kicks up enough dirt to make their own haboobs, which is a real funny way County Island people say dust storms. I reckon makin haboobs also helps ‘em somehow when they’re stormin around and roundin up bad guys and such. Maybe makes ‘em easier to rope and tie when they can’t see to make a break for it on account of the cloud of dust.

So this one time — since I couldn’t go big, bein fully growed into my own proper ranch size, and since also I couldn’t go home, on account of bein saddled up by the bucket gal and it bein the lowest of low-class for a saddled horse to spin ‘n run for home (and also, home was nowhere nearby, as I came to the ride in the rollin white horse-box) — it turned out there was a third choice, if you’re me. You can go big, go home — or do it my way.

In a horse’s life, there’s always at least two trails he can take: chief among ‘em bein the fast trail, and the slow trail. Lots of horses like the fast trail best. The fast trail’s best for the fast part, if it ain’t obvious. If you walk faster, trot faster, lope faster, run faster, or plain cover more ground faster, you get done faster, which means you get back to your feed bag faster, get unsaddled and get put away to rest. But fast horses also get made to go farther, sometimes miles upon miles farther. When you’re a big horse, such as the big horse police, I suppose coverin more ground in less time comes natural. I suppose maybe they even like it that way. It’s likely just how they walk, with big, ground-eatin strides that cause ‘em to faster and farther than regular horses.

I ain’t one of them big, fast horses.

Horses like me is best suited to the slow trail. If you’re slow enough, eventually, your rider will realize there ain’t no way in County Island hell you’re ever gonna catch up to the horse police as you ride around your loop trail. I was so far behind ‘em, despite my own best measured and careful walkin abilities, I wasn’t even eatin trail dust no more. Their trail dust was half a mile ahead. I figured I’d rode that loop before. There was nothin on it of particular interest to a horse up ahead to hurry up and get to. No grass to speak of in these parts, and also no creek water to drink. There was a stock tank that’s sometimes full, but we was headed the wrong way for a stock tank break to splash and drink. I also knew there was never any cattle about, so they surely didn’t need my services for gatherin stock.

Benefits of the slow trail can be enumerated by a horse, thusly.

First, it’s shorter. Once your rider, in this case my own bucket gal, decides you ain’t never catchin up, she’ll decide to forgo the whole pointless loop, and rein ya in another direction, namely the direction from which the horse police will eventually come back with their poundin, thunderous hoof dust storm. Instead of bein rode the whole loop, you only get rode maybe half of it. Three quarters at most. Yeah, us horses know how to measure trails in quarters. We measure what matters.

On the slow trail, there’s a lot less risk of inhalin trail dust. Thus, it’s healthier for a horse.

When the loop’s long and pointless, why bother ridin all of it? We met back up with the horse police on their own way back as they came one way around the loop, and we came the other, and then we turned for home to ride back with ‘em. I confirmed with Officer Moose, I believe it was (for he was big and brown as what I’ve had mooses described to me as by horses that’ve seen mooses) that I didn’t miss no action at all, not police work nor cattle work, around the bend. Plus I ain’t real sure I need to see no action anymore anyways, at my own wise and advanced age. Been there, done that, got the ranch brands to prove it. Leave to whole loop to the bigger, faster, younger horses.

And I only coughed trail dust for a short spell, ‘til they was stridin way past us again back to the feed bags attached to all our rollin white horse-boxes.

I still don’t know why I got rode with the horse police at all, since they didn’t seem to require any civilian horse service, not even from a retired officer of the ranch like me. I guess it was meant to be for fun.

Think of it this way. We’re all headin down the same trail, amigos, even if we’re real big deal horse police, who really ARE a BIG, important deal in ALL the big, important ways. It don’t matter none who gets there first or who gets there last, if there ain’t no point related to bein first or last. A trail ain’t a competition. Well, unless it is, but we ain’t talkin about trail competitions. Take your time, go slow enough to keep your own self comfortable but fast enough to appease your rider, and try always to enjoy the ride.

Big Deal blog photo

See them horses behind me? They’re kind of a big deal.



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Posted by on April 13, 2016 in Uncategorized


Have a Heart

When I was a workin ranch horse, proper things happened at proper times, and wasn’t all mushed together like they often is on the County Island. Such as feedin time, as a chief example. Lots of times, I got to get rode for a pointless but alright pleasure ride smack dab in the middle of feedin time. This time of people-year, that means in the middle of suppertime. Sometime in between my main meal of my own bucket of pellets and sweet feed and such, and my follow-up meal of grass hay and just a bite of alfalfa hay, I got to get rode. Did I say I got to get rode and worked in the MIDDLE of feedin time, unlike my ranch days? Mostly I don’t complain about it, but I do make note.

Tonight’s ride got further delayed by the discovery of a heart along the trail. Apparently, we had to stop and make a picture of it. I don’t know why, nor does a horse really care. It wasn’t even a real critter heart, like one that’s been disemboweled out of a critter’s own insides, in which case there’d still be no point in makin a picture of it on account of a picture wouldn’t help the critter who lost it none. And I got no idea why it was lyin where it was, nor how it got there.

And also, makin a heart picture delayed me returnin to part two of my supper – mainly my dearly loved alfalfa part. On the ranch, supper was the reward and rest after a day’s work, not somethin that got interrupted by pointless pleasure ridin and picture makin. Did I mention that yet?

It was also kinda heartless of the bucket gal – who I try real hard never to talk ill of, all of y’all can likely attest to – to rein me in when I wanted to jog on past the heart. Sometimes people like it when an old horse wants to jog and maybe has a li’l bit of a jig in his step. Other times, they don’t. Which is all more proof to me that County Island people exist in a continual state of confusion, unlike us horses who is real clear in our thoughts and our ways.

So anyhow, here ya go. Have a heart, for what it’s worth, which likely ain’t much.

Have a Heart blog photo


Posted by on March 31, 2016 in Uncategorized



The other people-day, I got turned into mare. Yeah, you read that right. I’m a bonafide mare now.

I can’t say I’m pleased with it. But I don’t feel no different yet, not as far as I can tell, anyhow, and not as far as my buddies Original Coors and Coors Light could tell when I asked ‘em if they could maybe have a look and tell for me. It seems like County Island mares still get fed the same as geldins, so I got no complaints so far in the grub department, bein a mare. And while I can’t say for certain what breakfast and suppertime might bring tomorrow, a good horse has got to remain hopeful toward his hay and grain even in the most dire and dreadful situation — such as when he gets turned into a mare by the sweet-talkin but evil vet lady under the direction of his very own formerly almost entirely trustworthy and reliable bucket gal.

From what I gather, I’m supposed to feel different now, and somehow better, bein a mare.

Right now I object to bein turned into a mare mostly on principle. I’m a real practical horse. I was raised with the rule if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, ‘cause there’ll always be more than enough broke things a horse has got to go around and help fix. I wasn’t broke at all, except in the “good and broke” sense that the people like a horse to be, and surely I didn’t need no fixin.

I was snoozin flat-out in the warm sunshine. I like to lay down in the sun, especially here inside our own li’l horse-corral where we got such soft, warm sand in what was the prancin arena but which now’s mostly our nap sandbox on account of neither of the Coors brothers prances much no more. And I certainly don’t prance. Except maybe sometimes when the weather’s cool and I got a good tail wind up my tail and I feel the need to let loose a li’l bit. But that ain’t the point.

The point is, these days, I like to lay down kinda a lot. It takes the weight off my old hocks, which I used to believe the people was callin hawks, like hawk-birds in the sky. It makes my bones feel good to take a load off ‘em. It ain’t like I got work to do that requires a horse to be standin up all the time or bein rode from one end of the ranch to the other, fixin stuff. That is to say, there’s plenty that needs fixin around the County island in my own ranch horse opinion, but it surely ain’t my job to fix all that’s broke in these parts. When you’re mostly retired, you get to pass the buck like that. Oh, and I can BUCK, when I want to! Not as hard or as often as I used to, but still. And when I’m rode, I walk along alright.

What ain’t alright at ALL is to wake a sleepin old horse from his sunshiny nap in the warm sand, and stand him up for the arrival of the rumbly truck of the evil but sweet-talkin vet lady, and then talk about a good old horse right in front of him like he ain’t even there, and set up all the bad metal things and ropes and the big horse halter that hangs from the barn roof to hold a horse’s head up and thusly hold him still to drill into his own teeth and head like there was any reason at all ever to drill inside a good horse’s head, and to talk about turnin him into a MARE before even pokin me, I mean him, in the neck, which thusly sends him off into some kinda foggy, forgetful slumber.

I thought I was only gettin my teeth drilled, which is bad and pointless enough. County Island people and their vet ladies is all obsessed with how pointy a horse’s teeth are. Of course we got pointy teeth. The point of ‘em is to chew our hay with. What’s it matter if they’re real pointy, or not real pointy, or worn entirely flat, or even entirely missin out of our own heads?

But while I was still wakeful, I heard the vet lady and the bucket gal talk about my hocks and stickin a needle into my neck smack full of somethin other than only the knock-out thing she normally sticks me with.

Coors and Coors Light, shut in their stalls to wait for their own turns with the terrible horse-tooth drillin contraptions, exchanged startled looks.

“Esta-gin!” Coors Light snorted, or somethin that sounded like it.

“Esta” like “está” that I heard a lot of in cowboy lingo back at the ranch, meanin “there is “ or “here it is.” And “gin,” which I know to be a fancy people-likker, sometimes made extra fancy with “gin and juice” when the people is livin high of the hog. Not a real hog, though. So… here’s the gin? We got the gin? Whiskey’s about to get juiced? What was they likkerin me up with??

And, dammit, I fell asleep when the sweet talkin but evil vet lady poked me in the neck. It happens every time.

I awoke with my own teeth feelin entirely too smooth within my own mouth, where I still got teeth left.

“The vet shot you with esta-gin while you were out to get your teeth done,” Coors Light said somberly. “It’s OK, though. Lots of top prancing horses get shot with esta-gin to help them perform, so you’ll probably be able to prance half as good as me now. Also, it means you’re a mare now, because esta-gin is what turns fillies into mares. I learned all about it when I lived in California.” Leave it to Coors Light to talk about the California Ranch like it was a good thing, when they was goin around turning geldins into mares like that and forcin ‘em to prance against their own good sense!

Now that I’m a mare, I ain’t pranced at all per se, but I feel compelled sometimes to run around for no good reason except it feels good, more like I used to back in the day when I was still a young geldin. And I still like my sand naps, but I been takin less of ‘em.

But the moral of this here story is, a County Island horse has got to sleep with one eye open. Don’t get lulled into thinkin you’re entirely safe here bein mostly retired and a pointless backyard pet pleasure horse. If I myself can get turned into a mare pumped full o’ mare juice, it can likely happen to any horse. It appears the epidemic from the California Ranch of juicin geldins is spreadin far and wide and there ain’t nothin a good horse can do about it once he’s been poked. But if the unthinkable happens, it also ain’t half bad once the deed’s done. It ain’t half good, either, so try not to let it happen to you.

Juiced bog photo




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Posted by on March 19, 2016 in Uncategorized


The Elephant Parade

There once was a young gal on the County Island who had a different and kinda imaginary way of seein the world laid before her. It wasn’t a spooky way, like how an Ayrab-horse all sugared up on grain, alfalfa and a snappin halter shank sees a bug-eyed world of horse-eatin monsters behind every barn. It was more like a gentle world, where anythin could be anythin else it wanted to be, which is both ridiculous and also somewhat sweet, if y’all will forgive me for showin some sweetness and softness beneath my business ranch-horse side.

We was headed out for a short ‘n sweet pointless pleasure ride when the gal came walkin by with her own people-dam, though she appeared to be long past the weanin age, even for people. And she asked the bucket gal if we aimed to join the “parade.” It was a new people-word to me. It also had a li’l bit of a prancey sound to it, to my own horse-ears. I needed to know if I’d be made to prance, and what else paradin might entail. Seemed to be a new word to the bucket gal, too, ‘cause she repeated it back to the young gal with the big imagination in the form of a question. “Pa…rade?”

“You know…” the gal replied as if we certainly did know, “the elephant parade!”

There was a pause durin which seemed like both me and the bucket gal was tryin to translate it into some sense. And so the gal went on, pointin at me, directly, “He’s an elephant! And you guys have parades with them all the time, but usually on Sunday mornings, with the most elephants, and sometimes the parade queens wave at people going by. Are you joining the elephant parade today?”

“Oooohhh… Well. No, not today!” the bucket gal said, like she’d made more sense of it than me. “Today there’s only one elephant.” And she patted my neck. My ears might’ve flicked back and forth. “But I think we’re having a parade again this weekend.” We was? I’d heard we was trail ridin again, and with some of our good buddies, but we was paradin, too? And how much extra time was paradin gonna take before I could get back to my breakfast after trail ridin?

Original Coors had by then wandered over to the gate by which we all stood, in case there was a chance for him to be told what a purty horse he was. “Aww, the donkey wants to come, too!” the gal said.

The snort came out louder than intended so I covered it with a quick cough and tiny head-toss. Sorry — bug up my nose.

“.. but donkeys can’t parade with elephants,” she went on by way of explanation. Original Coors stopped in the middle of stickin his head through the fence to get his face petted, and glared at me. I gave a him a look back that said loud and clear, hey buddy, it ain’t my fault donkeys can’t parade with elephants. I don’t make the rules.

Suffice to say, we didn’t have Coors Light livin here with us in our own li’l horse corral yet when all this elephant donkey parade talk took place, so I can’t say with certainty whether he’d fall in line more with the elephant string or the donkey string, but as y’all can likely imagine, I got some thoughts on the subject.

Come the weekend, there was indeed a fine County Island elephant parade — which turns out is exactly like a group trail ride. And our parade queen rides did indeed wave and say howdy and good mornin to some of the people passin by watchin the elephant parade. It was a whole new way for a horse to see the world around him.

If a County Island horse has got to pretend to be a made-up elephant, he should still be the best made-up elephant he can be, and partake in his elephant parade with pride in knowin he’s helpin make a young gal with a big imagination happy. Even a donkey like Original Coors has got a real important part to play in makin people happy. It always come back around to happy horses make happy people, and happy people make happy horses. Now I know happy elephants and donkeys that maybe ain’t quite happy about it, but is still willin to play along, make people happy, too.

And it appears elephants still get fed buckets, too, for which this old elephant remains entirely grateful.

The Elephant Parade blog photo

Some County Island people went so far as to make up a pretend picture of a pretend elephant here! Ain’t that somethin? And it seems like they truly do call their groups of made-up, imaginary elephants a parade, so it further seems our young gal was maybe on to more than an old horse ranch might ever guess with her big imagination.


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Posted by on March 7, 2016 in Uncategorized


Who’s Your Daddy?

Whos Your Daddy Blog Photo 1

Amigos, I was gonna attempt to say somethin about this, but the words fail an old ranch horse. And y’all know how words don’t fail me much. Just know it pertains, as best it can pertain.

One recent time, I overheard a tiny County Island young ‘un of the filly persuasion tellin her own sire, “Daddy, that’s a pretty cow!” Only she was pointin at what was clearly a pinto horse.

I been called a lot of things in my time, generally good things, but occasionally things that ain’t fit to repeat, but I ain’t never been called a cow. I have been called an elephant, which I think is an entirely made-up critter ‘cause I ain’t never seen one, and if they was real, surely I’d have seen at least one elephant by now in my considerable workin life, but I’ll get around to relayin the elephant tale another time.

Seems to me County Island young ‘uns need to get outdoors more. For a place with a fair amount of open spaces and open sky left to it, and also a decent amount of us horses although it’s nothin like a big workin ranch at all, li’l people seem to spend most of their time penned up in their people-barns instead of learnin to ride, learnin to clean up after horses, chasin ranch dogs, climbin fences, and generally gallopin around to stretch their legs. No wonder they can’t tell a horse from a cow. I don’t know why their sires and dams don’t turn ‘em out more to let ‘em be properly pasture raised.

So it made me glad a couple days later when I saw the same filly with her siblins all climbin dirt piles and jumpin off ‘em without one growed-up person in sight, and generally runnin wild and horse-playin this way and that way to the extent that would spook a less reliable horse than me. And it restored my opinion when I heard the tiny filly shout somethin real enthusiastic in my general direction. I fully expected a good ol’ “You have a pretty horse!” such as I got a lot of that one time.

But I didn’t get a purty horse.

Instead, her tiny high filly whinny-voice prattled on and on and on, “… my brother won’t let us climb up the best part …” and also some  “…he won’t let me {somethin or other that matters to a filly}!!! And I said I’m gonna TELL OUR DAD!!!” And then the cryin started. It was all more than an old ranch horse needed to know.

“Oh no!” the bucket gal called back. “Well, have fun!”

And I knew I still liked the bucket gal alright. Ain’t nobody likes a tattle-tail even if she ain’t got a real tail, and even if she’s got the waterworks flowin. Seemed kinda like false histrionics, if ya ask me, which is a real silly and fancy way of sayin screamin like a barn cat that ain’t even been stepped on yet, only stepped near, but screamin like a horse had already stomped his tail clean off. That’s a histrionic cat.

But what was happenin to the County Island? Ain’t -I- a purty cow? Maybe the pinto was a purty cow ‘cause he was Holstein colored, but I’m a solid palomino steer color. I never knew my sire, but I assume he was a horse, and a workin ranch one like my dam was too, and like I am. Or, was. But I can count the good workin horses on the County Island without even usin all my hooves. And seems there’s less cattle here now than there was when I first came to the County Island, and even then there wasn’t even enough of ‘em to make a proper cattle drive, nor warrant roundin up (plus they was already rounded up inside their own li’l pet-cow pens) nor tendin to day in and day out. Cows here got names like Chocolate Chip instead of Dinner.

As we went along on our ride, I made a mental count not only of how long it was gonna take us to get back home, and get my saddle and bridle off, and have a swipe at me with the brush and the hoofpick again even though that already gone done before I got barely rode, and of course then how long it would take for me, Original Coors, and Coors Light to get fed after that. That’s the mental countin I always make when I’m walkin along a trail. But what I also counted this time was County Island horses and cows — and I done come up short.

We’re missin some, by my count. Like maybe the people got less horses and cows here than they used to? I counted up again, and got the same number which was lackin. I remembered horses I pricked my ears at to say howdy for years now. Horses that ain’t around no more. Huh. And because countin a third time would be ridiculous, I stopped there. The County Island people did indeed have less us of than they used to back in the day when I got here. I figure some got old and went off wherever old horses go. Some likely got sold to other ranches, but I couldn’t imagine which horses those’d be, ‘cause the useful horses was still all accounted for. Only a fool’d send a prancey pet horse to a ranch.

Kids callin pinto horses cows. Kids not callin out “pretty horse” like they used to. Less horses. Less cows… Had I been livin on the County Island long enough to watch ‘em change out the herd? But they wasn’t swappin us for younger, faster, sounder horses. We seemed to be … disappearin entirely, like one by one?

I ain’t a horse who gets alarmed too much. The only things worth bein alarmed about is these, thusly. Mountain lion-cats … And also… I’m thinkin … Coors Lights wants me to add deers in the bushes, so I’m addin scary deers in the bushes. (I ain’t scared of deers in the bushes like he is.) Y’know, I do believe mountain lion-cats is it. And black-as-night lurkin full people-trash bags alongside the road. If ya ain’t never seen those, trust me, they’re worth some alarm.

So I guess I ain’t gonna be alarmed not by disappearin horses nor kids that can’t tell horses from cows and also that can’t tell a purty horse he’s purty. They ain’t bein raised right by their daddies. I just hope they get around to raisin up some more horses to fill up the County Island. I could use some more compadres. And good horses is the best thing for makin good people. We sure could use some more good County Island people judgin by their get of sire.

Whos Your Daddy blog photo 2

This here picture-thing makes less sense to a horse than the first one. It should say, “Milk, I am your mama,” and the milk jug ought not to be  afraid of it. I reckon it was drawed by a mixed-up kid from the County Island that can’t tell a bull from a milk cow.


Posted by on February 22, 2016 in Uncategorized


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


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