Back when I first became a pleasure horse, when I came to live at what’s called a boardin stable ranch where the horses live that don’t do real ranch work, and where I first got introduced to Original Coors, I was also introduced to the notion of horses that jump around inside a ridin arena for a livelihood. You probably can’t believe it, either, but it’s true. I seen it for myself.
A bunch of us had just come back from a trail ride, which is like settin out to work for the day but finishin up before you’ve hardly started out, and maybe it was during my first week of livin there because I don’t think I’d seen a jumpin horse yet or if I did I didn’t pay it no notice ‘cause it got nothin to do with me – anyway, it was real early on. And I was downright delighted with this trail ridin deal. After they put us back in our stalls, I struck up a conversation with the big shiny fella that lived across the way from me, who’d also been out trail ridin with me that day.
“Can you believe that?” I asked him between bites of the horse-candy “grain” in my new bucket with my name on it: Whiskey. I’d never been called Whiskey before, or much of anythin for that matter other than cussed at on occasion, or “that there yellow horse,” but I guessed Whiskey was my name. “We was only three hours out walkin in the desert, not even any trottin much less runnin hard, and they already bringed us back home! Now I got the rest of the day to sleep in the sunshine and do nothin. Is things always this good for pleasure horses at the boardin stable ranch?”
He blinked big, weary eyes at me in disbelief. “Only three hours? You’re kidding, right? That ride was really, really long!” he said. “I’m so exhausted, and I have a jumping lesson tomorrow morning, too. I can’t believe they rode us all that way today!” He parked himself out and set to stretchin all his muscles and his very long legs this way and that, like he had a bad crick in his body from hard work.
“A jumpin…” I let that digest a little while.
“A jumpin lesson?” I mean, I wanted to be cordial, seein how I was the new guy to the whole herd, even though he wasn’t makin much sense. “So… what are ya learnin to jump?” I ventured. “Brush and arroyos and cactus? Maybe rattlesnakes? It’s good to learn how to leap over those.”
“Well, mostly just oxers,” he admitted.
“Snort.” Oops. I suppose I did that out loud. *Oxes.*
“Big oxers,” he emphasized.
“Alright, so you’re learnin how to jump big oxes. Good for you. Go on, then, tell me somethin else about yourself and your jumpin,” I said between more mouthfuls of food.
“Well,” he said by way of explanation, “I was actually bred for jumping. My sire and dam were jumpers, too. Do you see this brand on my hip? I’m a Holsteiner–”
I snorted grain straight outa my nose at that one. I laughed so hard I set to chokin on my grub. “Son, it ain’t a compliment to be called a Holstein.”
“Holstein-er,” he repeated.
“Y’know, I got a brand, myself. In fact, I got two.” I said, and then I paused, thoughtful-like. “Hey, do me a favor,” I said. “Say ‘moo.’”
He eyed me with some suspicion. “Moo?”
I cocked my head to have a listen. “Yep, sounds like a Holstein to me. You’re alright, you are, Holstein.”
And that was it for our conversation, for that day. I couldn’t take no more laughin. My sides was hurtin, and I didn’t want to take chance on givin myself the colic on account of laughin and eatin and chokin all at the same time.