Why do I always have to be the “reinhorse”? I suppose it’s part of my job here on the County Island, to be the reinhorse, and a good ranch horse always does his job in a dutiful manner even if the job don’t seem entirely right. So if I’m the reinhorse sometimes, then, well, I’m the reinhorse. And it’s comin again, the reinhorse time is. I can see the signs of it, with the hot time over and the best time arrivin.
The last time I was the reinhorse, the signs was especially clear. I went in the white rollin horse-box to a fancy new trailhead with some of my horse-amigos, a trailhead bein a portion of a ranch where there ain’t no cattle nor purposeful work to be done, and where the people generally ride us horses in a big loop to go have a look at nothin for a while, and then we go back to same trailhead where we started, and go home. People can’t read the ground, the brush, the sky or the sun like horses can, so instead they read the trail signs.
Whenever they see a sign, they like to say to each other, “There’s your sign.” People like to state the obvious. Whatever happened to pickin your trail without a sign and simply seein where it led? Yeah it’s pointless, but so is everythin else here. At least that’s a way to mix things up a bit, not that horses need to mix things up much, on account of we mostly appreciate a routine. And if we was lookin for cattle, which we never seem to be, cattle don’t stay on the trail and you ain’t never gonna find the strays that way. But still. Why not make your own trails, sometimes?
But, this one time, us horses stopped to let our people read the signs right as some rolly-bike riders came upon us. Rolly-bike riders almost always halt their rolly-bikes and dismount while makin ‘em whoa in order to allow us to pass. Most rolly-bikes are real well-broke this way.
And one of the rolly-bike riders held his tiny telephone out — y’know, the things people have always got stuck to their tiny ear-holes talkin to, when they ought to be payin attention to us? — and he stuck it up to the trail sign and told the telephone to read it for him. Ain’t that ridiculous? County Island people is now so lazy they can’t even read their own signs no more. But the telephone did read it, on account of the people said the sign told them the code, I reckon? Does that mean anythin to a person or a horse? The sign told the telephone to tell the rolly-bike rider a “cue are” code? I got no idea why a sign nor a telephone would be conversin in code about a pointless trail that makes a loop, nor conversin in the first place. What’s the County Island’s comin to?
Miss Endomondo was bad enough. Oh, she ain’t gone away. She still follows me around, every danged ride I go on. If y’all recall, she lives inside my bucket gal’s own tiny telephone and tells her things a horse already knows, such as how far we rode, how far we are from a horse’s own home-corral, and such. And now the trail signs themselves nor even Miss Endomondo can’t suffice but the signs have to tell the people even more information about where they ought to go. I myself could tell ‘em where to go, but that’d be bad ranch horse manners.
Then, by way of interruptin the quick trail nap I was tryin to take while everybody talked on and on, and on some more, about the new signs and their cue-are codes and how great and special and fancy and all they was, one of the rolly-bike riders went and asked my bucket gal, with a laugh, “What’s proper trail etiquette for passing, approaching or yielding to a reinhorse?”
Thanks, rolly-bike rider. Thanks a lot for remindin me of what I’ve become. And you don’t look ridiculous at all yourself there, ridin a rolly-bike instead of a proper horse, and askin a telephone to ask a sign to tell a telephone to tell you which trail you ought to take and where it goes and how long it is and if it’s got hills or not, when everythin you ought to need to know about it is right in front of your own tiny people-eyes or your own trusty horse’s eyes. Oh wait. Y’all ain’t got horses, and it seems doubtful rolly-bikes is real trusty. No, that ain’t ridiculous at all.
But I never did hear a real answer about reinhorses, and to this day, I couldn’t tell ya. I reckon the people ought to make a sign for that.