The least appreciative horse I ever made the acquaintance of on the whole and entire County Island’s got to be my own horse-buddy Coors Light. I ain’t a horse who “throws shade” around — I learned to say that from a horse down the road who came from a faraway ranch called the Joisey Ranch, to hear him tell it in his funny Joisey horse-talk. It means to talk trash, or likely also to be wasteful, on account of where I came from, shade was scarce and not a thing to be wasted by horse nor human nor any kind of critter. So y’all know thusly that it pains me to say it, about Coors Light, and also that it’s true.
A good ranch horse appreciates a good spot of shade. Where I was raised back at the ranch, tall trees was few and far between, and if you was lucky enough to find one or have one, you made your stand right there beneath its cool branches. Real scrubby brush works, too, if a horse can duck his head under it, or back his hind end up under it and park it in the shade. And on a long workin day when you’re bein rode out to take care of the cattle or mind your own ranch-horse chores, it’s the best feelin in the world to come across some shade when your cowboy tells you to whoa yourself for a spell and let it cast its cool spell on your hide. Shade’s also good for blockin out the rain, unless it’s a whole lotta rain that nothin can stop, and also for fightin off the wind sometimes if it’s real cold. But brush works best for cold wind, like a real brushy creosote if you got that.
It ain’t no surprise, then, that there’s pampered pet County Island horses such as my own Coors Light who don’t appreciate how much shade they got in their own li’l pet-horse corrals. County Island folks even build more horse-shade on purpose, and they call ‘em barns and mare motels (but geldins can go in ‘em, too — I don’t know about studs). And if the shade they built still ain’t got enough shade, they add on more shade by stringin up big breezy tarps that’s even called shades.
This here’s the short and also sad story of Coors Light’s stall shade.
It made it maybe one big full moon-time intact. Coors Light’s a horse that thinks entirely too much. A good horse ought to accept things as they come, and not be so busy all the time thinkin. And also he likes a challenge.
It started one day when he touched it with his teeth to see what it’d do. And it gave a li’l bit. And he snapped it with his teeth, and pulled. It tore in a tiny straight line.
Bein a downright geometrical horse, which is to say a horse who can make proper shapes on account of bein prancified and such when bein rode in a prancin arena, he set to makin tiny, precise shapes in his stall shade.
First a straight line. And then he made it into the precise shape of a prancin arena, with long, even sides and short, even ends. And then he added a couple more smaller prancin arena shapes.
And the bucket gal came out every night and put foul and hot-smellin stuff on top of it, which would keep any sensible horse from puttin his sensitive lips anywhere near it.
Coors Light liked the taste. So he nipped a near damned perfect circle in the shade, too. He also licked all the places the bucket gal sprayed the hot horse-don’t-chew-on-this stuff. Eventually I think she ran out of horse-stop-chewin options. Or she plumb lost her will.
Whenever a tiny shred of the shade came loose, Coors Light pulled on that thread with his teeth, and made himself a big window in his shade he could stick his entire head and neck through to look upon the big ol’ nothin that’s behind his stall. It also let in the burnin hot sun and the rain, but Coors Light didn’t care none. If ya may recall, he’s also the one of us who pokes his head into cactus on purpose.
On days when he remained stallbound, he embellished it some more.
Over time, it set to saggin some across the middle. He made a big ol’ saggy wavy line near from end to end of the shade which he indicated was called a serpentine in prancey horse lingo.
I guess he got bored after that, havin made all the proper prancin shapes there was and drawin dressage tests.
Eventually there came a wild County Island wind that whipped Coors Light’s shade real good. The bucket gal declared it to be dead to the world and ripped what remained of it apart and carried it off to wherever the dead stall shades go.
Unlike me, who’s got my trees and my brush that I like better than the mare motel, and Original Coors, who’s still got his whole, entire stall shade intact, I reckon Coors Light ain’t never gonna have it made in the County Island shade again.