Old dogs are entirely incapable of learnin new tricks. Everyone that’s ever met a dog knows it’s true, even if ya think ya got the best and smartest dog there is. Ya don’t.
Old dogs didn’t wear blankets back at the ranch. Nothin did. We all lived naked but for our proper warm and fluffy haircoats, as proper ranch horses and dogs and critters do. And we liked it like that. On the County Island, though, old dogs sometimes do wear blankets, but that’s alright ‘cause they got old bones and they was never tough dogs to begin with, havin been whelped on the County Island. And prancey, sheep-sheared horses on the County Island that ain’t got enough hair often wear blankets. Sometimes trees and flower-bushes wear blankets, too. County Island plants that’s been planted instead of growin where they are is real weak plants that curl up and die if they get frost-bit. The first time I spied a blanketed bush, I nearly dropped to my knees. It might’ve appeared to spook me, but I was laughin so hard I could hardly stay standin up.
Recently, I learned a real strange new trick.
The bucket gal set a heavy saddle blanket upon my back, one cold day. There’s nothin strange about a saddle blanket if ya been sacked out properly. What was strange was when she patted my fine thick fur like maybe there might be a problem she was tryin to prepare me for, which alerted me to wake up and pay attention.
And then she unrolled the saddle blanket, to the front, and then to the back. It covered up my withers and my shoulders, and it wrapped all around my behind and over my tail. It came with a front cinch and a back cinch attached, and she did those up under my belly. It also had like a breastplate part, which was all saddle blanket attached with some buckles.
I let out a li’l nicker despite myself, to let her know the saddle blanket was way too big for me. But nice. And warm, but in a real oversize kind of way. Maybe she ought to fetch me a smaller one that fit.
And then she did not saddle me at all.
She stood back, and looked at me, from this side, and then from that side, and then from my front and my back. She seemed satisfied. She undid my halter and told me I was free to move about the cabin, which is a nonsense thing she says to me, Original Coors and Coors Light all the time.
But I could not move about the cabin, on account of I was wrapped tight in my oversize saddle blanket like a bonafide horse burrito.
She waved her arms and clucked me away, so I took a step. It was funny. I took another funny step. She had the audacity to laugh at my funny steps. And then she haltered me back up and told me she aimed to teach me how to walk in my big saddle blanket. I caught on real quick.
Once I caught sight of my own ground-shadow in the cold evenin air, I realized I’d done been trussed in a blanket! I expected the Coors brothers to laugh, ‘cause that’s what I woulda done, but they both complimented me on my attire. Coors Light claimed I was gonna love how it felt later that night.
And, I did love it. It kept me toasty even when the frost formed on my nostrils. I figured out how to lay down in it, and roll in it, and get back up to kick up my heels in it.
What’s dogged me ever since is wonderin why I didn’t learn to wear one sooner. I have always growed a good haircoat in all my 30 or somethin years. And I was a good and self-sufficient ranch horse as is the way it’s always been.
It ain’t what color blanket ya wear that matters, or whether ya wear a blanket at all, it’s what’s the horse underneath the blanket does. If you’re another horse readin this, though, your blanket still likely makes ya look like a doggone fool. Try not to act the part.