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Author Archives: Whiskey Ranch-Horse

About Whiskey Ranch-Horse

I'm a hard(ly)-workin', hard-restin', hard-nappin', honest-as-the-day-is-long, bombproof, bucket-lovin', mostly retired palomino ranch horse from the heart of the American Southwest, now livin' the pet pleasure horse dream on the County Island. Oh, and I'm a horse, in case maybe you need it spelled out for ya. Name's Whiskey. It's a pleasure to meet y'all! Why don't you sit down for a spell and read some of my stories?

Pokin’ at Monsters

I got kind of an announcement to make. I’ve come to a great and horsely revelation, which is to say, I had a real deep and meaningful thought regardin what’s wrong with County Island people. Oh there’s plenty that’s right about ‘em, too, sometimes, but I done covered that elsewhere.

The County Island ain’t seen much in the way of half-growed teenaged people-girls in a real long time, not since the ol’ multi-taskin  girls growed up and run off. Until now. Now, me, Original Coors and Coors Light has all observed whole new herds of ‘em, roamin’ the County Island on foot. Not with proper saddle horses, nor ridin one horse and ponyin another, and also not while holdin one of them tiny telephones that live in their pockets in the one hand, and holdin a vital people-drink called a “star buck flap of chino,” or somethin like that, in the other hand. Oh, they still got their tiny telephones, but that’s all they got — that a horse can see.

They came out at dusk, when the hot sun was mostly set. A time when the sun and shadows can play tricks on your eyes and make ya jumpy. They walked aimlessly — more aimless than most County Island folks. A horse could even claim they walked wherever their tiny telephones told ‘em to. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy. But it’s true.

They walked in aimless lines and circles, wherever their telephones told ‘em to go. Their eyes never wavered from those telephones. And they talked to ‘em, and to each other, with pointless jabber-words that meant nothin to me. Lucky for them there ain’t many rumbly-cars runnin on the County Island at dusk, or they’d be laid flat out in the road like road-kill. They damn near wandered into the middle of the road, sometimes even walkin backwards while watchin their tiny telephones. One of ‘em walked backwards circles, ‘round and ‘round, kinda like she had a stall vice. Or a tiny telephone vice.

Y’all likely think I’m makin things up. But the colt that lives across the road saw ‘em, too, as he was turned out into his own tiny round-corral by the road to eat his supper.

Then one of the people-girls said somethin such as, “It’s around here somewhere!” — which got Coors and Coors Light’s curiosity and ears up, to see what kind of an it it was to get a herd of half-growed people-girls so addled. The three of us ambled over and stood by our gate by the road, our ears trained on all the circled, spinnin, wrong-way walkin and babblin at the tiny telephones girls. And the colt across the road left his own supper and stood with his neck stretched through his fence so he could see, too.

“It’s that way!” one proclaimed. And they started to run, our way. I took a step towards ‘em. Seemed they was about to stampede! Toward us! Maybe they was bringin carrots for us! Maybe they’d been goin around the whole entire County Island lookin for good horses this whole time!

“It’s right here somewhere!” yelled another as she stopped in front of our gate. I doubt they even knew we was standin right there, starin at ‘em. No carrots was forthcomin.

“I got it!” one squealed under my own nose. “I got a peek-at-you!” They all set to bouncin and high-fivin each other and squealin some more, and buckin around in circles.

A peek at me? They had the whole view of me, and they still missed me. They was so busy starin at their tiny telephones and holdin ‘em up to the empty air, they plumb forgot to feed us carrots.

All they could say was somethin about peek-at-you, peek-at-you, the peek-at-you, I got a peek-at-you, I found a peek-at-you … It was highly irritatin. We three all set our ears backwards.

The colt across the road looked over at Coors. Then Coors pricked his ears at Coors Light. Coors Light turned and pricked his ears at me. I blew through my nostrils — the hell if I knew, either. Apparently, they got a “peek-at-you,” I said.

“Oh…..” the colt across the road nickered. “Oh! OH!! Nooooo!” He slammed his front hooves on his round pen rails in a panic. “A peek-at-you! A MONSTER! A monster! They’re looking for monsters!!!!!”

What the — ?

Off the people-girls ran, down the damned middle of the road, starin at their tiny telephones still.

The colt whinnied at us, “Don’t you guys KNOW? It’s a GAME to them! A terrible, horrible MONSTER GAME. They go look for the peek-at-you monsters, and then they look for monsters that are EVEN WORSE and SCARIER! They LIKE monsters!!” His whole chest was dark, lathered sweat. His eyes bugged out even more than a halter-bred Ayrab’s normally do.

That’s when I knew the colt across the road had gone loco on the alfalfa.

“It’s true!” he stomped his hooves. “I saw them doing it all the time when I was in training down the road, at the big barn! Ask any of the horses there! Their kids are all playing the peek-at-you monster game instead of paying attention to horses! Even the trainer plays it sometimes! The grown-up man trainer!!”

No sane person would go lookin for monsters on purpose. Sane horses never look for monsters, only the kinda insane ones. Which must thusly mean the County Island people is all goin INsane.

The colt across the road couldn’t stop himself. I realized this was the most I’d ever heard him talk. Prior, I’d considered him kinda illiterate. He carried on, “It turns people into The Walking Dead, going walking after monsters! Haven’t you overheard people talking about The Walking Dead all the time? This is what it means!”

Even Coors and Coors Light was kinda agitated by now. Me, I stood my ground and grew my own roots through my own calm hooves into the dirt. Not liberally, of course. County Island people did talk about a nonsense-thing called The Walking Dead a whole lot. Our bucket gal not so much, though, so maybe there was still some time, and hope, for her. But County Island people talk about a lot of things more stupid and pointless than The Walking Dead.

On the other hand, them girls certainly saw somethin no sensible horse like me could see. I turned to ask Coors and Coors Light, “We all saw what happened here tonight, right?” And they nodded to shake off the flies.

So I asked around, after that, each time I rode past a ranch with horses on it. I asked the rabbits, too, ‘cause they’re into everythin and know everythin on the County Island, in volume. And they’re even more willin to talk if ya share your bucket with ‘em. They had all seen it happen, too — herds of people with tiny telephones tellin ‘em where to walk to catch invisible monsters.

Maybe this here peek-at-you monster game will wear off and they won’t all turn into The Walkin Dead, which is to say, maybe it’s another County Island fad, such as whisperin to us horses when talkin normal and trainin us up proper works fine, or like shakin long lead ropes and flappy tiny flags in our faces. Maybe the County Island people will come to their senses, if they had sense to start with. Maybe they’ll get bored with it, since they generally get bored with new stuff quick.

In case they don’t, though, maybe it’d benefit us horses to try to find the invisible peek-at-you monsters first, before our people do. I would never outright recommend a horse to spook under saddle, but if ya suspect there’s a monster, maybe ya ought to try to get your rider clear of it before she or he sees it. Throw in a tiny spin, or a gentle quick stop. And we ought to double down on our own bomb-proofness, too. Show the County Island people they ain’t got to find monsters when they got good horses to look out for ‘em and keep ‘em safe from harm. Horses got to stay sane in an INsane County Island world.

So that’s my conclusion. County Island people is insane. This time, it’s on account of peek-at-you monsters. Also, their tiny telephones is what makes ‘em even more insane than normal. People surely was less insane back at the ranch in my youthful days, and surely it ain’t no coincidence that nobody had tiny telephones back then, neither. Keepin people safe from invisible monsters is also good for us horses, as it ensures our own happy, healthy survival here with all the proper benefits the County Island generally bestows. I don’t know if Walkin Dead people can still feed horses, and I hope I never have to find out.

And If I ever catch an invisible monster peekin at me, I intend to cow-kick it straight off the County Island. I might also stomp the bucket gal’s own tiny telephone next time she drops it in the dirt, in an attempt to keep her, and us, all safe. Such measures is called for in these terrible monster times.

Pokin at Monsters blog photo

For the record, we ain’t spooked. We’re vigilant, to keep y’all safe from your own selves.

AQHA Pokemon

And also, I’m glad to see my kin at the fine American Quarter Horse Association is on it, too. Y’all can always count on us good workin horses to have your backs. Fellas, cut that there mean peek-at-you monster straight outa the herd.

 

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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On Guard

On Guard Blog photo

Once we had these two big, bulked up dogs like they was bull-dog Quarter Horses, only dogs instead of horses, and fully trained and gave permission by their own people to attack humans and horses, which their people called “intruders,” here on the County Island. They was black as night on top, and rusty-colored on the bottom, with no tails to give a friendly wag at all, that’s how mean they was. Dogs don’t generally bother me none, but these was a different breed.

They lived along a real narrow dirt way, where a horse had to walk right past their ranch’s chain fence to get wherever a horse was goin on his ride. We stopped takin their trail after this happened. We was moseyin past real quiet and slow and polite-like, just the bucket gal in the saddle, and me. We weren’t no big herd of horses causin no commotion nor harm. We had no plans to intrude on their ranch at all. And there was no dogs in sight. I could feel the bucket gal relax some in the saddle, on account of I doubt she was any more fond of the dogs than I was.

They ran at us while makin no sound at all, until they was damned near ON us, except for the chain fence between us, with an explosion of sound, mostly barkin deeper and more menacin than any dog sounds I ever heard. They said they meant to eat us whole, and I believed ‘em.

The main problem was, there wasn’t much space to give ‘em space, which I’d a been more than obliged to do. They was all up in my face, snarlin and growlin, and grabbin the chain fence with their long, snarlin teeth, and rattlin the whole entire chain fence line at us. I had no doubt they could take down the fence if they wanted to bad enough, and right after that, they’d surely work as a team to take down me.

It made no difference when I pinned my ears and swung my head at ‘em, which is my general language meanin “back off, dog.” It only mad ‘em madder.

It made no difference when I jigged to the far side of the narrow way, practically draggin the bucket gal’s knee —and my own hide, I might add — into the cactus to avoid ‘em. Plus then we was draggin ourselves through the cactus. It all made me jumpier than a County Island Russell dog, ya know, the li’l tan and whites ones that jumps and stirs up lots of trouble in the barn? The kind a horse can dream about drop-kickin for their antics when there ain’t nobody lookin? We made it out alive past the bulky black and rusty bull-built dogs, but likely barely.

Anyhow, ridin past those dogs sucked. And we never did it again, after that. Until the other day.

So much time’s passed I can’t even count the number of feed buckets or hay flakes I ate since the time we barely escaped those dogs with our bodies intact. I also can’t imagine what possessed the bucket gal to give it another shot. Sometimes I don’t think people ever learn from bad things, unlike us horses. When a place or a thing is bad, to us horses, it’s bad forever, as is proper and sensible. Only some horses got a whole long list of silly things they think is bad, mostly County Island horses. Also mostly Ayrabs.

Down the narrow dirt trail we walked, approachin the long chain fence that marked the ranch of the trained attackin dogs. Only, there was no dogs. Didn’t they hear my soft hoof beats upon the sand? Didn’t they smell me comin with their high intruder alert dog senses?

All of a sudden, I heard a heavy pantin sound, comin closer. I tried not tense up. I could thusly feel the bucket gal tryin not to, too. And then she laughed out loud, and I saw why.

Comin through the cactus in their yard slower than lumberin big desert tortoises was two real fat, out-a-shape, gray-faced black and rusty-colored dogs with no tails. Between their labored breaths and pants, they each gave a mere woof. One stood there softly woofin out a real weak warnin at us, while the other loped real slow, with big, heavin breaths, along the chain fence line to follow up the entire length of their ranch, while sayin the entire way, as I walked as slow as I usually do, what sounded to my own horse-ears like, “Woof … oh, wait a minute there … Woof! … slow down, will ya, I’m comin to get ya … Woof!” It ain’t nice to laugh at no animal, even old dogs. I didn’t see no signs of them snarlin with their teeth, which made me think maybe they had no teeth left to snarl with. Or shake the fence with. Not that I am one to judge any critter that’s missin teeth.

The bucket gal told ‘em they was still real fierce and very scary, good guard dogs, which did not seem real genuine to me. But I guess we got that dirt road trail back at our disposal now.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Pony Tale

One time, I observed a fella ponyin two horses off his own good branded workin horse, one off each side of his own horse’s work saddle, and thusly exercisin everybody at once inside his own ropin arena. Not only did they all walk together, they also jogged and loped around with their best polite ponyin manners, like they was a bonafide team. There wouldn’t have been one remarkable thing to say about that back at the ranch where I was raised, but here on the County Island, it’s rarer than a rattlesnake that’s glad to meet ya. A horse hardly ever sees ponyin done on the County Island, or seen it done proper. Most times, if there’s ponyin to be done, the people get it done like the multi-taskin girls used to back before they swapped their own good horses for some of their own likely not nearly as good fellas with rumbly-trucks. They surely had the strangest ponyin style I ever seen.

Anyhow, I’d likely’ve been more impressed by the fella ponyin the two horses around and around his arena if he’d ponyed ‘em across some range full of hills and arroyos and cactus and such, and was actually takin ‘em somewhere useful to do some useful work. But like the young horses say, he still had skills. And I got to give my respect to his good rope horses whether they was ranch-raised or not.

It also reminded me of the time I was made to pony Original Coors, ‘cause that resembled this in no way at all.

Bein ponyed or bein the pony-er is all about keepin a proper pace. In case you’re one of those County Island folks who ain’t acquainted with proper ponyin, let me make ya a picture of it, thusly.

Ponying blog photo john Lyons

This here is some sorta well-known cowboy around the County Island and likely beyond it, name of Mr. John Lyons. He knows how to pony.

Don’t look all that hard, does it? Let me tell y’all how hard certain horses make it, and by certain horses, I mean Coors.

He ain’t a bad horse, for all my talk. He’s just got his own ideas about what a proper pace is, and he hardly never wavers from it, both of which is real bad things in my considerable estimation. But when you’re that horse that’s bein ponyed, you got to go at the pace that the ponyin horse sets, which is also set by the rider, or course. It’s the rider’s job to tell the pony horse what to do, and it’s the pony horse’s own job to tell the pony-ee horse what to do. In this instance, our bucket gal gave me mostly free rein to do my job, on account of she seemed to know I’d done it previously, and I saw my job to be teachin Coors how to be a team. Meanin, how to listen to me. Comprende?

After a few false starts, and also some stops durin which Coors tried to walk around me, and thusly wrap me and the bucket gal up with his lead rope, we made our way down the trail, and around the County Island for an entire pointless pleasure ponyin trail ride.

First off, I highly doubt a horse can pull a person’s arm off. The bucket gal still had both her people-arms firmly attached to her body by the time we got back. To hear her tell it, though — and unfortunately, I got to hear her tell it — she said WE damned near pulled her arms off. I ain’t no part of that kinda we! That particular we was all Original Coors. I can’t help it if he walks too damned fast. I did my very best to hold him back and train him to keep the proper pace, holding the lead rope as tight as it could be between him and the bucket gal’s arm.

Seems like I made him slow down so much, and pulled on her poor, poor tiny people-arm so much, it bugged the bucket gal worse than a big ol’ bitin horsefly that leaves a welt on the soft spot on a horse’s nose, and that hurts a lot.

To this very day, I ain’t never had to pony him again — which was entirely not my intent, which y’all surely know if you know me at all, on account of I am an honest workin horse. But me and Coors is both cool with it. I guess we’re a team sometimes, after all.

Pony Tale blog photo 2

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Juiced

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

 
 
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