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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?

Doggy Style

Once there was a big, black rumbly people-car drivin real slow around the County Island most afternoons. By the time I paid notice to it, I guess it’d be goin on for a while ‘cause even the bucket gal noticed, and people generally ain’t as quick to notice strange things that change or move as good as us horses do.

We got mostly people-cars that go too fast, but we got slow ones, too, so that ain’t nothin for a horse to notice. Most of ‘em don’t look like they’re bein part drove by a big ol’ dog, though.

When I bothered to really look, I saw the dog was sittin where the person what drives the car also sits, and it was ridin upon her lap like it was the boss dog, with its whole big yellow County Island dog-head and floppin pink County Island dog tongue stuck out and wavin around, which dogs like to do.

So the strange part was the dog head driver and the slow part combined. Back and forth they’d go… Up the road, then down the road. Round the bend, then back again. Sometimes they’d stop by some brush and then a rabbit’d fly out, and the dog would give a woof. But they wasn’t huntin rabbits, ‘cause then they’d move slowly on. They slowed down past the dry creekbed washes to have a look at whatever might be washed up that day. They also slowed down past horses, mainly me and my horse-buddies Coors and Coors Light.

One time, they slowed way down alongside me, on account of if you’re gonna ride next to me, ya got to go real slow. And the dog lolled his tongue at me and grinned while he wagged his whole entire fluffy big yellow body all over the driver-lady’s lap. And also her face. He was the happiest ol’ dog in the world, right there.

And the bucket gal, I suppose to her credit, asked a thing that never woulda occurred to a horse. “Are you driving him around to look at things because he can’t go for walks anymore?”

And through the downright blizzard of waggy dog hair flyin in her face, the driver lady said yes. And the dog wagged harder if it was even possible. And then the bucket gal cooed and oohed and awwed like a horse ain’t never heard before nor since, like to her it also was the best thing in the world. But how can anythin be the best thing in the world if it ain’t got at least one horse in it? So it thusly occurred to me.

One, old dogs ain’t even got to walk no more on the County Island. I also seen a smaller dog sittin up high and mighty in a basket on a rolly-bike bein carried around by his bike-rider person. And a dog in a people-baby-colt roller which is called a stroller. I thought that stuff was strange.

And two, maybe that’s how I’ll go ridin next, as long as the people is losin their minds regardin us animals. I’ll bet a bale of alfalfa the bucket gal’s got a like-minded plan in store for me.

First, when you’re a younger colt, it’s bein ponyed alongside a steady older amigo to show ya the lead ropes. Then ya get fit with the saddle and bit. Then they learn ya to load in the rollin horse-box and ya go out and work for a livin. If you’re lucky and ya get retired to the County Island, then eventually ya get a new-fangled ramp so ya  ain’t even got to step up to go ridin no more. Maybe eventually they just roll ya around with your head stuck out the drop-down window, catchin a breeze and stoppin to admire all the pretty, pretty cows in the field?

Or maybe I could stay home. I really like the look of slow, long nap. Or a slowly ate long, good meal.

Old dogs like nappin and eatin too. Why can’t people let sleepin dogs, and horses, lie?

Coors Light gets bored. He could go sight-seein ridin instead of me. Original Coors gets bored a lot too, but not like his brother. A bored Coors Light is a bothersome Coors Light. When the bucket gal don’t ride him for a long spell, she ought to at least drive him around real slow with his head stuck out the white rollin horse-box window to give him somethin to do. It wouldn’t be good nor purposeful, but it’d take up some of his time. Otherwise, he sets to thinkin. And a thinkin AND bored Coors Light is the worst Coors Light of all.

Here’s the short list of some stuff Coors Light’s got himself into when he ain’t got nothin better to do.

Well, I already told about his handiwork on his stall shade.

There’s also:

  • The people-bench he drug out and throwed at Original Coors, and thusly tripped over and busted the people-bench and its legs and tore up his own leg. I told about that before, right? If I didn’t, I really ought to.
  • Well, there’s more though I can’t recall any of it off-hoof. Obviously it’s too much for any one horse to remember.

So, the dog gets to drive around. It’s a near daily thing, now. Sometimes when he passes by he barks, hey horse! So I flatten my ears back at him, hey dog! It’s how we talk now.

I wonder if he gets to pick where he goes. Horses can’t pick where we go when we get inside the rollin horse-box, but if we could… That’s as crazy as an old farm goat bangin his head around stuck in a bucket talk.

I ought to be ashamed of myself for thinking such idle thoughts, and the dog ought to be ashamed of himself for not even tryin to walk no more. I walk slow now, but I still got my get up and go. Like the people say when they train us up, ya always got to look for the try. And I do always try. Dogs in general is fairly shameless, though, so I’ll just pin my ears and nod my head when he goes by with his tongue out and his tail beatin a happy tune on the rolly car-dashboard. But if he can get a human to do all his biddin, then more power to that dog, I guess. A horse has always got to roll with the changes, no matter how ridiculous they may be.

Doggy Style blog photo

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Still Standin’

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Somethin strange and terrible, but mostly strange, happened on the County Island, but the main point is, it turned out OK. Generally I try not to tell an endin before tellin a beginnin, but, well, I’m still here. Some of ya might care to know that.

Things weren’t sittin right with me, and I’m a horse that’s generally alright with the world. Maybe I didn’t tell nobody about it for a while. I don’t really recall. But when I did tell the bucket gal loud and clear, by throwin my own self to the ground not once, but twice, and rollin while gruntin like a pig, instead of helpin me out — she told the tiny telephone that lives in her pocket to fetch the sweet-talkin but evil vet lady!

I knew I was in trouble many people-hours into the night, when the vet lady was still there and they’d already tried all kinds of ridiculous things that didn’t work. Her and the bucket gal was starin both at me, at the end of my lead rope, and at the stars and the moon, and one of ‘em, and it don’t matter which one, said, “We should’ve ordered a pizza!” I know what a people-pizza is and I also know there’s nothin it could do to help an old ranch horse with a real bad colicky stomach ache. In fact, I know it gives people colic sometimes, and they eat it anyway. Leave it to people to think about food in times of trouble, Maybe they’re more horse-like than I ever suspected.

No pizza came. That was good. Also, pardon my french, no horse manure came. That wasn’t good. I felt good enough to eat a cookie and was grateful it wasn’t a foul pizza. I pinned my ears at Original Coors ‘cause someone had to. And, finally, they left me for what remained of the night.

The next early mornin, the vet lady was back, doin more things to a horse who already ain’t right. Eventually, the bucket gal led me over to the rollin white horse-box. This was surely no time to take me for a pointless pleasure trail ride, but off we went.

Only we went to a place called a horse “hospital,” but it looked like a regular stall-barn. And it was overrun with a whole herd of sweet-talkin but evil horse ladies. It must be the ranch where they’re all foaled or somethin. And they poked me in the neck, and they tied me to the roof of a horse-stall with a funny lead rope that somehow poured funny water straight into a horse? None of it made sense. And I overheard they was makin pictures of my insides, which is ridiculous on account of their picture-taker was on the outside of me, and my insides are on my inside. They seemed real nice for bein evil vet ladies, and they meant well, but, well… They had some doubtful ideas. My stomach still hurt.

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The bucket gal seemed real worried. And the carrot guy came, too. Also some other amigos I know showed up to say howdy to me. That was nice and all, but I didn’t like it, or like bein there even though the barn stall had cool air in it in the middle of the hot time, but there wasn’t much I could do about any of it. So I let whatever was gonna happen, happen.

And in spite of bein tied to a water lead rope hung from the ceilin, I started feelin better. Finally someone offered me some food that seemed like maybe I’d like to eat it. All the other food looked like food I might want to eat, but my insides was tellin me I didn’t want it.

After I ate, I pooped.

You ain’t never seen a bunch of people so entirely overjoyed by a horse poopin before. You woulda thought maybe I’d saved the ranch’s whole damned cattle herd from runnin directly off a cliff the way they carried on about one horse poopin. The bucket gal even looked like she might cry.

They kept me a couple more people-days for more of their strange people-reasons. They said they wanted to make sure I knew how to eat and poop, like I ain’t been doin a proper job of it for 29 people-years or at least as long as I can recall.

The best part was when I got to come home. The Coors brothers was even excited to see me. Original Coors said he didn’t even want to eat while I was gone, ‘cause he wanted to keep an eye on the road for me comin back. and I called him a liar, ‘cause he always wants to eat. I got a shower hose-bath, and then I rolled and rolled in the warm, soft sand. And then I loped off for a few steps, to express my happiness at finally bein returned home to where things made more sense, for the County Island, anyway.

Things ain’t entirely normal yet. The bucket gal shoves foul tubes of stuff she calls medicine in my mouth like about three times a day. And my feed’s got some new stuff in it, but it tastes alright, I guess. She’s got more worry lines over her eyes than normal when she looks at me, but I think I feel fine. If I don’t, she ought to know I’ll let her know, even if the prior experience was mighty questionable overall.

I got my own bucket with the half-broke handle on account of I like to shove it around. I got my Ayrab brother horses. I got my warm sand, and my best shady tree. I got hay, even a li’l bit more alfalfa than normal. I got to go for some hand-walks, which is when a horse gets walked like a County Island dog. And I got to go for a couple pointless pleasure rides, with pit stops to graze the crunch beans from my favorite bean tree.

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And there’s been no more talk of force-feedin me a pizza. That’s likely the best part.

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Posted by on June 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Be a Tree

It always comes out in the wash.

That’s what I like to say to myself or any horse that’ll listen, every time I get rode through the wash – which is like a dry creek bed, for those unfortunate horses that don’t know ‘cause they never get rode outside the safe space of their own arenas.

Yep. It always comes out in the wash. And when it does, there ain’t much a good horse can do about it.

Let me explain your options.

I was bein rode through the wash and we was almost back home after makin a big and pointless loop around it on a cool and breezy evenin, with just enough wind to tickle my mane hairs, but not enough to blow all the less delicate smells that surround the County Island into my nostrils.

And then, it came out, in the wash. Like it always does. Like it or not.

I neither heard nor smelled it comin. I reckon that was a good thing, although even if it was a bad thing, it wouldn’ta made one lick of difference from a grumpy pig’s tongue to me.

Horses need to know a couple of important things here. First, the story your own dam told ya back when you were knee-high to the ropin donkey about the horse that got ate up whole by wild pigs when he stuck his nose in their business likely ain’t true. Far as I can tell, no horse actually personally knows another horse who got ate by pigs.

Second, javelinas ain’t pigs. That fact ain’t likely to save ya, in general, though. But the flavor of pigs we got in these parts is known as javelinas. I told about ‘em back when I told about the piggish behavior, thusly:

“When you come across a sleepin javelina, it’s always best to let it lie, lest it come back to bite you, literally. Those pigs are grumpy, most especially if ya call ’em pigs to their ugly pig faces. And they have lots of sharp and pointy teeth they ain’t shy about snappin at any part of a horse they can snap at.”

They’ll also gore a unsuspectin dog clear into the next county without so much as blinkin one tiny pig eye.

So your first and best option is always let ‘em lie. But now ya likely know that the “it” I intended to tell about from the start is a javelina-pig. They always come out in the wash when they do come out, without fail.

Option two? Turn tail and run. This ain’t recommended, no matter how good your intentions is to save yourself and maybe also your rider. Javelinas can run purty darned fast. ‘Cause they can’t see real good, their motto’s always attack first, ask questions never. So a horse has got to ask himself, how fast do I feel like runnin today? Is my rider likely to spin with me, or without me, and what’s the consequence of savin my hide, losin my rider and then havin my rider catch back up to me and maybe get after me in ways a horse don’t like bein got after? Sometimes riders is grateful for your efforts, sometimes they ain’t. Are ya a lucky horse? I try not to rely on luck, myself.

So your other option, which is my own option, is obviously the best option. It ain’t without its own risks, though. Here’s what I did, the last time it came out in the wash.

As I was sayin, I neither heard nor smelled it comin that night. I also didn’t catch that it had two more bandido amigos with it. I was ambushed!

Outnumbered, and also feelin kinda slow, I’d run out of options. It was too late for letting ‘em lie, and runnin is for the younger, more flight-prone horses.

So I went with option number three, which is stand your ground and make like a tree. Feel your own hooves grow roots deep into the ground. The grumpy pigs is most grumpy at things that move, and that’s when they’ll most often make a move on ya. It ain’t generally a recommended option, but sometimes, like this time, it worked.

The first grumpy pig – and I do enjoy callin ‘em pigs knowin full well they don’t like it – jumped into the wash to try and stare me down with its blind pig stare. I trained my ears on it but I didn’t budge. Then it disappeared back where it came from. I heard a rustle!

Two more of ‘em made a mad run for it across the wash directy in front of me, and made a mad dash for the open range.

Without warnin, the first, biggest one was back. It ran across the wash, then stopped to face me. But I was busy makin like a palo verde tree.

Then it ambled toward me.

Then it stopped. I still didn’t catch wind of it, for which I gave silent thanks. Then it ambled back.

Then it leaped into the wash to stop and stare some more. Likely it smelled horse, but it couldn’t really see horse. There was no horse. Just me, Whiskey, a proper tree. After at least 20 picture-clicky noises (which seemed real excessive to me) from the tiny telephone that lives in the bucket gal’s back pocket, it finally, thankfully wandered away from me, the plain ol’ clicky palo verde planted here in the middle of the wash right where I always grew.

The bucket gal reined me in the far direction from home, and I had to agree. We was real copacetic on not seein no more pigs, although I had been prepared to be a tree all night if that’s what I needed to do. I’d never been more relieved to take the long way home.

If ya keep stock still and keep the fearful snortin sounds on the inside of yer nose and not the outside, a pig can’t see nor hear ya. There’s nothin you can do about people and their clicky sounds, though. I’m lucky that didn’t get us both gored or worse. I aim to be a good horse and think only good-horse thoughts, but at times like that I got to wonder if the bucket gal’s got a brain between her ears at all.

Be brave, stand tall and remember a wash full of javelina-pigs, or anythin else, is only as scary as a horse makes it. Keep it together between your own ears, and whatever may come out in the wash won’t hurt ya. Also, some good luck don’t hurt.

Be a Tree blog photo

 

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

A Pointless Answer

A Pointless Answer blog photo

I got a decent mane, for bein a horse, I suppose.

Some horses is born with manes that grow plumb down to their knees and flow real purty in the breeze when they run. They got plenty of mane to flip when a horse needs to flip his neck to make a point. Their mane hairs is as soft and shiny as a newborn rattlesnake’s belly. Their hairs also catch real bad in the brambles and brush, and get ripped out in the tree branches. And their hairs also get ripped out by other horses grabbin on with their teeth to make their own point, and by twisted wire braids on fencelines if you’re trying to graze the better grass, or any grass, on the other side. And then those horses with the lovely locks is left with only loser locks.

Other horses is born into this world hair-impaired. Original Coors is one such horse. He ain’t got a proper forelock. What he’s got looks more like a no-lock. Some Appaloosas come with rat tails, and some big prancey horses got manes so bad they’re full of disgustin crawly cockroaches, and their people shave their manes clean off or pull ‘em until there’s nothin left but tiny foal mane hairs which is called roachin ‘em. But I suppose if it makes ‘em feel less filthy (and not in a good roll in the dirt way) and cures ‘em of their cockroach problem, it’s worth goin around lookin like a wiry colt your whole life.

So ya can truly tell some things by a horse’s mane. Some things, but I still say not all.

I suppose I should just spit it out, like a big ol’ wad of wet hay.

The bucket gal sent some of my mane away to some big high-falutin horse mane hair whisperers at a big ranch called the Texas A&M University to ask ‘em what I am, as if bein a good horse ain’t enough. And then the mane whisperers tell ya three things a horse might be in the order of him bein it.

My mane says I’m almost all Missouri Fox Trotter horse. I don’t even know what that is! I know what trottin is, of course, and what foxes is. I’ve likely even trotted after foxes a time or two. So that makes right about 19 percent of y’all real smart for guessin Missouri Fox Trotter, and the rest of ya maybe not so smart after all.

It also says I got a drop of an Andalusian in me, and then lastly, Turkoman horse.

What’s an Andalusian? I surely never met one. And I ain’t “in delusion” at all. I’m as grounded as a horse gets. I guess it’s good I only got a drop of it in me, like maybe my great-great-great-great-great granddaddy or grandma was part delusional horse, and thus it ain’t affected me.

A Turkoman, turns out, don’t even exist anymore. It ain’t a real horse, but I am, and I do so exist. It’s what the mane whisperers tell ya when there ain’t nothin left to tell, but the ranch boss says they got to give ya three things anyway.

They still ain’t sent the whole long “report,” whatever a report is, for the bucket gal to read and obsess over like a stall-weavin prancey horse, and I say it’s on account of no such report exists. It’s a turkoman report. That’s my new word for made-up County Island bullshit.

So there ya have it. I’m likely a Missouri Fox Trotter if ya ask my mane hairs. And that don’t change one damn thing about me nor how I live my own good life here on the County Island. A horse’s life is what he makes of it, not what his mane hairs say it is.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Here’s Your Guesses

For all y’all who didn’t bother to try and guess my breed, ya snoozed and ya losed.

Thusly, here’s what the people think I am, by what my mane hairs claim. Also, there was one vote for Other which was claimin me as a Mustang.

I’m workin on the rest of the story — on account of if you know me by now, you know there’s always a story to be told about the County Island.

I’m real glad nobody guessed Arabian. It helps maintain my faith in people.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

The Guessin’ Game

In case anybody was wonderin at this point in our acquaintance, I’m a horse. That’s a fact that’s always seemed real clear to me, almost since the second I popped out of my dam (who also was a horse) with four hooves and a tail and a whinny. But since I came to live here on the County Island, there’s a lot of folks that like to ask the bucket gal what I am, which leads a horse to believe there’s lots of folks on the County Island that ain’t entirely right in the head.

In addition to bein a horse, I’m also a yellow horse, which most folks who know what a horse is call palomino. Folks that like to make things complicated that ain’t complicated like to argue that maybe I’m a dunalino, or a palomino with bird-catchin spots. I ain’t never even tried to catch a bird. Why would I?)

Real “observant” folks (yeah, I’m usin my ironical horse ears to express that thought) also like to point out maybe I’m gaited. Good on them for noticin, I suppose. It ain’t like I gait all the time. But when I got rode with the short-legged, floppy-eared cattle dogs, which is called beagles, and the hunt club that never hunted no game nor carried no huntin rifles, if I was made to trot too long of a distance, then I’d break out in my more comfortable ground-coverin gait. It started the bucket gal real bad the first time. As my horse-buddy Original Coors would say, “it totally freaked her out.” He talks like that on account of bein an Ayrab-horse from the California Ranch.

I’m also a geldin horse, also obvious. And I’m the right size for proper ranch work and puttin my rider in the saddle at the proper height for fixin fences or openin and closing gates from the saddle.

Also obvious, I got two proper ranch brands scrawled onto my hide.

All of which, to own clear way of thinkin, obviously spells H-O-R-S-E, even if I didn’t arrive here with no papers tellin any person any such thing. If a horse is a good horse and he’s proved his goodness time and again, how come anythin beyond that even matters to a County Island person? I digress…

But all the questions led the bucket gal to yank out chunks of my own mane hair which I suppose allows people with too much idle time to tell a person what a horse is. We all know here that mane hair’s got nothin to do with it. And I can yank out plenty of it by myself, thanks for noticin, if I got a real bad itch and need to scratch it on a tree trunk, fence post or whatever ya got handy. A horse will do that.

But, since people like to play stupid pointless games, kindly indulge an old, bored ranch horse and his not quite as old, idle-minded bucket gal, and play a guessin game with me here, thusly, since unfortunately I was made to know the addled answer to the pointless question.

I’ll just leave this right here for a while, while I go back to my own feed and other proper horse things. Then I’ll get around to tellin everybody the rest of the ridiculous tale. Y’all got one people-week to guess, so get to it. Ya got a stupid people-job to do!

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Hobbled

Hobbled blog photo

In truth, how often do scary things that’s been tied in place actually break loose from their hobbles and fly after a horse?

In truth, that’s a bad question. I got examples, such as the flyin flappy people-umbrella that broke loose and once chased a prancey horse clean out of the prancin arena. And the flappy hay tarp that once broke loose on a windy day and flew at a horse like a giant blue horse-eatin vulture tryin to land on his head and eat his horse-brains. We horses have all heard the legend of that one. And likely every horse knows at least one other horse that’s narrowly survived such an encounter with a runaway people-contraption. But still. Do ya actually know any horse that’s been eaten alive and then killed dead by such a thing? Likely not. So yor bettin odds generally seem like 50/50, which ain’t half bad, all around.

Bettin is big on the County Island ‘round about every cold time for what’s called the super feed bowl day. The super feed bowl’s an event that’s peculiar to the County Island. Also, it ain’t got nothin to do with feedin us good horses at all. It’s mostly people feedin themselves and whoopin and hollerin inside their people-barns so loud ya can hear it clear across the County Island, which is barren of people, ‘cause they’re all inside their barns shoutin, and thusly real peaceful for horses in spite of our obvious hunger and lack of extra feed bowls, super or not. In fact we generally suffer from entire food neglect until the event time’s half over. Coors and Coors Light call it the stupid bowl, and I don’t dislike that.

The people whoop and holler to cheer on critters no horse can see for himself, such as cardinals or falcons or bears or broncos or patriots, whatever patriots is. Every person picks their favorite critter, even dumb ones like patriots. And then they bet each other who’s gonna win … whatever they win. More feed, I guess.

The other pointless part of the super feed bowl involves hobblin what’s called balloons (known to some horses as shiny, round flyin monsters) and flags and festive streamers (known to those same horses as shiny, flat flyin monsters) and other such shiny and pointless crap to trees and fence lines, which is where my hobble talk comes in. Maybe this year I noticed all the super feed bowl nonsense more. Maybe in my old, wise age I’m payin the wrong kind of attention to County Island foolishness. Maybe this year, they festooned the entire trail-path I got to walk on to get down the road and hung their monsters in front of us horses’s noses.

Most County Island horses ain’t got no sense of what it means to be hobbled.

When you’re hobbled ya don’t have to worry about where to go or what to do. You just stay where you are, not workin, and don’t worry. Ya learn to stay tied, and ya learn not to panic if somethin funny touches your feet such as a rope, or a snake. I reckon it’s the same if youre a hobbled dog or a hobbled flyin-balloon. Remind me to tell everybody about my horse-buddy Original Coors and the snake sometime. I can understand some horses not trustin County Island folks to hobble stuff correctly. I don’t see it done much around here to horses or other things. Dogs that get hobbled often break loose and run. You see missin dog signs all over the County Island. But escaped rogue horse-chasin dogs and legends of tarp-vultures aside, and also flyin-balloons, bein hobbled’s entirely safe and trustworthy.

I can understand stoppin to have a good look at a hobbled thing. I did that myself this year when it looked like some super feed bowl festoonery done throwed up all over and hobbled itself to damn near everythin on one li’l nearby ranch. But if it’s your own ranch that’s festooned, ya ought not to behave like the horse whose festooned ranch it was. He never got over it.

Some horses is surprised by the same things day after day. Every day is a new day, but for them it’s always a bad day. Don’t be like them. Even if the shiny flappin super feed bowl balloon that was ground-tied to the ground in front of the gate picks itself up with a big wind and makes a move toward wrapping its bright shiny silver self around ya. It likely won’t do that at all.

The point is, don’t be scared of spooky people-things that’s hobbled, ‘cause they probably won’t kill ya even if they do try. Don’t go lookin for trouble such as hobbled stuff to break lose and hurt ya every day. My own track record for surviving such things so far is 100 percent. Thus you can safely say ya know of at least one horse that ain’t never been harmed nor killed dead by one of ‘em.

I try to be a comfort to other horses when I can be.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2017 in Uncategorized