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Neither Young Nor Stupid

Neither Young Nor Stupid blog photo

Bein old and bein young has got a lot in common when you’re a horse.

For instance, when you’re three and ya do somethin’ good, the people say AWW GOOD BOY to let ya know you’re special.

And when you’re 30, they say the same thing – AWW GOOD BOY – if ya do any damn thing at all.

Ya eat all your dinner – AWW GOOD BOY. Ya walk around the trail for a borin slow ride – AWW GOOD BOY. Ya stand for picture-takin with a sparkly birthday “30” crown upon your head – AWW GOOD BOY. Ya stand up on your own hooves after lyin down for a nap – AWW GOOD BOY.

There ain’t nothin special about bein special.

The older and wiser I get, the more I know it to be true deep down inside my own time-worn bones – how much alike bein three and bein 30 is.

I’m pretty sure the bucket gal knows I know how to step over and through all manner of things by now, on account of we’ve done it together enough. But lately she don’t act like she remembers any of it.

Could she be gettin old and forgetful?

There was once a time when I leaped across a bonafide oxer fence all by myself, and as tall as myself, with the bucket gal, carrot guy and other witnesses watchin. I walked right up to it when I was turned loose in the jumpin arena, and gave it a thought. Seemed like a fun thing to do. My hocks set down upon the ground to launch me up and over that oxer from a standstill so I could fly. I suppose that’s why I thought they was called hawks before, on account of the flyin.

When me and the bucket gal chased all them bad beagle-dogs across the range in search of jackrabbits all those times, with the hunt club that never hunted nothin nor fired a gun, I jumped across more arroyos than I can count. We jumped ditches and banks and downed trees and cactus. We crossed deep muddy washes and sandy slip-slidin spots too. I was sure-footed to pick my way across and through and up and down any kinda terrain in any weather.

Now?

I surely got to be led by the halter-rope at a easy walk, back and forth across two tiny flat poles on the ground inside the prancin arena, like a greenhorn baby that don’t yet know it’s got four feet much less where they all are.

It’s harder than it ought to be.

It’s harder than I ever recall it bein, in fact, even when I was three.

My old, bad hocks don’t like to bend no more. For most of my days they been real good and useful hawks. They started goin bad before I came to live upon the County Island, now that I care to think on it. Then they went real bad, and I learned all about hawk jail. When ya get released from jail, of course a horse is gonna feel better and it ain’t got a think to do with vet ladies and their diabolical ways of pokin stuff into horses. They’re unrelated. I never knew hawks could also go from bad to worse, but mine have gone and done it.

Even when they’re worse, though, I still try. A horse has always got to try. It’s the right thing to do, and also the only practical thing. Young horses waste a lot of their good hawks on impractical things that get a horse in trouble one way or the other. There’s nothin special nor good about that.

The trouble is, when I want to go, often my hawks do not. And they have the power to make that decision for me, seems like.

And so I get led around over poles upon the ground. It ain’t so bad. But sometimes my hawks don’t even want to do that much. You keep puttin one hoof down in front of the other, and ya do it with a hitch in your get-along if ya got to. And ya do it even when it also feels dumb and pointless. Maybe ya wish the bucket gal would raise ‘em a little bit so ya could at least hop over and have some fun, and then ya think, no, never mind.

The bucket gal has promised me of late that she’ll do everythin in her power to keep my hocks from hurtin, and she won’t let me hurt bad. And I did believe her –

Until, after such a deep and meaningful promise, she went and summoned the sweet-talkin but evil vet lady again, who never has made me feel better except when she leaves. The bucket gal directed her to poke me in the neck two times and also directed her to demonstrate how to stick sharp things into me herself, even when the vet lady ain’t even there! I don’t remember what occurred after that, ‘cause they knocked me out cold.

What kinda promise is “I won’t hurt ya/here’s the vet come to hurt ya?” And oh, by the way, “I am now fully trained to stick needles into ya myself, and maybe I’ll do so whenever I feel like it and with no warnin to a sensible horse?”

No wonder so many County Island horses got trust issues.

Now, of course, I do feel better. Any horse would. As usual, it ain’t got nothin to do with things bein stuck into me by neither vet-ladies nor bucket gals.

I can only smartly conclude the bucket gal’s goin senile, with all her strange behaviors.

I did not get to be 30 by bein a stupid horse.

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Posted by on April 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

A Hole in His Head

A Hole in His Head Blog Photo

One time, Original Coors got a big hole in his head. More than the usual one I joke about sometimes, I mean. He didn’t know how it came to reside in his head, and you’d think if anyone would know, it’d be him. The thought would trouble me more, but I’m a sensible horse that ain’t got a hole in his head. If it don’t concern ya, it don’t concern ya. So far I lived my entire life with only the proper holes in my head for my nose, eyeballs and ears, and seems likely I’ll remain that way. If I don’t, I don’t.

But Coors went on and on about it. He claimed it itched, a lot. He itched it on every itchin place he could find in our own corral until he’d itched it raw.It itched it ‘til it blew up apple-size, or even bigger than that, as if he had a apple stuck in the back of his craw and could not spit it out – which is the only proper way to handle a mealy, disgustin-sweet-sick thing like a apple. They ain’t meant to be ate by me, nor by Original Coors from the looks of his apple-swelled-up head.Worth notin: When a horse’s face swells up like a bad apple overnight, but he ain’t ate an apple recently and he rubs it ‘til all the hair falls off and it looks like a apple you’d find run over on the side of the road, County Island people come undone.

Do you want to know how many times the evil, evil, but sweet-talkin’ vet-lady stuck her own hand inside Original Coors’ head that night, and pulled out a horse don’t even what to guess how much of what kinda gunk from Coors’ head, after the bucket gal told her tiny telephone that lives in her pocket to make a emergency call?

I couldn’t tell ya. But it was lot. I high-tailed it outa there. No part of whatever was goin down that night would ever get the chance to reach down inside my own parts. But I swear I heard the vet lady say her hand near about touched the underside of Coors’ tongue, up inside his mouth, inside his head. Later, Coors verified it felt both awful and true.

Once she cleared out all the bad junk there was, and her and the bucket gal made reference to somethin they called “a thousand island dressin” now bein ruined forever for them, Original Coors was left standin with an even bigger, now hollowed-out hole inside his head. And it made her and our own bucket gal happy.

The bucket gal spent the next forever days wipin Coors’ head hole clean and waterboardin him, which is when a person, under the direction of an evil vet lady, makes a horse stand still as a board on the side of a barn while she aims a water-hose inside his head to flush it out and then pours medicine that stings like a bee in it, too. Or so I am told.

The bucket gal also went damn near sideways swipin clean every single part of our corral and everythin inside it. She cleaned the buckets and the hay holders and the fence rails and gates and latches, and even aimed cleaner stuff at the damned dirt underneath our hooves. She cleaned her own people-feet. And her hands. And changed her clothes more than once while she tended to us. I swear I figured she’d set to wipin down the rabbits next. She was that crazed.

That’s when it came to me it must be the strangles like what swept through the ranch sometimes.

I could tell everybody a whole lot more about how the hole in Coors’ head gaped and oozed, and also about how it gave forth a real foul smell, and for how long, as counted by forever days by the bucket gal. But I won’t.

Turned out it wasn’t the strangles at all, and so the County Island rabbits was spared bein wiped clean up one side and down the other cottontail side, as was me and Coors Light. We was also spared any more of the tiny stick set up our nether regions to tell a person if we was feverish or not even though we knew we wasn’t.

The cause was found to be a cow thing, so they say, but that don’t make sense ‘cause we ain’t got cattle nor have we associated with none in a real long time. Likely that’s all I can tell about it, without bein a horse that cares to truly listen to the sweet-talkin but evil lady. Also, despite what I said back here, Original Coors ain’t a actual cow.

The hole in his head lasted from well before the time of the red and green antler hats set upon County Island horses’ head, to plumb near when we was all shed out in preparation for the hot time. Or, in people parlance, “forever.”

So now y’all can easily comprehend how the giant cow hole in Coors’ head remains a great mystery. It’s gone now, and so’s the evil vet lady, which is all I care about. Original Coors cares that his head’s whole again, and also that the vet lady’s gone. Coors Light got off the easiest in all this whole deal, as he had neither a extra unexplained head hole nor a near daily fear of the vet lady like I endured.

And I hope not to know anymore about cows nor their holes ever again.

Actinomycosis in horses: https://wagwalking.com/horse/condition/actinomycosis

Actinomycosis in animals: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actinomycosis_in_animals

Merck Veterinary Manual: https://www.merckvetmanual.com/generalized-conditions/actinomycosis/overview-of-actinomycosis

 If you’re a person that’s squeamish, kindly whoa yourself right here and turn back. This ain’t the trail for you.

…..

…..

But.

If you’re a person that likes to look upon disgustin things, then keep goin. Thusly, here is Original Coors’ hold before it even was a hole, when it was more like a swollen-up apple under his jaw by the crick of his throat latch. And then two days later what it looked like empty and damned well dug out by our very own sweet-talkin but evil vet lady.

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Posted by on March 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

On the Occasion of My 30th Birthday (Big Deal)

30th Birthday 1

I got woke up from a good sun nap in the warm, soft sand after a cold, rainy County Island mornin. The bucket gal was kinda rude about it, too. “Get up, Whiskey! Come on, get up!” she clapped at me, wavin my halter and rope to and fro near my hind end. Only she wasn’t even dressed in her ridin clothes yet, only her fancy, might melt if horse snot touched ‘em not-ridin people-clothes. So I failed to understand the hurry. She wasn’t ready to do nothin useful, nor was I. That’s when it’s good to be a retired mostly retired pet pleasure horse, when ya get to say, hold on, I ain’t ready to move just yet. It’s helps if you’re old and wise in your years, too.

After a moment, I moved. Damn, the cold made my old joints stiff, but I got up and I loped off a few steps to reacquaint my bones with my blood flow. Then I allowed her to halter me since she still seemed set on it.

She led me over to the corral fence rail, where Original Coors and Coors Light had already planted hooves to grow roots, and was bein stuffed full of cookies and carrots by a whole lotta people. There was the carrot guy dispensin the carrots to ‘em all, and some big folks I know cordially, and some little folks too, and a real nice lady who sounded like our own sweet-talkin but evil vet lady, only she didn’t smell evil that day, and her normal rumbly-truck wasn’t parked out back by the barn where it goes when she means to do us some kinda veterinary harm such as poke us and prod us, or knock us out cold.

It was a suspicious amount of folks. And they stuffed us horses with treats at an alarmin rate, which was fine by us but for the suspicious part.

Then the bucket gal said, OK, on the count of three, go… one, two, three…! And even though I stood still and quiet, I wondered if I ought to gather my hocks under me to get outta Dodge quick if they aimed to stampede us?

They began to neigh at us, as far as people can neigh, and then all together came their words in a real loud discordant song-birdy rhythm, when a song-bird ain’t well and sings off-key but is still real happy to be alive and able to sing at all:

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you,

Happy 30th birthday, dear Whis-keeeeeeeee…

Happy birthday to you!

Birthday? I tried to recall what it was like the day when I met my dam for the first time, but that picture seemed faded. It didn’t feel like that day fell durin the cold time, maybe later in the grass and sunshine when she and I and the herd walked all across the wildflowery hills. Was it my birthday that day? Did it matter if it was my birthday that day? Why was County Island people so obsessed with a horse’s birthday? Maybe it was my birthday. But 30th? I tried to count all the seasons I’d known, but horses don’t care much for countin pointless things. Maybe I counted up 30 seasons, who knew?

That’s when I realized I had somethin set upon my head, other than my halter, ‘cause Original Coors gave me a look. It was one of those people-holiday decorative headgear things we got to wear sometimes on the County Island, such as devil horns and Santa Claus hats. I still don’t know what it was, but it seemed to make everyone real happy. I reckon it was related to my birthday.

There was much pettin of us and scratchin at our itches, when the treat train finally left the station for good, and happy talkin and laughin. Then the bucket gal declared it to be time for somethin called “cake,” which did not sound like it involved horses. I was unhaltered, and hugged tight, which was warm and nice but also unnecessary. Coors Light said “cake” was like the “cupcakes” the bucket gal had tried to feed us one time, on the occasion of her own birthday. A cupcake smells like a sweet, sweet palo verde flower, but tastes – pardon my french – like cowshit. But the bucket gal likes ‘em.

They dispersed to the people-barn for “cake,” I guess, and me, Coors and Coors Light dispersed back to bein horses.

So that’s what it’s like to be a horse who’s 30. It’s no big deal, but ya do get more treats than normal. And it makes the people happy. Like I always say, happy people make for happy horses, so what’s good for all of them is alright by me.

30th Birthday 2

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

The Mirage

Have ya ever put your head down to take drink of cool water from a creek and caught the startlin sight of a real handsome horse starin straight back at ya? Unless you’re a special kinda horse, you knew it was you. Or at least ya knew it wasn’t you exactly, but it also wasn’t another bonafide real horse, no matter how much maybe ya arched your neck at it, or tried to nuzzle it, or strike it with your hoof. That’s just creek-water-you. It ain’t like a horse could ever see himself in a flake of hay, or at the bottom of a grain bucket.

So it ain’t normal to meet another you that ain’t you anywhere but down inside some creek water. That’s when I knew I was finally losin my very last shred of horse sense after livin on the County Island for such a long stretch. ‘Cause I was out for a short, peaceful, lazy kinda trail ride when I spied a bonafide tiny mirage of familiarity out there in the desert brush.

Ya see, I saw myself.

Only shrunken down. By a lot.

It was “me,” if I may use my ironical pointed horse ears.

mini me air quotes

And I did indeed point my ears. And so did mini me.

And then I set my ears back a bit. And so did he.

There was no need for neither posturin nor strikin.

That’s when I knew me and mini me was gonna be alright. We’re copacetic, which means I’m cool with him, and he’s cool with me.

dr evil mini me

And he’s real, alright.

He stands about Shetland size, like the ranch boss’ kids’ li’l cowpoke pony back at the ranch. And full of boss pony attitude but in a real friendly and no-nonsense way. I’d be more than content to be a County Island co-boss horse with such an upstandin li’l fella.

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I asked if he was meant to have a job, as he lives with a bunch of full-size reputable Quarter Horses that got part-time cow jobs. Not a real cow job like I used to have. I mean stupid but fun County Island cow games. But he said as far as he knows, his job’s to be the pony pet. I congratulated him on gettin that gig, ‘cause it’s real solid gig to get.

Now me and mini me say our howdys whenever I get rode past his pen. And he tells me how he likes to startle some of the more looky horses in these parts who think he’s me only chopped off at the knees. And we chuckle under our breath together, and that’s that. As long as nobody gets hurt, it’s good to have a li’l fun now and again. It’s one of the best parts of bein a mostly retired pet pleasure horse, or his tiny pony pet compadre, livin the good life on the County Island.

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complete me

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

January 17 Is Do Somethin’ Nice for a Horse Day

…and also January 17th is my own 30th birthday.

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So, listen up and kindly put your ears forward, amigos of the County Island. This here’s important stuff.

Y’all can help me celebrate (much as a horse cares to celebrate made-up people-things) my own 30th birthday by goin’ forth and doin’ somethin’ nice for a horse, on my own birthday.

It can be your own horse or not, don’t really matter. It can even be for a mule or a donkey. Cattle, too, I suppose. Also maybe some dogs. The main point is the doin a nice thing point.

Most nice things come shaped like food or treats, but the nice thing can be whatever you think a horse might enjoy either direct-like or indirect as a nice thing to be done for it.

Then maybe make a picture of the nicety and tell me about it over at my Facebook Ranch, thusly, so we can all celebrate some nice things for horses as a proper herd for my 30th birthday. Or ya can show me right here. Suppose it really don’t matter none.

Y’all can follow this here trail map to my Facebook Ranch.

I’ll look forward to seein’ what y’all come up with.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

And Also, Happy Anniversary to Us All

Looks like all y’all done helped earn me what’s called a participation award from the WordPress Ranch.

Which ain’t worth a damn thing, to tell the truth.

But thanks all the same to all my good amigos for stickin with me for eight entire people-years here — some of the most incredible, strange, happy, confusin and downright fun years of my own horse-life.

And that’s all the mush you’re likely to get outta me. Now, git. Ain’t ya got someplace better to be? Like maybe feedin your own good horses?

Also, a horse can’t fly. And what kinda nonsense-word is bloggin? Story-tellin? That I can do.

acheievement anniversay blog photo

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Blanket Statement

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.

Blanket Statement photo

Bein a horse burrito ain’t nearly as bad as it sounds.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2018 in Uncategorized