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What Goes Up?

“Sometimes, there are people in the sky here. Like birds.”

It was one of the earliest things my horse-buddy Original Coors ever said to me, back when I was newly arrived upon the County Island and first made his acquaintance at the boardin ranch where we lived. This was before I ever knew I’d be stuck with him as a herd-mate for life, so at the time, I humored him. I believe I may have glanced up from my hay and shot him a dirty look of disbelief, but it was a real mild dirty look. “Only they’re not really birds, they’re still people,” he continued, “but they fly in biiiig, round, shiny colorful things that breathe fire, and they float aaaall around the sky in wood baskets, and sometimes you can hear them chattering and talking on and on, and see the fire. Sometimes when they fly lower over the barns, you can even smell and FEEL the fire!” It was also one of the first dumbest things Coors ever said to me.

I ain’t a horse that looks up much, not like some of them horses that like to go around stickin’ their noses up in the air all the time. I like to keep an eye on the ground, where my own two feet and the snakes is. So I likely didn’t ever look up, not for a real long time, and not even or not especially when Coors and Coors Light might tell me to, to see the bird-people in the sky for myself. A horse doesn’t need to look at nothin to know there’s nothin there.

So the first time I ever spied what might’ve been the big, round, shiny colorful things that fly was right about one people-year ago. It was one of the times when horses get taken for big, pointless group pleasure trail rides where we don’t work any cattle, and when horses is made to dress up in silly headgear and sparkles and such. This is called holidays. When I came out of the rollin white horse-box, a lot of the people was in the middle of freakin out over a couple big rumbly people-vans in the parkin lot near all us horses, as well as a lot of people millin about more aimless than normal, and a big ol’ pile of a colorful drapey thing that kinda billowed in the breeze, but not enough to spook not even one horse that was there at the trailhead. People surely seemed spooked, though. Then the people near the rumbly-vans stopped millin, and set to sittin at nearby picnic tables, where they thusly began to feast on their own mornin feed. Meanwhile I overheard a lot of nonsense talk about “what were they thinking landing right here?” and “I’m surprised none of the horses have freaked out about the hot air balloon yet.”

What’s a balloon? I’d never heard that funny people-word before. All I saw was like a big heap of a colorful tarp pile, layin there, not movin hardly at all. Why would us horses spook at that? Most of us seen tarps before. And then we all set out on our pointless silly headgear and sparkles ride, and the commotion was all gone when we eventually got back to get untacked. And that was that.

Trot forward to this people-year, and a lot more recent-like durin the hot time, when even the air is hot and still. We was havin breakfast inside our own li’l horse-corral like we do every mornin. And the bucket gal was laborin away at pickin up poop piles like she always does even though she knows we always make more.

I’d likely never have noticed, but Coors raised his head from his hay and kinda nodded it up and down. His pricked ears said, “Oh, wow!”

And then Coors Light also looked up and said, “Oh, wow! That’s really close!”

And then our own bucket gal looked up and said a thing that a decent ranch horse can’t repeat.

So, I figured I’d look up, too. I looked up. And up. And up. And…

Down… And then down again…

Wasn’t such things supposed to fly UP, accordin to Original Coors?

And then, it stopped. It sat over our own people’s people-barn. And it was…

Well, damned if it wasn’t a big, round, shiny colorful thing in the sky, that breathed fire. And it had a wood basket filled with… That is to say, it seemed to carry chatterin… people. In the sky. Huh.

I sensed some early signs of fear from the bucket gal as she saw it sittin over her own people-barn. But it surely didn’t seem to be bothersome overall, just strange.

But at present, it moved over our own li’l horse-corral like maybe it meant to engage with us, like the drone-birds did. But while filled with fire. And people. People that exhibited no sign of common sense at all seein as how they sat in what appeared to be a wood basket up in the sky filled with fire. I thought about the potential need to become alarmed, myself.

And then they drifted back the other way, over the people-barn and toward the roads. Then back over our corral, where us three horses and one bucket gal all stood stock still. But us horses was managin to chew our hay in the meantime. If ya got to run from fire from the sky, it’s likely best to do it on a full stomach. Then it went back over to the road still driftin, barely clearin the people-barn roof. It occurred to me it thusly that maybe it did not intend to be quite where it was. I doubted it possessed much of a clear plan for flyin.

Then it breathed and spat out even more fire, and it rose up some, and the people chattered more. It changed course, fire and chatterin and all, floatin low but steady over the roads, and over the roofs of the other people-barns and ranches of the County Island. It left towards the general direction of the trailhead where I’d seen the big colorful tarp upon the ground with the strange early morning picnic people.

But the big colorful tarp upon the ground had been upon the ground, not up in the sky. It had been no balloon made out of hot air. Or had it? Maybe it was a dead and flattened one. It didn’t look burned up that I recall, but maybe the fire got to it. Maybe that’s why the sky people had to eat their breakfast picnic upon the ground. Maybe that’s why our riders through us horses might be upset about it. Maybe I was losin the last shred of ranch sense I was born with.

People can’t fly. And that’s a fact.

Things that do fly is proper birds, and bees. And improper drone-birds. And all the proper flyin things do not neither breathe nor shoot out flames.

Coors piped up. “I wonder if the people paid to come see us this morning, if that’s why they were here?”

I didn’t know what paid was, except as a nonsense-word used like “I got to pay the damned hay bill,” or “I got to pay another vet bill again,” but if people want to come see us, all they got to do is walk on up. Come on over to the fence. Wave a carrot. Act like normal County Island people. Stay out of the sky.

“Ain’t nobody who wants to pay to see you!” I blew back at Coors through my own nostrils. It was kinda uncalled for on my part. But then, he was the one who first told me tall tales about the sky people. And he was also the main one who made me look up and see ‘em, with my own horse-eyes, that day. So it was his fault I had to know about ‘em at all. Mostly it’s good for a good horse to be informed of things, but there’s a lot of things a horse is best left uninformed about, too, especially here on the County Island. Sky people is at the top of that list. And no good ever came from a horse raisin his neck up to the sky and lookin for what ain’t even supposed to be there.

what-goes-up-photo

No, it did not look like this. But it was nearly as ridiculous as a hot air horse flyin in the sky.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Stranger Things

stranger-things-blog-photo

 

Who was the strange man who roamed the County Island, and what did he want with us?

By us, I mean us horses, naturally. But the strange man was a li’l over-concerned with the people of the County Island, too — not that people problems mean much to a horse, generally.

At first I ignored the strange man. Then I set to observin him, from a safe and respectable distance of course. I think maybe he was observin me, too, in a real sorta erratic way, like a bumblin flyin beetle bug that’s flyin without a lick of direction. Or a steer that’s gone loco and lost all direction except circlin. There ain’t been nothin like him on the County Island neither before nor since, not as far as anybody, or any horse or other intelligent critter, seems to know. I suppose I ought to try to corral my own thoughts about him, thusly.

The first time I spied him, I was nappin in my own li’l horse-corral with Coors and Coors Light in the bright light of midday. He was walkin down the main road not real purposeful, more like meanderin, but dressed in fresh people-work clothes that ain’t real practical for roamin among the rocks and cactuses of the County Island. A horse really don’t care what a person puts on his body parts, but it was an unusual sight, especially seein as how most of my own experience with people wearin people-work clothes is the bucket gal freakin out about such natural things as horse snot or slobber getting stuck to her precious people-work clothes. People is funny about their clothes. They’d likely be better off not wearin any at all, except they all seem to be sheered as sheep-shorn as a show horse beneath ‘em. And like the legendary County Island Barenekkid Jogger of days done by, ain’t nobody needs to see more of that.

A bit later, the bucket gal took me out for a ride. On our way out, the strange man in his people-work clothes was sittin cross-legged on the ground beneath a tall and skinny tree. That’s a real smart way to ruin people-clothes, right there. But he didn’t act like he cared, or noticed.

The bucket gal kinda reined me up like maybe she meant to say somethin to him, but then she told me walk on. Out of the corner of one eye, I saw him get up, and walk across the road to my own people’s people-barn. My sharp ears heard him ring what’s called the doorbell. But not like people lookin to do honest work such as tree-trimmin and people-pond cleanin. Also he didn’t leave any fly-away papers that I could see that fly off the doors to litter the roads. And he didn’t appear to want to ask no one if they’d heard the word of the man the people say lives up in the big blue sky above us. He surely didn’t ask us.

I set to wonderin why he’d go ring our own people-barn doorbell that when he just done saw the bucket gal and me leave that same people-barn, and if he wanted to say somethin to her, why didn’t he do it directly? Then I let go of my foolish thoughts. As we continued down the road, I caught him again with my side-eye goin to the next people-barn, and ringin their people-doorbell. And then down the road he wandered, to yet the next people-barn, and also rang their doorbell. And then we turned the corner and I lost track of him, and thusly stopped wonderin and carin at all.

We came back around a li’l while later at the end of our trail. He was standin back where he sat before. Somewhere, he’d acquired a shiny li’l knife and a apple, and he was thusly peelin it and also starin at us. I hate apples. He peeled his real slow and deliberate. Skinnin it, more like.

We ambled on. The bucket gal set her heels into my sides a bit unnecessarily to speed me up some.

I was back under the barn roof, bein unsaddled, when a voice said from nowhere, “Can I pet him?”

I opened both my eyes. He was standin at the fence rail, not 12 people-feet between him and us, especially me, so stealthy I didn’t hear him walk up. He still had his knife, and his apple.

“No. He bites,” said the bucket gal, in a tone I don’t hear often but Coors Light does when he’s bein told to quit it. But I surely do not bite. In the meantime, sensin an apple and an eager apple-feeder, Original Coors and Coors Light appeared at the fence rail. “They bite, too, sorry,” said the bucket gal, and tossed rocks at the Ayrab brothers to shoo ‘em off the fenceline. “Back, back! Don’t bite!” she commanded them. It was real peculiar.

“OK, then have a nice day,” the man said, and walked off still whittlin away at his apple. He stopped a ways further off, by our main corral gate, and stood there instead. Then he wandered off out of sight in the fadin evenin light. By then he’d been hangin around the County Island for near five people-hours, which is a real unusual, long time for a person to be focused on any one activity. I supposed maybe he finally headed off to whatever his people-job was.

The bucket gal wrapped up the untackin and set about what’s surely the most important part of her day – feedin us. She wandered back to the hay shed and us three horses went to the opposite fenceline as is our custom to stand before each of our own buckets and wait for sweet feed. I listened with rumblin insides and happy anticipation to the feed bein slung in the scoop and the hay flakes bein separated from their bales and tossed into the feed cart.

I heard an odd cluck, cluck sound, like maybe we’d got a chicken. Then, again. Coors and Coors Light turned their heads toward the clucks, which was comin from the strange man, standin back at our own gate, cluckin and wavin his arms through the rails, palms up, like he’d brought somethin else for horses other than a disgustin apple, which seemed to be gone. But I’d seen enough signs of trouble not to get involved, plus bucket time was plumb upon us. And hadn’t the strange man been warned of how dangerous and bitey we was?

Off marched Coors Light to the gate, tailed closely by Coors. I was gonna pin my ears to warn ‘em, but, well, it was bucket time. I saw ‘em sniff his hands, one on each side of him, and then Coors appeared to try a mouthful and then spit it out.

“Aaa, aaaa, aaa!” the bucket gal yelled, havin appeared with our full feed cart. ”Come on, boys! Dinner! Please don’t feed them! They’re on special diets and they’ll bite your hand!”

Coors and Coors Light, disappointed by the strange man’s stranger offerin, was headed back, anyhow.

“They’re just peanut M&Ms,” the strange man called out, gave a half-wave, and walked off, again.

We then got our buckets and hay, but in a real distracted and entirely slow fashion. The bucket gal was preoccupied with watchin the strange man walk away down the road. I doubt people have got hackles, but I think hers was raised.

As we was chowin down, I saw her take out her tiny telephone that lives in her pocket, and tell the telephone to tell the people-sheriff somethin about the strange man and his clothes and his knife and his apple and his doorbell ringin and such. “I don’t know what he needs,” she told the tiny telephone, “but he needs something.”

Later on a sheriff car came by, and stopped to tell the bucket gal they couldn’t find no trace of the strange man we’d seen.

But I saw him again, a whole lot later, in the dark, sittin down cross-legged on the corner of the road in the dirt again. Sittin. Waitin. Starin into the night. Not movin hardly at all except to breathe.

The next time I bothered to look, he was gone. And he stayed gone, far as a horse could tell. Maybe he did need somethin after all, and maybe he found it that night. I hope he did find it, but I’m also kinda glad he didn’t find it with us.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Lost

Lost blog photo

Lost

A Poe-tree, by Whiskey

Been losin my teeth —

Well, not me, but my mouth is,

On account of age.

But age means wisdom,

And the best part of bein

Full of wisdom’s FOOD.

Food means more buckets.

Buckets of this, buckets of

That. Lots of that.

Grain, pellets, rice bran,

Lots of Equine Senior, too,

And also gluco—

Glu – co – so – my – een?

Stuff for my bad hawks.

And dog medicine.

That’s called Previcox.

But if a person asks, it’s

For sure Equiox

On account of I

Am a bonafide ranch horse

And I ain’t no dog.

The point is, it all

Tastes great to a toothless mouth.

But mostly tooth-full.

I still got most my teeth

Even if they’re worn flat as

A road-kill raccoon.

Sorry to be so

Indelicate, but likely

You know what I mean.

If not, well, my teeth

Is all smooth and flat.

What’s left, anyhow.

The point is, buckets!

There’s perks to bein toothless.

And ya get respect

In the form of food.

And also, County Island

Folks say Aww! when they

Find out you’re real old.

Like age makes a horse worth more.

Which it likely does.

Age, wisdom, buckets —

It’s good to be a horse here,

County Island-style,

Unless your bucket

Gal’s runnin late! Then you’re just

A sad old-timer

Waitin to gum your

Wet feed, waitin by the fence …

Waitin, waitin, wait —

Wait! Here she comes now!

OHMYGOD, feed the old horse!

Before he might lose

As much hopefulness

As all the teeth he’s missin!

Not to sound prancey.

Mmm-mmm. My mouth’s full.

I got sweet feed to eat, ya’ll.

So kindly — get lost.

Unless maybe you brought me a cookie?

 

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Flippin’ Birds

Likely every horse knows what it sounds like, and also feels like, to get dive bombed by a big buzzy bee. Or a giant horse-fly. Or, on the County Island, a big ol’ black buzzin bumblin flying beetle bug damned near half as big as a barn cat. The bee might sting ya. The horse-fly might bite ya on your nose. Or your behind. The beetle don’t do nothin to neither horse nor person, but it’ll likely freak a person out some, on account of bein big, loud, ugly and real bad at flyin in any kinda predictable path ya might be able to get out of in time.

On this occasion, I was nappin in the shade of my favorite palo verde tree, inside our own li’l horse-corral, like I like to do. It was a good day to be a County Island horse, though truth to tell, every day’s a good day to be a horse here, even when normal stuff goes sideways like it does. Coors and Coors Light was nappin elsewhere, and it was just me and my tree, some warm sunshine on my nose and cool breezy shade on my tail, and some quiet li’l bird-talkin sounds.

Until I caught a buzz.

It sounded like it was right above me and my tree, but I didn’t bother to look, or to move. I’m a live and let live kinda horse. If a bee or a horse-fly ain’t botherin with me yet, I ain’t gonna bother with it. It’s a real good way for any good horse to live his life, even if there’s no bees nor horse-flies around at all. So I went back to sleep, despite the bothersome buzz.

Original Coors snorted hard. I didn’t bother to open one of my own eyes for that, though. Sometimes Coors snorts at things, and if Coors Light ain’t also snortin, I ain’t even gonna twitch a whisker.

Coors Light snorted hard.

I cracked one eye open.

Coors and Coors Light was standin side by side, starin straight up with their necks as tall and arched as they’d go, tails flagged and ready to run, Ayrab-bodies damned near quiverin like they’d caught wind of a full-growed cougar.

So I went and stood off to the side by ‘em. I looked up, too, to see whatever made such a sound.

It wasn’t no bird we’d ever heard nor seen before. It definitely wasn’t no bee. I’m fairly sure it also wasn’t no giant flyin palo verde beetle bug, but it did possess a hard, black shell like a beetle’s got.

And a bunch of kinda long leg-things. And like a big bug antenna and one big, black bug eye.

It hovered over us the way a tiny hummingbird does, only it was not tiny and it was NOT a hummingbird.

Then it damned near dove at us, aimin its big eye straight at us. And we did what three sane horses do.

We bolted and high-tailed it to the far corner of the corral, landin in one big, unified bounce beside each other. We was clumped tight together for safety like a proper herd. And thusly we watched it.

It made another move toward us, then it changed its mind. Instead, it flew away, over to the li’l ranch next-door, where the mares next-door used to live but where there ain’t nothin but a horse ghost town now, buzzin all about the sky over where the new people who had no horses at all now lived.

Original Coors piped up first. “What’s it looking for?”

And Coors Light asked, “What IS it?”

“It’s a bird, stupid,” said Coors.

“Not it’s not, dumb-face,” said Coors Light.

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is not! You’re a stupid bird!”

“I know you are, but what am I?”

Their squabblin words made no sense at all. I had to put my hoof down — square on both their behinds. Or, close enough to ‘em to tell ‘em both to quit it.

Meanwhile, it came back, clearly not satisfied by the horse ghost-town next-door. It wanted more of whatever it was lookin for flyin all above us, maybe a horse-length high in the sky from us.

But what could we — meanin me, ‘cause such things is up to me around here — do about it? Especially not even knowin exactly what it was to start with? or even known if we should do anythin about it at all besides stay out of its way? I’m all for simply staying out of the way. Like I said, live and let live.

I prepared myself to approach it. One step at a time, I walked forward with my most casual caution. Coors and Coors Light blew real soft through their nostrils, tryin not to draw attention to themselves in case the thing set itself on them right after it ate me. Leave it to the ranch horse to get it done right, even when faced with a unknown flyin. buzzin, black hard-shell buzzy-noise bird-thing.

If I could draw it in low and close enough, maybe I could set my teeth on it or get a good whiff of its scent to determine what kinda critter it truly was and if it meant to harm us. I kinda thought it woulda harmed us by now if it meant to, but a horse still needs to be careful.

Suddenly the back gate by the people-barn banged open, and I jumped maybe an inch, while Coors and Coors Light likely jumped clear into the next county.

Out ran the bucket gal cussin like a cowboy that’s been outsmarted by the same damned slow, fat cow again. She was ravin at the air like a crazed person. Well, more crazed.

She waved at it and flipped it the bird. Y’know, like the people do with that one finger of theirs, a real rude thing such as when another horse farts in your own face as he passes ya? Sorry for the indelicate image but I wanted everybody to catch my drift in case ya ain’t ever heard of flippin a bird before.

Apparently it was not partial to her rudeness, as it buzzed itself straight up high into the sky, and left as quick as it came.

I still got no idea what it was. Oh, I overheard the bucket gal goin on and on to the carrot guy, who mostly lives inside the people-barn, except occasionally to come out to feed us carrots, somethin about how bad it droned. Drone this, dronin that … But to my good ears, it didn’t drone at all. It made a buzz.

Overall, I guess it wasn’t all that bothersome, now that I got it in my sight behind me instead of hangin and buzzin over my head. But somethin seemed kinda off and sneaky about it, which I don’t like at all, and I got a real good horse-sense for such things. Me, Coors and Coors Light hope it don’t come back, either by itself or with a flock of its friends, if it’s got a flock. Or friends. More of ‘em flyin all around the County Island would surely be a bonafide bother to any horse, whether he was ranch-raised or not.

Flippin Birds blog photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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