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!


Posted by on April 7, 2017 in Uncategorized



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


Tall Tales and Code Breakers

If a horse aims to exaggerate, his tale ought to stand at least as tall as his own withers. To tell a lesser tale that also ain’t truthful is an insult to a horse’s own personal code of proper behavior, which is also called the Code of the West. It’s a insult to horsedom. If a tale’s lesser and also true, that’s one thing. Truthful things often ain’t real interestin, but on the County Island, usually it’s the most true tales that’s the most strange – which a lot of folks also think is interestin on account of some folks is like that. It’s been a long time now since I spoke of the Code of the West directly, though it’s always part of everythin I do. Unlike for some horses. Horses with false tales hurt all of us. That’s exactly what I said to my own horse-buddy Coors Light one time, but it might’ve come out more like –

“Bull pucky!”

I’m a real tolerant horse. Ask anybody on the County Island or beyond it all the way back to the ranch. My reputation’s solid. But even tolerant horses got limits, and mine’s gray and an Ayrab and stands about 15.1 at the withers the day before the horse-shoein man’s due.

And so thusly I repeated myself, “Bull pucky!”

Hold that thought.

Tall Tales pic

I got myself all ready to go for a trail ride one fine day.

What I do to get ready is run around. To tell the truth, I don’t know exactly why I like to run around while the rollin white horse-box’s gettin hitched up, but I do. It’s a fun thing. And if ya got time enough on your hooves for fun, a horse should always have some. So the bucket gal was doin her people hitch thing, and I was flaggin my tail and lopin circles around the corral. I like to get Coors and Coors Light lopin, too. It’s part of the whole routine we perform before we go out someplace trail ridin, me and the bucket gal. She gets the rig hitched. I run for fun. She shouts somethin insincere such as, “Knock it off, Whiskey!” I run some more, and I buck-fart. She tells me that’s gross. I circle Coors and Coors Light and then cut ‘em off, and sometimes I like to call ‘em my cattle to their faces. The bucket gal shrugs and laughs, and off I go in the rollin white horse-box.

Only this time, she yelled at me with grave sincerity for makin Coors Light lope and buck so much. We wasn’t playin up excessive-like as far as I could tell. And also, he likes it. We play far worse when she ain’t around, but I suppose what a person don’t know can’t hurt ‘em.

She frets over Coors Light. Well, she frets over all of us, for different people-reasons that don’t make sense to a horse. One of Coors Light’s legs was suspended a while back, which means he was suspended from ridin until it healed up proper. The sweet-talkin but evil vet lady called it a supendery injury. And he busted his suspendery to start with by playin up and buckin hard with me one day. To me that says he was likely to bust it no matter what he did or did not do that day, but I also don’t care to know much about suspenderies. And, well, I got own my bad hawks which earned me my birthday “ramp” recent-like, and Original Coors has got his sore lack of a proper vicular, which is called havin no vicular at all. But still. Who cared if Coors Light played up hard once in a while? I ain’t got to repeat the answer. By which I mean the bucket gal cared.

And then she haltered Coors Light, not me. And away he went, cloppin up the rollin white horse-box’s new “ramp” which was my own personal 29th birthday gift to use, not his. She did tell me previous that maybe he and Coors could use it sometimes, but I had no idea by sometimes she meant right now. I couldn’t take my eyes and ears off ‘em as they rolled away, without me.

The Code of the West says a good horse has got to accept things as they come, rollin with the changes (and rollin for real if you’re feelin scratchy) – but it don’t say he’s got to like it. The same goes for rollin horse-boxes. It don’t matter if ya like steppin into ’em or not, if your person says get in, ya got to get in and go. But you can still pin your ears if they ain’t lookin, as long as all four of your legs is movin in the proper direction. And if your hawks is real bad, you can try and make a case for their badness like I done by necessity, and then maybe you’ll get a ramp, too.

They was gone a real long time.

Original Coors went to wait by the gate. He kept watch of the road for his brother from breakfast ‘til long past when the sun’s high in the sky.

A few rollin horse-boxes rolled past, and they was all white, but none of them was ours, and they was headed to other ranches, carryin other horses.

Me, I ate some, and drank some, and walked around some, and napped some, and pondered Coors and his position at the gate some, and rolled some to maintain the spirit of the Code, and then I ate some more.

Original Coors eventually turned his big, wide eyes toward me. “He’s coming back, right?”

“Couldn’t tell ya,” I replied. Not to be mean about it but to be a truthful horse, like the Code of the West says to be. The last time I ever left the ranch, I thought I’d come back to it like always, too. But I didn’t. And they’d been gone a lot longer than a normal trail ride time by now. I couldn’t lie, not even to an Ayrab-horse. And don’t tell, but especially not to him. He’s my buddy, lack of good breedin and all.

I forgot about the Code for a spell and started to wonder things horses ain’t meant to wonder.

I wondered if Coors Light went to the auction, like I did. But who would bid on a Ayrab-horse with no ranch skills at all?

Right as my thoughts and the sun started to sink, they came back!

So since the Code also says always be grateful for what ya got, I set to lopin more circles out of gratefulness for gettin Coors Light back, or somethin. Maybe I loped slower on account of overdoin it that mornin, but I still did it. Original Coors did, too, and not only ‘cause I made him. We was as happy as two County Island horses that’s also me and him can likely get.

Until Coors Light opened his mouth to whinny.

It wasn’t just a howdy, hey I’m back, hey I missed y’all too.

It was braggin. No, it was bald-faced as bald as a bad halter rub lyin.

So, “Bull pucky!” I said no sooner than he was unloaded and let go to roll.

He told a real dumb tall tale which insulted my intelligence, most of which I ain’t gonna bother to repeat, all about how he and the bucket gal AND the carrot guy went out ridin. Which is ridiculous ‘cause the carrot guy would ride ME if he rode at all. Coors Light said he rode a rolly-bike while the bucket gal rode him, and they went out like a herd of only one proper horse and one improper rolly-bike up and down and around all the hills. I happen to know he don’t do hills no more on account of his suspendery, so there. Some other amigos and their rolly-bikes came, too, and they made a picnic after, durin which he was fed LUNCH. And he was the only horse at the whole entire place. We never get fed lunch. I never get fed lunch. So I knew that was a lie. Rode so far and long he lost a hoof boot. Well, he was surely missin one now, but I’m sure that ain’t how it happened. Everybody givin him carrots from the palms of their hands. Travelers from beyond the County Island makin their picture with him. *I* get my own picture made with the tourists, not him. It’s happened any number of times with the folks who often talk like they ain’t from around these parts: “Look at ze be-you-tee-ful palo-meeno vestern cow pony wit ze cactus! Can we make ze picture?” That’s what they say.

“Draw me a picture of it in the sand with your own hoof or it didn’t happen,” I flattened my ears at him. It was a dumb thing to say, but still less dumb than what he’d said. “Or I’ll believe it when I hear the bucket gal tell it with my own ears.”

And then she did. But I still don’t believe it. Some days I think she makes up more stuff than Coors Light and Coors combined. And that’s directly in violation of the Code of the West.


Bull pucky.

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Posted by on March 6, 2017 in Uncategorized


Step Two (which is part 2 of Step One)

So I done turned 29 years old. County Island people seem to care about that so I figured I’d mention it. And also the bucket gal told me, “Whiskey, I got you a special surprise for your special birthday!” Like bein 29 is more special than bein 28, or 27, or even 3. But I wasn’t about to decline a special surprise yet.

She said the surprise was meant to be all mine, and maybe Coors and Coors Light might like it, too, but it was mine and for me number-one. So I set to ponderin, which mostly ain’t productive for a horse, what sort of special surprise might it be? The rollin white horse-box was gone forever? It had gone away, like it does sometimes for reasons that don’t matter to a horse. And ever since my own bad hawks let me down it didn’t matter to me none if it never came back and I never stepped hoof in it again. Well, that ain’t true. Most horses feel that way about non-horse stuff regardless of their hawks.

Or, I thought… how much alfalfa could our li’l hay barn possibly hold?

I became sure she got me all the alfalfa hay bales I could eat. That had to be it. That’d be the best special surprise of all for a horse who’s 29. But where was she gonna stack so many fresh, leafy, sweet, mouth-waterin green, green bales meant for me? And maybe also some for Coors and Coors Light, but not much. They can’t hold their alfalfa like I can. Our hay shed ain’t real huge, either. I supposed that was her people-problem, not mine.

And I waited for the hay man to come. He and his rumbly-truck came and the tiny dog he brings along to help him all came and went, and they only dropped off the same plain grass hay we always get, and also my own single, solitary alfalfa bale that lasts me until next time he comes. Nothin surprisin nor special about none of that, other than the gratefulness a horse should always have for havin fresh feed to eat. Nothin that seemed likely as a special surprise for a horse who was now 29.

I waited for the hay man some more. Maybe he went to fetch a bigger rumbly-truck. He didn’t come back. I got no special birthday surprise.

Unrelated, eventually the white rollin horse-box came back. And it parked inside our corral, and the bucket gal fetched my halter. My hawks didn’t feel bad, but if they was gonna act up again, I wanted no part of them nor of the white rollin horse-box. My lower lip flipped with worry, betrayin my thoughts thusly though I stood still.

She led me up to it and I could barely look at the thing. And when I did look, I saw it now had a wide, black, bottomless, yawnin, horse-devourin deep pit of blackness laid before it. Magically the bucket gal walked ON and UP the wide, black, bottomless and so forth deep pit of blackness. And she did not die. That was interestin. Not trustful, mind ya, but interestin enough that I pricked my ears.

She brought forth a cookie. Come on Whiskey, she said. And she stomped on it, and did not fall to her deep, dark doom, but rather remained standin upon it. But still. I ate the cookie.

Another cookie appeared while I was still chewin on the first one, and chewin on my thoughts.

I stepped forward and near lost a front hoof to it. I took a step back to keep my hoof safe, but I sniffed it.

Coors Light, who thinks he knows everythin, nickered from his pen and rolled his eyes at me. “Its just a RAMP, dude!”

First off, I ain’t his dude. And second off, I knew he’d made that word up.

So I walloped the black deep pit thing with my other front hoof. It made a funny sound but it seemed solid. And it hadn’t swallowed the bucket gal whole, yet.

So I took a step, and another. And I got another cookie. And up I went it, into the rollin white horse-box. Ramp, my ass.

But then I was stuck! To exit the thing, I’d have to jump the big black chasm. I ain’t no jumpin horse no more. My bad hawks would surely betray me and I’d fall to my doom. The bucket gal demonstrated how to get out. I walked. We both lived.

For all those horses that don’t know what I’m talkin about, I intend to inform y’all right here about this new-fangled contraption called a “ramp.” A “ramp” seems like a li’l black hillside built onto a rollin horse-box but it looks like a bottomless death pit ‘cause people is crazy like that. The important thing is it ain’t neither bottomless nor a death pit. And surely they woulda used ‘em back on the ranch if they’d been a real thing back then. That proves they’re new. I can’t explain Coors Light’s knowledge of a brand-new invention on this occasion, but then again, I can’t ever really explain Coors Light. An Ayrab-horse’s mind is a mysterious critter best not to poke.

For all the good horses like me that might be fearful when ya see a “ramp” for the first time, don’t be scared. It took me 10 people-minutes tops to figure it out. If I can do it, y’all can too. Old ranch horses can learn new tricks. The tiny black hillside built onto your own rollin horse-box is your friend. Trust me on this. There’s no hawk bendin needed. Ya ain’t got to hop neither in nor out. Ya just walk. That’s all there is to it.

Although, while I know for a fact it won’t swallow me nor the bucket gal, bein a practical horse, I also can’t pretend to know if maybe it might swallow some other horse or bucket gal alive, but it likely won’t. I hope that brings ya some small comfort. I still recommend testin it first with your own front tester hoof, whichever one ya think ya can live without if the worst happens to it. But you’ll likely come out of it, and into it, and out of it, and into it again, in one proper horse piece. I can almost guarantee it.

I still don’t know what my special 29th birthday surprise was meant to be, or if it ever was meant to be at all. I guess I’ll see what happens next time we get some new hay delivered…


Ya likely won’t die at all, so I hope that brings ya some comfort.



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Posted by on January 28, 2017 in Uncategorized


Step One (part 1 of 2)


I never been one to argue with ridin in the rollin horse-box — well, except for the one short spell when me and the bucket gal had to come to terms with it, early on. But after I got her broke to it, everythin was back to business as usual between the rollin horse-box and me and her. Ya hop on in, go wherever ya got to go to do whatever ya got to do, and then ya hop back out. I like to say, step on, stay put, step out. For all the fuss I seen some horses make over it, that’s really all there is to it.

Until one time. My ol’ bad hawks still generally work fine, such as for gettin up and down to roll and rest, and wander in aimless loops around the County Island while wearin my saddle and bridle. But the older and wiser I get — and as I think to tell this tale, I am a bonafide 29 years wise — the badder my hawks get. I don’t know why they can’t behave more like me, but bad hawks seem to have a mind of their own. That’s prancey-horse talk, I know.

My horse-buddy Coors Light claims the bucket gal slips me mickeys all the time, which he calls “meds” and “supplements,” which he claims prancified for-show horses get fed all the time. He claims he and Original Coors get fed ‘em all the time, too. I claim he’s full of it. If I was bein slipped mickeys in my own feed bucket every day surely I’d know it, and taste it. He also claims the li’l hand-fed treat we all get every night is a “med.” Bull! I do know about the silly-yum we all eat sometimes, of course, on account of it’s so yummy, it’s downright silly. It’s even more delicious than the sweet, sweet palo verde flowers I love so much. But that’s all I ever get fed other than proper horse food.

It had been a while since I went for a ride in the rollin white horse-box. I let myself lead in with a slack rope like usual, but that step up seemed higher than I recalled, and my baddest left hawk hesitated to comply. It made it on board with the rest of me but the bucket gal made a frowny mare-face at it. But I was goin for a real ride with some amigos under the blue clear sky.

It was a good day on the County Island.

We rolled off to a ridin-around place, and we rode around it, walkin up, and a li’l bit down, mostly flat with some tiny slopes hardly worth callin hills. It wasn’t much of a leg-stretcher of a ride as far as rides go. Those is the best rides. And my horse amigo, who met us there, and me got all caught up on our horse business and overall it was downright pleasant for a pointless pleasure ride.

When it was time to go back home, both my hawks flat out said NO to climbin back aboard the rollin white horse-box. I’d say no one was more surprised than me, but that’s a lie. A good ranch horse never outright lies. The bucket gal was most surprised by far.

But if hawks won’t bend, they won’t bend, and there ain’t no amount of pushin, pullin, shovin, proddin, pleadin, askin, tellin, promisin, nor tappin nor even whackin with the spare sweep-broom that lives in the rollin white horse-box that’ll help. They hurt, my hawks did, too much to take the big step up required of ‘em. The bucket gal knew it too, bein halfway insightful for a person. But she said my hawks had to get back in the trailer anyhow.

I said, they plumb can’t and they won’t.

She said, Whiskey, you have to get in.

I said, no it seems I do not.

She said, I can’t ride you home from here. It’s too far.

My hawks and me said, that ain’t our problem.

She said, you can’t stay here forever. We have to go home.

I said, that also ain’t my problem to solve. I’m a horse.

She said, if you get on this one time, I’ll figure out something better for next time, I promise.

I said, well, why not figure out somethin better right now?

And she did. The situation got solved when some bystandin horsefolk came along with a butt rope. They unfortunately felt more sorry for the bucket gal than for me. By then she was real red in the face and startin to maybe hyperventilate like a foal freshly weaned from her mamma. But still. I was the genuinely sorrowful old horse with the genuinely sorrowful old hawks that wouldn’t bend. And I’m the one that got butt-roped into the rollin white horse-box like some kinda disrespectful bronc.

We went home. My hawks got me out of the rollin horse-box alright. The bucket gal put the rollin white horse-box back. I stood under my favorite tree and shifted my weight around to try and get comfortable. She came back and hand-fed me a bigger than usual li’l treat. I pinned my ears at Coors Light ‘cause I knew what he was thinkin of it. She patted me softly. I couldn’t look her in the eye. I shifted my back legs some more.

It was a bad day on the County Island…

<to be continued, y’all>


Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Uncategorized


The Jingle Horses


Dashin through the sand,

That is, at a extra dead-slow walk,

Over the County Island I went,

Mindin my own business…

Bells on somethin’s ringin,

But I pay it no mind,

It wasn’t none of my concern,

‘Til it ran up on my behind!

Oh! Jingle horses!

Jingle horses, jingle yourselves away!

I was havin such a quiet ride,

On a peaceful County Island day!

So anyhow, I ain’t one to sing or whinny real loud much. The point is, we got jingle horses here now. I thought “jingle bells” was a limited time deal here on the County Island — limited, that is, to the part of the cold time with the funny red and white hats upon horses, and also the sorrowful rain deer antler hats upon horses, and the poor froze deers made of blinkin lights stuck in front of the peoples’ ranches with no good deer grazin in sight, which is all mercifully ended now. But it appears we got a bunch of jingle bell-ringin horses here in these parts that’s set to jingle all the time, regardless of the season, year-round, damned near everywhere they go, including up my own behind.

They got bells on their own hooves around their hoof boots. They got jingle curb straps on their own jingle bits in their own mouths. Their riders got great big jingle spurs strapped on their boots. It’s a wonder the jingle horses ain’t drove even more crazy than they already are, with all the endless jinglin assaultin their own sensitive big, pointy jingle-horse ears. Most all the tack they wear has got some kinda jingle to it!

Oh, I don’t think most of ‘em is still right in the head to begin with, if they ever was. But all the jinglin surely don’t help their nerves none. They’re all kinda bug-eyed and sweaty, generally, and I’d likely be too if I had to listen to that racket.

I tend to tune out the pointless noises of the County Island but now that I know about the jingle horses, they don’t startle me anymore. A horse can hear ‘em comin down the road a literal people-mile. Not that they go down the road often, mind ya, and that’s part of the problem. Mostly they jingle around in pointless circles inside their own jingle-arena with whips and chains and crackin whips and flapping bags, whoop-whoopin people, and one time a air horn and then a fire extinguisher? To make ‘em lift their jinglin hooves higher? They don’t get out much.

One time, they got out, but not out like when the people yell, “Loose horses! Shut the gate!” Out like for a trail ride. I already ruined the story, which started when they jingled up on my behind. They sounded like a whole herd of terrible giant jingle monsters before I saw ‘em.

The sensible thing to do when that happens is turn and face what’s comin, so ya can see what it is if ya need to run from it. So, that’s what I did. Or tried to do.

They came straight at me, jinglin in a long jinglin bee line, nostrils big and blowin, eyes wide and white.

I aimed my ears to say, “Hey, step aside before ya run someone over!”

But they blew on by jinglin all the way. The lead horse snorted back at me through his wide nostrils at the end of his long, roman face, “Can’t! We go straight!”

The second horse neighed, “Yeah, straight!”

And the last horse whinnied back at me, “Straight on toward home! Knees UP, boys!”

They was like some kinda amped up more crazed show-ring Ayrabs but with better bone structure to ‘em. It was the damndest thing. Then they was gone in a jinglin cloud of dust, with their riders chirp-chirpin to ‘em like they was birds, leavin me and the bucket gal in coughin fits on the side of the trail. I figured their people chirped like birds on account of bein driven insane by the jingle bells. It was the only reasonable reason I could think of.

Another day, I paid more attention as we ambled past their spread, by their jingle-arena while they jingled around. No jingle horse loped a circle that I saw. They didn’t prance around makin silly shapes in the sand with their jingle hooves like prancing horses like Coors Light do. They didn’t jump over any li’l stick-jumps. They didn’t hardly seem to change direction at all. They went straight down the fence line, and thusly they followed it around and around and around, and then around some more, without hardly even bendin their straight-up stuck necks or jingle-covered bodies.

I am all for walkin straight lines. It’s sensible when you’ve got rangeland to cover and a place to get to and back from before dark, but even then, if ya don’t wander off the straight way from time to time, ya ain’t never gonna find the strays hidin in the brush or ravines. But that’s all sensible, slow, careful walkin so as not to catch a cactus on your leg and to look out for sleepin rattlesnakes and such, also with NO jingle bells on account of the awful stampede that would cause with the cattle. The worst thing about a stampede is it always means a much longer day for us horses, and with grumpy riders. A jingle-bell stampede’d be a ranch horse’s worst nightmare.

If a bell goes on any critter at all, it goes on a cow, not a horse. County Island folks clearly ain’t apprised of that.

Like I said, the good thing and also the bad thing appears to be the jingle horses ain’t out much. They’d likely settle down into proper trail walkin if they did get out more, but I’m also grateful not to have to endure all the noise and dust they’d make until they did settle down. I am settled down as far as a good horse can go, myself, and I prefer to maintain the whole County Island that way as much as possible, as if a horse has any control over that, which a horse does not.

The only thing a horse can do about ‘em is be aware, and get out of their way for jingle’s sake. It’s like most horse things. The only thing, and also the best thing, us horses can do is maintain our own common sense and control our own reactions to whatever crazy things may come our way, whether that’s jingle horses, or “festive horse headgear,” or some big antler-deer that pop up out of the grass at us all of a sudden, or a rumbly-truck that makes shot-gun blast sounds at us when it rumbles by which is called it’s back-fire. At least it ain’t real fire blowin at us. Such things always pass. It remains to be seen if the jingle horses may well pass, too, but at least a horse can be aware when they pass him on the trail for real.




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Posted by on January 7, 2017 in Uncategorized


Happy New People-Year, Amigos!

Thanks as always for bein my friends even if y’all are all people, and I’m a ranch horse. It means the world to me to know you’re out there listenin to what I got to say.

And also, since County Island people like to make “resolutions” for their new made-up people-year, why dont’cha resolve to try new things next year? Don’t be afraid to try somethin, even if it ain’t real popular with nobody else. Ya got but one trip to make around the big ranch of life, so make it a real good trail ride.

For instance, I am tryin out this here new bucket technique for the remainder of this people-year and likely all of next year, too. It ain’t makin me more popular with the bucket gal. But the rabbits seem to like it. What I do is dump out my top feed, and thusly hold my bucket between the fence rail and the wall, and I eat my pellets from the bottom pellets up to the top pellets! It works real good despite the neigh-sayers.

Best horse regards,



Posted by on December 31, 2016 in Uncategorized