Early yesterday evening, I was outside at my post, oops, I meant the grill. A small movement caught the corner of my eye and there was baby rabbit, he was hopping around and getting closer to me with each hop. He is getting to be a brave little bugger. When I went indoors to fetch a plate for when I took the chops off the grill, I grabbed my camera. Little rabbit was waiting for me and as soon as I snapped his picture, he hopped off under the cedars.
Also yesterday evening, some heathen children from way down the road were riding thier bikes around. They were lighting off fire-crackers or some type popping fireworks in the road on the pavement. The loud sounds had all the horses and cattle in the area in spooked fits. Except, of course, my old guy. He got as close to the black-top road as his pasture fence allows, craned his neck, and even giving the kids an occassional “pay me some attention whinny”. He would bolt off and make a quick circle and come right back to the fence waiting for some more fireworks, all the other horses were in the back of thier pastures, as far away from the road as they can get. With the exception of Preacher D’s old dun mare, she is deaf and lazy, she doesnt even run to the feed bucket, as far as I can tell.
The week following the weekend celebration in our tiny town, the sheriff and the city lawman had visited the heathen children’s house, more than once. Then for a week or so, I didnt see the heathen children anywhere. I was beginning to suspect they were hauled off to juvie, but obviously not.
Cowboy friend R. called me yesterday afternoon. I had not heard from him in ages, the last time he called was in winter. He got married last fall and since then, I do not think anyones heard much from him. R. married a fussy, city-type girl from B.A. he met at one of the clubs in T-town. As his friends, we dubbed his new girl “Ms. High Society” because she seems to be hell bent on making her way up the local social ladder and into the ‘right’ crowd. This is something us friends of R. find a bit funny. R. is a good-looking young man, works in his families construction business, cowboys a bit on the side, and about as clueless about social ladders as I am to the mechanics of a cars engine.
Heres our conversation:
After all the pleasantries and informing me he and his family were leaving for Branson first thing Monday morning (today)for a family vacation/reunion type thing, R. got around to telling me why he called.
R.”Hey, L(thats me), I need a hand this evening if your not busy.”
Me.”What ya need?” I learned early on to never answer sure, or yes, until getting the all the facts.
R.”My dad and Grandpa bought a couple of colts at a sale a few weeks ago and I need help ponying them up to the house from Uncle B.’s pasture, it is only 3 miles away.Everyone who is capable of helping is at church or not answering thier cell phones” The last part of that remark makes me instantly wary.
Me.”I think its more like 4 miles away and why not haul them in the trailer?”
R.”They are 2 year olds that are only halter broke, lead broke, the vet had to tranquilize them just so Dad and Gramps could get them into the trailer to get home from the sale barn.They do not trailer well, yet.”
Me. Huge eye roll, thinking to myself, this sounds like fun (sarcastically).”Okay.” I figured, what the heck, maybe it’ll be good for me and snap me out of this phunk.
R.”Ive got a horse for you to ride, just bring your own saddle, I know how you only like your saddles.” such a smart guy!
So, I make the 15 minute drive over to R.’s parent’s place. The only one who greeted me was the cowdogs, barking then wagging thier tails when I called thier names, Bo and Ben. I always remember easy dog names! It has probably saved me from a few dog bites too.
I grab my saddle and pad out of the back of hubby’s truck and walk on down the slope to the horse barn and see R. leading a horse to cross ties for saddling. He hollers a greeting and tells me to saddle up this filly he has just tied. When my outdoor eyes adjusted to the inside light, I instantly recognized the dark brown,leggy, narrow built filly waiting to be saddled. It was R.’s Grandpa’s horse he sent to the track last winter. I may have groaned my dismay outloud because R. asked me what was wrong. Of course, I said nothing, all the while thinking, I must really have a death wish, but what the heck, Ive ridden worse, right?
The brown filly eyed me as I approached, I extended my hand for the appropriate sniffing, rubbed her shiney, smooth as silk neck, then rubbed her all over so she wasnt suprised when I heaved my heavy western saddle onto her back. She snorted her unhappiness and danced around a bit showing her displeasure of the saddle. When I tightened my cinch, she sucked in a bunch of air, I gave her tummy a small poke and she let it out, I quickly tightened my cinch as tight as I could get it around her lean belly. I realized this girl has learned a few tricks at the track, probably why she is back home.
All the while I was doing this, R. was telling me about the upcoming vacation, his new bride’s new employment,thier new house he was building, about the sucky in-town rent house they lived in, just general catching up stuff.I didnt feel much like jabbering so I listened to him, as usual, he didnt seem to mind. R. is never at a loss for conversation. He really is a nice guy.
R. saddled up a sorrel horse I had never seen before, when I asked about the mare, he said she was also ‘new’ from the sale. He had rode her a few times and she seemed like a nice mare. She was very well built but kinda tall, she had a pretty head and a nice eye about her. I have always thought of sale barn horses as I view playing the lottery. You might win, and you might lose. Ive seen some sale barn horses that are worth thier own weight in gold, I have seen many, many others who were a horse owners worse nightmare.
After we were all saddled and bridled, my leggy filly in a o-ring snaffle, she has never been ridden in anything but that I am sure. My first attempt at mounting sent her doing the jitterbug dance thru the yard, I led her back to the round pen fence, and stealthily put my foot into my stirrup, and quickly swung myself into the saddle before her sidestepping turned into another full blown dance. Sometimes, even my own agility suprises my fat ass!
We rode out at a good pace, I got a feel for the filly. She was all legs and I had to ride her mouth constantly, nothing unusual for a horse straight from the track but unsual for me being a leg cue rider. I could feel my arm muscles working overtime. She was built like a cheetah, her DNA was of speed, fast speed. I really wanted to let her gallop when we got to the sandy 2-track short cut to Uncle B.’s pasture. I told R. this and he was all for it. When we finally turned down the sandy road, it looked good, no rocks, just grass and flat, smooth sand. I started out at a lope, the filly fighting for her head the entire time. I looked back to give R. the signal I was letting the filly go, we made eye contact and I let her loose. She was fast, with a huge ground eating stride. I felt like I was flying, I was desperately wishing for goggles or even sunglasses, the wind was whipping tears from my eyes. I never did give the filly her entire head, I still kept some pressure on the reins, it took darn near all my arm stength to get her pulled up back into a fast lope. By now, my arms were feeling that sweet burning pain of muscles held tense for a long period of time. Once the filly was slowed down and going a good steady lope, I glanced back at R. to see him about 25 yards behind me and his sorrel mare giving him a good bucking about every 5th stride. It was funny!!
We reached Uncle B.’s pasture once R. got his unruly mare under control,and caught the 2 year olds without problem. The ride back to R.’s parents house was without incident. the 2 year olds behaved well with the occassional spook or ornery jump. The brown filly seemed to have a good head on her shoulders, smart, and a quick learner. She paid no mind to the 2 year olds antics or the sorrel mares either. SHe didnt neck rein which was a bit of a problem while I was leading one of the youngsters, but I managed. The filly wasnt riding the bit as much on the way back, probably because she got to stretch her long legs that were built for racing. The brown filly and I became quick friends last nite.
This morning, when I woke up about 4 am, my arms were sore. I am never sore in my arms, those muscles rarely get a rest……packing Wee One around at times, carrying 50# sacks of horse feed, hay bales, saddles, groceries, laundry ect…Sore arms I am NOT used to. I took a ibuprophen and laid on the couch half dozing until 5:50 am. Then I got up, went outside and fed the horses, fly sprayed the old guy after a fast brushing, and set little dog Elvis up in his dog pen for the day. I cooked hubby a good breakfast, sent him off to work before 7:30 am and then flopped back on the couch after starting a load of laundry. I havent done much since, I do not think I will either…..