Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A New Horse

There are lots of bad things about losing your horse, but one of the worst things, is having to replace him. Nothing measures up. We've looking on the Internet and poked around and everything seemed way too high for the skill set offered. I will say I've had lots of offers from friends who'd lend me their horse to get through, and I appreciate it, but I'm not in the mood to take care of someone else's horse.

I called some friends and my dad called some friends. I talked to Joe Wolter, he didn't know of anything, my dad called Tom Moorhouse and he had a bronc he'd sell me, but then he won the AQHA Remuda of the Year award and his price went through the roof. Dad talked to Bill Smith and Rod Smith, but nothing they had was quite right.

Then my dad remembered a horse his neighbor had. He's an eight-year-old buckskin gelding that my dad's neighbors didn't get along with. Supposedly he was bred and trained by Wayne Smith, Bill's nephew, but we've got some calls to make to confirm that.

Well, Dad rode him for a week and couldn't decide what he thought. My brother's wife has been sick, so my dad had planned to come from his home in Wolfforth, Texas, (just outside of Lubbock), to the family ranch that my brother manages, to give him a weekend off. The ranch is about two hours south of where I live in Southern Colorado, so we just decided to load up, meet my dad at the ranch and go try the horse.

Right when we pulled into the headquarters, my brother was saddled and had a heifer we needed to bring in. She'd been trying to calve all afternoon and it wasn't going well. My brother figured we'd need to pull the calf. I saddled up right quick and we loped out to her. Well, he was right so we started driving her to the corrals. Just as we crossed the road, my dad pulled up from Texas with the horse in the trailer. I trotted over and took the saddle of the horse I was riding, Deuce, and put it on the buckskin. We drove the heifer in no problem, but she was getting weak and wobbly.

My brother decided we should not put the cow in the chute to pull her calf. She acted so weak, he didn't want her to get down and not be able to get up in there, so he asked me to rope her by a hind leg and he'd just pull the calf in the corral. The cow acted real weak.

I figured we'd see what old buckskin could do right away, so I roped the heifer. I thought she'd lay right down, but she didn't. She came alive. She started bouncing at the end of my rope and trying to hook my brother. Old buckskin never acted worried at all. He just anchored to the ground. It was so muddy, she pulled us about a foot in the mud, but the buckskin never weakened. I was impressed. (We got her tied down and pulled a monster calf, but within 24 hours the brute was up and sucking.)

The next day my wife and I rode him probably 15 miles, he's out of shape and a little pigeon-toed, so I figured if he was going to be lame he'd show it the next day. He never did.

He's been the best prospect so far. He's got some holes, though. He pushes on me when we ride out instead of just traveling in a straight line. He doesn't act like he's ever been trained on a cow, he's a little shy of things like taking your coat off on him and he tries to booger at things in the pasture, but all-in-all, he handles good and seems to have a kind nature. We need to see his papers-they're locked in a truck at the Lubbock airport now-and confirm a few things, but he's the front runner at present.

We're going to keep looking, but that's the latest on the horse saga. Thanks for reading.

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