I Gotta Horse For Sale…

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Those of you in the horse world have seen them…those “horse for sale” ads and groups on Craig’s List and Facebook.  Now, I don’t begrudge someone wanting to sell a horse, and possibly recoup a little of the money spent on raising or training one, but from what I’ve seen lately, I’d rather buy a goat. And, before ya go and get your undergarments in a giant wad, or your hinder in a binder, here’s an example of what appears to be an acceptable ad these days:

RANCH DISPERSAL SALE

‘Beautiful Brood Mare Prospect’ 10 years old sorta broke registered American Quarter Horse grade paint brood mare with one eyeball, accidentally bred to my neighbor’s jack donkey through the fence. Bloodlines are amazing triple bred Doc Bar on sire’s side but the dam mighta been out of the great bronc, Lunatic Fringe.  She appears to be built for speed, but only when I try to catch her out of the 40 acre pasture, but most of the time she’s real friendly and you can catch her pert near anywhere with a grain bucket.  She’s pretty good with three of her feet, but that left hind is kinda a bitch. She might take your head off.  She’s a little toed in, and spavin hocked, but her teeth are good.  She may make a real nice barrel horse if you give her a 200 foot by 400 foot arena to turn her in.  Only asking $10,000 or best offer, but to a good home only.

’16 Year Old Seasoned Head Horse’ He’s a little stiff in the morning, but hell, what guy worth a plug nickel ain’t?  Appears to loosen up after stumbling a few laps around the the arena or 2o minutes of ground work.  He needs a little extra padding on them whithers and every month or so needs some cortisone injections, but he likes the vet.  He hates dogs, but would probably make a good “husband horse”.  I do believe John Wayne learned to rope off him.  He ground ties, trips into the trailer, and sleeps standing up.  He’s safe for most folks, but occasionally spooks at his own farts. He’s a steal at only $15,000. Won’t last long.

‘4 Year Old Green Broke Roping/Hunter/Jumper Prospect’ Nice tall boy. About 16H, a little narrow chested, but will grow. Has one testicle left but seems real calm and quiet.  Started him hunting and packing last fall.  That’s how we found out he’s a jumper.  Had him at the pack out corrals and he jumped the 8ft fence to flirt with the neighbor’s mare.  Once we caught him and had him tracking on some elk, he spooked when we shot the rifle, and we got to spend the rest of our time hunting him.  Brought him home and put him to work ranching, because we’re real ranchy punching cows and stuff. Threw a loop off him and he seemed to settle in real well until I realized I pantyhosed the calf, pissed off the mama cow, and ran the rope up under his tail.  He bucked just a little and cow kicked at me as I went off, but he just needs a little more ground work I think.  He’s gotta go though, cause I got some hospital bills to pay.  Only asking $14,500.  That should about cover the doc’s bills.

After all that… who needs a horse? Y’all be careful horse swappin’ out there… As for me, I’ma gonna buy me a goat…

Happy Trails~

Heather

 

 

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Leaving a Legacy

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Some moments simply leave your mouth absent of words, your eyes filled with warm tears, and your heart so full of love and pride, and when those moments come, you make note of every detail in that capsule of time.  My grandfather, Clarence Barron “C.B.” Rich was recently inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame this month in Great Falls.  I have written about my grandpa in the past and shared how he impacted my insignificant, little life, but to witness what it means to really leave a legacy behind for another generation to nurture and care for as their own is priceless.

Legacy Inductees

He was one of thirty-five inductees, living and legacy, to be honored at this year’s ceremonies.  How a committee narrows down a group of thirty-five cowboys from all of those spread out over the years in Montana is baffling, because as I sat there and listened to the names being read and the story behind each cowboy or cowgirl, I thought how extremely lucky I was to be in the company of these fine inductees and those that came to honor them.

The stories shared were truly etched from the pages of Montana and western history; stories from train robbery attempts and assisting outlaws to carving out an honorable life from the harsh and formidable landscapes we now take for granted.  Underneath every Stetson hat in that room, was a true and honorable cowboy or cowgirl.  And somehow, I was lucky enough to be connected to this amazing moment in time.

I looked around the solarium full of people, close to probably five hundred, and with each name read from the inductee list, there was a family member or friend there to receive the award.  There was a deep pride each one felt hearing their inductee being named, the standing ovations and the well-deserved applause for those known and not known, for their accomplishments and attributions to the community we call “cowboy”.

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There were bronc stompers, ropers, farmers & ranchers, cattlemen & women, teamsters, outfitters, outlaws, horse trainers, artists, authors & poets, rodeo competitors, and  livestock entrepreneurs, all being honored. They were, and are all “cowboy”,  and all darn sure legendary.  Their stories were significant, entertaining, and different, but the commonality was all of these people were and are, tough as a new bride’s biscuits.  They tended livestock in the worst of weather, they cut trails, built barns, rode rough horses and even rougher country, all in the name of providing for a family, a community, and a country.  Their purpose was strong, bold, and etched out of crusted sweat on their brows, and callouses on their weathered hands.  Not a one of them missed the mark on work ethic and values.  They all knew what it meant to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  They loved their families and communities, and fought for their country and our freedom.  They had grit, true grit, in their guts and steel in their veins.

I observed the younger generation looking on in the room, and wondered if any felt like I did?  Will generations yet to come understand what it took for their ancestors and loved ones to build their legacies, their homesteads, ranches, and hard-earned dreams? Better yet, will they even care?  Will they know to look up from their mobile devices and televisions, and work at a back-breaking speed to beat a storm?  Does our current culture and warped society give a damn about such things anymore?  Do they care about pulling calves in a March snowstorm? Will they know the exhilarating feeling of throwing a leg over a fresh colt, or to climb a mountain pass and blaze a new trail over rugged miles of rocks and trees?  Will they know the art of carving life out of a Charlie Russell landscape? Will they appreciate the hue of the prairie sunrises and sunsets as they glance of the coulees and breaks?  Will they be inspired to do more and be more?

I hope so.  These people leave an amazing legacy to carry and pass on down the line.  They take so much knowledge and history with them when they go, and they live big boots to fill.  I am honored to be a part of such a life, and I hope that I am able to do more than ride along on the coattails of my grandpa’s legacy.  Because it’s about time I made my own…

Happy Trails~

Cowgirl

I was recently asked if I’m a real cowgirl on a social media sight I partake in.  The exact question posed to me was “If you don’t have cows, how can you be a cowgirl?”  I pondered that thought, let my hurt feelings stroll over the words, and then I questioned myself.  Maybe I’m really not a tried and true cowgirl?  But I had  the boots, the hat, the horse, spurs, a saddle, and even a pick-up truck?    Accordin’ to good ol’ Webster, the true definition of the word is: noun. a woman who herds and tends cattle on a ranch, especially in the western U.S., and who traditionally goes about most of her work on horseback.

Well, there was the answer…I am technically NOT a cowgirl.  I don’t spend all day in the saddle trailing cows. Hell, I wasn’t even raised with cattle.  I grew up tending to horses and mules, ornery men, and dudes, riding mountain trails and passes, and cooking in dutch ovens, but not a stitch of my time was spent with cattle.

So, I chewed on that thought a while longer, and thought “the he** I’m not a cowgirl!” Being a cowgirl ain’t just about swinging ropes, doctoring cows, calving, and riding horses.  Because, to be a cowgirl means you’ve got the grit in your gut and the attitude to accomplish anything.  You have the ability to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and take life right by the horns.

Deep down, each woman I know has just a touch of cowgirl in her.  She may be hailing a cab on city street headed to a high-rise lawyer’s office.  She’s a doctor or a nurse saving lives.  She’s a teacher expanding horizons and sculpting young minds.    She pours herself into the books and balances the budget.  She’s the mother that just lost a child, and still wakes to face the day.

She’s lipstick, leather, and lace.  She’s weathered hands that slings ropes, trains colts, and pets dogs, and is the lady dressed to the nines to hit the town with her favorite guy.  She fights fires, clears trails, packs mules, and yes, works cows. She’s gypsy- souled and beautiful music and guitar chords.  She’s fighting cancer with all she’s got because she’s a survivor and a winner.

But mostly, she’s you and she’s me.  She’s the fight to win and the calm in the storm.  She’s modern and old-fashioned.  She sips fine wine and chugs a beer with the guys.  She kneels and prays at the end of the day to praise God for all she has and is.

You see, it doesn’t matter what you are. Your job does not define you.  It is your attitude, your heart, and your beautiful mind and soul.  Cowgirl is a title well earned, and I am darn proud to be just that til I draw my last breath.  And don’t ever doubt that you are one, too.

~Happy Trails~

 

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