The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

Under the Wire

Oh, that poor animal


September 23, 2020

As winter approaches, their hair has gotten a little long. They are in bad need of new shoes, to compensate for their sore feet, legs and back. They’ve been given about every drug available to help them keep going until the end of the rodeo season. It would be nice to have a fresh replacement, but that’s not possible. The only solution is keep on abusing them. Sounds cruel but that's just the way it is. What’s that you say? “How horrible a way to treat a horse that has given so faithfully to his rider all summer.”

Wait a minute! Did you think I was talking about a horse? Shame on you for even thinking it. I was talking about the cowboys! This time of year you’d have to look long and hard to find a sorrier lot of beat up, broken and patched, crippled, specimens.

Last spring a more noble group of physically fit human beings did not walk the earth. They had trained all winter. By April they were as physically and mentally tough and prepared as one could get. Now, look at them. Bruised, bandaged, some in casts, mere shadows of their former selves.

The rodeo trail is full of potholes. So, too, is just about any highway leading to and from horse related competitions. I’m guessing a steer wrestler catching a horn in the solar plexus doesn’t hurt any more than any other competitor who discovers his horse or a belligerent bovine has mistaken his (or her) midsection for a football. It’s not always major encounters that cause this deterioration of physical perfection. Just how many times can your foot get stepped on before it fails to return to its original shape? How many rope burns, twisted ankles and sore elbows can a body stand?

If these folks weren’t having a tough enough time already, add long hours spent driving, poor food if there’s time for any at all and uncooperative weather. Yep, by fall these folks are lucky they’re not horses. You know where the old crippled ones sometimes wind up. On the other hand, they might be lucky if they were horses. At least then there would be a group or two out there saying, “Hey, that’s no way to treat an animal.”

You know what? These tired, foot sore season end worn out cowboys would agree. They’d never treat their horses like they treat themselves!


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