Temporary Insanity

I rode a horse on steroids. Not me . . . the horse. He broke out in hives a couple of weeks ago, so I was treating him with Prednisone and more recently a shot of Depomedrol. This left him wide eyed and edgy.

On the trail he jumped sideways when we walked up to a no trespassing sign, then he pinned his ears and lunged at a monarch butterfly that fluttered around his head. If this wasn’t bad enough the wind was gusting at 40 MPH animating the trees and bushes, the entire landscape was in motion; tumble weeds bounced across our path, inciting my already agitated mount. This all makes for an exciting ride; the potential for this horse to go airborne is ever present, but I never dwell on this behavior, instead I press on down the trail like it never happened, (horse psychology, or lack there of) I pushed him into a lope and asked for speed which he obliged with a little buck. This chilled him out; running up hill will do that to a horse, even one hopped up on drugs.

He finally lined out after four miles of rough trial, just in time to amble back to the barn to wash up under a cool hose. This horse is a beast, 17 hands high; it’s a long way up into the saddle and a long way down to the ground. He’s normally calm, inquisitive, and willing to please, when he’s not in a drug induced psychosis. Hopefully, when the roids wear off, his central nervous system will come back to earth and he will once again resemble the docile fun loving creature I’ve raised since birth.
Not mine . . . his!


Lucky Dogs

I clocked my dog at 32 MPH. She’s fast, fast enough to catch a deer, not that she would know what to do with it if she caught it. When the sun sets over the Bahos and the evening grows cool, she prods me enthusiastically coaxing me off the porch to race her down the drive on my ATV. What do you get when you cross a Newfoundland and a Springer Spaniel? A fast mutt with long black hair that won’t fetch.

Max, my Golden Retriever could care less, oh he gets excited about the race, but when she leaves him in the dust he lopes home disgruntled. We had both dogs shaved anticipating hot summer days; they’re naked with the exception of large tufts of hair on the tips of their tails. They look ridiculous and although we laugh, they are immune to humiliation, they turn passive aggressive instead; crapping where I’m sure to step, or littering the yard with old elk femurs and crusty deer hides, archaeological canine treasures they’ve excavated from the old hunting burial grounds. If they’re feeling really vindictive they’ll dig a hole in the garden, but this is seldom the case.

They are lucky dogs that live outside and roam free, their boundary’s self imposed. They prefer the company of man, and dream of warmer days when the spring run off subsides and the swollen river wanes into wadable shallows, it’s when lucky dogs get to frequent a familiar watering hole where goliath cotton woods loom, where willows and reeds caress the shore, and tranquil afternoons idle down stream like fallen leaves trapped in the current. It’s here lucky dogs frolic and wallow in they’re good fortune.

Am I Done Yet?

I broke another shovel yesterday. Around here they have a half life of one month, scoops, spades, hoes, and rakes, all suffer the same fate; premature death by clay soil, heavy gravel and the desire to finish the task at hand.

My field welder and I erected three hundred feet of 2 7/8th inch pipe fence last week. At seventy five dollars an hour, I like to keep him welding constantly, I labor for him. I spent six hours behind a hand grinder on Memorial Day, smoothing welds and steel brushing rusty pipe. The feeling is slowly returning to my finger tips. After the fence was done, we welded up my stack wagon and reinforced the frame on the solar array.

Robin is a painting fool, spreading white latex enamel on everything we weld. I can’t grind fast enough for her, (I really need to teach that girl how to grind.) If the wind ever subsides, I’ll get up on the house to stain the dormers and tighten the screws holding down the metal roof — that is if I don’t have to cut hay first.

All of our vegetable plants are sitting in the sun room getting root bound in their pots. We need to plant that garden soon! I long for an easier chore like . . . cutting, splitting, and stacking five cords of fire wood. If all of this sounds laborious it’s a typical summer at the ranch. What . . . you don’t believe me? Come and see my broken shovel collection. I wish someone would invent a shovel I can’t break.