Putting the Western into Tree-Hugger

Had the crack team at work yesterday. The kiddos had appointments to pick up new shoes, so it was just me and my favorite old man Gus. He is an ace. Attacks the hills, super cowy and goes over and through most anything.

Gus the cowhorse and Doc the border collie

Thank goodness, because I sure made some amateur judgment calls yesterday. The cows were out the night before, so I was riding fence. I was so determined to see as much of it as I could that Gus and I got caught in no man’s land. Trail was faint at the beginning and, kerflump, dead as a skunk at high noon. Windfalls pushed me off the fence, and then we really were Lewis & Clarking it.

I was hugging trees left and right. We got in such a tight spot, Gus near tipped me backward over a windfall. Called it quits shortly after that and pointed our noses down country. A slip and nine slides later, we scrambled down a steep embankment onto a cow trail. I was shaking the branches and dust off us all for hours, and here’s a first, a pine needle had worked its way up under my cowboy hat and I didn’t find it til I took my shower.

Some people define a good horse as one that can come out of the box and put you in the right position in an arena. And those are sure some fine horses, but out here you’re better off to have a pony who puts his head down, goes where no horse has gone before and gets you home.

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