He was a walkin’ horse, and not of the Tennessee kind,
Barn boards for legs, bony of hip and a bit cranky in the eye.
That Tom horse was no real looker unless you like ‘em raw,
But he moved out quicker than most others you’d find.
Throwin’ a leg over was like climbin’ after a cat up a pine tree.
Just as you strangled a fist-full of mane to light in the saddle,
The head of that Tom horse would come ’round to bite your rear.
With luck an’ a quick shinny up, he only got a chunk of your knee.
Gosh that Tom horse could be an ornery cuss, even on the fly.
His pair o’ paint ears would flap straight back on a whim,
And you’d feel a li’l bit a devil inching up his spine.
A hop n’ hoot n’ holler and your stirrups sayin’ good-bye.
You always had to watch him, he wasn’t a horse you trusted.
Never let the reins go slack or let him flat-out gallop.
But sooner or later you’d set a l’il loose in the saddle,
And that Tom horse same as said, “Pard, you’re busted.”
But when he wasn’t tryin’ to plant you in cow pies an’ dirt,
That Tom horse was ropin’ and slidin’, cuttin’ and holdin’.
Crossin’ canyons, duckin’ brush and trackin’ a herd of cows.
He had no quit, not a bit, even when he shoulda pulled up hurt.
For being all outta sorts with fire under his red n’ white hide,
You got to sorta liking that Tom horse in spite of all his faults.
There’s not been another who hunted country quite like him,
And each day astride that big paint was a day for quite a ride.