“Caution please, slow moving vehicle.”
That thought has gone through our mind dozens of times in the past four days as big semi-trucks with long high-sided trailers passed us as we’ve been driving Marvelous Mae with the big-wheeled single-seated cart to town.
Certain drivers slow down, drive carefully around and pick up speed when they’re confident we’re far behind their rearview mirror. Others seemingly pick up speed as they approach, push the throttle to the floorboard, and gun like a racetrack around.
It’s not so bad when they’re coming towards us, but our heart sometimes almost skips a beat when one approaches fast behind, and another is coming from the opposite direction, or a string of bumper-to-bumper.
Fortunately, Marvelous Mae doesn’t even flinch, despite airbrakes sometimes making us jump in the seat.
Driving a horse on a major thoroughfare these days is a far contrast to three quarters of a century ago when Mom, her siblings and neighbors drove a horse to school.
However, there are still communities where horse and carriage are common transportation; motorized vehicles always giving right-of-way.
Several years ago, we’d traded a good riding horse for a big standard-bred driver, and had him on the market to resell. A newspaper ad drew attention from a dairyman who had his neighbor lady bring him up in her car to try out our horse.
We hooked the ambitious gelding to our two-wheeled cart that has a John Deere rake seat. Anxious to give it a try, the prospective buyer almost jumped aboard, took whip in hand, popped that horse, onto the highway and right down the white line they went.
Sure enough, a loaded semi cattle truck was coming from the north full speed ahead. Cart driver calmly pulled into the right lane, never seeming to fidget, while the truck sped by air horn blasting. Guess that was the clincher of our sale, because we got a check and delivered purchase before milking time.
Reminds us of Second Corinthians 9:9: “He throws caution to the winds, giving to the indigent in reckless abandon.” Fortunately, Exodus 14:14: “You only need to keep silent and remain calm.” Then, Judges 8:10: “You will be safe and secure on all sides,” and First Samuel 20:21: “It is safe for you, and there is no danger.”
Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.