A Cowboy’s Faith: Don’t complain, just enjoy

buchmanhead“It’s a major ordeal to go to a horse show.”

Three decades-plus ago, we had two kids plus their mom and ourself showing, and always took four horses. Can’t remember all of the work to get ready for a two-day weekend show, a third of the way across the state.

Now, there’s just us, two horses, and the show was just up the road.

Then, four of us filled the single seat pickup cab. There were four saddles, tack, feed, a couple suitcases in the makeshift topper. Horses were jam packed into the 16-foot bumper stock trailer, as we headed 120 miles west before light for a 9 o’clock show.

At least an hour the day before is required now getting three saddles (it takes a pleasure saddle, an English saddle, and light running saddle, just for us), accompanying tack, grooming tools, fly dope and the like, plus water buckets, and more into what most people call a big dog box on the back of the flatbed. That’s just for the horses’ stuff.

Oh, yes, it’s essential to have a manure fork. Showgrounds these days expect all participants to clean up after their horses. That was 10 times today.

Plus, in the still single seat cab, we require three sets of clothes, as hard as it is to comprehend. There are the jeans, shirt, hat, boots as one would expect, but riding in four English classes requires a complete change into the monkey suit as some describe it. Try to take an extra shirt and jeans, after having more rip-outs than we will admit.

Plenty of room for two horses in the single axle 12-foot stock trailer hitched behind.

When it’s an overnight, we also have to take feed for the horses, plus our own chow. Those days, we pretty much slept on top of each other in the cab, though sometimes the kids were in sleeping bags in the trailer. These days, there’s ample room for us to bunk in the seat.

Thing is we got by fine then, and get along fine now. Just, we complain more in our old age. Obviously, we like it, or we wouldn’t keep doing it.

Reminds us of Job 9:27: “I will forget my complaint. I will leave off my sad appearance, and be cheerful and brighten up.”


030615-franksmug2Frank 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.

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