A Cowboy’s Faith: Friend’s old mount reliable

buchmanhead“Dan had a pleased grin as he looked down from above.”

That’s our feeling as we think about Saturday morning’s pasture gathering.

No shortages of horses, yet certain tasks require different steeds.

Maggie and Missy are qualified, although flint rocks in the ’Hills can cripple arena mounts. Lil Zane could have worked, but there’s no rider confidence.

So, Hot Diggity consented to bucket-catch and worked ideally.

Named after entertainer J.W. Stocker’s horse, Hot Diggity is a spotted great grandson of our first horse, Spot. Hot Diggity’s daddy was our stallion Prices Leo Flash by world-renowned cow horse Rondo Leo.

Sold as a baby to one of the best cowboys-our hero-good customer-great friend, Hot Diggity, still a stallion, came back to be trained.

The daughter even spent time on “Digger,” as Dan called him, before taking the registered Pinto back to Elmdale for his personal mount.

Cowboy on the gelding, by then, won the ranch sale field day several years, photo verification on the wall.

A nationwide Associated Press story pictured Dan on Hot Diggity assisting a major Flint Hills roundup.

Saddest day when our mentor passed, as he’d seemed immortal.  Fondness for the horse and his owner, coupled with unique opportunity, the daughter acquired Hot Diggity, bringing him “home.”

Used roping, pasture work, trail riding, grandson’s catch-mount, mostly leisurely life, Hot Diggity suffered severe foot injury doing cattle work two years ago.

Long process requiring high dollar treatment, tedious recovery, Hot Diggity’s been used infrequently.

Yet, when unloaded before sunrise, the old, borrowed, colorful bay and white, never the prettiest, was sound and definitely eager to work for which he’s bred.

It was 2,500-double-stocked acres, where nearly 500 yearlings were gathered the day before.

Fourteen riders, and embarrassingly two mechanical carts, had remaining 500 steers penned before 7:30, to load semi-double-deckers directed for feedlots.

Energetic, less-mature riders on younger mounts headed back into the ’Hills successfully trapping “renegades” that’d escaped the previous morning. Old cowboy and Hot Diggity took naps.

Reminds us of Ezekiel 23:12: “Top horsemen riding top horses.” Thus, Acts 17:12: “They were friends of influence.” So, Second Chronicles 8-9: “Work was not slavery for horse or horseman.”  Yet, Proverbs 21:31: “Horse is prepared for work, safety is of the Lord.” Importantly, Psalm 20:7: “Trust in horses, yet remember the Lord our God.”


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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