A Cowboy’s Faith: A well deserved retirement – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: A well deserved retirement

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Missy is a good ole gal.”

Perhaps that’s insufficient credit for all the 27-year-old Appaloosa mare has done in a fulfilled lifetime.

Still, it’s appropriate description of the old girl now in well-deserved retirement. Like many folks, Missy really doesn’t know what to do with herself when there’s not a regular job.

Her profession was running patterned horse races along with grudgingly obliging other expectations of owner.

Now Missy’s a small horse, somewhat athletically built. She’s neat-headed, such others have even called her “cute.”

At 24, Missy truly was the best claiming highpoint speed horse awards in two major circuits. That was with a sometime gimp that x-rays and the best veterinarians demanded Missy be retired. No way, she’d have died from a broken heart.

Another year older, Missy’s lameness worsened not bearing weight on her right front leg much of the time. Yet, hook the trailer, start the pickup, Missy’s ears up, nickering, anxious to load.

At the shows, competition beware, Missy was there. That darn wince might be noticed occasionally at a walk. Yet, when name was called high-stepping-prance with a little rear the excited urge to run became most apparent to all.

Missy’s expulsion to the first barrel set any rider back in the saddle, hanging on for dear life. Only thing slowing the speedster down would be pilot error, sadly occurring too often. Crossing the finish line, time was always near the top, often fastest of any runners that day.

Then is when Missy gave in to the pain. It hurt, and there was no way she could keep from flinching prancing back to the trailer. But, following brief cool-out, a sip of water, Missy was “sound,” by naked eye, eager to run again.

Guarded plans were to race Missy again this past show season. Efforts to get her ready physically were to no avail. Swelling, pain, throb just would not permit it despite willing heart.

Lush pastures grazing with the cows would seem “Heaven,” but Missy obviously missed racing. She’s recently been a queen of sorts, with an old lame cow for friendship.

When the cow went to town for hamburger last week, Missy became stressed. Fortunately, those springer heifers down the lane are providing condolence.

Reminded of Numbers 8:25: “At that age, she shall retire from work and enjoy life.”

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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