A Cowboy’s Faith: Fast horse just excited

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“How come your horse is so wild?”

The teenage cowgirl operating the entrance gate at the horseshow asked seriously, perhaps as a courtesy, with concern.

Taken back by the question, initially offended, second thoughts realized it was legitimate query.

Still as the quite mature palomino gelding Cody of Trigger-semblance high stepped eagerly through the gate, response likely seemed rude.

“He’s not wild. He’s a great horse who knows his job. He is trained to run barrel races, loves doing it and is anxious to get started.”

That was an accurate reply said with heartfelt belief and most appreciation.

Yet, none of the other perhaps 100 different horses entering the gate had the enthusiasm of the old cowboy’s horse. So the golden horse with white mane and tail is a “little wild.”

However, put the pleasure horse bridle and martingale on the speedster and ride in the arena before the show. He’s pretty calm, collected, might even get an eight or nine out of 10 given a score.

Always entered in the stock horse pleasure division to help keep his jitters down, ole Cody’s adrenalin still builds. Actually, the horse is just too doggone smart, maybe smart-alecky would be more accurate.

Anyway prancing through the typically slow moving pleasure riders attracts the judge’s attention. Certainly enough bad notice to never get the rider’s Number 17 on the placing card.

Take the big homebred gelding to the pasture for rancher’s work he just doesn’t understand what it’s all about. That’s despite geneticists evaluating his pedigree above average cow horse lineage.

Asking Cody to lead the parade carrying old glory which horses of such appeal often do is not his fancy either.

So what good is this “wild horse” whose athleticism and colorfulness attract everybody’s attention? Cody is trained to run patterned racing events in the arena and that’s what he does best.

Nothing completely automatic about the most reputable skill though. Cody must be ridden correctly, and that’s not always the case. Pilot error can lose the race, never the horse.

When it’s time to run, calibrated routine is required to get in the arena, not unusual for patterned-running horses. All’s worth the added effort when the clock stops.

Reminded of Second Kings 4:29: He ordered, “Don’t lose a second and run as fast as you can.”


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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