May 3, 2016


I know I said in April, that spring was my favorite time of the year. Now, I changed my mind. Fall is my favorite time of the year. The flies are getting slow enough that I can hit one once in awhile. The lawn doesn’t need mowing every couple of weeks. We still have a bunch of Sudan grass to hay, but with over two inches of rain the past couple days, that can wait.
The neighboring ranches are working cattle, so you have a chance to get those colts ridden a little before freeze-up. We will be giving fall shots in the next couple weeks and moving some cattle around. Life is good.
We were watching the Twins the other night and got to visiting about how much the players get paid. Now, during this conversation, Shirley asked if I had ever known any professional athletes. Other than rodeo stars. I said I knew several. But they were all lap dancers at the Dollar in Mandan. I’m not sure. But I guess that was not the right answer. Was one of those deals where you felt a sudden chill enter the room.
In the fall, I always get to thinking about the old roundup days on the reservation. Back when there were few fences and lots of good cowboys. And you were in good enough shape to get on a colt that was spooking at his tail as daylight was sneaking up on you.
One of my favorites was a sorrel horse called Rebel. He would always blow up and buck as you stepped on. But, if you could get a good seat, he was kind of fun to ride. I carried a short piece of rope that I used to tie his foot up every time I got on. I would tie it hard and fast to the horn, take a wrap around his foot, pick it up, and dally to the horn, Then I could get on and let his foot down. That was before I got married and had Shirley around to top off horses like that.
About the same time that I was riding Rebel, we started producing rodeos. One day we were taking a truckload of horses into town to try out. Young bucking horses. Loren was hauling them in a 22-foot straight truck. We loaded these colts up and then decided we had room for one more. I looked over in the pen and there stood Rebel.
We squeezed him into the back and Loren took off for town. We saddled a couple of pick-up horses and left about 20 minutes later. As we got close to the Pierce place, we could see a sorrel horse standing in the middle of the road. Gravel road. As we neared the horse, we saw it was Rebel. The bottom of the endgate had popped loose and poor old Rebel got crowded out the back.
Now that is a four-foot-drop to a gravel road, out of a truck going 50 miles an hour. I’m not saying he didn’t have some bumps and bruises. He did. And he lost a little hide.
But it is a testimony to how poor a horse Rebel was. Cause it was nothing serious. And if it would have been a good horse, he would have been crippled for life.
He healed up and I gave him to Shirley as a wedding gift when we got married.