May 8, 2019



Happy Seis de Mayo!  Seis de Mayo is the day after Cinco de Mayo.  Not many people celebrate it, but I do. It is one day closer to the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.
Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo.  They don’t celebrate it much in Mexico. It’s a minor holiday. But here in the states, it gives you an opportunity to drink margaritas and eat heartburn food.
Last year we branded on Cinco de Mayo. This year it snowed all day and by evening the ground was white.  This morning, on Seis de Mayo, it is 32 with a wind chill of 28. Snow in the forecast for ocho de Mayo.
People are just getting into branding. I don’t get many invites any more. Some of the relatives invite me because they feel sorry for me I guess. I can’t wrestle calves anymore. Oh, I can do a couple if someone will help me up. I can castrate a few, if someone will help me up. I can brand if they drag them pretty close to the fire so I don’t have to walk much. I can dehorn if most of the calves are muleys. I can vaccinate if someone will fill the guns. I can rope, but my horse is a little broncy and no one wants me in the pen. If you need someone to watch the beer cooler so the kids don’t get in it, I’m your man.
Talking about horses, heard a good story about Ivan the other day. Ivan is a real cowboy from just across the South Dakota line in Montana. A famous cowboy. And a real hand at everything he does.
He had a horse for sale. Ivan is honest. Which is unusual in someone who occasionally trades horses.  
A guy called Ivan about the horse. Ivan said the horse is a counterfeit.  Which means he looks good but is not. Ivan said sometimes the horse will blow up and buck when you first get on. That is bad.
Then he explained that sometimes he will ride right off. Then maybe a couple hours later, a rabbit might jump up, or bird fly up nearby, and he will blow up and throw a fit. That is worse.
He said the horse can walk real good when he wants to, but most of the time he doesn’t want to.  
He said the horse has a rough trot and rougher lope. He is scared of cows and will kick at you if walk up behind him without talking to him softly.
The buyer patiently listened as Ivan told of the many faults this horse had. When the litany of sins ended the proposed buyer asked Ivan, “If I ride him for two or three years, do you think he will be good enough for my wife and kids to ride and take to barrel racings and kids rodeos?”
“Absolutely not.” Ivan replied.
“Good,” said the rancher, “I’ll take him.”

Happy something Mayo,