Friday, April 09, 2010

The Roper!

I had managed to catch one of the foals. Yes this indeed was a Red Letter day!...............................

I know I should have started to handle them earlier, but I was busy! So it was, that with a heavy heart, that I started to climb the hill behind my home, with a bucket of feed, and a lead rope..................................................
It was cloudy and threatening rain, actually it was chucking it down, and I was trying to be poetic, (pathetic). I reached the spot that I thought would do, and sprinkled the feed out onto the grass, and shouted for the foals, as usual they started to trot towards me. After to-ing and fro-ing leading each foal off the hill and into the stables, I was still one missing. So I stood and waited, shaking the feed bucket like an idiot!
Then slowly, sure enough, out of the increasing mist, came a small white face. It stopped. ............Why was he waiting?

I knew this foal, one of the first born to an unholy alliance! The sporn of a Shetland pony and a Champion Irish Cob! All of 11 hands high, built like the proverbial brick outbuilding.

I was getting anxious, and the sweat was making my palms itch. The lead rope was becoming heavy in my hand, was this how it felt, going into battle! The excitement was making me light headed, and then he was gone, into the mist.

I turned towards the setting sun, .......I was stunned! how had he moved so fast? There he stood silhouetted against the setting sun. Low on the horizon, his head low, his baleful eyes, boring into mine! I was gripped!
Before I knew what was happening, he darted forward, his hooves flashing in the sunlight, sparks flying, he rammed into me and as I fell to the ground, his head was in the feed bucket hoovering up as much as he could! Great gobfulls of feed!

Quick as a flash, I was on my feet! I dived on him, my grip on his neck was tremulous at first, but as he started to bolt, I managed to secure my hold on his neck. I felt I had gained the upper hand! I lent back, with my feet forward, in the style of the calf roper, and dug my heels in! ...nothing, he ploughed on, I caught hold of his front left leg! Holding on and keeping the leg high, I felt him slow............................And then he did it!

This foal was the devil incarnate! A monster! Why oh why, did I decide to do this? He turned his head slightly, looking at me, straight in the eye! His lips curled, and a smile appeared to cross his face. He slammed on the brakes, I was jerked forward, and then I realised what was happening he had loosened my grip, and the hand with the lead rope was losing grip. It was the lead rope or me! It fell to the ground.
But I still had hold of him, or so I thought, with one buck he was away, I dived back at him, I fell to the ground, but managed to catch his back hoof. Big mistake! This foal was not for turning! Away he went, full tilt, dragging me behind him, the mud flew everywhere, I couldnt see for the dirt, why did I not just leave go? What made me hang on? God knows!
It was the low cut stump of wood that caught me out, it had been there for years, but it stopped me! Oh God did it stop me! The pain, the pain!

Of course dear reader, you will know that I have been here before, so feeling a lot like Wily Coyote, who`s just been beaten again by the Road runner, I slinked off to lick my wounds.

Back at the Ranch.................................and nursing several grazes, cuts and bruises. I was wiping off the shit, and muck, when a light bulb came on! (in my head) Doh!
What on earth was I playing at? Walking into the tack room, my arm reached forward and grabbed my trusty weapon!
I stomped back up the hill, all the while, hoping that my heart wouldnt give out!

At the last place I had seen the Monster, I stopped and slipped on my deerskin gloves, and shook out a loop from my trusty weapon! The Lariat! Keeping a loose grip on the lariat, I scanned the field, nothing!..............No! there he was! Standing in the corner of the field. He was smiling back at me? I was incensed! But boldly stepping forward, I shook out the loop again, I began to swirl it around my head, relaxing my wrist, I let the loop fly!.............It sailed towards the Monster, but missed!
Steady does it my boy, I whispered to myself.............I recoiled the rope and again let the loop fly! .....................YES!!!!!!! The loop slipped over his head neatly, I pulled the rope tight! I held on!

Nothing, nothing happened? He just stood there! I began to recoil the rope, as I did I walked towards him. I was begining to have good thoughts. And then???? You guessed it! Off we went again! Head pounding, the blood coursing around and through hardened arteries, my heart was already at seizure level! My legs were about to give way! I seized my chance! ....................I managed to catch a loop of rope around what seemed to be a passing post, really? good is that?. The rope jerked taught! I saw the thin lariat rope stretch and sing, as the water from the rope was squeezed out! I saw him stop dead!

Tying off the rope on the post, I shot forward, my already knackered legs buckling under me, heart pounding with hate and fear!..........I was on him this time, I was all over him like a cheap suit!
I reached for the halter, .........I reached for the halter? Oh S**t!. I could see it, just where I had left it! In my hast to capture this "horse", I had left it on a hay bale! Down the hill I went again! Lickety split!
Once back up to the foal, I had to stop and let myself breathe! I stood and gloated at him all trussed up! I reached for his head and he bit me! B****r me! Is there no end to this animals tricks! I tried again, this time the halter slipped on easy! I felt satisfaction as the buckle clipped shut!!!!!!
Now then, how to get him down the hill?

But thats another tale!


  1. You must really love those horses, Cheyenne.

    Yours in amusement


    PS - I damn near choked myself when I read this...

    'It was cloudy and threatening rain, actually it was chucking it down, and I was trying to be poetic, (pathetic)'

  2. Interesting. I think you're living the life I'd like to live.