I was born to be a horsetrader. I learned it from my grandfather, and therefore it must be in my genes.
Yesterday I accomplished another horse-trade, when I swapped two older well-broke mares for a younger green mare. Each of these mares had been my primary horse for a few years during their prime, and both had outlived their usefulness here on the ranch. Neither could tolerate the long miles and the rough country necessary for working cows in this location. There was an upcoming horsewoman who needed their experience and training to develop confidence and skill in horsemanship.
Not every horse was a joy to own and ride, but it’s usually sad when you pass on a horse that was once Number One in your string. It is with melancholy that you remember the places you have been and the cattle you have brought in – together. It’s much easier to focus on the weaknesses of that particular horse – and there are always weaknesses.
Every horse – and every person – has strengths and weaknesses. One of these mares always had her ears forward and was ready to cover the country; the other was a wonderful cutting horse – always compliant to the cues from her rider. But the traveling horse was clumsy, and the cutting horse couldn’t travel – which is one of the reasons a cowboy needs more than one horse.
So we’ll mourn over the passing of some horses that have been, and focus now on a horse that will be – and such is the nature of the world.