“Certain things just take a long time to come around.”
Every Saturday, the red pickup with stock racks and a black horse would go down Main Street. Cowboy was heading for the livestock sale to help drive cattle, sometimes hogs, into and out of the auction ring.
The grocery store carryout boy, always a wannabe cowboy, waved acknowledgment with strong inside envy. Oh, how exciting being a real cowboy working cattle on horseback, the adrenaline always was nearly overflowing.
Many livestock auction barns hire horseback riders to move cattle. Sometimes real working cowboys consider it a menial job anybody who can get on a horse can do.
However, the job does require a horse, not necessarily one with cow working skills. Still those horses with sale barn working experiences have quite diverse abilities.
When horses are being sold at auction, those with sale barn work backgrounds are credited for that. They will generally bring more bids and higher total sale price, regardless of looks and color.
Admiration and envy have continued through the ages. Nearly six decades later the wannabe cowboy’s opportunity has finally arrived working on horseback every week at the livestock auction.
It is another dream come true. Maggie has been here, there, nearly everywhere, and done nearly anything anybody can think of a horse doing. Still, she continues to have more than her share of quirks. They can arise anytime, for seemingly unknown reason, and always in the most inopportune situation.
Sale barn workers got a free show bringing grinning, laughing and enjoyment, fortunately no clapping, on Maggie’s first day there. She was high, wide, and handsome, said with personal prejudice, driving that first group of cattle down the alley.
Fortunately, Maggie didn’t buck, but she was obviously a show-to-behold with her spirited prancing attentive action. Rider was never scared but definitely keen on the wet concrete with some cantankerous cattle.
Professional horsemen, competition cutting horse riders and pleasure riding champions think she’s high headed. Still Maggie fits the rider well appreciating the “Rawhide” yeehaw “gittyup-go” attitude.
Caution increased when that mean old cow kicked her, and another ferocious spike-horned whiteface steer charged many times. Maggie and rider became quite bright eyed, to say the least.
Reminded of First Corinthians 16:9: “A huge door of opportunity for good work has opened up.”
Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.