Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Thursday, September 7, 2017

Horse's Assets

Stewart Cameron
Another valuable cow pony
Big Enough proved to be a good cow horse. A valuable asset in a large ranching operation. This story is almost about him.
One day, my Uncle Stein was riding Big Enough when he checked the herd. The two of them came upon a large, young bull in considerable pain. The bull had caught his navel on some rose bushes (Yes, they are pretty, but even beauty has it draw-backs) and it had become badly infected.
They were about three miles from the ranch buildings, but Uncle Stein decided his best choice was to bring the bull in.
Now you should probably know that he was dealing with an animal who weighed roughly a ton, was sick and sore, and who wasn’t happy about the 100 degree (F) heat.
They made it about a half mile before the bull protested.
He tried four times to get away, but that little reliable cow pony, Big Enough just wouldn’t allow it.
Finally, winded, and so furious he was foaming at the mouth, the bull turned.
And charged.
Big Enough froze. He’d never seen anything like this!
Closer and closer the bull came and still the horse didn’t move.
Finally, just as the bull made contact, Big Enough reared.
Fortunately, the bull had no horns, but the combination of one-bull-power and one-horse-power succeeded in tipping Big Enough and his rider right over backwards.
Uncle Stein jumped off just in time. And he hit the ground running.
Literally.
Fortunately for the man in the picture, the bull still had his attention on the horse, who had rolled over and was back on his feet in a flash. Away across the pasture, the two went. The horse running flat out and the furious bull butting him in the hind quarters.
Finally, the horse pulled ahead. The last Uncle Stein saw of him was the flick of a dark tail as he disappeared over the furthest hill, well on his way to the barn and safety. Leaving Uncle Stein stranded in the middle of two miles of prairie with no mount, no trees, no fences and no cover.
And one mad bull.
The bull stopped.
Then turned.
And it was Uncle Stein’s turn to freeze. Not from fear, but because he knew if he moved a muscle, or made the tiniest flinch, it would be the signal for the steaming, pawing bull facing him to charge.
For a full ten minutes the two faced each other.
Finally, the bull lost interest and sauntered off.
Uncle Stein, sweat dripping from his face, began the long trek home.
Yep. A good cow pony. Such a valuable asset.
Except when they’re being butted in the assets.
Ahem . . .

12 comments:

  1. Big Enough wasn't QUITE big enough that time. But he was smart enough to 'turn tail' and get the heck out of Dodge.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a wonderful story...I could see it all happening!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I asked for another Big Enough tale. Wow. You could write a series.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I always knew farming was dangerous, but you've made me aware of a whole other set of reasons why. It must have taken a heap of courage to face dangers like these every day. "Home, home on the range" doesn't seem to cover the bad parts of the job ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny that it's all take as part of the work. Except for chickens. Chickens should never be part of the work. Shudder . . .

      Delete
  5. Ouch. I hope that poor infected navel got some attention too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely did. In a quieter, saner moment . . .

      Delete
  6. huh, EC said almost exactly what I was going to :)

    ReplyDelete

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