Ahorseback

Daniel rides his Big Red Rooster horse to help sort off pairs.  All my children have helped ride since they were about 5… and even riding double for short periods before that.  One of my favorite pictures is Brandon in front of me on the saddle sound asleep while trailing on the mountain.  We had those bullet proof horses to put them on… Jake and Tucker at first, then Feather and Andy.  There was probably never a better match than Daniel and Feather.  She’s a pretty little tri color paint mare and together they had one speed…zoom.  They had lots of adventures together.  Daniel has always had a natural seat, which amazes me because I always thought he rode with too long of stirrup, but that’s what works for him!  Now he rides Rooster, tall, powerful, and they have many speeds.  I recall Daniel’s first gather out in the badlands.  He had begged to go along at age 5, and was told there was no whining allowed.  Usually the first day is an easy one, so we let him come along with Victoria who was 9 years old.  I packed extra food and extra water in my banana bag, we were set.  However, when we got to the badlands, the neighbors had tons of extra help… there were riders everywhere!  The small gather in the corner of the pasture turned into gathering half the pasture instead, every rider wanting to bring in some cattle.  With all those cattle gathered, it took hours to sort them off.  Five ranches run in the same pasture and momma cows had to be paired with their babies and then cut off in one of five directions depending on whose cows they were. Though we started at daylight and hoped to be home by 10 am when the summer heat was starting to climb, we ended up getting home more like late afternoon.  I had run out of food and water.  At one point I went over to check on the kids and Victoria and Daniel are off their horses sitting in the only shade they could find, virtually underneath Tucker’s belly!  I couldn’t help them any, there was nothing else to do but wait for the herd to get sorted and trail them home.  Finally, after the longest day in his little life, we were riding up to the barn and Daniel says in a pitiful voice, “I think my legs are bleeding…”  It was the only whining we heard from him all day and believe me, many adults couldn’t have taken what he did.   He was ready to go again a few days later, the horrid day forgotten.  My kids have spent many hours ahorseback, and I thank God that he sent us good horses and kept watch over us.


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