If you do not know who Dale Brisby is, you should certainly look him up on social media. His hilarious videos from his Texas Radiator Ranch and various rodeos are the comic relief I need once in a while.
Most of his shenanigans end with a challenge “if you don’t do this or that, you ain’t no cowboy.” Our family loves to chide one another about whether we are each “cowboy enough” around our own farm and ranch.
After a long cold weather snap, our farrier contacted me to get us back on schedule to get horses shod and trimmed. I did not have enough notice on the day he was able to come so I had to juggle my family and work schedule around.
I started the morning taking three of our children to school. From there I raced over to my office to take care of some tenants and check out a moving rental truck. I thought I had organized my schedule well enough to make it home to get horses up to be ready.
By the time I made it back to the farm, I was cutting my timeline close. I got some feed and rounded our horses up in the round pen. This time of year, they are greedy eaters so they were pretty feisty that morning. I grabbed halters for each one and got them ready to go up the hill where they were going to be shod.
I decided to save myself some time and lead them up closer to the house two at a time. Because, if you don’t lead horses two or three at a time, you ain’t no cowboy (or at least that’s what I imagined ol’ Dale Brisby would have said to me that morning). I opened the gate and apparently it was not wide enough for both horses to come through gracefully. One of the mares spooked and knocked me facedown into the mud. Both lead ropes razored skin off my hands and the horse ran right over top of me. I screamed like I was in a horror film. I was not ready for that. It scared me to death.
I got up and assessed the situation. I was dirty, a little bruised and the deepest wound was to my pride. I was so glad no one was around to witness this ridiculous display of horsemanship. The horses were still close by and I grabbed my feed bucket and chummed them back over to me. I tied one up and led them one at a time up the hill where I met the farrier.
He arrived early but I was ready. I had groomed the horses and cut bridle paths before he started his work. I guess I really did not need to be in that big of a hurry after all. Every time I get in a rush, some calamity always seems to happen to me or someone else. I am in my 40s and I decided that day I am probably not as tough of a cowgirl as I used to be. But just the same, I hopped (maybe limped) up, dusted off and learned my lesson, neighbor.
Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’