by Julie Carter
Horse trading is a refined art that is often compared in-kind with used-car sales and brings with it the same use of cuss words and disdain. Along those lines but with a honed attempt at curbing my language skills, I will share a few confessions about a few horses I shouldn’t have bought.
I, meaning me personally or any one of several people I know that should all know better, have been dinged by the horse trader on more than one occasion. I will share their stories as well.
One cowboy wrote, “Last year I bought a horse at the Spring Horse Sale for $900 and sold it at the December sale for $500 and never looked back. I finally got a set of shoes on him before the sale. It took two of us and a lot of drugs. We even gave the horse some. He never learned to neck rein but I did get the buck out of him long enough to sell him. Talk about an outlaw. He sure was perty though!”
I personally bought one of those really “perty” ones that was represented as a “little cinchy once in a while.” It wasn’t long before I realized I owned a horse that needed a shot of drugs before you could saddle him. He only flipped upside down when you pulled the cinch too tight or too fast and that only happened once in awhile. Sometimes he waited until you were sitting the saddle.
Then there was the big very pretty palomino that was the answer to a dream. It had rained a foot in the Panhandle, something that rarely happens. So when the cowgirl went to look at the horse, he was standing knee deep in mud. She fell in love with him at first sight, wrote the check and trudged him through the mud to the trailer to take him home. On dry ground she could see he was about as pigeon-toed as he could be and still walk. Since it didn’t rain again for a long time, it took her awhile to find him a new home.
The other pigeon-toed horse story is much the same except this big gentle giant was standing in knee deep grass in south central Texas. He came with high recommendation for his gentle ways and since his job was to raise four ranch children, he made the trip back to New Mexico. The worst part for momma was trying to explain to her husband why she paid perfectly good money for a horse with front feet that were looking at each other.
Then there was the near sighted barrel racing horse. He could and would turn like a rat in a barrel but the problem was he would do it about ten feet in front of the barrel. Hard to win a barrel race that way.
And the mare that was bought at the race track with a head exactly like a mule. When the wife took her husband to see the horse, she had the owner back the mare out of the stall. The mare looked like a million bucks –all the way up to and until the very long ears.
The sale ring horse that would kick your head off your shoulders if you surprised him went back to the sale ring. Another friend said they have two horses they bought from a trader that will take a trader to get rid of them.
It seems to be human nature to fall for “perty” and ignore every warning signal that sets off alarms in us, telling us to move on, don’t buy this one. I think humans have a tendency to pick their life mates the same way.
Someone said to me recently that it is easier to abandon a man than it is a horse. You don’t have to worry about who is going to feed him.
And the most honest reply I got when asking about the horse they shouldn’t have bought was, “Really, almost every horse I ever bought I shouldn’t have.”