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It's a Snake!!!

Tags: horses, funny

Oh Horse Feathers!

Our horse herd was managed in three parts. We kept two small bunches in near pastures for riding, while a third bunch was allowed to roam the far pastures and was brought in only when we needed extra horses as pack horses or a working team. Brood mares also ran in this herd. Bring the riding horses in each day was the job of the wrangler, quite often one of us boys.

The wrangler had to first bring in his wrangle horse which had been kept in on the meadows for this purpose. At the lower place we kept the two Shetlands, Toby and Tonka for this most often. At the Other Place, Granddad Art’s, he generally kept in Little Red for this. Toby and Tonka made you go out and get them but weren’t hard to catch as we always brought treats for them. At first we took a bridle with us, then, as riding skills improved we switched to a halter and at last all we usually took along a simple jaw rope or nothing at all. A quick ride in get a real bridle on and then we went out to find the horses in the East End.
Finding them wasn’t too hard; it was a small pasture without many hiding places. Often they could be seen from the house before we set out to bring them in. Horses are creatures of habit so they knew the routine and weren’t difficult about this.

The horse’s habit bound ways lead to the following dirty boy trick. At the Beaver Dam crossing there was a pile of driftwood with an old skinny tire wrapped around a tree. Looking at this day after day I began to notice the resemblance of the tire to a huge snake. While snakes don’t hunt horses, they are a danger to them and horses are scared of them. Knowing this and our horse herd’s habitual trail for coming in got the gears turning. What if that tire became a “snake” in the trail?

Finally one morning on the way to get the horses in, I stopped and laid the tire across the trail in the shallow dip between the upper and lower creek banks. The horses were in the far end that morning and sure to take that trail coming in.

Sure enough the unsuspecting herd galloped down the Big Flat, across the small upper bank and started down to the lower creek bank. The lead horse saw the “SNAKE!” but way too late to stop or turn. In a flatulent propelled high arc it leaped over the tire and charged off. The following horses tried to slam on the brakes but the creek bank was too steep and sandy and this just made for skid marks and more horsey appled snorts as the tire was jumped over. The entire herd scattered and ran to cross the creek and escape any way they could. I moved the tire out of the trail gleefully enjoying this great prank. Those poor horses took over a week before they would use that trail again!

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Copyright © Copyright © 2016 by Vernon Fawcett

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Vern Fawcett
710 Charter Place
Charlotte NC. 28211

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