Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Horse Named Buck That Didn't

There were many cowboys and people of different stripe that have owned or ridden horses at one time or another. Many of them have been atop horses they never paid much attention to, like hopping on a horse for a short excursion to check out a neighbor's cattle or a pleasure ride down to the river for a picnic. And then there are those who have known a horse since birth, fed him, and cared for him during his lifetime.

My father used to own a horse or two, mainly as a team pulling a plow or a wagon with a load of hay as he worked on the the farms he owned or leased back when he was a farmer. But when I came along he had moved past that life and became a leather worker, working in his small shop making shoes and repairing harness and any leather jobs that came along. He and my mother also owned and operated a small hamburger stand that they would open up on holidays and other times when they felt like they could make a dollar or two. The Fourth of July was always great for selling hot dogs and burgers. But, I'm getting away from horses.

What got me started was a short story by J. Frank Dobie, I Remember Buck. Buck was his horse from the time it was brought into the world until it passed away. He knew Buck like he was his brother or closer. Buck was cunning, aware of his surroundings, and was a great cow horse. And Buck was always alert when it came to the rider as he showed one day when the rider had a mishap and was thrown off. Well, Buck could turn on a dime which he did, stopping in mid-turn and letting the rider disentangle himself. I would say Buck was a fine horse and would always be remembered even though some humans would be forgotten.

Another great story from Mr. Dobie.


  1. Hamburger stands and horses very nice on a snowy indoor day for me.

    1. The snow will only last a couple of months and you'll have to enjoy the outside.

  2. the history of human and animal connections is so rich.

  3. And the stories touch the heart.

  4. There were always horses around when I grew up. I remember one called Lady who was very difficult to catch in the field, but once you had her, you had her. I tended to fall off when jumping (by 'tended to' I mean 'nearly always') but she'd come back for me and wait by a log or fence or something I could use to scramble back on.

  5. Lady was very mannerly and it made growing up exciting. Did you hunt the fox or do the steeple chase or jump fence now and then?