|Is that Uncle H???|
What was just a fantasy for me was a reality for several of my uncles, including Uncle H. The blond mane of the golden palomino waved in glory as it bounced and waved in the wind along the outstretched neck of the tall stallion. Ginger was a truly fast horse and his gallop would eat up real-estate faster than a land tycoon.
A group of wild horses were ahead and Ginger had been given his rein. With Uncle H on his back the two were soon leading the charge. Two brothers now eating dust urged their horses on, doing their best to keep up. Across the rough terrain they went dodging lodge pole pines.
Uncle H was moving in close and began working a loop into his rope. The loop hung low as he streaked toward his prey and in an unfortunate moment the rope snagged a piece of brush. Immediately the rope began peeling out taking with it pieces of flesh caught between the saddle horn and Uncle H’s fingers. Blood dripped freely down and across the saddle horn.
The rope now whipped about slapping Ginger across his rear flank, startling him. Fully spooked with ears bent back, and nostrils flared, Ginger took off in a panic. Uncle H hung on and realized quickly, reining Ginger in was impossible.
The hot sun shined bright, highlighting the drama. Bright yellow desert flowers streaked by in a blur, while Ginger held a full throttle. Madly they raced down the mountain. Ginger was wild with fright trying to escape the long snake nipping at his back side. Uncle H knew his only hope was to hang on, as all efforts to rein in Ginger went for not.
Down the mountain they flew in a storm of dust, with the wild horses leading the way. They were gaining fast on the brood and it wasn’t long before the two slid past the wild bunch smoother than butter. Desert brush tore at Ginger and whipped at Uncle H’s legs, tearing skin and britches.
A field of loose shale could be seen ahead. Uncle H left a prayer in the dust, in hopes that Ginger could keep his footing. They hit that field at full tilt and sure as anything the footing was lost. Ginger reacted by collapsing his rear legs. The ground look closer to Uncle H then he wanted with the sharp shale now up close. Down they slid. The shale sliced a long gash in Ginger’s belly. The field came to an end and the prayer must have been answered because Ginger was once again up and off at a full sprint.
His neck stretch long as his legs pounded the ground. The invisible demons had not given up the chase and the terrorized horse skidded around the edge of a ravine making his escape. He followed an old trail along a rock overhang. Turning hard he launched down the mountain like a locomotive. Together they ran jumping small ravines, fallen logs, and boulders. In a flurry of dust they came down the mountain. After some time they finally hit level ground. Ginger began to ease up, near exhaustion. His wet withered sides carried a layer of foam and his great chest expanded taking in large volumes of air. He had finally run himself out and Uncle H was allowed to rein him in. They eased to a stop both spent from the race. As Uncle H dismounted to check Ginger’s condition he was never happier to get off a horse. The wild horses escaped capture that day and Uncle H had the arduous task of back tracking the miles they had just covered, coaxing along a still frightened, tired, and wounded horse.
Not all of Uncle H’s trips ended in futility. He tells of another time when he had lassoed a wild colt and again Ginger was in a running mood. It is a sad tale. Few details were given, only that Ginger about drug that poor colt to death before Uncle H could rein him in. In the end the colt healed up and Uncle H had a nice colt.
To be continued…