Saturday morning. Round-up. Rodney the farrier came to do half a dozen horses, and Dave and I geared up to lead a ride, just a two hour on the ranch. I can see how these can get mundane, but with 3500 acres to explore and awesome views of the Sangres, I haven’t gotten sick of them yet. Plus I like having a critter between my legs and the more time I spend in the saddle the gooder I’m gonna get.
That afternoon there wasn’t anything going on, and I’ve finally gotten the itch back to play some cards so I headed to my bar in town, Poag’s. I discovered their couch in the back, plugged in and plopped down. I put in a good four plus hour session, playing a bunch of $50+5 turbo SNG’s and one table of $1-2 NLHE. I won my first 3 sngs and stacked a guy AA>JJ aipf. Mmm this poker stuff can be fun. I quit somewhere around 6:30, up about $1300, leaving myself enough time to eat some food before going to see Toy Story 3 at the Jones Theatre in town.
It was the last showing before the movie left the theatre. It was also the 2nd showing. The first was Friday night. I don’t think I’ll ever get totally used to small town living, but I do enjoy and appreciate it, possibly even prefer it. I dunno yet. Right at the climax of the movie, the audio just died. The seventy people in the audience all said awwww, and patiently waited for them to get it fixed, which they did. Good flick. I headed back to the ranch, got a good night’s sleep, and woke up Sunday morning for round-up.
Sunday looked much like Saturday with a ride in the morning and the afternoon off. The good day at the tables yesterday gave me plenty of motivation to play this afternoon too. Since I put on my last pair of socks that morning it was time for laundry. I went over to Dave and Michelle’s place, put in a load, took a shower, and was playing online by 2pm. I hadn’t played a Sunday online in over a month, so it actually kinda felt good to be playing again. That is until I started getting hands (poker, obv) shoved up my ass. I was stuck pretty good until I closed out the night winning 3 sng’s in a row making me a small winner in cash and medium loser in tourneys. I felt good with how I was playing and am slowly getting ready to get back on the grind.
When I got back to the ranch we had 5 voice mails form people who wanted to ride Monday morning. We only had one morning ride on the schedule, and since I didn’t check them until after I was done sitting around the campfire, they didn’t get called back until the morning. They all showed up, including another group in the afternoon. Barb and I took out a group of 9 in the morning, then Mike and I took out a group of 11 in the afternoon.
It was a strange day. I mean, I guess on any given day when you are woken up by horse poop being thrown at your window, it just has to be odd. Very Friday the 13th-ish or full moon-esque. More horses spooking at weird things than ever before, customers dropping water bottles like they were two year olds in high chairs playing fetch with their parents, a baby rattlesnake in a bush right after a gate that fortunately zero of the 14 horses in the vicinity stepped on (and all moved away calmly when I spotted it). When we finished the afternoon ride this lady from the Forest Service approached me saying she had a question. I told her I might have an answer. I can’t imagine that dealing with the Forest Service is ever a truly pleasant experience, since they are our regulatory authorities and all. She told me that somebody got a flat tire on the highway, quarter mile down to the left, and they don’t have a star to get the lugs off. Yeah, we got stars aka 4-ways, and I’ll be there as soon as I’m done taking care of these clients.
I pull a jack and 4-way out of one of the trucks and head to the highway. I see their vehicle parked mostly in the entire Westbound lane of a two lane highway. Makes more sense than pulling off the road into the grass obviously. Course what are you to expect from some city folk who can’t change their own tire?
Really long story short, they had all the necessary tools there themselves. The “star” that they were referring to was like a star bit, not a 4-way, to remove what they thought were the lugs. This Volkswagen had 5 individual lug nut covers, all with a star shaped hole in the middle that they assumed must be the lugs. I whip out my Leatherman, peel off the lug covers, get the tire changed, and send them to Westcliffe Petroleum to get the tire fixed. We take care of our neighbors out here in the country. Turns out that the vehicle owner just bought a cabin on another county road in the area.
Immediately after that I headed to town to eat, I didn’t have a chance to have lunch due to the big rides that day. I walked into Poag’s, and immediately felt tension in the air that lasted until I finally had enough and left a few hours later. I played 4 tables of cash for 3 hours, salvaging a big losing session in the last 15 minutes with a couple of stackings. Only lost $300. In the first hour I got stuck about that much, even with flopping a straight flush, rivering a royal that I barreled the draw twice on, and getting a stake share of the bad beat jackpot hit at another 1-2 table that I wasn’t on. Although, now that I think about it.. I might not have been playing at any jackpot tables at the time so might not have even gotten the $62. Made it back to the ranch early, finished the “Bible” of pack horses, and got another good night’s sleep.
Tuesday morning I made it awake before the barrage of horse shit, before anybody else in fact, and headed into the catch pen with two halters. I found it very strange that Rudy was in one corner and Mariah was in the opposite, closest to the trees in West. She was pacing along the fence line. She usually comes to us since she loves round-up so much. I decided to catch Rudy first since he can be a pain, and I expected her to walk to me by then anyways. She didn’t, and after Rudy let me give him some lovin’, he realized that I didn’t have apple snacks and walked away. At least he was heading for Mariah in the other corner. He stopped just short of her, let me put on the halter, and then I saw one of our big black horses walking toward me in the corner of the catch pen from the trees in West. His front left leg looked strange, like it had been wrapped in red medical bandage. I quickly realized that this wasn’t the case, the red was blood and what I thought was fabric was a big chunk of flesh hanging off the bone. Blood had soaked his entire front leg crimson. I could see it flowing copiously and reflecting in the morning light. Fortunately I had the phone in my back pocket and called Dave.
“Morning. You have a fucked up horse here, and I don’t know what to do. I think it’s Ranger but I’m not sure. Well, he’s walking along the fenceline back to the corral so I’ll pick him up there and get him somewhere safe. See you in a bit.” I haltered Mariah, led her and Rudy into the corral, and Ranger was standing in the holding pen still gushing blood. I got a halter on him, lead him into the round pen, tied him up short, and took a closer look at the wound. It looked like he ran through a fence with lots small barbed wire cuts, but nothing compared to the wound on his upper leg. It was a good six inches long, couple wide, and the entire chunk of muscle and flesh was like a flap open all the way to the bone.
Ranger, aka Lone Ranger, is new to the herd this year. He was given to a friend of the ranch Deb, who wanted to use him on the ranch, but after two rides he was deemed unusable even for a guide horse, and being 25 years old, there was no interest in our buying him. Nobody in the herd likes him, he’s quite spooky, and generally stands off on his own, hence the name. We assume that he must have been chased into a fence because he’s not aggressive or flighty. Dave showed up shortly after we got him secured, and it took the three of us to keep him held so Dave could wrap the wound. He did his best to put a clean cloth over the flap, putting it back in place as good as possible, and then wrapped it in horse medical tape. He then went about trying to get a hold of Deb and the vet figuring out what to do next, and when I left this morning it was still up in the air.
I came to town, had breakfast, talked with my manager Katie a bit about an audition for the WPT on camera role that I’ve been invited to, and I booked a flight back to Vegas for that week so I can be in LA in person for the audition. I feel like it’s something I can do well with a little coaching and help, and I intend on giving it my best shot. I hope they don’t make me shave my beard off. I’ll come back on the 20th, gear up for a 5 day pack trip leaving on the 23rd, and then think about coming back sometime in September. It’ll be good to spend a few days at home I think.
Peace and good luck,
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