The Buckskin By Mike Bedwell I don’t know how many hands he stood, but the buckskin looked tall at first sight. He had pretty good manners and wasn’t too stupid. He didn’t bite or buck or throw his head. ‘Didn’t seem to much mind being led. I checked his frogs and untangled his tail. I rubbed his belly and checked for burrs. He winked at the blanket but didn’t spook. So, I swung up the saddle and he didn’t fight. I walked out his air and cinched him tight. Dew was on the cattle when we walked them out. We eased along nice and easy. No hurry, no worry. Our job was just to move them from here to there. JD was on a big brown nag He was point and I was drag. Everything was fine as frog hair as we plodded along. It was peaceful and calm until JD began to grin. That’s when I smelled trouble on the brew. He got to thinking he was Gil Favor and I was Rowdy Yates And decided we oughta shift them into faster gaits. He started whoppin’ and hollerin’ and tellin’ me to git. “Run up their rumps and give ‘em a scare!” he yelled. I put my heels in the buckskin and he lurched. He didn’t lope or run and I wouldn’t call it a trot. It was more like a very fast stumble and it hurt a whole lot. The pain started in my crotch and shot up my spine. All my joints were jarred and my ribs were rattled. There was just no way to get that horse’s rythmn. I swear he ran like a three-legged moose. In a quarter mile all my teeth were loose! Thank goodness nothing needed roping. There’s no way in hell you could’ve built yourself a loop Up there astraddle that banging, pounding pogostick! “How do I make it stop?” screamed my little bruised brains as I finally remembered to haul back on the reins. JD was laughing and snorting up ahead. I knew then he had set me up. “Always ask the horse’s name before you ride.” He quipped. “Okay, so what do they call this flop-eared slammer?” “His name is Jack. Jack, as in Jackhammer. “
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