With that ONE WORD, so many images of personal experience come to mind. Getting up at 4am. Hot breakfast that stays with you all day. Not much talk of a morning. Saddling horses. Knowing that my trick right knee is going to hurt about the 3rd hour of being in the saddle. Riding where I never thought a horse could go. Chasing fast steers through pine trees. The lazy talk of a rider beside me. Hollering at the cattle. So many ‘close calls,’ ya-know what I mean! Branding. Chutes. Wire loops to dig out the ticks and spraying for ticks. Doctoring wounds, castrating, dehorning. Pulling a wet saddle blanket off a tired horse. Always taking care of the animals first. Horse hair on everything I’ve worn that day. Feeling a unique historical connection to the men, women and children who took part. Sleeping as if I were dead! …..and not regretting a second of it.
Let me be sure to get one thing straight…”I’m not a cowboy, never claimed to be.” However, I’ve been blessed to come from a ranching heritage and have had dear friends who ran cattle and felt to invite me into their lives, all of whom graciously shared their knowledge so that this dang fool of an artist would “get it right!”