There is a remarkable bond between a cowboy and his working horse. Recently I came across a post on the Facebook page of a friend that I simply had to share – some of the musings of an Oklahoma cowboy and his ancient ride, Bob.
I hasten to say that I do not know this man. I tried to contact him through FB with no results. I normally would not share the work of another person without their consent, but the relationship of man-to-horse is so poignant that it brings a tear. Here is the post with few edits:
This is Bob. As of March 17, he’s 28 years old and with me for over 26 of those years. I put the saddle on him to wear for a while. So he’ll think he’s still got it. At our age, it’s good to think ya still got it. He gets upset if Miss Jane gets the saddle and attention.
He is an amazing horse, he knows 4 languages, and can read minds, at least mine, and can see his cows from a half mile, no kidding. He saved my life in 04, literally, I thought I was gone… I asked the Lord not to let my kids find me like this… both of us wrapped in barbwire, then the Lord had him sit, like a dog sits. I’ve never seen anything like it. He sat until I could cut us out and I then asked him to get up.
He’s the fastest horse I’ve ever ridden, he is wise, funny, and careful. He knows more cow jokes than any horse alive, although some were really dumb. He is fearless, and in the tightest moment his courage is complete. We’ve been attacked by feral dogs twice. The first time he was bloodied on the right shoulder, the last time after our escape, we turned around and looked for our dogs that were following. When our dogs caught the wild dogs eyes, he didn’t hesitate to charge them and we tried to run them down so our dogs could get away.
I have laughed harder and have had as much fun as a man can have with his clothes on. He has more cow smarts than any horse I’ve ever seen. Once he collected the cows off the river without me, in heavy brush, without a saddle, like any dog only wishes they could. When he came by me, following his herd, he was VERY proud of himself, tail up, neck bowed at a trot, he was very pleased with himself. I was in complete disbelief and I grinned so hard my ears hurt. I love that horse.
We live on the S Canadian River. People have come into our pasture, a lot, and left the gate open. The cows would get out, even the horses sometimes, but Bob never left. He would come up and rat out the cows when they’d get out. He would hang out with the baby calves, he liked the babies…
We once, while after the “Flying Cow,” rolled down a steep embankment together several times, in brush, he ended up on his feet, but I was hung from the saddle horn, with my, NEW, lariat tangled upside down looking at his hoof, up close. He stood perfectly still, with a smile on his face, (horses can grin) waiting for D. A. to help me, without cutting the NEW rope.
We have charged coyotes guns blazing, missed 6 times (Roy and Gene made it look easy). After I was empty he took it upon himself to try and take out the coyote, but we ran out of field.
He loves oatmeal cookies and always checks out what I’ve got. He’s standoffish, wouldn’t smile for a pic if ya paid him. And calls me when he thinks it’s feeding time.
When he was young, I knew he had a home with me in my heart. When Jess was in diapers and I was feeding, Jess walked under Bob’s belly as Bob was walking up to the bunk to eat. I glanced over my shoulder and thought I was about to see a wreck I’d have to hide from mom, but Bob paused his right rear foot in mid air and waited for Jess to get by, at his own pace. Jess would stand under Bob and scratch his belly.
I’ve had a lot of horses, and have so many stories about Bob, not enough time here. Don’t know what I’ll do when he’s gone. I’ll dig a big spot for him down at the dog graveyard in the bottom; he’ll get a stone like the dogs. He’s a good Boy, My Boy…
— Jonnie Martin