My niece and the Reflection Farm crew have been posting their horse show pictures, from the Meeker County Fair, on Facebook. It brought to mind a favorite memory of mine, back when we were showing horses at the fair too. This would be back in the glory days of the 90’s.
We had an Arab named Ksapa and he was around 17 years old. His name is Lakota for Foxy. When we traded for him, his name was Commanding Foxx, yes with two x’s. His owner called him Foxy. There was no way I was going own an Arab horse with a girly name like that. We had previously sold a horse to the Lakota tribe, so that was our inspiration. They never finished paying for the horse, and maybe we should have perhaps gone French, but that’s another story.
Ksapa was quite the horse. Lots of experience, and bit of an attitude, but he was my buddy. He could be very gentle, when kids were on him, and a handful when I was on him. And yes, I know the old saying, It’s a poor musician that blames his instrument. I might add that where that analogy breaks down is your guitar does not come with a mind and attitude of its own. You music heads out there will argue with me about that, but get your own blog dude, this is my story.
The Mrs had been riding the old man and thought it would be fun to take him to the fair. Us humans, being the meat eating butt heads that we are, decided that. We did not ask him. On hind sight, might not have been a bad idea.
So, the Fair comes and we load up and head to town. Ksapa gets led into his box stall and promptly sticks his head in the far corner, his butt facing the aisle. Pretty much stayed that way too, for most of the fair. Now, the Fair has a bunch of rules, and different rules for horses, than say for chickens or sheep. Horses that come to the Fair, have to stay at the Fair until Sunday night, late. That is so people have something to look at while everybody is packing up and heading out.
Show day arrives and the old man is surly. The Mrs takes him out early in the morning to get the kinks out, and he is showing her that he is not happy being a show horse. She is concerned that he will act up during the show. We had been talking about this during the weekend and decided that she would give it a go and if he acts up, get off and lead him to the gate. I will be standing there with my saddle and I would give him what he wanted.
Showtime and the wife mounts up and rides the old man into the ring. The class starts and about the time she is on the far side of the ring, the old man decides he’s done. Did a little dance and small rear. The Judge excuses them from the class and she heads to the gate with her head down. I am standing there with my 1918 McClellan saddle and a grin on my face. She hands the old man off to me and I strip the show saddle off, toss mine on and cinch up. The people standing near us are starting to look at what’s going on instead of the show as I mount up. The old man has his head up, ears perked, and since horses are clairvoyant, mind reading weed eaters, he knows he is going to get his wish.
They have a pipe gate at the exit of the horse area. I spin him about, as pretty as you please and trot him to the gate, pointing and telling them we are coming through. The boys open the gate with big smiles and we trot down the back road of the Fair grounds. The Sheriff was standing about 50 yards down the road. Presumably to keep the peace and make sure none of the horses snuck out early. The Sheriff and I had a history of a difference of opinions on various issues. Him being the Law, he thought he should always be right. Me being me, I knew better, so aimed the old man at him and trotted him down. As his eyes got big and he stepped to the side, he asked me where I was going. Going home, I said, as we trotted smartly past. If he said anything else, I didn’t hear it. Once we made our turn North toward home, I eased him into a nice canter. I think he knew this was not going to be a pleasure trail back home and he was up for the challenge. Trot, canter, gallop, all the way home.
Got him home, he was a happy horse. I was happy, because I got to ride down the Sheriff, well trot past him, at least. It was a win win.