"Fly fishing is my passion, hunting is my weakness, and mules are a perplexing addiction."

Friday, September 30, 2011


Having not prepared anything for this month's nonsense I was outside saddling the horse and mules in a last-ditch effort to get them into shape for a deer hunting pack trip into the Kern in a couple of weeks. As I saddled my horse I gave my old saddle the once over and couldn't help but comment to myself how well she's held up over the years. Then it dawned on me; when all else fails, send 'em a poem. So here's a poem I wrote a number of years ago about this very saddle. Hope you enjoy!


I bought myself a saddle back in nineteen sixty-nine,
It was new and figured to last a while
And it fit my fanny fine.

Constructed with care for detail, its craftsmanship superb,
It was made to stand the test of time
And it stood out from the herd.

I brought it home and oiled her up and just in case she squeaked
I rubbed her down with talcum powder,
Every flap and crease.

I wrapped the horn with rubber from a tire tube gone flat
And riveted a pouch on the billet
Where my fence pliers comfortably sat.

I put her to work immediately and she's never let me down.
We've shared a lot of miles together,
More than either of us could count.

From mountain meadows, rocky trails, and hills choked thick with brush,
To sun-baked summers packin' salt
To cows too tough to flush.

Over the years she's seen her share of cinches come and go.
A breast collar here, a britchen there,
And gallons of saddle soap.

Her bars have covered horses and mules of every type,
From ones as quiet as headstones
To the occasional unscheduled flight.

Enough ropes have burned around her horn to start a forest fire.
She's packed out deer and orphaned calves,
And stretched miles of downed barbwire.

She's held countless bawlin' baldys at the end of a tight-stretched rope,
And watched as calves got branded,
Doctored, notched, and groped.

She's sat and waited patiently out in back of the saloon,
And hauled me home not criticizing
My howling at the moon.

She's weathered sons and daughters through gymkhanas and the like.
Now she baby-sits the grandkids
When they come to visit overnight.

She's certainly been a dandy and unlike a bureaucrat,
She's been honest and hard working
There can be no doubt in that.

Yep, I bought myself a saddle back in nineteen sixty-nine.
It was new and figured to last awhile,
And it fit my fanny fine.