Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More on Bonnet

More on Bonnet
Copyright Ken Harris 2008

I mentioned before that there are advantages to raising horses on hillsides. They do not grow up, as some rural myths say, with legs shorter on one side than the other. Instead, since no matter where they go, it will be either uphill or downhill, the horses or ponies muscle up in the hindquarters.

And so it was with Bonnet. After six months with us in Auburn, he no longer resembled a Friday Horse. (To refresh your memory, you never wanted to buy a new car built on Fridays because that was the day they cleaned the factory and built cars out of parts that didn’t fit right in on first attempt at assembly Mondays through Thursdays.) All of Bonnet’s horse parts seemed to fit together better than they had when we first got him from Montana. Men no longer laughed when they saw him. We might have even finished 22nd in that show at Stockton, instead of 23rd. .

At that time Joanne and I were heavily involved with the Western States 100 Mile Trail Ride. We had both done the ride before and won our much coveted silver and gold buckles. (To win the buckle you had to ride one horse the roughly 100-mile distance from Tahoe City to Auburn within 24 hours.) Both of us realized that we only needed one belt buckle because we only needed to wear one belt at a time. But we still worked on the ride, clearing and marking trail in the spring to get ready for the summer event. I used to be a drag rider and sweep up lost riders and try to get them in so they could earn buckles. Joanne was a vet’s secretary. We did all this when we were not trimming our ponies’ feet.

During this time we met Lona Sweet and her family from Sunland, California. I don’t know if Lona will ever read this story, but she was a little bitty woman who might have weighed ninety-nine pounds if someone put rocks in her purse. She fell in love with Bonnet and bought him.

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