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|Posté le: Mar 27 Juin - 07:13 (2017) Sujet du message: [PDF] Notch-Eared Ponies: Breaking Mustangs In The Old West
The wild west frontier was not a kind or gentle place for people or horses. This short story is an excerpted part of my two yet unpublished books about the end of the Civil War and the drive west by war’s survivors. It is based on the lives and work of cowboys and ranch widows who embarked on an all-or-nothing cattle drive after the war.
They were battle-fatigued survivors from the Civil War. As mixed a group as could be found: Yankees, Rebels, militia, men, and boys who somehow lived while every other man in their units was killed.
They chose to drive a cattle herd west with their Osage Confederate scout guiding them through the wilds of the Texas range lands. With winter approaching, they settled into an abandoned ranch. To their surprise, they found three ranch widows living nearby. There was civility to be relearned by these scarred men of war who had long before left behind families and women. They celebrated the winter and were joined by an ancient ranch man and his teenaged orphan granddaughter.
In the spring they started rounding up the scattered longhorns that had gone wild during the war. They decided to stay together and drive the cattle across Texas, west around the Indian Territory,
and east through Kansas to the railhead at Abilene where the Texan beeves were worth more.
The group had only a few genuine cowboys amongst them. Most had everything to learn about becoming drovers of the roughest stock in the west. The ranch widows, adapted to this life, helped them learn on the trail.
From the start it was obvious they had too few cowponies. They were desperate to increase their remuda so they could put enough asses in the saddles to make the cattle drive a success.
They traded with the Indians for a bunch of wild mustangs with notched ears that had to be broken. This was not gentle training or Horse Whisperer or My Little Flicka horse breaking. This was flat out wild west rodeo bronc busting. It had to be done without breaking the men while subduing the wild ponies.
This is the wild west that old-time cowboys would recognize. It may seem to be a brutal story but it was the reality of surviving in the last half of the 1860s.
bound: 26 pages
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