I wonder if there is a line of demarcation following momentous events in one’s life—you know, a dateline you cross that either makes it okay to talk about “it” some more, or on the other hand, signals a point when you really should just let it rest and let everyone around you forget what a great time you had…since it was probably without them.
In this case, a week of work and city under the belt, plus an unruly hurricane bearing down on the Trafalgar Square Books offices, not to mention the homes of family, friends, and colleagues, has made the fading taste of latigo, sweat, and sun-faded grasses a little sweeter and a little stronger…dare I say for “old times’ sake”? It doesn’t take long to make a soft bed and good meal a distant memory. Nor do many days have to pass before a new friend, once close enough to share a quiet riding moment with…or a sunrise…or a flickering campfire…seems almost a stranger again.
The horses I had the pleasure of riding over the course of the week I spent with TSB Managing Director Martha Cook on the Padlock Ranch in Ranchester, Wyoming, have no doubt forgotten me—my scent, my voice, perhaps my weight in the saddle. They have done well by another rider by now…or more likely several. I am not inclined to imagine that they might remember me the way I remember them: Copper…patient, sure-footed, and sweet-faced; Smoky…with a nose for a cow and an unusual gaseous propensity; and TJ…so sensitive off the leg and weight aid, big, and handsome. When we drove off the ranch we crossed their dateline. We no longer figure into their work-oats-range equation.
I’ve wondered a bit if I’ll find the time in the months ahead to sift through the hundreds of photos I haven’t posted here, in order to show more of them. I’ve pondered whether it is worth it–whether anyone really cares. But then, this evening, I finally had a chance to edit down one of the “hat cam” movies I managed to capture (against all odds), and I found myself transported for an hour to a quiet mountain range deep in the middle of this expansive country. I lived it all over again, for a few minutes, right here at my desk.
And that is worth sharing.
The song is “Grandfather’s Brand” by the Padlock’s own Jesse Ballantyne, from the album Cowboy Serenade. Like it like I do? You can download it HERE.