A horse is a horse, of course, of course---but sometimes it has more wheels than hooves.
Now, I love a good equine-driven cattle gathering, I love riding, but the thing about horses is that you have to catch ‘em. On a good day, they’re at the water, bored, and ready to come see what new adventure or new something to chew on you might have brought. On a bad day, you end up afoot, walking across the pasture, and in circles, trying to get a halter on a horse.
Then, you’ve got get ‘em back to where you left the saddle, brush the stickers off, and get all the gear on and cinched up just right. Then, you’ve got to get the horse to the cattle, which, depending on how far that is, can be a chore in and of itself. If they’re pretty close, you could ride over, if it’s a little further, you can just haul them in the trailer, and if it’s out of your district, you’ve got to have hauling papers too.
However you get there, a horse is handy and good for the canyons and breaks where the terrain is extra rough and the cattle are too. But even on a fast horse, you don’t just go from one place to another on a whim.
You’re stuck and subject to the level of stubborn your horse is being.
And they eat a lot, all the time, even when you don’t need them.
These days, the four-legged horse only gets out on special occasions and really big jobs. The rest of the time (and since cattle are always getting out, that’s pretty often), the two-wheeled horse gets the job.
It only eats when it’s working and it will get me there faster than a pickup.
And it’s never hard to catch.
In fact, it’s usually just exactly where I left it the last time. It does sometimes need a good kick to get started, but after that it runs all day without complaint.
Don’t tell anybody, but sometimes all I have to do is show up. The regular bovine escapees who make fence ignorance a habit can hear it coming and after a few experiences, they know that sound means the motorcycle has arrived to put them back where they belong. They hear it, and with a resigned moo, turn around and head back in.
Audra Brown has a hooved horse and a wheeled horse, and they’re both a bit tall.