Left Coast Cowgirl

by Barry Denton

Several years ago I sold one of our working cow horses to a city gal from the left coast. I will call her “Boomerang.”

The horse was a true beauty with muscles and shine everywhere. This horse had all the right Lenas in its pedigree to be a star and I counted myself lucky to have him. The horse was cut late so he looked very much like a stud with a big jaw on that pretty head.

He was a little difficult to get started, but after awhile he looked forward to his training. I was excited to ride him everyday because he was as talented as he was beautiful. Just about the time I was getting him going, well, I had an accident which laid me up for a couple of years. My accident was unrelated to the horse, but it was clear I would not be riding for a long time.

My wife finished up his training and showed him several times and did quite well in the reining and working cow horse classes. However, he was not her favorite horse and she was already overwhelmed with horses to show. We made the decision to sell the pretty sorrel as he was going very well and looked like a million bucks.

This was too nice of a horse to sell just anywhere so we advertised him in a national horse magazine. It was not long before we had several calls on him and one lady wanted to come over from the left coast to see him. This is how we met ol’ Boomerang.

A shiny new, top of the line truck, with longhorns on the hood, and a decked out horse trailer pulled in with Washington State tags on it. Out hops this “want to be cowgirl” dressed in fashion style buckaroo boots and a rhinestone studded hat that would rival Nudie or Manuel. She dripped with turquoise jewelry of the Navajo version. I was beginning to think if she ran out of money she could trade jewelry for my horse. I could not wait to see her tack.

We ventured out to the training barn to see the horse and she liked him right away. The horse on the other hand was looking at her with one eye ball showing white, something I had not seen him do previously.

However, he was well broke at the time and he put up with her. I took her for a short ride around the ranch so she could get used to him a little. We rode out by the roping chutes and she wanted to know what those were. The next thing Boomerang wanted to know was if you could rope on this horse she was astride. I assured her that you could.

That was the wrong thing to say. We switched horses and I swung a rope off of this horse and even did a few rope tricks. My nice sorrel horse just stood there and went to sleep. Next we traded horses again and she wanted to try roping. I showed her how to build a loop and suggested that she try and just throw at the ground in front of the horse first. The only thing I told her not to do was hit the horse with the rope.

Immediately she whacks old sorrel and he is just giving me the evil eye. After she did it the second time I suggested that we get off our horses and try roping the dummy on the ground first until she could handle her rope better.

Boomerang informed me that she had a PhD and did not appreciate being involved with anything that was considered a dummy. I assured her that even the most intelligent ropers started out roping a dummy.

Boomerang could build a loop, but she could not swing one. It kept wrapping around her arm as she attempted to swing it. I never really had seen anyone accomplish that so many times in a row. I had kept my cool for a long time, but how dense could this lady be?

I knew I wasn’t that bad of a teacher because last week the Lions Club had brought a contingent of 11 teenagers from Japan that did not speak English. I had them all roping the dummy pretty well within an hour.

After showing her the correct way to swing the rope for the 35th time I was getting pretty frustrated. I might have said something that rhymes with “cheese and rice.”

She was shocked that I would say something like that to a very wealthy lady of stature. Needless to say, but the price of my horse just went up again.

We finally finished the roping lesson and Boomerang said she needed to ask me some serious questions about the horse. I wondered if I would have to call my vet in for this episode.

I was astonished when she asked me if the horse’s mane and tail would grow more. Next she implied she was tired and asked if we had a tack room. I could not figure out why those two questions went together. As we got back to the barn she asked me to hold her horse while she went to my tack room.

I am a little partial to my tack room and my great equipment I have acquired over the years so I was not very thrilled about this. I finally tied up the two horses and went to see what she wanted in the tack room. Boomerang was almost yelling at me that this was not a tack room.

I said well, it is a room full of horse tack, what are you talking about? Boomerang then went on to explain that the tack room at her barn had a sink, a refrigerator, a bathroom, and was tastefully decorated. Funny thing, but I thought the old Garcia Bit Co. poster and the pinup girl were quite exquisite enough decoration for a bunch of bridles and saddles. She sure was disappointed when she had to go to the house for the bathroom.

I ended up selling Boomerang the horse. My sorrel horse had stood very still while she put on his plush silky shipping boots. He was smiling at me like a Cheshire cat as he boarded his air ride trailer. He knew he would never be asked to work hard again. Pretty much all he had to do was eat and enjoy his life of luxury. Going for a trail ride twice a week would be his lot in life. The rest of the time he would be luxuriating in a vast green pasture and just have to come in for his evening oats.

The primary reason I called this left coast cowgirl Boomerang was she reminded me of when I was a kid. Someone had been to Australia and brought me back a real boomerang. I worked at it for two months before I could get it to come back to me. However, when it did it would always come from a weird angle and hit me on the side of the head. That accurately describes my experience of selling a horse to a left coast cowgirl.         n