When I was running my traps last Friday
morning, I came smack, head-on (whoa!) into not one but two trail
rides coming down Hwy. 90A with several hundred cars stacked up
behind them. I should not have been surprised because I had seen
the Vangard earlier in the week at the local laundromat washing
washers full of blue jeans and saddle blankets.
There has sure been some change in trail rides
since Iíve been working them and riding in the final parade
through downtown Houston. The riders I saw Friday were all decked
out in bright yellow rain slickers and the horses and wagons
looked real wet. Plus it was still raining off and on. Looked like
real good candidates for some of that sheet plastic and duct tape
everyoneís been buying lately.
Some of those early wagons didnít have any
plastic on them. When it rained they got wet, real wet, and if you
have ever tried to saddle a wet horse, you know about wet.
On one of those early trail rides, one of the
wagons lost a mule, I mean that it died, right on the trail. Since
you have to clean up your campsite, they loaded that dead mule
into one of those wagons and carried on as if it happened every
day. Business as usual on the trail.
In January, I saw a picture of my niece Sarah,
petting a horse on the nose. She had on a life jacket. Since I
knew that my brother now had horses instead of cows on his place,
I gathered that Sarah had been rowing a boat in the lake behind
her and stopped on the way to the house to pet the horse.
I asked my brother, jokingly, if Sarah wore a
life jacket when she rode horses. His quick reply was that, "She
doesnít have a helmet." That blew me away.
Can you imagine Roy Rogers leading a posse
across the screen with helmets on? Looking like refugees from
Motorcross? or Dirt Bike Devils? All the romance and glamour of
the "Ten-Gallon Hat," trademark of cowboys since the beginning,
down the tube? Gross!
Some things must be kept sacred or the next
time I run into those Hwy. 90 trail rides, the riders will be
sporting yellow helmets to match their yellow rain slickers.