Aggie Trail Ride

I am starting to make plans for trail rides on our place this spring. We have lots to do. The winter storms and floods made a few of our trails impassable. Some are still under water. Then, there is the brush problem, as branches and vines have grown across trails and will need Sallie’s talents with her patient ‘ol pony and her loppers.

A few gates need to be rehung, lest they remind riders of the Yorkshire gates described in “All Creatures Great and Small.” Of course the main variable over which we have no control is the weather.

Trail riding in Texas is a big deal. Some are highly organized, like the Saltgrass. Most are far less so, and consist of groups of friends, their horses—and beer. Usually things go well, if you consider going well a minimum of falling off horses, refusals to cross streams, and horses sticking feet in gopher holes.

The reward at the end of the ride is usually barbecue, and if your group enlists one of the many “low and slow” cooks, really good and juicy barbecue. Like Carl says, every country road crossing has a barbecue pit, and not just a few churches also have permanent pits. But, I digress!

I remember my dad telling about a trail ride he hosted in Welborn ( Webern). It was a bunch of A&M profs, including Nat Keefer, and B F Yates among others. It was probably in the late sixties. They were all saddling up at the barn. Dad was just “viztin’“ with B.F., and while Yates was tightening his cinch his stirrup sweat leather was flipped up over the saddle. Not knowing Yates very well, dad asked if he had been riding long. At first BF didn’t answer, then when he flipped the stirrup leather down, dad read the inscription carved into the leather, “Champion Calf Roper 1956”!

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