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James: Keep forging ahead

Seems like we’ve had our share of “tribulation” – winter drought followed by summer fire – but through it all,with the help of dedicated firefighters and a slightly more generous weather pattern, the community has held together and forged ahead. Just like always.

The New Mexico Cutting Horse Association held two cuttings in July at the Sky Ute Fairgrounds, and I think it would be fair to say that everyone had a blast. As for me, anytime you combine cows, good horses and pretty girls, I’m gonna call it a success.

I took my dun horse and one of the colts I’m ridin’ and helped move cattle in and out and around. It’s great for the ponies and always sets my soul at ease.

Like any sport, there’s a level of intensity with the trainers and owners, all wanting each and every horse to have the trip of a lifetime each time they show. Since this is not always the case, it was great to see how well everyone took it, one cow at a time.

Some of the horses had outstanding showings, while others had “off days.” From my vantage point, it seemed as though everyone took it like our community has our tribulations, banding together with help and support and moving forward.

I met a man who was a retired racehorse jockey, a big time jockey, rode more than once in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, millions in career earnings, and just as nice and easy to be around as anyone I ever met.

A couple of years ago, about this time of year, with summer easing out and fall and winter on the horizon, a woman from the horse community asked me, “What are you going to do now?” The meaning being, getting ready for winter.

Not the biggest fan of winter, I’ve taken her kind words to heart and have started getting ready to have a warm place at night and in the morning. I guess there may be something to the saying, “you can’t be too prepared.”

There are lots of “doins” before the big snow falls. I think I may ease around and take a look-see.

Remember, just because my boots are dirty doesn’t mean they need a shine. And smile when you can, which is always.

Tom James was riding horses before he could walk. He currently hangs his hat in Ignacio. Reach him at outlivedthemallsofar@gmail.com.

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