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A loose MC_20100205_0004.jpglatigo can turn a rather simple ride into an extreme event. Mr. Horse starting out fresh and full of energy steps on an unfastened latigo. He thinks that someone has come out of a hole and kicked him in the belly. Mr. Horse is quick to take offense, as he is looking for an excuse to unload Mr. Cowboy, so he can make a dash back to his buddies in the remuda. Mr. Cowboy better be ready, or get ready in a hurry, he’ll need to do some fancy riding because there’s a good chance this cowpony is going to step on that latigo again! When he does, he’ll be throughly convinced that someone is running along underneath him kicking him in the belly and he can’t see him. So Mr. Horse will be doing his best to out-jump and out-kick this thing that’s under him.

Sweet talk, nor hollering and screaming, usually doesn’t help at this point. It’s best to just take a deep seat and enjoy the ride. This is where the contest begins and it doesn’t end until either Mr. Horse runs out of wind or Mr. Cowboy gets bucked off and the cowpony escapes back to his buddies. Another good reason for the cowboy to learn how to ride under extreme conditions. Cowboys, Cowpunchers, Buckaroos, Gauchos, and any other nomenclature you have for the individual who finds himself a horseback tending to bovine in the cattle industry have one thing in common; they’re all tough enough to get the job at hand done and they don’t quit until it’s done. Costumes, uniforms and get-ups don’t have anything to do with the man who gets the cow worked. The terrain and equipment at hand determine the methods.

Mike Capron is a featured columnist for High Minded Horseman. He’s a veteran rancher, award winning western artist and professional cowboy. You can usually find him horseback somewhere out in the Chihuahua Desert of West Texas; working his livestock, painting and living a life we all dream of.

Comments for Loose Latigo

  1. Larry Francell on May 17, 2010

    What Mike is not telling everyone about “Loose Latigo” is that his painting by the same title (and shown here) won the Best of Show at the 2010 Trappings of Texas exhibit at the Museum of the Big Bend. Congratulations Mike.

  2. Judy Greer on May 19, 2010

    Congratulations, Mr. Capron! I’m so glad our family has met you and yours. See you at Fiesta!