«- Previous    Next -»


Any excuse will do to get a cowboy to saddle up and go somewhere. He’ll cross unthinkable canyons and climb unbelievable mountains for the slightest reason and be glad to do it on the shakiest of horses. But asking him to make tracks for no reason at all is like asking a soldier to charge into battle without any bullets.

A cowboy will never ask for a raise if he’s spending his company time ridin’ while taking care of ranch chores. But just ask him to saddle up and make some tracks for no reason at all and he’ll probably be looking for the next place of employment by sundown. Cowboys aren’t the most serious souls but they’ll face grizzly bears before they will be made fools of.

They’ll charge across terrain that looks like a moonscape for the slightest reason but just try to get him to lope in circles for no reason at all and you’re liable to hear some unladylike terminology. There’s something about teaching a horse to go somewhere in a straight line that builds character and I think it does a lot for a man also. It’s a job, a purpose and adds reason to the project at hand.

Nothing worse than meandering through the given task and stumbling across the landscape not knowing where you’re going to put your next step. Kinda like asking a lady to dance and you’re doing a two step but the band is playing a waltz. You had better get with your partner if you expect to complete the dance. Riding has a lot in common with a dance in that it’s all about timing and getting in step.

I think riding gets a little bit more confusing as a horse has four feet on the ground and a man and a woman have only two apiece. I think both are a worthy endeavor and it would be hard for me to decide which I enjoy the most. A good fiddle and some Texas swing is sure hard to beat with a beautiful lady but I’ll give equal credit to a sure footed pony crossing a piece of rough desert under an early morning sunrise.

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 Makin’ Tracks

  1. Diantha Gray on July 22, 2010

    The cowboy life could be enjoyed by all if we were willing to let go of the material things and appreciate God’s country. Mike’s way of life brings him more enjoyment than money ever could.