The horse. What can I say about the horse that one doesn’t already know. They’re capable of grace, agility, strength, compassion, and sometimes stubbornness! The last has a tendency to describe my guys Diesel and Dandy… some of the time!
Diesel and Dandy are black Percheron-Quarter horse cross geldings. Diesel is 13 and Dandy is 12. Now these two guys have had quite a life. They’re original owners didn’t care for them all that much, I won’t go into details because that’s not what this story is about. A friend of my grandpa, Myron was his name, acquired them because the owner said they weren’t worth it. In speaking one day Myron mentioned he had this team of horses that needed some work as their feet were really disfigured, it’s known as founder. Lavon said we’d take them and brought them here in summer 2005.
At first glance their future didn’t look all that bright but we’d do our best. Their feet were specially trimmed and we all worked with them frequently to get them back into shape. That summer we drove them in the Wasta and Wall parades and of course it was their first Artist Ride. I don’t know what it was but there was something unique about Diesel and Dandy. They may have acted up now and again, but they had spirit and character that even to this day amazes me.
In the spring of the following year it was decided to sell them, this wasn’t my decision, but I had little say in the matter. I remember watching them disappear down the road, knowing I’d never see them again. But, that was life and as much as I hated to I had to accept it. Several days passed and life went on as usual on the river. One day I spotted the pickup and trailer coming down the road and I have to admit I had a hollow stomach because I knew that trailer was empty. The trailer pulled into the yard and stopped before the barn and when the engine shut off I could hear horses stomping in the back. The door was opened and Diesel and Dandy stepped out. I was so excited and when I asked why they’d been brought back the answer was that no one wanted them. Well it was someone elses’ loss for I wanted them!
The three of us have been through a lot together, both good and bad. We’ve carried deceased loved ones to their final resting places, helped happy couples celebrate their marriage, showed off in the parades and just had fun. Well…there was that one time they decided they’d had enough Artist Ride and headed to the barn as fast as they could-that was fun!! But that’s a story for another day.
Diesel and Dandy are a part of our family, as is any horse to any horse owner. I know our lives have been made all the more exciting because of their spirit and character. Diesel is a “work” horse who will pull anything you hitch him to while Dandy isn’t quite as ambitious but he’s a card just the same! They’ve been through a lot more than some and though they are getting older they don’t show any inclination of slowing down. To my guys who have taken us through a lot and to those who love and respect their horses and everything they do to help us keep the legacy of the west alive!