Ray Hunt died on March 12, 2009. The last of the old-time Horse Whisperers, his cowboy ethic represents a heritage derived from the ancient chivalric days of knights. Chivalry and chevalier have the same root and are the embodiment of a code of ethics based on virtue, honour, loyalty, valor, and integrity. It is not a coincidence these values are intimately associated with and named for the horse. Not all of those who were privileged enough to become knights and enter a life of service to these ideals understood the lessons to be learned from equine partners. Not all cowboys know the value of listening to the horse. Those who do are given access to the mystical world of the hero’s journey and are the richer for it.
I talked to a friend just the other day who’s got lots of opinions and plenty to say.
We discussed what we both like to see in a horse. His requirements and mine were different of course.
He likes a clean throatlatch and a long skinny neck, and prefers that their hocks are set close to the deck.
Short backs and hard feet and clean slopin shoulder, and a gaskin that looks like it swallered a boulder.
He likes a short face and a big ol’ soft eye, and says these are the horses he’s likely to buy.
And when he’d completed his lengthy discourse, on all of the attributes of the quality horse he asked my opinion, and where do I start?
And I said that I just want horses with heart. I said I want heart above all the other. I don’t care if he’s Smart Little Lena’s full brother. Or just how much money that his grandmother won, or whether he’s roan, palomino or dun.
But give me a horse with some grit and some try, and some heart and some guts and that’s one that I’ll buy. And I’ve found it’s the same with a woman or man; the good ones won’t quit you when the shit hits the fan.
by Monte Baker