Runaway Horses Kept From Appointed (Seeding) Rounds
Montana Mustang Had a Messed Up Mind
When we read the quote, “A time to plant and a time to reap,” we pause to think
And are reminded of seeding going smoothly and yet, some days out of sync!
Some wild horses and runaway teams while seeding have been subdued by skill.
We ‘get a kick out of’ rare instances of mishaps with a horse-drawn drill.
For centuries grain was seeded by the broadcast method, scattered by hand.
It was for the wild birds, also, an ideal feeding time, while seeding land.
Horse-drawn drills were invented and later it was a tractor-drawn field day;
Now, air-seeding forces seed into the ground with never a runaway.
Runaways/Runarounds/Roundabouts Were a Genuine Hoof-Da!
Training draft horses was a serious and repetitive human task;
Most horses gave remarkable efforts to what the trainers did ask.
For years, millions of acres were seeded by a human and a four-horse team.
He stood on the back of the drill dropping kernels of grain in a planting scheme.
Sometimes the bored driver would walk behind the drill and mostly downhill,
For exercise or diversion, during those long hours on a horse-drawn drill.
Sometimes he’d run out of seed at the far end of the field to his dismay!
It took an unproductive trip for seed, but better than a runaway.
Guidance System For Four-Horse Team/Upsetting Applecarts?
In spring seeding, a “prime” team of work horses would find themselves far apart,
With two horses inserted between them, perhaps a pair of green upstarts.
The two dependable horses were the “guidance system” that was needed.
The “inner two” could be green-broke, but, warnings needed to be heeded.
If the “inner two” were rank renegades, or an exasperating pair,
Or a “night-mare” or buyer-beware, it could often lead to despair!
And lucky was the driver, who had two great, well-trained, teams to make his day;
Compared to the driver who took chances and then got “carried” away.
Neither Borrowers Nor Lenders (of Trouble) Be/Loggerheads
Four well-broke and well-trained horses, in cadence, pulling at the homesteads
Was a perfection sight to behold. They looked like four precise bobbleheads.
The skill of the two teams and the teamster could perform many miles or rounds.
The rhythmic sound of 16 hooves and harness chains were gratifying sounds.
But speaking of exasperating dunderheads, blockheads or knuckleheads,
There’s that ever-present accident “going to happen” a driver dreads.
Bringing not a question of if, but when, and yell to everyone “Gangway!”
When the equine misadventure occurs and then becomes a RUNAWAY!
Mare, Mare, Quite ContrarE/Exasperating Renegades
An old wooden four-horse drill had discs to break the soil and flexible spouts
And metered gears to drop kernels into the ground on preplanned routes.
Two “inside” horses were blocked in by poles at each end; and it was a chore
Before hitching them to back them over the two neck yokes, and those four
Blockheads could act up like the Keystone Kops and stand, obstinately out of reach
Of the two eveners. He’d shout, “Move, you Rascal,” or some figure of speech,
While trying to hitch three tons of powerful draft teams that, rubbed the wrong way,
Gave them an inclination to head south. In other words . . . a runaway!
Of Course, the Horse Has A Mind of His Own
The grain drill rolled more easily due to tall, five-foot, wooden wheels, steel clad.
The teams pulled in harnesses from hames on a collar on a sweat pad.
Standing on a platform in back, drivers could guide them on unplanted ground.
Teams would rest while seed was shoveled into the drill. Later, they were homeboundWhen the field was finished or at sunset. After days of horse-tail views;
Chores awaited as their arrival coincided with a chorus of “moos.”
Tomorrow’s repeat of hitching and hooking front poles and the disarray
Of teams disliking “closeness” brought the possibility of a runaway.
Going in Circles/What Goes ‘Round, Comes ‘Round
Not Broke? /Desertion? /High-Tailing It?
Perhaps the gifted teamster overestimated his training skill
Or the challenge of a wild Montana mustang could be a personal thrill?
If that “horses patoot” ever achieved a green-broke stage, that was a stretch.
He resented touch. He’d nip butts, back away, refuse to budge, here’s the catch.
There’s the sketch of that bad actor, as part of the drill team. He was a pig in a poke;
He made the team skedaddle, stressed the outer drill wheel until it broke.
An outside horse threw its head and hooked the bridle while being led astray.
The mustang and three unwilling partners-in-crime performed a RUNAWAY!
Heat, Downpours, Horseflies, breakdowns and Attitudes = Exasperation
That Montana mustang was a classic example of a negative horse,
Who refused to assimilate anything worthwhile from the harness course.
He resisted anyone’s touch. He’d stand on hind legs in defiance,
And despised the harnessing process like an everyday non-compliance.
He disliked: saddles, bridles, waiting around and being late for a meal!
He could eat, drink and make road apples. His greatest asset was “eye appeal”
He had an attitude, not a warranty. His reputation far and away
Surpassed previous renegades when he took off . . . starting a RUNAWAY!
Wheeling and Dealing/Lost Wheel and Last Wheel
Intrigue clouds judgment. Training mustangs wouldn’t be a feather in his hat.
Woebegone? Yes, they were gone! The driver stood there looking at
A four-horse drill team going in a circle. He waited till they came by.
The driver climbed back on the drill and made them stop, those “catchers in the wry.”
The soon-to-close village hardware store had one wheel left. So the last drill wheel
Replaced the lost drill wheel. That day, you might say, Dad would “wheel and deal.”
Thank you for following my true horse tail, from my play-by-play of horseplay
Of a stand-up driver, who’s stood-up by a mustang . . . and a RUNAWAY!
©1995, Orv Alveshere, all rights reserved
Orv Alveshere, an award-winning writer of humorous cowboy poetry and stories, “grew up hanging on a horse.” He writes about his lifetime of adventures.