Lyle Glass riding through Medora

-By Orv Alveshere-

A Beautiful Horse and Children’s Day
A bustling 1800’s cowtown had been lovingly restored.
Now a summer highlight, they won 2007 Visitor’s Choice Award.
Nestled below the high bluffs in the beauty of the rugged Badlands,
First populated by Natives, pioneers, cattle drovers and cowhands.
We must recall that a galloping horse was the fastest way to go
Until east-west trains arrived. But north-south routes needed “Giddap and Whoa.”
Those hardy souls endured. We honor those grandfathers and grandmothers.
Life was about horses and cattle…some years were better than others.

Visitors Invited and Welcomed to the Historic Town
Promotions and events draw tourists who have not viewed the open range,
Backtracking to the last century, leaving Interstate’s interchange.
MEDORA’S cowtown is authentic and laid back. The pace again is slow;
Parades, rodeos, horse-drawn carriages…you’ll hear “Giddap and Whoa.”
Lively Cowboy Poetry Gatherings, conventions and fabled golf course
That offers an awesome Badlands view, formerly grazed by the horse.
North Dakota’s Cowboy Hall of Fame shows riders who traveled like brothers
To compete. Some rides were bad, while some rides were better than others.

What Did They Wish to See and Hear?
The Town’s famous amphitheatre is nestled between verdant hills.
Entertainment’s great. A rider swoops down the slope, adding to the thrills.
Exiting that great Cowboy Hall of Fame, my boots touched the wooden sidewalk
When a family of four ‘motioned’, it seemed they wished to stop and ‘talk’.
The sun shone on their New Jersey licensed car. He pointed to his ‘ear.’
Those four visitors were ‘hearing-impaired’…could they find a horse out here?
They ‘read’ my lips, we pantomimed. The girls held the hands of their mother.
The young girl’s smiles showed their enjoyment. That day seemed better than others.

Cavalry or Cowboy to the Rescue?
Our friend, Cowboy Lyle made the rounds of town and daily taught a mini-course
On equines…also how to saddle, groom, feed and safely mount a horse.
Cowboy Lyle came around the corner. I waved him down, so they could see
The original means of transportation. The young girls twittered with glee.
Cowboy Lyle and his paint horse paused, and as natural as the rising sun,
Two young girls approached slowly, exchanging breaths, and that is not a pun.
How did they know? Experts use that tactic, and share with one another.
A horse wants to smell your breath. Horses like some of us better than others.

A Tender Touch and Non-Verbal Discourse 
A horse needs water, hay, space and kindness and a sense of partnership.
I saw city girls treat a horse like they were well-trained in horsemanship.
In the girl’s presence was a living, breathing horse, with colorful hair.
Lyle’s paint horse responded to the girl’s tender touch. What a day to share!
They grinned and ‘spoke’ with expressions and body language. I hasten to explain;
The horse leaned to their level. With fingers, they combed the horse’s mane.
The motioned they wanted to see the horse touched by father and mother.
A privilege to observe…some horse days are a cut above the others.

Classic Reactions on a Memorable Trip
Words inadequately describe special moments of discovery.
They eyed that paint from head to tail. Emotions ran wild, not needing a recovery.
I recalled, my children had touched horses and tractors since before school age.
Pumping water with a three-foot steel handle was their epitome of an upstage.
Cameras clicked as Cowboy Lyle rode down Medora’s nostalgic street.
The five of us watched. An awareness…only I could ‘hear’ the hoof beat!
Stagecoaches, buggies, trail rides and saddled horses are my kind of druthers.
A lesson relearned…some horse days are measurably better than others!

© Copyright 9-2008, all rights reserved. by Orv Alveshere


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.