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Runaways

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Saddletramp

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Just got off the phone wiyh my good buddy and we were swapping stories about using horses to feed and put up hay.(One of my favorite subjects) And I was reminded of a story that happened to a good cowboy I worked with once.....


Mack was feeding ear corn with his son-in-law and a team of leather mouthed blond mares. Now Mack would run about 160 lbs. soaking wet with his pockets full of sand. The son-in-law would have hung up on the rail at about 300 lbs.If he was gutted. Mack was driving the mares while the youngster shoveled and all went well untill they got done and ol' heafty let the scoop shovel clatter to the bottom of the wagon box. The mares left. Mack didn't want the kid to get hurt and the big boy took up so much room that Mack shouldered him off the wagon. As he turned the horses in a circle Mack figured the kid would have got to the fence. No, as they were coming around the kid was just getting up and was bent over brushing off his knees. The neck yoke took him right in the butt. Ran the full length of him and danged near high centered the wagon on him.


Mack said "I couldn't get around him, He was an axe handle wide and I thuoght the dumb kid would have had sense enough to get up and out of the way." The son-in-law acussed Mack for pushing him out so's he could run over him.
 

Jinglebob

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Had to post this for Saddletramp.

One spring when I needed to do some fencing, I hooked up the team to a light, little wagon that I had made out of the running gear of an old model A car. It was kind of a flat bed with low sides and a spring seat that was barely attached to the floor of the bed. It had springs on the seat and also on the frame of the wagon, so it was pretty smooth to ride across rough pastures. I hadn’t used the mares for a spell and they were pretty frisky! My oldest son, Tyler, who was about 7 or 8 years old at the time, went along with me. We had went around about 2 miles of fence, when I found a spot that needed quite a bit of work. I left the lines hooked to the front of the wagon and the team could get their heads down to graze a little bit. There was a pretty good patch of fresh grass, so the mares were pretty content to just stand and wait for me to get my work done. As I worked, I would look over at the team once in awhile, to check on them. Tyler was standing on the ground watching me and the team. I was driving my last steel post when I noticed that Tyler was trying to say something to me, but I couldn’t quite hear him, over the noise of the post driver I was using. I quit driving the post to see what he was saying and I heard, in a very calm and unworried voice,”Dad, your teams running away.”
I had my back to the mares as I worked, so at his words I whipped around to see them just as they turned a corner and run into a fence! They bounced off the fence and were at a full run, before I could move. I started running after them, hollering,”WHOA! WHOA!”
They were headed for a corner with a crick angling across it, with lots of big sandstone rocks, up on the edge of the crick. I was hoping they would stop and if they didn’t, at least hoped maybe they would veer off away from the crick. On every bounce, the wagon took, I could see some fencing supplies fly thru’ the air. I suppose under different circumstances, I would have enjoyed watching the sight of a bucket of fence staples flying thru’ the air, shining in the sun, and spilling all over the pasture, but at the time, it wasn’t amusing!
They didn’t veer off away from the crick and to this day I don’t see how they negotiated the turn at the bottom and around the rocks. I wouldn’t have took a saddle horse where they went, and at a dead run! When they came back into sight, they were pulling a flatbed with nuthin’ on it at all! They had even managed to lose the seat!
Now they were headed south, up a long sloping hill. I’m still running along behind them feebly trying to holler, “WHOA”, but I’m sure that they couldn’t hear me. I could barely hear myself, by now. Running ain’t my long suit! If God had intended for me to walk or run, he would have givin’ me four legs instead of two. That's why I ride and drive horses. Their better equipped to handle a pedestrian life.
As the mares reached the top of the hill, they were almost at a walk. I put on a renewed effort and thought maybe they would stop. But it wasn’t no use. They took off down the other side like a run away truck. The further they went the faster they was goin’! They were headed for another fence and I hoped it would stop them and was sure hopin’ they wouldn’t run thru’ it and get all cut up. They didn’t.
They seen the fence comin’ and slowly bent back to the west and was headed for home. I chased them damn mares about two miles, hollerin’ and cussin’. When I was almost to the house, here come my wife, in the pickup. I was so mad by then I wouldn’t even stop to talk or get into the pickup! I stomped on into the house and there was my good ‘ol mares, standin’ in front of the barn, waitin’ for me to unhook them I guess. I looked them over and they were fine and they hadn’t even tore up the wagon or harness or nuthin’! I got them unhooked from the light wagon and hooked on to another wagon, with a metal runnin’ gear and metal tongue and used a metal neck yoke, cuz’ I was figurin’ on trainin’ them mares to stop when I said “WHOA!”
I started back across the pasture to get all the things that had been spilled and I’d barley whisper “whoa”, real quiet like, and then try and jerk them over backwards with the lines, that run to their bits. By the time I had done this just a few times, when you even started to say “whoa” they’d drop their tails and set up like calf ropin’ horses! We got all the stuff loaded back into the wagon and in the next few days, I started to see the humor in the situation, which was a good thing, cuz if I’d have stayed as mad as I was, my wife would have divorced me.
I never did have any serious runaways with them mares, but after that they damn sure knew what “WHOA!” meant.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Great stories guys, last spring my son wanted some of his senior pictures taken with his team. I said I would come back in and help him as soon as i got the seed drill filled for my daughter. well he couldn't wait and started to hook up by himself and the old girls got a little ansy, a line hooked over a hame and he had a runnaway in his grad suit with the lady photographer trying to get out of the way. Oh well they settled down and he got some nice pictures for a keep sake and no one was hurt.

Back in the forties hay was being put up here on the ranch with horses of course . They were using a buck rake to make stacks and one team was fighting the nose fly real bad. A fellow working for my grandfather ran up to the teams head and just as my grandfather yelled to come back a horses head caught the fellow under his chin and my dad as a very young man caught him in his arms as he died. Dad and another young hired hand had a long night sittin up while grandpa went to get the corner as they did want to go past the corpse in the living room to go up to bed.
 

Northern Rancher

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Geez how many runaway stories do you want from chuckwagon country lol. A funny one was in the early days these guys were hauling hay of the meadows when they stalled out their team. Well for some reason they decided to light a fire under them -literally-well it unstalled them enough that they pulled the load of hay over the fire and burnt the whole deal up. As we'd call those guys up here-DUMB SMART lol.
 

nr

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A fellow told me he witnessed a runaway wagon in Amish country near here. The horses were moving fast down a hill and another man noticed it, ran a tangent which got him to the side of the wagon at which point he flipped himself sideways, did a shoulder roll onto the bed of the wagon and crawled up between the horses for the reins.
I wondered when he told me this if it could be possible. I'd like to believe it though it surely sounded risky.
Any comments/ thoughts?
 

Northern Rancher

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nr that was superezekial the amish superhero-he wears a black hat a beard and a dark suit lol. I got an old friend in wolf point used to hook up colts drive out in the open and pull off the bridles just to see where they'd end up.
 

nr

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So NR (not to be confused with nr- one of us needs a new handle but not sure which of us admits to seniority)
So NR- are you stating it is probably just a story? And why on earth would your friend just let the team run away? I'm missing something here... :?
 

Northern Rancher

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He just let them runaway to see where they'd end up lol. Kind of extreme sports Montana style. The wildest thing though was when they reenacted a cowboy/indian fight at Meadow Lake Stampede. They set fire to the wagon but the reach burned through just as they hit the infield-the rodeo clowns were knocking indians off there horsesand the indians were using ball peen hammers for tomahawks. Somebody roped the rodeo presidant and dragged him a half mile around the track. By the way alcohol was involved lol.
 

Northern Rancher

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BMR you know the old guy I'm talking about he's Linda's Mom's second hubby-imagine that booze and wagon drivers back before drug testing it used to get realllllllll western up here lol. Those old steel barrels you didn't just squish flat like now a days.
 

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