I use my horses daily as part of my job. That can be great, and at times, it can be a challenge. For all of us: me, the horse, and the public. Sometimes people don’t know what to expect…and neither do I.
KC is a little paint mare who loves to work- she just loves to go..anywhere, any time. “Just point me, dad!” And she is so gorgeous that people just love to see us coming… Most people. Most people want a picture, and kids always say “Can I pet her?”
We were on the South Platte River contacting fishermen on a stretch of river that is prime trout fishing. It’s all fly and lure only, catch and release water, which means that the fish can only be caught with a fly or a lure, not with bait. And, all fish must be returned to the water alive, unharmed, and immediately. That means that the water is normally teeming with trout, and the grow big there. The “Fly and Lure Only”, “Catch and Release” regulations mean that only a certain type of fisherman frequent the area. Actually, two types. First there is the illegal type, who come to take advantage of the fishing, and go home with a large, illegally taken fish. But most are legal types, who enjoy catching a lot of fish, and releasing them unharmed. It’s not uncommon to hear of fishermen catching 100 large rainbows in a day.
This is a really nice ride, the river meanders through sandy soil, great for riding, and the bugs are not too bad up until about July. A leisurely 2-3 hour ride, good for everyone involved. Most of the time.
Last summer we picked a nice warm day to take the ride, and sure enough, the parking area was filled with Lexus’s, BMW’s, and even a Hummer. The folks who go in for this type of fishing, the self-proclaimed “Elite” fishing crowd, can afford the best. That includes fishing gear. I think some of these folks wear gear that’s worth more the all the vehicles I own. The fly rods alone sometimes go for more than $1000.00 Nice stuff, but I wouldn’t know the difference, personally. They all look the same to me. How do they look to a horse? KC knew, I guess.
As we completed our ride, we saw a couple of fishermen whom we had missed, heading back to their Porsche SUV in the lot, and they had walked through the gate as we approached. I rode KC to the fence, and they walked over and said hi, and ask me how old “he” is, meaning the mare. Sometimes I think KC understands and is actually offended at being called a ‘he’. Especially when I correct the gent, and he just shrugs it off like it’s not worth acknowledging. That really offends KC.
The guy was bragging about his fishing success, and the quality of his equipment, his skill, his vehicle, and anything else he could think of, as fishermen are known to do, thnking he was impressing the Game Warden. I was not impressed. Neither was KC. It got a bit old, in fact, since I hear the same story about 10,000 times a summer, and since I don’t partake of the sport, at least not at that level, I can only yawn with boredom, and wonder if maybe that is all some folks live for. KC is getting agitated at all this and the guy keeps waving his $1200 fishing rod in front of her nose. I ask him to please don’t let it hit the horse. He shrugs me off with arrogance, and keeps on talking and bragging. The rod keeps waving around the horse’s nose. I checked his license and get ready to hand it back to him, when KC just reaches down, and opens her mouth and bites the rod in two! Just like it was a piece of grass. Then chomps. And Chomps. And spits it out. The guy just stares at me, and then at the horse. What do you say at a time like that????
Me, I just said “have a nice day.” Did a rollback on the hindquarters, and trotted away.
“The whole thing is pretty funny if you pretend you don’t work for the outfit”
Sign on my office door:
“I can please only one person per day.
Today is not your day.
Tomorrow isn’t looking good either”