Baxter Black: Max and Brake Job the horse
Horses and cowboys go together. There are occasions when a cowboy and a horse are spoken of as one. In the heavenly world of cutting horses, Buster Welch and Little Peppy shine on each other. Charmayne James and Scamper are carved into PRCA history by winning the World Champion Barrel Racing buckle 11 times. We could also include Trigger and Roy, Seabiscuit and his trainer Sunny Fitzsimmons or Robert E. Lee and Traveler in this list of well-known horse and rider combinations.
And when you get in the shallower end of the pool there are up and comers who might someday be associated with that one horse that put them in the spotlight.
Max was trying to put a little polish on a 4-year-old gelding he’d given two trailer tires and $350 for. He had an opportunity to show him off. Max was a wrangler on a trail ride. Nate was a pretty good horseman. He came on the ride every year. He owned several tire, muffler and brake shops in the city.
“Nice lookin’ horse,” he said as Max sidled up beside him.
“Thanks,” said Max. “He’s just four and comin’ along good; gentle, easy to catch, got a little cow in him.”
“Is he for sale?” asked Nate.
“Oh, I don’t know. He’s gonna make a good one. You outta see him comin’ out the box…I’m thinkin’ he’ll make a great team ropin’ horse, maybe reining even. He’s not just pretty, he can do it! But, I guess if I was gonna sell him, I’d be lookin’ at fifteen hunnerd.”
“Whattya call him?”
Max opened his mouth, but all that came out was a “WHOOOA!” The un-named horse had bogged his head and pitched his rider up on the horse’s neck! Max lit on his back in the trail but still held a rein in his hand, “Look cool,” he said to himself. “…look cool.”
After the commotion and everybody was back in the saddle, Max remarked that he might consider an even thousand. He calmed the horse down and was convincing Nate that the horse really had potential.
“Watch this,” he said. They were crossing a ranch road. An electric company truck was parked along side with the door open. The cherry picker was run up the pole. The whole rig was painted yellow. Max eased the pony up next to the open door. “See,” he said. “You can take him anywhere.”
At that moment, Max’s horse wheeled, and went to kickin’ the door like he was tryin’ to kick the shoes off his feet! It took a while to recover from the incident. Max straightened the saddle, gathered up the reins and mounted.
“I guess I could come off that thousand a little,” offered Max.
Nate said, “How ‘bout I trade you for a brake job?”
For the next 6 months everywhere Max took his horse trying to sell him, he knew his chances were less if the prospective buyer said, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of him. Brake Job, right?”