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wrangling the herd at sunrise – dverse

June 17, 2014

horses in the mountains

Sunrise in the mountain,
Just the hint of winter cold
Boots clump up the path to the corral,
Each breath a short lived ghost
All the other riders tucked in bed
Or fiddling with their morning fire
Just waiting for the herd.

Horses hear you coming, know that soon
You’ll find the herd, their solitude
Kept in – painful separation ends
But first they nicker and nuzzle up
Eager for that treat hidden inside a denim pocket.

Brush ’em down, walk them in circles
Just to let the kinks out of a cold horse
Wouldn’t do to have her rodeo up
Three quick jumps and, ahh that feels better
She’s ready now.

The cinch is snug, a quick step up
Time stops, there’s that instant
Where you feel that energy, that indecision
And then she steps out down the trail


From → dverse, poetry

  1. Wonderful. I connected with this though my life now and my plans are a universe away. Still I remember my days in Colorado..riding into camp and washing my hair in the mountain streams. Those were great days.

    • Oh yes, those streams will certainly wake you up – what a great vision it leaves me with.

  2. Beautiful! A part of my dream’s past.

  3. Ah, that is a different world you showed us here.

  4. You did well in creating an atmosphere, Bill. As a kid, I loved horses and wanted to work with them. Now I teach English, not quite the same.

  5. sounds like you have quite the love of horses. There is something about that crisp almost-winter air that makes any adventure that much more “adventurous”.

    • yes, I am a big fan of horses. Not much of a rider anymore, but I can sit at the corral and talk comfortably to people who might never give me the time of day. That’s their wonder.

  6. Perfect timing. The rodeo is coming to town, with the city slickers cattle drive arriving tomorrow. I love horses but am not a rodeo fan. Lucky enough to live in a mostly rural area with horses just across the way. I haven’t ridden in a long while but sometimes just imagine cantering bareback across the fields or the beach.

  7. Love this! I especially liked “Each breath a short lived ghost”! Wonderful!

  8. totally not a horse person… except for maybe now… I’m convinced

  9. oh nice… some beautiful cowboy romantic in here…. always wanted to ride a horse but somehow it never happened

  10. Glenn Buttkus permalink

    For most of us your world is only a place for us to visit, through movies, books, the media; or if we are lucky, we might have a friend or relative with a ranch, and we will get close up & personal with a horse or two; incredible poem, intense sense of place, or your world; thanks.

  11. Jennifer G. Knoblock permalink

    Beautiful job of painting this scene–the wide-open space and yet the intimacy.

    • thanks – there’s few things like an early morning ride as the sun comes up – and the horse trembling with energy and expectation. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. “But first they nicker and nuzzle up / Eager for that treat hidden inside a denim pocket” the lines…

  13. Each breath a short lived ghost

    … What a delight of a line! This poem really took me out there with you and your horses – I could feel their velvet noses nuzzling me! A wonderful way to start my day!

    • sometimes we’d go in the corral and the horses ( as long as you didn’t have a lead rope to catch them ) would lower their heads, and expectantly step toward you hoping for a treat. Words just don’t quite tell how magnificant that moment is.

  14. Oh, you have me wanting to be there too.

  15. What an experience on those horses out in the wild.. A morning out there can be quite cold – and starting a horse sound like a wonderful experience.. Soon I will leave for my versio pm of the wild.

  16. now that would be rather amazing…out in the wild…riding the range…guiding the herd…just the living outdoors…i did it for a year right after college….lived outdoors year around…cooked everything over an open flame…the food just doesnt taste the same…smiles.

    • well, we sleep in a cabin – but the horses in the picture, a couple are ours and in the early morning the horse just quivers under you –

      Sounds like you got a year of good survival skills

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