And no, I have no idea if the bartendress ever knew that that mule was named after her as sort of a tribute to her. In fact come to think about it, I never asked if it was a reflection of her personality or not. Naming a mule after an bartendress can be taken either way. She was either very nice, or a jackass.
But after considering what the horse looks like, it's habits, it's temperament, it's behavior, or even where it's from, then one should keep in mind that that name is what other folks will call the horse. I mean you wouldn't want people to have to call out to "Mammoth Hay Burner Who Throws People For Fun." So instead names like "Mac" are used. It helps when a rider says "Whoa Mac" or "Come here Mac!"
I was told that it was not good to change a horse's name. First, it is not good because it confuses those working with the horse. And second, it confuses the horse.
All in all that's true unless of course the horse has a name like "Jerome," or "Julius," or "Othelia," or "Woodwind," or "Lacy," or say "Marcel." In that case I'm sure even the horse can't stand its name.
My horse Murphy is a gelding and the lady who owned him before me called him "Lacy". I'm sorry but I just had a hard time telling folks that I was going to ride my boy Lacy! After all, he wasn't a San Francisco horse.
And besides, Lacy didn't fit him. You see after I bought him, there was one problem after another for a while there, so I thought about one of Murphy's Laws. The law that says "whatever can go wrong will go wrong," so I named him Murphy.
Yup, he became Whatever Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong Murphy! And he's been Murphy ever since.
He was my horseshoer and good friend, and he wasn't happy with his Arab mare. But for me, I couldn't understand it since she wasn't a bad horse. Besides, she had papers and a bloodline that wouldn't quit.
To me, other than being in heat everyday no matter what, she was a sweet little horse. Typical Arab small pretty face, about 14 and a half hands, grey, and really not as high strung as some Arabs. And I looked at it this way, that even if she was a little flaky now and then, if she did have the bloodlines that my friend said she did than why not breed her out.
I had no idea why he didn't want to breed her to someone who'd like to extend their bloodline. For whatever reason, after a few years of owning her, he wanted to take her to the Turlock Horse Auction.
So because of that, along with her outstanding conformation, it made me wonder why he wanted to dump her at the Turlock Auction.
Some refer to the Turlock Horse Auction as a "Killer's Auction" because some of the regular buyers there are looking for horses to turn into dog food. My opinion of the place hasn't changed for year. As far as I've always been concerned, it was definitley a "Buyer Beware Auction."
So along with me and my friend who needed my trailer to get his mare down there, my kid brother from Hawaii was up here visiting, and he went with us.
He does a lot of Rodeo. He knows stock and cowboying pretty good, so it was great to have him along. And like he said, "You never know what you'll find that someone is selling. There are prizes and surprises. Hopefully you buy a prize and not a surprise."
When we got to the auction, my friend went over and take care of business, while my bother and I decided to check out the local horse flesh up for sale. I was not there to buy a horse. I was just the driver delivering one.
But as everyone knows, cowboys at a Horse Auction have to see what's being sold. It's sort of like taking your wife shopping, there's no guarantee she'll just look at the things she doesn't have on her shopping list. There is just too much temptation.
My shoer pulled me over to where he was standing just so that I would take a look at the horse, and even my brother who was standing there said, "Brother, that's the horse for you!"
I said "I saw another horse over there ...," but they wouldn't hear it! They were convinced that this was the best horse at the sale. This was the horse that I was looking for to give my horse Murphy a break.
He was about 15.2 hands, and he was being ridden by a 13 year old girl without a problem like there was no tomorrow. And looking at the horse, I have to say that I couldn't help but agree with my friend and my brother. He was built like a tank.
So even though I really wasn't in the market for another horse, once the Auction started, I wanted that horse!
Well, I got him. And once the paperwork was done, I went outside to load him. And yes, he loaded great. In fact, he trailered great and rode quiet all the way back from Turlock which was about 3 hour drive.
Once I got him home, he handled like a charm. Talk about proud cowboys, I think our hats were way too small for our heads. I can say with certainty that at that precise moment that there was no better Horse Traders in the entire U.S. of A. And yes, all the way home, I heard nothing but how good they did picking out this horse.
The next day I put my saddle on him and we went out for a short ride in the nearby BLM land. A nice easy ride. Nothing hard to handle, especially for a horse built like this guy.
During our ride, he was a little blowy. But other than that, he worked fine. After we got back, I put him up and since I was busy that day with other things to do. I didn't work him anymore and later only fed him when I fed everyone else.
Since the horse had no name. I figured that I really should find a nice name for this great looking Red Roan. Beings that he has some red spots on his rump, almost an Appy sort of markings that looked like a shotgun spray pattern, I thought I'd name him "Buckshot."
Great huh? I thought so at the moment. When I was a kid, there was a horse that was named "Buckshot" that was a real nice horse. It was horse on TV in one of the many Westerns that used to be all over the tube back then. Of course being a Cowboy Shooter, I figured Buckshot would be a good link to that as well.
The next day, my shoer friend came back out to shoe Murphy. While we drank coffee with my brother, my friend went on and on about the horse that he picked out for me. My brother, not wanting to be cut out of the at-a-boys wanted his share of the credit for my purchase.
I just grinned and laughed. Told them about taking him out yesterday and how it was. The coffee was good and I loved it all.
That is until we walked over to where I had "Buckshot" tied and found him breathing fire as I tried to reach to untie his lead rope. He reared back and became wild eyed and crazy. He spun away each time I reached for him. He tried all he could to pull free.
My shoer friend, who not so secretly always wanted to be a Trainer, said, "I'll sack'em out!" But the horse was crazed! Turning he fired kick after kick at my friend, until my friend gave up out of fear.
My bother said, "Oh man, Tommy, you been took! Look what you bought! He was drugged!"
My friend looked at me and laughed, "Wow! You picked a rank horse Pard!"
Out away from trees and anything else, I put my left foot in the stirrup and then just as I was about to throw my right leg over ... he blew!
This time he bucked over to some water-pipes, and stomped them good before heading for my lower well pump house. Yes, I really thought he was going to take out my pump shack. But instead, he headed toward my creek.
In the blackberry bushes, he was slowly calming down. Finally, he just stood there nostrils flared and breathing heavy. I slowly walked over to him and reached for his lead rope, then took it and lead him over to his pen.