For you religious types, Easter usually marks the beginning of warm weather and outdoor activities. Pagans like me and Dangerous start a bit earlier with the Vernal Equinox. Both are important events, but neither rivals the first horseshoeing. About this time of year, Dangerous is on the phone trying to schedule Shane to come and shoe Dottie and Little Guy. Shane's arrival marks the real beginning of spring for us.
You might think that shoeing horses isn't anything special. If you believe that, you need to get to know Dangerous' farrier Shane. As Dangerous tells it, he would pay Shane to show up even if he didn't need his services. Around our place, shoeing horses is more than getting ready to ride. It is a big social event! If we are in Grover, everyone gathers to join in the fun. If we are at home, up North, the group is smaller, but the behavior isn't anymore restrained.
Shane not only shoes the horses, but entertains us with wild stories, political observations, and religious commentary all punctuated with profanity. Utah Jack sometimes calls him "Shane-the-Profane" because he has developed swearing into an art form. Occasionally, Dangerous worries that his neighbors might have us arrested, but so far we have escaped the civil and religious authorities. Dangerous keeps Dottie and Little Guy in back of the house, and their pasture borders on some pretty fancy houses. Dangerous is always looking around, checking to see if some sensitive, religious neighbor heard Shane's latest comment which is usually punctuated with a bit of strong language. I suspect that nailing four shoes on an 1,100 pound, uncooperative client calls for a little profanity.
As you can tell from the picture, I actively participate in these gatherings. I prowl around just out of Shane's reach, and the striking distance of the horses. I am not looking to stir up trouble, but I am watching for an opportunity to grab some horse hoof before Saddie or Blue can get it. If I am good, Shane will throw me the hoof trimmings which are like dog candy. You don't know what you are missing. Nothing beats the musty odor and chewy texture of horse hoof.
As you can imagine, shoeing horses is a manly activity. I guess that's why Dangerous loves to plague Shane about his past. Somehow, somewhere, Dangerous found Shane's tenth grade school picture. I warned him not to include it, but he wouldn't listen to me. If Shane finds out, I am sure it will escalate the ongoing, good-natured feud between them. Dangerous keeps publishing the picture in various forms, and Shane threatens to turn Dangerous' favorite tree at the Home Place into firewood. I wonder if these guys will ever grow up? I think you already know the answer to that rhetorical question. I bet you didn't think a sheep dog could come up with a word like rhetorical.
These regular horse shoeing events seem to bring out the worst among all the High Plateau riders. I think you recognize the three aging riders in the picture above. Do you have any idea what they are doing? Spring and that first horse shoeing seems to bring out the mischief even in these old men.
Ole' Dangerous is really pressing his luck with this last picture. Take a close look at what Shane might look like when he gets to be Dangerous' age. I can tell you Dangerous doesn't look that good. Whatever you do please don't share the picture with Shane. If you tell him, please let him know that I tried to talk Dangerous out of including it. I want to continue to get my dog treats, and I think if Shane sees this picture Dangerous just might lose that tree this time. Love to hear from you!