R A N G E R

1968 ~ 2007

Owner - Peggie "Redhorse" Kimberlin

        

         

RIDING RANGER

1968 – February 18, 2007

by Redhorse

 

RANGER wasn’t just any horse; he was one of those horses that they stopped making 30 to 60 years ago. He had the constitution of a buffalo and the inside nature of a lamb. Purchased through a Sheriff’s sale in Midland County, he was thought to have come from the Scharbauer Ranching interests.  Though his past was unclear a few facts did surface through a gentleman working for the FDIC. RANGER was a rogue, wild stallion running with a herd in New Mexico until he was five (5) years of age. Cowboys decided to make him a working horse and he was gelded. The process of breaking him and making him a working horse put a suspected number of 5 cowboys in different hospitals.

 

When I acquired RANGER, I named him. His history implied he’d been on the range awhile. The most obvious sign that he didn’t want to be ridden at first was his “cow kicking”. As soon as you reached for the rear girt strap, he’d try to kick you. An aged farrier friend, Tex Wilson, advised me to kick RANGER in the stomach “as far as your foot will go” precisely at the time RANGER tried to cow kick me. The timing was crucial. The second time it happened, the timing was perfect, and not once more did RANGER try to cow kick when being saddled. As he figured out no men would be riding him, we made a wonderful team.

 

RANGER and I have probably ridden more Texas than some Texans have seen (West Texas, The Panhandle, South Texas, North Texas, Central Texas, East Texas plus circled it all in 1986). We rode all the trails at Land Between The Lakes, Kentucky. In 1990, we crossed the state of Wyoming (from Ft. Casper to Cody) during their Centennial. It took 30 days, and we were outriders for a beautiful red stagecoach with a six-up team of spotted Appaloosas out of Iowa. (This was a “no support vehicle” event; my clothes were in Elmer Stockton’s (Safford, AZ) Chuckwagon and my food in Chap Paulson’s (Las Cruces, NM) Gypsy Wagon. All wagons were authentic; no rubber tires. All I had to worry about was my tent, saddle and RANGER). We enjoyed riding trails in Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico through the years.

 

Where horses the last 30+ years are being bred for looks, grace or size, RANGER was bred from the old range stock. Where younger horses race for the barn when it’s lightening or thunderous out, he’d casually graze along; with not a hint of stress or fear. When a “newer model” horse gets a little thorn in their side or leg, they might display exaggerated pain or trauma. RANGER almost bit about one-third of his tongue off when we bottomed out on one hill and promptly started up another. He never gave into it. In fact, it was probably 6 months before I even knew of the damage. His attitude was always like that of a quiet, proud and silent older man. If another horse or animal aggravated him, he’d squeal and stomp the ground one time. That was always sufficient to let them know how he felt. He’d tolerate Mammie, our resident goat, to share his stall or rummage for dropped food near his trough. When he wanted solitude he’d just grunt or make an “Ump” sound and Mammie knew to scoot along.

 

RANGER represented 27 abused horses in one of the original Dr. Elizabeth Rohr cases by showing up at a hearing in Southlake. Beside him tied to the trailer, was a white poster board that said, “I’m 30 years old and this is what a healthy horse should look like!” Several television stations noted his presence and he and his message were on the news.

 

The arthritis in RANGER’S hips required me to shoulder the offside when the farrier came to trim his feet. It was most obvious on his last day that he couldn’t get up after a welcomed roll. I’d vowed to him and myself that I’d never allow him to suffer or endure less than a normal lifestyle. Every critter on my place knew what was coming, and has grieved since. They are counseling each other by staying close to each other and sharing the days.  Mammie actually laid on RANGER’S resting place a few days after he was gone.

 

Thanks to my friend, Betty Straten, for loaning her beautiful black gelding, Midnight.  He helped all my critters deal with their grief.  Midnight shared their pasture for seven months.

 

Ranger's Memorial Horse Hair Pot

  ODE TO RANGER

If you've spent a lot of your life on horseback, riding trails and feeling free,

then you'll understand the wonderful bond between my horse, Ranger and me.

 

His name came in part from a now defunct riding club that surely knew no strangers...

a western wear store in Midland sponsored the High Chaparral Texas Rangers.

 

Where did Ranger come from?  Why was he so roughly treated, you ask? 

Well, only some of his life is documented, but here's what I know of his past.

 

One day I was introduced to a man, who worked for the Midland F.D.I.C. 

He'd just been transferred to Boston and had this horse he wanted me to see.

 

No, this horse wasn’t a foreclosure, as by now you may have guessed,

in fact, this poor horse was found abandoned, hungry and approaching death!

 

It was reported to the Sheriff, official notice posted of a horse being found...

but no one claimed him and for expenses incurred, this horse was put on new ground.

 

For six months this horse ate properly, was vetted and doing okay,

but tied to a post, in a small backyard, isn't life on the "range", let's just say.

 

The day I first met him, my doubts jumped up pretty high...

I'd just sold another gelding, cause I damned sure wasn't ready to die!

 

My Arab/Quarter mare, Dana, was at the stables, 4 years of trying to win her to wagons...

I felt I was ready for this gelding, as the mare's lessons were really saggin'!

 

I rode him that first day, down the alley and into a pasture used for dumping...

it was okay that we didn't really trust each other, but he acted like all he knew was plow reining and jumping!

 

His color was beautiful bay, his eyes the sweetest dark brown...

and if not for his Roman nose, he'd surely be wearing a crown!

 

In the next couple of days, I went by to see him being ridden, eating or just standing at the end of the line...

I went by one more time to see if he'd trailer and that's when he became mine!

 

Off to the Big Bend Country, the three of us did go...

could Ranger handle trailriding better than Dana or would he prefer a full scale rodeo?

 

Dana dragged herself up the embankment; nearly going into the Rio Grande...

Ranger wanted badly to follow her and holding him back took a firm hand!

 

They stabled together for nearly a year, greater friends as the days rolled by...

only thing was when Dana would say "Jump!"…Ranger would ask, "How high?"

 

Dana's bad examples and Ranger's memories of his past, it wasn't hard to see...

I'd keep one or the other, there would be 2 of us, not 3.

 

Off to Tennessee went Dana, traded for a very nice saddle, some boot and some tack...

we both were sad for awhile, but I knew Ranger and I were on the right track.

 

We started right off learning what the other expected...give a little take a little and a list of special tricks...

and as time went on, we developed new habits and eliminated those ugly cow kicks!

 

A couple of years passed and more of Ranger's past came to be known...

he'd been a stud his first five years and lived on pastures out in New Mexico.

 

Cowboys tried to control him, several using some pretty rough treatment...

I guess they learned you don't use force on Ranger cause in the hospital they went!

 

Now, I've told you where he came from, now I'll tell you where we've been...

Boy, the miles we've traveled; some of them again and again!

 

To Big Bend we've traveled 10 years now, from Canadian to Perryton a total of seven to Joshua and Cleburne five and one year to Winnsboro; sakes alive!

 

We were Wagon Master back in '89, leading the wagons down around Goldthwaite...

Ranger really proved himself and even learned some new gaits!

 

We've enjoyed helping celebrate Centennials, both for State and City...

from the one in Canyon, Texas to the big one in Wyoming back in '90!

 

Thirty days we endured the weather and badlands, from Casper to Cody, you see...

the BLM controls 75% of Wyoming, so the other 25% is bound to be pretty!

 

We've ridden the mountains and logging trails in other states,  

Land Between The Lakes in Kentucky and Mill Creek in Arkansas were great!

 

Lake Ray Roberts, Lake Grapevine, Decatur Grasslands, and even Ft. Davis to Pecos!  

If you're not accustomed to roughing it and taking a little heat, you'll not want to go with us.

 

We've got rides pending, some near and some far, even as we speak...

we'll be gone from a few hours right up to a couple of weeks!

 

Without Ranger, his wisdom, patience and strength would be much more than a little sad....

trailriding would loose its joy and pleasure for he's not only a great mount...but the best friend I've ever had!!! **

 

Ranger developed arthritis in his left front elbow; the discomfort put him in semi-retirement…

While he was the “king” of Kimberlin Kennel Ranch, to Tarrant County Sheriff Posse parades we still went.

 

Family and neighborhood gatherings were made more fun riding a horse…

and Ranger was up to the task to take the kids, large & small, of course.

 

He welcomed Cody, a younger trail horse, to join his kingdom; a pasture mate was good…

Five years of sweet memories passed and Charlie moved in; standing where Cody once stood.

 

As Ranger’s late 30’s approached, his hips and joints were taking a toll…

His quality of life was being challenged and it was becoming dangerous to roll.

 

On February 18, 2007, Ranger showed signs of pain and Guidance from above were made clear…

Ranger’s rewards were waiting in Heaven, and it was time for his soul to leave here.

 

The loss of Ranger was felt by all the critters and humans at Kimberlin Kennel Ranch…

eased by great memories of him in our lives, we all gave sincere thanks.

 

** 1997 – remainder added 3.30.07