Trailing the Clydes

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Every year about this time our neighbors the Griersons ask us to move their Clydesdales from summer pasture to winter pasture.

It’s not too much of a job — there are just a few horses, and they summer in a small pasture just a couple miles down the county road from their winter pasture — and my parents, longtime friends with the Griersons, make sure we get it done every fall and every spring.

The Clydes are mostly blue roan.  Once upon a time when we all were younger the Griersons and these horses were part of Eastern Montana Clydesdales.  In the 1990s the Griersons and friends raised, traded, paraded, and competed with their Clydes all over Eastern Montana and beyond.

These days, though, the Clydes are retired.  Their spend their days eating and lounging and their only real appointments in life involve us and the Amish guys who show up twice a year to trim their feet.

Last Sunday when our family moved the Clydes we took just two saddle horses.  Beau and 9-year-old Asher rode first.  They gathered the horses from down on Alkali Creek and brought them up to the county road.  Then I hopped on Beau’s horse and Emi hopped on Asher’s horse.  And my 6-year-old girl and I trailed the Clydes home for the winter.  It was pretty special.

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Can’t believe she’s big enough to be doing this.  She trotted two miles and wanted more when the job was done!

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As we rode, Grandma and Grandpa transported the pickup and trailer with the help of 4-year-old Marsi and 1-year-old Muggins.  Once the Clydes were safely delivered, both the littles took their turns horseback:

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Three thoughts here:

1- God bless Oz and Doogan (the saddle horses).

2- These little chinks have served our family well.  Beau and I bought them for our nephew, Nate, almost 16 years ago!  Nate wore them and passed them on to Asher, who loved them.  Then Emi loved them.  Then Marsi.  And now Muggins.  I sometimes wonder if people think we purposely dress our kids in chinks and spurs and hats, but I can assure you that now that we’re on No. 4, I’d be content if he wore jammies all day every day.  I promise I have no ego involved in what Muggins wears.  But he’s pretty sure he’s a little man and more often than not he insists on the whole cowboy costume.

3- Yep, that’s me holding Muggins riding Beau’s saddle.  Poor Muggins with the pink muck boots.  This is the sort of thing that happens when you’re a little man with big sisters:  they outgrow their pink outwear and it’s still in good shape and that stuff is expensive… so the pink muck boots get passed down to baby brother.  I’ve got a baby boy in pink boots and a husband who carries a purple rope.  Toto, we’re no longer in 1990s Eastern Montana.

© Tami Blake

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