RANCH HORSES by Mike Moutoux


photo ©Mike Moutoux, “Jason and Gray: holding cows
near Silver City, New Mexico,” request permission for use

by Mike Moutoux

Ranch horses lead a different kind of life
They aren’t coddled much with barns and special feed
A lean-to, some grain on days they’re working
Some new shoes now and then is all they need

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t special, not at all
It just means they aren’t a bunch of pampered pets
So, they fend for themselves when they aren’t workin’
A day off now and then’s about all they get

Don’t get me wrong; they’re more than beasts of burden
They make a ranch complete in many a way
Horse add a bit of class; a sort of equine grace
I’m reminded of this fact two times a day

Morning is the first times that I see it
As liquid light first plays along the rim
A soft nicker from the shadows and another
Tells me the ranch remuda is comin’ in

Silhouettes appear then, almost noble in my mind
One or two will glance my way as we pass
The day has just begun, and there’s your proof
That this ranch has got itself some real class

There’s something in the way they hold their heads up
A softness and alertness in every eye
You can sense the power, and yet restraint
In the way they give me room as they pass by

Evening is the other time I sense the magic
If I linger at the corrals it comes again
A thin cloud of dust above the yuccas
Means the horses—ranch horses, are comin’ in

Even on the hottest days of June and July
When summer sweat and dust streak my sunburned face
The horses file by with their tales keepin’ time
In that easy flowin’ state of equine grace

There’s a rhythm in their footsteps I admire
A synchronicity they show at any gait
So I linger now and then in the evening
A state of grace is my reward if I just wait

Now, I cowboy for all the obvious reasons
Grace and class are a just a bonus now and then
Twice a day, I look for one or the other
And find it in the horses a-comin’ in

© 2013, Mike Moutoux
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

New Mexico cowboy, poet, and songwriter Mike Moutoux comments, “The poem is just my way of honoring the many ranch horses that are hard-working integral parts of ranching. The ones I’ve ridden aren’t pampered much, love to work cattle and generally got me home safe. Some of the best hours in my life have been spent riding a ranch horse somewhere working cattle.”

See and hear “Ranch Horses” on Mike’s YouTube channel.

There’s more about him at CowboyPoetry.com, on Facebook, and at mikemoutoux.com, which includes his performance schedule and occasional “Ranch Notes.”


photo ©Mike Moutoux;, “Roger Moyers roping at the Huston Ranch, New Mexico,” request permission for use



photo ©Mike Moutoux;, “Owen Young roping at Huston Ranch, New Mexico,” request permission for use