OF HORSES AND MEN, by Jay Snider

sniders3photo courtesy of Buckles & Bling Photography

OF HORSES AND MEN
by Jay Snider

It’s been told of good horses lost
In simple words that cowboys use
He dern sure was a good one
He’s the kind you hate to lose

He’s the kind you could depend on
In the river and the breaks
In rough country and wild cattle
He’d be the one you’d take

His efforts weren’t ruled by stature
With him you’d finish what you’d start
His limits were governed only
By the dimension of his heart

His expectations were simple
Merely fairness from a friend
But when he’d feel the need to run
It’s best not to fence him in

Pure poetry in motion
As across the plains he’d fly
A tried and true compadre
In a seasoned cowboy’s eye

His courage was unmatched by mortal men
From conquistadors to kings
Cowboys sing his praises
At roundups in the spring

Ain’t it strange how thoughts of horses lost
Mirror those of men passed on
And though they’ve gone to glory
Their spirit’s never gone

Sometimes simple words seem best
When final words we choose
He dern sure was a good one
He’s the kind you hate to lose

© 2003, Jay Snider
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Third-generation Oklahoma cowboy and rancher Jay Snider told us:

The inspiration for this poem came to me on December 7, 2002. I had to put down a little bay stud that we owned for near a dozen years. Cancer had invaded one of his kidneys and the vet gave him little hope. It truly was a sad day for us. I remember telling my wife and sons, “Doc sure was a good one. He’s the kind you hate to lose.”

That same day, I had been asked to do a poem at an old man’s funeral who lived north of where we live. He was as good a cowman as ever came out of our country. After the service, his eldest son said to me, “Dad sure was a good one. He’s the kind you hate to lose.”

I could not get those words out of my mind. I started this poem that night; however, I could not finish it until March 19, 2003 when we received word that Larry McWhorter had passed away. Then it came to me what I had been trying to say all along.

Jay is appreciated as well for his fine reciting. Enjoy his rendition of Sunny Hancock’s (1931-2003) “The Bear Tale” in a video from the Western Folklife Center’s 2011 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Find more about Jay Snider at CowboyPoetry.com and and at his site, jaysnider.net.

Jay Snider and Ernie Sites are the featured performers for the forthcoming Sunny Hancock/Leon Flick Memorial Cowboy Poetry Show, in Paisley, Oregon on July 26, 2019. Kathy Moss will emcee and The Jody Cooper Band will also perform. The popular event raises funds for a local cowboy crisis fund and scholarship and honors the memories of Leon Flick and Sunny Hancock, two late, beloved Lake County cowboys and poets.

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This photo at the top of this page of Jay Snider with his son and grandson is courtesy of Buckles & Bling Photography, specialists in rodeo and family photography.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but for other uses, please request permission.)

Sunny Hancock/Leon Flick Memorial Cowboy Poetry Show

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The annual Sunny Hancock/Leon Flick Memorial Cowboy Poetry Show in Paisley, Oregon, is held in memory of Lake County poets Sunny Hancock and Leon Flick and raises funds for a local cowboy crisis/scholarship fund.

The 2016 show takes place August 13 and features poets Chris Isaccs and Jesse Smith, who were long-time friends of Sunny Hancock and Leon Flick.  They appeared with Sunny Hancock as “The Cardiac Cowboys.”

See a Lake County Examiner video report of the 2015 show here.

Find more about the show on its Facebook page.