Its long been a subject of debate as to exactly what precipitated the exodus of the Maxwell clan from Lost Prairie.
My own theory is the few successive events of the summer and fall and the ensuing embarrassment, but then again maybe Mother Nature simply kicked them out.
Not long after the Family Haying debacle, Everett decided that the old ranch needed a few horse corrals. The former owner, Laurie Loney, had simply used the 12 stall barn for his horses and the rest of the place was cross-fenced for cattle. But Everett wanted honest to gosh horse corrals, and so began the setting of the posts.
I wasn’t the first to notice, but upon hearing something that defied logic I had to go see for myself. I couldn’t quite bring myself to call Everett and ask for an invite to his place because I couldn’t come up with a good reason, so I simply got as close as I could on the county road and stopped.
There against the background of the cut pasture were some odd pointy tipped posts sticking up. Everett and his brother and cousins were apparently nailing boards to the outside of those posts.
Wait a minute! “Pointy” posts?? Yep. They had actually put those posts in the ground with the pointed, treated ends up!! Instead of using the post pounder they had used an auger and put the darned things in upside down! They must have seen too many movies about forts! The best part was yet to come.
Those of you who keep horses know the folly of nailing boards to the outside of the posts of a horse corral. Particularly if you keep a stud horse, but these boys must have been more concerned with keeping horses out and not in.
I definitely didn’t want to go discuss this with them so I went home and told Lyn about it. I don’t think she actually believed me at the time. The next time I saw Everett I did ask how he was doing with his corrals. He glared at me a full 5 seconds before barking “Fine!” at me. Evidently someone had talked to him. heh…………
Maybe a month went by before I saw him again, and this time it was at the Carpenter’s Livestock Auction Barn. Lyn and I used to go to those auctions, walk around back in the holding pens and ask a few questions about prospective horses before we went inside. We’d look for horses that had correctable problems, buy them cheap and, after correcting whatever problem there was, make a few hundred on the turnaround. Most of the time it was correctable behavior problems.
That day Everett had come to town to buy a personal “cow horse”. And he had been talking to somebody.
Someone had convinced him that a true cow horse was a buckskin. It had to be a buckskin. At that point I didn’t know this, but was soon to find out. I told him I’d give him a wave when a good cow horse came through. There were 3 or 4 decent handling horses in that auction and a friend of mine (Dick Grey, an old cowhand and horse trainer) was there and we’d been discussing a horse for Everett.
Everett paid no attention as we waved at him through three horses, and then………………… yup. A buckskin came through. Beautiful under saddle, one of the Carpenter boys put him through his paces, and he performed flawlessly. Everett was the only bidder, and I’m about to tell you why.
Cash changed hands, the horse was unsaddled, unbridled and a headstall put on him to lead him into the trailer behind that beautiful white crew-cab truck. Everett trailered his prize home, took off the headstall, let him into the large pasture and that’s the last time Everett ever set hands on that horse.
The boys at the auction had to throw that horse to get a saddle and bridle on him. Once saddled he was a pussycat, but once loose in the pasture there was no amount of oats that could coax him close enough to get a headstall on him.
We’d see Everett and the others on different occasions out in that pasture with a lead line and a bucket of oats trying to get a hand on that gelding.
Three weeks later two boys from the auction came with horses and roped the buckskin, loaded him in a trailer and away he went. Yup. A real cowboy only rides a buckskin.