Slow Down and Smell the River (cont.)

Please forgive me I seemed to hit the wrong button.


There was no Wi-Fi or cell phones.  You actually sat around the campfire and talked to EACH other.  No vides players in your vehicles, IPads or Smart Phones.  With all of these things missing in life one would actually slow down and smell the river.  We  fished.  We swam.  Made rope swings.  Most importantly, we talked.  Yep I know it is hard to believe.  I enjoyed those days immensely.  Those were the days my friend…… those were the days.


I challenge each and every one of you to put the toys of modern technology down and go to the river.  You don’t need to have a boat to enjoy the river.  Go out and wet a line.  If you don’t like to take the fish off the hook then just don’t bait the hook.  Build a fire or better yet camp on the river bank for the night.  Most importantly relax, clear your mind and close your eyes and listen to the creatures of the river and………… smell the river.

All the pics above are on the Bourbeuse River in Missouri and were taken with a $99 camera.

Slow Down and Smell the River


My chariot awaits me!  I used to have a bass boat capable of speeds up to 70 mph.  Fished a lot of bass tournaments.  Won some lost some.  Always rushing to be here or there.  I look back and realize I really missed out on the beauty of the lakes I fished.  It saddens me now to think of all the magnificent scenery that passed me in a blur.  I can remember in some tournaments there were as many as 100 boats.  Everyone in a hurry to get to their secret fishing hole.


Then one day I discovered the versatility of the Kayak and then the longing I had to be on the river again.  When I was a kid growing up we always camped and fished on the river.  Being on the river reminds me of those laid back glorious days.  Life was simple and family was important.

Paddling up and down the river my mind drifts back to those days.  I can smell the campfires and taste the fish that we cleaned and cooked.  I remember my grandparents camping with us and those marvelous meals my grandma would cook up along the river bank..  Awww life was sooooo good back then.

….and God Created the Rivers

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It was a beautiful morning in September.  A cold front had moved through and eased the heat of summer.  I all ready had the kayak loaded in the truck along with the fishing gear.  I was like a kid the night before Christmas.  I couldn’t wait to partake of drowning Canadian Crawlers.  I just knew that the fish had to be biting.

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I had set fifteen limb lines the night before and baited them at 10 pm with raw shrimp.  The anticipation of what could be on the lines was really beginning to have its way with me.  I cranked the ole diesel over and ……I was off.  I arrived at the 1-44 US 50 boat ramp at 5:30 am ready to go.  For all of those of you that know me and know I am no “morning glory” yes I was as surprised as you are right now.  As I backed down the boat ramp the weatherman at KHITS announced that it was 47 degrees.  At that moment I was very glad I had loaded a sweatshirt in my gear.  After about 20 minutes I shoved the kayak of the boat ramp and started working my way upstream to check my lines.


I finally arrived at the first line and……………….nothing!  I brushed off the disappointment, put my big boy panties on and headed up river to check the others.  Finally I noticed when I approached the seventh line the tree limb dancing the” happy fisherman dance” and the line was moving.  I got a pretty nice cat off it.  Probably close to 3 pounds.  I ended up catching 3 mores catfish.  Probably a gross weight of 12 pounds.  The good Lord had blessed my lines.  I thanked Him for my catch and moved on to do a little tight line fishing at which I caught two drum.

The fog lifting off the water was beautiful.  I admired God’s work and was so thankful that I could see and smell and appreciate it.  I was fishing below a riffle and a six point and a 4 point crossed the shallow swift water about thirty feet from me.  First the 4 pointer then about an hour later the 6 pointer.

After about two hours I regretfully headed back to the truck.   On the way back I saw an old doe with probably last years fawn and this years fawn cross the shallow water in front of me.  Such grace and beauty.  Life is good.

The Beautiful Bourbeuse River and Relaxing


Some day I would love to publish a book of Bourbeuse River pictures from the beginning to the end. I love the Bourbeuse.  The last couple of weekends it was very good at delivering catfish for the freezer.  I bet they will taste real fine about January.  When on the river I get lost in God’s beautiful creation.  The river has been low this year but like they say  a bad on the river is better than a good day on the job.  It has also produced several drum. small mouth. large mouth and spotted bass for me.  I have seen deer, turkey and lots of ducks.  A kayak or a canoe us the perfect vessel for this river.

Things Not to Say to YourFarrier

Sorry his feel are a little Muddy.

He always leans on me like that too.

I don’t understand why the shoes don’t stay on,  He was just done 12 weeks ago.

I’ve never picked his feet up but he seems gentle.

It doesn’t look like he is leaning from here.

Can we shoe him in the arena?  When he rears in here he hits his head on the ceiling.

if my shoers ribs weren’t broken he could have shoed him.

I know it has been a long day.  That is why I saved the worst for last.

No he has never been shod before.  Nobody can pick up his feet.

I know he doesn’t stand but he is good on the trails.

Just shoe the hinds I will shoe the front.

Do you charge less for minis?

Now for a little cowboy wisdom.

Don’t squat with your spurs on.

What Have We Done

As a farrier I get a lot of windshield time. One of the things that amazes me is what we have done to quarter horses through breeding. I dream of the quarters of yesteryear. The horses with big bone, good feet and built to do their job. I see halter bred horses that go 1400 pounds and 16 hands with 00 feet. They should be in at least a size 3. Why have we bred these horses that way?
We breed good stallions to crooked legged, cow hocked mares and expect to get well conformed foals. I have seen ill mannered mares bred in hopes of getting color. I could go on all day but I think you get the picture. Then we wonder why there are so many unwanted horses.
Breeders really need to start thinking about what they are doing. Start using good breeding practices and restore all the good characteristics that were found in the old foundation horses. I shod a 10 year old gelding the other day that was 15 hands and actually took a size 2 shoe (most horses that size wear an 0 size shoe) and he had big bone. Kind of sad he has been gelded.
Think of the horse like a house. You need a good foundation to build the house on or you are going to have a lot of problems. I think that is why we have so many injuries in horses today.
Hopefully the quarter horse breeders will wake up and start breeding to bring back the foundation quarter horse characteristics to the breed. That is my hope any way. Just my two cents worth.

The Things Farrier Hears

Phone rings this morning and on the other end is a lady who has bought her first horse. Congratulations are in order, I thought, so I say so. She informs me that it is a two year old quarter horse. She bought it for her daughter. Now I should have asked at the point how old her daughter was but a gut feeling told me I really didn’t want to know. Sooooooo me asks her if the horse stands for the farrier. She says she doesn’t know because it apparently hasn’t been trimmed before. Then she adds that her nor her daughter can pick its feet up to clean them and it has never been ridden. Now folks you can call me a “wuss” if you want but I think most of my farrier buddies will call me smart. I proceed to tell her that I wasn’t interested. She says “I thought that was your job.” I said no ma’am my prices are for horses that stand. I explained that if I train them it is $350 a month. She said that seemed like an exorbitant amount of money. I said if it kicks me and breaks my femur that would cost me a lot more than that. At that point she hung up on me. I love my job!

Another Day Goes By

Well the weatherman did his best to reassure us the rain would stay to our southwest. Problem is he should have convinced the rain. Showed up for the first appointment and Miss Kate was as prompt as ever. There was a drizzle in the air and a couple miles back it had been raining pretty hard. Kate and her family have just moved in to their new digs and haven’t got their barn built. So we agreed to reschedule for another day.