While I was in Cheyenne having breakfast with my cousin, Tom, Miss Sugar went out to catch a horse in our pasture. We have a good system — if you catch one horse, the others follow. Instead of me helping her, she had plenty of other companions — two yellow labs and a cat.
Yes, one of our cats, Camo, likes to go on hikes with us. He also helps me get the horses. Sometimes they are a mile away. One of the horses, Woody, is interested in cats. He puts his head down by them and follows them. I worry that Woody might trample one, but so far that has not happened.
Beau, the male Lab, and Sadie, are more likely companions. It turns out that it was good they went along. Beau anyway.
Sugar told me when I got home that as she went through the gate between the small pasture into the big pasture, something stealthily came out of the tall grass. It was a coyote. It swiftly charged to within four feet of Sugar, which was very alarming, of course. Camo was walking close to Sugar’s legs and was likely the target of the coyote, who wanted to snatch the cat and run off with it. That was a frightening moment for Sugar and Camo, but there was no need to worry because the heroes were there to save the day.
Who are the heroes? Beau and Woody!
Sugar described that Beau quickly sized up the situation and ran to the rescue. The coyote had to decide whether to continue toward the cat and Sugar, or head for the hills. It chose to head for the hills, or, actually, for the trees by the river.
It did not get far into its retreat when Beau caught up and bit it on its hindquarters. It yelped and kept going. Sugar called Beau to come to her and, thankfully, he did.
Then Woody took over. Woody is a buckskin Quarter Horse from cutting horse breeding, which means he has the instinct to “hook on” to cattle as they move. Good cowhorses are “controlling,” making cows go where the horse’s rider intends. Woody, however, does not limit himself to cattle. Nor does he require a rider. Remember how he follows the cat? In another post I wrote about him chasing pronghorns (antelope), the fastest land animals in North America, and keeping up. https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/and-the-deer-and-the-antelope-play/
Woody chased that coyote right out of the pasture. The critter escaped being trampled when he ran under a barb wire fence.