About Jody Strand
He seemed to come from out of nowhere
One day he just appeared
He'd been hired to break a string of colts
And owned nothing but his gear
He wore his loneliness like armor
And kept people at arm's length
But the colts received his heart and soul
His knowledge and his strength
His voice, his hands, a snaffle bit
Were all he ever used
No horse was ever beaten
Dominated or abused
With hands as soft as feathers
And a will as strong as steel
He trained every colt with kindness
And a love that you could feel
He cared not for reputation
Pride came from a different source
He didn't do it for the money
He did it for the horse
Like the shadow from an eagle
Or a lonely coyote's song
He touched a spot inside your soul
Then one day he was gone
He left behind a legacy
A method beyond compare
It seemed the colts responded
'Cuz they felt how much he cared
He hears a different drummer
If he could he wouldn't change
'Cuz he lives his life for horses
This horseman of the plains
© 2007, Jody Strand
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
Jody told us: One summer the boss of the ranch where I worked hired a man to break the colts.This included horses aged 3, 4, 5, and one 6-year-old that had never been broken or even halter broke. I sat at the bars of the round corral and quietly watched this man do in days and weeks what would have taken me months to accomplish, if I could have done it at all. The five- and six-year-old were a little tough. One day after he had left, I sat down and the words just rolled out of my pen. I never even had to think about it. The poem just wrote itself. What is real and true doesn't need to be embellished—it just needs to be shared.
Read Jody Strand's Shepherds, posted with other 2006 Christmas poems.
About Jody Strand:
I am from Baker, Montana and have been writing and reciting Cowboy Poetry for about 18 years. I was invited to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering at Elko, Nevada in 1990. At that time I lived in North Dakota. I lived and worked on ranches in many states and enjoyed breaking horses and working cattle. It can be a lonely, hard, back-breaking life but it's still the best there is.
Jody Strand's work is included in Cowgirl Poetry: One Hundred Years of Ridin' and Rhymin'
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