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About Nancy Ouding





The Cowboy and the Quarter Horse

The Cowboy and the Quarter Horse -they're quite a natural pair.
There comes an instinct God-ordained--not much of self...just there.

My dad was such a cowboy. Come by it naturally.
Rode horses all his life, you know -- no other way to be.

He broke those colts -- made mean ones soft.
Sometimes they thought they'd won.
But Dad was one who wouldn't quit...--the challenge would be fun.

It sounds like he was pretty mean, but let me tell you here,
More often we were witness to one nuzzling on Dad's ear.

It used to tickle us to see the old mare backing to the gate.
Sometimes she'd back up quite a ways--
for his scratching she would wait.

Dad was out to do the chores, but he couldn't pass her by.
 "You're a good old mare," he told her.
You could almost hear her sigh.

So many different memories -- too many to write down.
But Dad,  you were a legend -- and now you wear a crown.

2005, Nancy Ouding
In memory of my Dad, September 19, 2005
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

My dad, Harold Nichols, was born in the California foothills around Placerville March 29, 1922.  He was one of 10 children, seven of which were boys.  Dad and two of his older brothers broke wild mustangs when they were young. That is a story in itself.  He shod his last horse at age 79. That was the day of his first stroke. Dad was able to live at home until he passed away at age 83, September 18, 2005.  He loved his wife, family and friends.  But his obvious first love was his horses. They were part of each other.  I am sure only other true cowboys understand the relationship that occurs between human and horse.  Dad was a great story-teller and loved a good laugh.  We all miss him very much.


About Nancy Ouding:

I grew up in the country in the northern area of the San Joaquin Valley in California.  My folks lived on a ranch and raised quarter horses.  The old mare in the poem was one of Dad's favorite horses.  She sure loved him.  We all got a kick out of seeing her react to Dad.  Any of us could pet her and scratch her, but she truly loved Dad the best.

I was lucky enough to work for and with Dad at the race track for a short while many years ago.  It was a special time for me and I am sure for him. I remarried two years ago after being a single mom for 18 years.   My dad was 81 years old when he walked me down the aisle at my wedding.   I am so thankful he was still here for that. My husband and I live about 10 miles from my folks' home. I work for the local hospital in the I.T. department. I will always love horses and tie Dad' s memory to that love.

I love to write poetry when I have some time and especially some inspiration.  There isn't enough of either when you work full-time.  My husband and I are building a cabin in the mountains and someday when it is
done I hope to have the time to do a lot of writing up there.



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