Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

Crown Point, Indiana
Patti Leininger



The Auction Barn 

They gathered at the auction barn
On Wednesday ever' week.
Some came jus' to socialize
For others twas a buyer's retreat.

They'd amble about and view the stock
Check out the hay and straw.
Chat and ramble on with some friends
That they routinely saw.

Then grab a bite of lunch
At the auction barn cafe.
And get ready for the livestock sale
Presented there that day.

The smell of buck goat hung on the air
And its pungence covered the crowd.
As the old men sat in bleachers
And the auctioneer's song rang loud.

Some would nod or scratch their nose
Or holller out real loud
To get their bid acknowledged
O're the buzzin' of the crowd.

And when the sale was o'er
They'd bid their friends adieu.
Yep, they'd be back again next week
For the weekly rendezvous.

© 2002, Patti Leininger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

The Color Breeder

I shor do love those colored horses with the blankets cross their hips
Or those leopard colored appys with the mottled skin and lips
All that wonderful color, unique unto the breed
Makes this Indian pony a very special steed

Each year I plot the matings that will produce that special colt
The one with conformation, plus the spots upon its coat
I wait and dream eleven months of what that foal will be
And faithfully enter my unborn beauty in the next futurity

At foalin' time I keep a watch out o're the mare each night
A dreamin' of that special foal with that "blanket of delight"
Anticipation fills my nights as I await the birth
Ya see a colored foal is preferable 'cause ya'll get your money's worth

Her time is near as I enter the barn, the mare is lyin' down
She gives a groan and with one last push the foal is on the ground
Eleven months wells up inside, my smile turns to a frown
The sack just broke an' I got my first glimpse an' Oh...that colt is brown!

© 2004, Patti Leininger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

We asked Patti how she came to write this poem and she told us: My inspiration for this poem was our barn manager at our clinic.  He raises Appaloosa halter horses and each year he breeds for a beautiful colored foal. Each year he gets a brown foal. It's come to be a way we poke fun
with him. This year he came in telling of the new foal and we all asked if he got color and he again told us of another brown foal and this was the result of his story.

Mare TV

Here I  am, it's January an' I'm watchin' mare TV
Sittin' on the edge of the bed, 3 a.m. and tryin' to see
Just what that mare is doin' out there in the barn
Waitin' for her to foal and watchin' so she won't come t' any harm

Sometimes I check that monitor and squint with all my might
T' see if she's just layin' there or if tonight's the night
Sometimes I watch that screen, an' sure as I can be
Figure she's done had that foal---that shadowed spot I see

Out I rush an' she's just standin' lookin' back at me
Nowhere in that stall is there a foal to see
It's just the shadows an' my eyes a playin' tricks on me
So I wander back to my bed and watch more mare TV

© 2004, Patti Leininger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Patti told us, "My husband is a veterinarian and we get mares to foal out at the clinic. This poem is the results of the nights we spend waiting for the mares to foal. While the camera helps a bunch from the nights we used to make many trips to the barn when we couldn't see what they were doing, it still isn't great on nights when the TV reception is poor."


Ponies and Cowboys

Years of memories crossed his face
As he watched the old pony lie there in place
His fiber and hers wove together by time
As he watched what might be the end of the line

She'd been there forever
She was older than dirt
And to watch her this way
Just plumb made him hurt

She'd taught all his children
And baby-sat friends
And whenever they needed her
He'd go get her again

She was part of the family
A life long friend
There'd ne'r be another
Like her again

But cowboys are tough
They're not s'posed to cry
Still it tugs at your heart
To tell an old friend goodbye

© 2002, Patti Leininger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Patti told us, "This poem was written about a dear friend and a pony his family had owned for years. 'Dolly' had taught all his children to ride and had been at the fair more years than the children she taught. She was one of those special ponies that did her job and was in high demand. She'd been through several families, moving to a new one when the kids were too big for her.  The summer before she died, she had been retired in grand ceremony at the fair at the age of 31.  That fall after the fair she colicked and I witnessed the loving bond between her and her family and how a special pony is so hard to say goodbye to. 'Cowboys and Ponies' was the result."



Hay Stack Rock

Evenin' time at Hay Stack Rock
There ain't no prettier sight
Take your Bible and your whiskey
Sit there for a mite

Watch the sun set in the west
O'er the pond below
The painted sky in muted pinks
See colors fade and glow

There comes a revelation
A man can feel so small
As ya take in God's creation
Man don't exist at all

The sun goes down
The moon comes up
As ya sit and meditate
Moonbeams dance off the water below
Ya know it's getting' late

Yet ya sit there caught in the rapture
Of His amazin' grace
You know that you belong here
In this Kansas prairie place.

© 2006, Patti Leininger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Patti told us, "My husband and I participated in the Great American Cattle Drive in Ellsworth, Kansas this past September. It was to promote the National Drover's Hall of Fame Museum. On the drive we camped below Hay Stack Rock. I spoke with a cowboy at camp that night who lived in this area and talked about his experiences at Hay Stack Rock. Sometimes a phrase in a conversation lingers in your mind and returns as part of a poem. This was the case here, coupled with the beauty of the prairie."



Future Cowboy Poets 

They were future cowboy poets from Elko Grammar 2

Wide-eyed innocence, strawberry curls, eyes of brightest blue

They met the task, wrote their poems, were coached in presentation

Folks assembled in the gym in hopeful hesitation

In boots and hats each buckaroo approached the stage in stride

Some performed without a hitch, others stood there, petrified

Helpful mentors supplied a line when memory denied

Cameras snapped and parents beamed as they swelled with cowboy pride

They came, recited, conquered, grabbed the future by the horns

They were future cowboy poets that snowy Elko morn

© 2006, Patti Leininger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Patti told us: Our first visit to the  Western Folklife Center's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering was in 2008. This poem came as a result of our visit. I was so impressed by the community support of this venue. The children's art exhibit, and the children's poetry and music made such an impression that this Gathering was for everyone. Watching them perform and seeing their families support them touched my heart. The children are the future of this art form...


Old Cowboys and Young Horses

He’d raised him from a colt
Now he’s old enough to ride
He knew he’d be a good’un
He could see it in his stride

The time came for his trainin’
The old cowboy sent him out
Figured he’d save some hide
If a trainer broke him out

Now it’s time to go and try him
This young diamond in the rough
He could be a little flighty
But the ol’ cowboy was tough

He watched him in the pen
As the trainer loped him round
The colt had been there 60 days
He looked solid as the ground

Come on in and try him
Ya can ride him in this group
The cowboy climbed on up
Threw his leg across his croup

The colt had made a lap or two
The cowboy filled with pride
But he’d not checked the girth
Before steppin’ on to ride

The maneuvers started quickly
The colt, he spun about
The girth began to slip
The saddle headed south

The cowboy scrambled to stay upright
The colt began to dance
The cowboy took a digger
He didn’t have a chance

The ground was unforgiving
The cowboy clutched his side
He hobbled to the fence
With wounded cowboy pride

Some said they could hear him
As he grumbled soft and low
“Shoulda left that damn colt
Till he was old and slow”

The moral to the story…
If ya want to save your hide
Don’t mix old cowboys and young horses
You’ll hurt your cowboy pride

© 2013, Patti Leininger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Patti told us: This was written at the request of a friend about a mutual friend and his recent experience with his horse. This was a poetical way of poking fun with another cowboy poet.


Read Patti Leininger's

Jingling in the Horses in our Art Spur project



Learnin' the Ropes in our Art Spur project


Dear Santa with the 2008 Christmas poems




  About Patti Leininger:

I was raised in Danville, Indiana on a small hobby farm.  My folks weren't farmers but we tried our hand at it while us kids were growing up with a smattering of livestock. While in college at Purdue, I met my husband Larry. He's a large animal veterinarian doing primarily equine work.  We have a farm and clinic in Crown Point, Indiana and have raised Quarter Horses, Paints and Standard breds.  In raising our three children we've also included sheep, rabbits and an occasional goat. I became acquainted with Baxter Black's poetry and took a creative writing class and found that people enjoyed hearing about our lifestyle through the poetry. I've been writing ever since. Most of my poetry centers around our daily life activities and observations of our connections.



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