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Saanichton, British Columbia 
About Ron Lambert 


Vaquero Voodoo

I ride a bay gelding,
Figure he's about twenty four.
He's still got spunk in him,
And we've had our moments for sure.

There's not much that bugs him,
Not motor bikes, dogs or semi rigs.
But we used to have a battle
When we had to go near pigs.

Now there's a choice piece of trail
That I wanted to ride on more.
But it was close to a pigpen,
With five sows and a boar.

When we'd get close to that place
He'd pick up his ears.
And start dancing and twistin,
Lettin' me know of his fear.

I used spur and quirt,
And would sweat and curse.
When passing that pen
I'd wish him dead or worse.

It always was a battle
To encourage him to go by
I used to start thinkin
Why do I even try?

A wrangler I know,
Helped me figure this out.
He said its cause pigs smell like bears,
And of this I have no doubt.

He said you need a fresh pig hide,
To put in his stall.
The horse will see it ain't dangerous,
And he'll pass any pig at all.

Well I kept that in mind,
For when the next pig hide came my way.
But the battle continued,
With the pigs, and the Bay.

Then down in Arizona,
A few miles north of Mexico.
I chanced to meet a top hand,
I figured he'd surely know.

I posed my problem to him,
Riding in the desert neath the sky so blue.
An waited with excitement,
For some secret Vaquero Voodoo.

He replied that his present mount,
Could just about do it all.
Till he saw a new Jimson weed,
By a post, when checkin fence last fall.

Well he put the brakes on
And looked at that thing.
It hadn't been there,
When they'd passed last spring.

I held my breath,
For the magic I knew was hiding.
He just said, "I stepped off,
Pulled it out, and then kept on riding

Back home with the pigs,
I gave it a try.
First sign of fidget,
I got off and walked by.

I did this twice,
and on the third time.
He just passed without a hitch,
He just ignored them swine.

The moral of this poem,
And for some It's a hard change to make.
Is that when you're training horses,
You gotta learn when to give...and when to take.

2001, Ron Lambert
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Kid Reno

"The Kid" had been a wild one since he'd been real young,
He robbed the Butterfield Stage to Tuscon, and left as fast as his horse would run.
He kept avoiding the law as he had done with out fail ,
But one slip up allowed a posse to catch him,
And landed him in Jail.

His old pa still loved him, even though the wages of sin had become his pay,
But work on the old place was sure hard, with "The Kid" away.
He'd been a wild one once himself, as a kid at Fort Flood,
And he guessed it was like horses, the wildness must, be in the blood.

Well he kept in touch by letter, and watched eagerly for the mail,
He had his problems writing, for his eyes were getting frail.
He wrote about once a month, more often made him feel kinda blue,
As he tried to run the old place, there was just so much work to do.

He dreaded springtime, the garden needed planting again,
He had depended on "The Kid" to turn the ground since a way back when.
He mentioned this in a letter, and received a quick reply,
"Dad, that's where the stage money's buried, just let the garden lie."

Well it wasn't long before, marshals with shovels came around,
They dug all day long, but alas not a penny was to be found.
The old man figured they had read "The Kid's" mail,
He wrote a letter describing this, and sent it to the Jail.

The next letter that he got was short and to the point,
"The Kid" was as smart as ever, even in the joint.
The old man was amazed that "The Kid" could still help somehow,
All the letter to him said was "Pa, go and plant the garden now!"

2001, Ron Lambert
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



True Grit

It was a warm fall day perfect for the gather,
But November gets chilly with the sun set.
He was damp with his winter coat in showing little curls
I was walking the last few miles to dry up some sweat .

The trail was well defined with bush on both sides,
The gelding knew the way home and he was beat.
With the sun gone it was dark and suddenly cold,
My hands began looking for some heat.

I'd left my gloves on the trail after Nature's call,
I dropped the McCarty over the horn.
It was almost dark and real hard to see.
I slid my hands in my coat pockets to keep them warm.

Suddenly in the trees above all hell broke loose,
We must have spooked an owl, there was an awful flap.
Well the next thing I know the race is on.
Home was near and that Bay was closing the gap.

There were monsters around and he was out of there,
Survival is different when you are the prey.
I almost got whiplash from the quick start,
Of his energetic attempt to get away.

I managed to get my hands free,
As I tried to slow the Bay down.
It took a few moments to sort things out,
It would have been a sight if anyone had been around.

That day I was reminded of simple fact,
What I figured out didn't take a lot of brains,
A word of advice for riders everywhere,
Unless your Rooster Cogburn, keep your hand on the reins!

2001, Ron Lambert
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Cowboy Coffee

They had just married,
She was a blushing bride.
He was a young wrangler,
Full of Cowboy Pride.

The new life was a challenge,
For the young city lass,
She now lived in the Cariboo.
Surrounded by pines and bunch grass.

She learned branding and tagging,
And dealing with orphan stock.
Dehorning and elastators,
And fences that gave a shock.

There was help with the calving,
And milking a nurse cow.
Antibiotics and injections,
Helping get hay into the mow.

Learning to drive a tractor,
And use the clutch in the half ton.
Learning to shoot a rifle,
To keep the coyotes on the run.

The power was often out,
And the house had its quirks.
The phone had a party line,
She learned how a wood-stove works.

But her dread was cowboy coffee,
She knew filter and hot press.
Whenever she tried to brew it,
She ended up with a mess.

She was more familiar,
With latte and espresso.
From places like Starbucks,
Where she used to like to go.

A neighbor lady stopped to visit,
While her husband looked at their truck.
It was nice to talk to someone,
As she filled her coffee cup.

The neighbor listened to the wife,
And was reminded of her past.
She offered a bit of wisdom,
To help the marriage last.

She looked at the bottom of her cup,
And gave the wife a coffee course.
She wanted to make sure that new husband,
Never, had any grounds for divorce!

2001, Ron Lambert
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Kathy's T Shirt

I can head and I can heal,
I am the real deal,
I'm, a match with the best pound for pound.
On my own I do stand,
I am a real man.
Course... my wife still works in town.

At roping I have no match,
Ain't no critter born that I can't catch,
When my loop lands they stop sound.
I can tie hard or take dallies,
I'm a Legend in the valley.
Course... my wife still works in town.

When asked if I can train any horse.
I always reply "Of Course!"
In bucking style or in pen round.
I know all the words,
To whisper unheard.
Course... my wife still works in town.

I'm a puncher of the old style,
My cowboy "stash" hides my smile,
My cow dogs I get from the pound.
Ain't a tool I can't use,
It's the lifestyle I choose.
Course... my wife still works in town.

My chili always wins prizes
Everything I cook , gives the taste buds surprises,
My culinary skills are renowned.
I can feed a whole crew,
When the pickings are few.
Course... my wife still works in town.

The only thing that ain't funny,
Is trying to make money,
And its spent as fast as its found.
But it's a way of life that I love,
And I thank the Lord above.
That... my wife still works in town.

2001, Ron Lambert
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This poem was inspired by Kathy McMillan, the better half of our Honored Guest Mark McMillan, who also runs the British Columbia Cowboy Heritage Society (BCCHS) site.  Ron sent these photos of Kathy and the shirt he presented her at the Kamloops Festival:



The Stone Fence

We were rounding up the last of the gather,
There was one last stray.
I found myself in a bush thicket,
The sorrel's cocked ears pointed the way.

Sure enough I heard something rustle,
And there was that Hereford cow.
I couldn't get a rope on her in that mess,
I'd have to nudge her out somehow.

There was this bank on the South side,
That thicket was pretty dense.
I looked at it a little closer,
And saw it was an old stone fence.

I figured this had once been a homestead,
God knows how many years before.
That had long since grown over.
As nature reclaimed the land once more.

It was not the first stone fence I'd seen,
But this one was like no other I knew.
Instead of a jumbled pile of rocks,
This one had a face plumb and true.

The mason who placed those stones,
Had been taught his trade somewhere,
And even in the middle of this wild place,
He had placed each one with care.

Each rock it had its own spot,
That was just the perfect fit.
And I sat that horse and envied a while,
The fence, and the one who had built it.

It had been sitting on that spot ,
Long before I first drew a breath.
And was likely to remain there,
A long time after my death.

I was touched by that simple scene,
And I think from time to time.
Of that nameless mason turned farmer,
And his lasting gift to mankind.

Had he raised up a family?
Were his kin still around?
Had he died feeling a failure?
Leaving this memorial to be found.

The fence had a simple audience,
A cowboy , sorrel horse and a Hereford cow.
But I was humbled by the experience.
And felt small in the scheme of things somehow.

I was moved to leave my mark in life,
To place each stone just right.
To leave my square faced fence behind,
Even if it wasn't in plain sight.

You see that pile of rocks sent me a message,
That has stayed with me all my days.
Pay attention to your horses' ears, and keep you eyes open,
For the Lord works in mysterious ways.

2002, Ron Lambert
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Ron Lambert took 2nd prize in the Clinton Cowboy Poetry Contest
 with the above poem.





16 Hands Closer to God

Now the inside of a church sometimes works for me,
But it's open country that sets my spirit free.
Don't matter if I'm riding fence or checking brands,
Cause I'm closer to God by sixteen hands.

That old Wade saddle is my pew,
The sky and the mountains are my view.
I'm at peace as the dun quietly stands,
Cause I'm closer to God by sixteen hands.

My spirit soars when we pause to rest,
Mounted on his creation I'm truly blest.
Riding in bunch grass or desert sands,
Cause I'm closer to God by sixteen hands.

I know what is right when I fork my horse,
And see the great beauty and think of its source.
I forget about my past and its failed plans,
Cause I'm closer to God by sixteen hands.

2002, Ron Lambert
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Heavenly Wind

The horse has come a long way,
In its history with man.
Since its start as old Equus,
When horses first began.

Man hunted him for food,
50 thousand years ago.
And marveled at his beauty,
As cave-wall paintings show.

Hauling carts of folk and freight,
Packing where there was no road.
Shoulder to shoulder with man,
Transport for every kind of load.

It's been a part of our world,
Companion in work, peace and war.
Ridden by soldier, cowboy, and racer,
The subject of myth and lore.

A link with something primal,
The smell of sweat and tack.
The view of the world is special,
When seen from a horses back.

The Arabs got it right,
And have held for countless years.
"Heaven is the wind that blows,
Between a horses ears!"

2002, Ron Lambert
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Ron told us:  The last line is a quote (or paraphrase) from The Koran


Read Ron Lambert's Christmas Wink, posted with other Holiday 2003 poems

About Ron Lambert:

Ron is a poet and cowboy gearmaker residing in Saanichton, BC on Vancouver Island, Canada. He performs Cowboy Poetry and music regularly on Vancouver Island, on stages and in schools, where he says: "There's not a lot of competition". Ron has a keen interest in the history of Ranching and Cowboying, which he shares in presentations, articles, and performances both in Canada and the US. His grandfather ranched in Alberta before the Depression and Ron spent 10 years raising cattle till, as he says, "I couldn't afford it anymore." Now he only keeps a horse which he says "still loses him money but at least I get to ride him!"

Ron has performed at numerous cowboy festivals such as the Kamloops Cowboy Festival, and the O'Keefe Ranch.

Email Ron at:



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