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About Ted Risberg




There'll Be Horses in Heaven 

If God grants ol' cowboys all their last wishes,
There'll be horses in heaven, an' streams full of fishes.
There'll be fat cattle grazin' in lush, verdant, valleys,
An' the towns'll be stocked with sweet Suzies an' Sallies.

All the bulls'll be gentle, without any horns'
An' heavenly cactus won't have no thorns
The holy remuda! Chockfull of good stock!
Like ol' Poco Bueno an' the great Joe Hancock.

You'll find Leo an' King, still a-standin' at stud,
Saint Francis, the wrangler, knows the best blood!
Why---he'll have bands of fine broodmares, all running free,
With the purtiest babies you'll ever see.

An' down at the round pen, the world's best-ever hands'll
Be a-breakin' out colts marked with all the top brands.
Like the Bell, an' the Mill Iron, an' the XIT,
An' the Pitchfork an' the Sixes an' the ol' Lazy D.

The Linderman boys an' Canutt'll be there
To watch Casey ride Necktie, now that was a pair!
An' at the Pearly Gate ranch, hands won't work but one day,
That leaves six days off to party an' play!

There'll be ropin's an' cuttin's twenty-four seven!
Just like you'd expect in a real cowboy's heaven!
You can ride Little Pep ---- or rope with ol' Coop,
An' never loose a cow or throw a bad loop.

So---buck up ol' Waddies, it ain't over yet!
Don't let the downside of agin' cause you to fret.
There's a really good spot a-waitin' up yonder,
No more sweatin' or pain, no more worries to ponder.

Your ol' friends an' sweethearts are lookin' for you,
An' this cowboy's certain, your ol' horses are too!
So-o-  if God grants those wishes-----the way I been a-sayin'
You best get out the Good Book --- an' spend some time a-prayin'

2004, Ted Risberg, all rights reserved. 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Ted told us: I guess by the time one reaches my age, most folks have had a few thoughts about the hereafter. Those of us that haven't ever been without horses, naturally ponder this question. As I've grown older I've watched my ol' cowboy an horsetradin friends move on to the big roundup in the sky. I believe they've found greener pastures, an' surly the Maker in all his wisdom wouldn't provide green pastures without good horses an' cattle to graze on them.



Read Ted Risberg's The Ol' Man In Red, posted with 2006 Christmas poems.


About Ted Risberg:

I was born in Wisconsin in 1932.  After the war my dad, an adventuresome ex-cavalry sergeant who participated in the transition from horses to tanks, bought a small general farm.  We had a small herd of cattle and a few horses. At that point, about age 12 as I recall, horses and livestock became a passion that stayed with me through the years. It wasn't long before Dad, in search of a more exciting life, sold the farm and joined the U.S. Border Patrol. We moved to El Indio, Texas on the Rio Grande just across from old Mexico. I hired on as a ranch hand, working for Tommy Cameron east  of Eagle Pass, in Maverick county. I reckon that's when I took up my cowboy ways. Tommy and I were the only gringos on the outfit, the rest being vaqueros from across the Rio. Those ol' boys were sure-enough hands. Though our communications were somewhat limited, speaking a mixed-up border Spanglish, somehow things worked out. A few of the older men served as my mentors, teaching me much of what I know about horses and stock today. I reciprocated by riding the broncs and fresh colts in their strings.

From there I joined the Air Force, got married to a Tennessee beauty, and served a war-time hitch in Korea. Eventually, we scrounged up enough to make a down payment on a small stump ranch in northern Minnesota, near the Canadian border. After fifteen years of hard work, baby sittin' 200 momma cows through long cold winters and pulling big  exotic calves on balmy below zero spring nights, h igh interest government loans and poor cattle markets brought that dream to an end.

Wal---like they say,-------"Once a cowboy - Always a cowboy!"  So I took what cash I could salvage from the ranchin' wreck, and the horse savvy passed down from Dad and those ol'  vaqueros, and went to trainin' and tradin' horses. That adventure worked out pretty well, and kept me fed, housed, well-mounted and occupied right up into old age. Then, one bright sunshiny Colorado mornin', feelin' like I was about thirty, I swung up on a neat little son of a Hancock colt an' ended up head first into a steel corral gate. It was during the ensuing weeks of coma, semi-consciousness, drugs and  rehabilitation, that I took up poetry. I haven't yet found a cure!

Anyhow, to make a long story a little longer. We sold the Colorado place and me an' the Tennessee beauty moved to our present home, a little rock an' cactus rancho on the desert along the Rio Gila in southeastern Arizona.


  Ted told us about his recent book:

Sammy Sunshine and the Sinister Sheik is a tale of high adventure set in the foothill country of Colorado's Rocky Mountains. The reader is introduced to a refreshing cast of All-American heroes. Sammy is joined by his horsetrading grandfather, Ted Talltalk; Don Prettyhawk an Apache wrangler; and Prince Albert the talking magpie. During a horseback trip to ancient cliff dwellings, Sammy and his grandpa encounter a group of terrorist villains, led by the Sinister Sheik Iahm Alooza. Our heroes are held captive but come up with a brilliant plan, and the tables are turned. In the end, Sammy Sunshine, Prince Albert, and Prettyhawk save the day.

The book is in full color, and very well illustrated by the talented Colorado artist, Matt Cambell.

The book is available from Amazon.



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