A while back, somebody asked me about that bag of bones I got stuck with during the cattle drive (the drive I begged to go on for my quinceañera). They wanted to see a picture of "Dusty." I finally dug up a picture of him. Even after we'd been stuck with each other's company for three weeks, he and I don't get along too well.
See those ears? A little flicked back? That's Dusty in a happy mood. He is tolerating me standing next to him and gripping his halter. This is about as mellow as he gets.
Most times his ears stay pinned back so flat against his head that it looks like he's earless. And I am not kidding. At least his mouth is closed for the picture. Usually it's open, teeth showing, ready to nip an unsuspecting cow, horse, or human. Dusty got a taste of our poor wrangler, Flint, more than once during the three-week drive.
Luckily, I stayed out of range of those teeth most days. The only scary time was when I had to slip the bit in his mouth. But I'm fast! By the time Dusty bared his teeth to me, the bit was in, he was bridled and I was slamming a saddle down on his bony back.
No, I will never love Dusty. That dusty-brown gelding is completely unlovable. But I do respect him. He knows how to nip a stubborn cow and get it back with the herd. I've heard that Flint has taken a cautious liking to the ornery jug head. I showed him a few tricks about how to manage Dusty, and it appears that on the next cattle drive, Flint wants Dusty as part of his string (of horses).