Miles City is still in Montana*

I just saw the video below and am trying to give it some publicity. It is ostensibly an interview with Miles City writer, rancher, and horseman John Moore about the Miles City Bucking horse sale, but he touches on the strange way that difficult life skills have been transmuted into (often expensive) play.

When he talks about the “fire” being bred out of today’s horses I can nod,  knowing that European and city breeders are trying to do that to my tazis. He introduced me to the eye- rolling term “pasture ornament “, for a horse that just stands around,and looks pretty, about like Libby’s “supermodel dog”. He know all beings are best off with the right work to do, unlike the show salukis of the woman who once said my dogs must be mutts because they had muscles.

Read, smile, shake your head, pass it on.

* When Libby was leaving Bozeman 20 or so years ago I was ranting about idiots there to the owner of the Feed Store, who lamented, “This used to be Montana…”

3 thoughts on “Miles City is still in Montana*”

  1. Great interview. Like the balance he strikes between the past and the present.

    I'm going to play the devil's advocate here. My two cents having spent time in both worlds: There's nothing wrong with the show dog world that doesn't crop up in the performance world. There are good and bad people, moderates and nuts, but for the most part they love their dogs, and their dogs have a purpose. Not for me anymore, but there are plenty of good people in show dogs. And many of the performance people I am around now could learn something from them.


  2. Horses need jobs, or at least in my experience, off-track Thoroughbreds need to run. Not being allowed to run is punishment, not kindness.
    That being said, 'pasture ornament' doesn't have to be perjorative. It can be used for a horse who is no longer rideable, but has earned his retirement. At least that was the original use of the term around here.

    And I guess I am shallow, but that my 'pasture ornament' looks like something out of a Stubbs painting is a rather nice touch; that he is also a 28 year old, ex racehorse, ex three-day eventer, well that is the 'earning retirement' bit.
    I'd give him the pasture space even if he was a nag, but it is nice that he isn't…

  3. The Tennessee Walking Horse is a breed whose original work purpose has disappeared. Some ride them for pleasure and there are high stepping show horses. No one rides them all day long around a cotton or tobacco plantation to supervise or into town on business.Those uses were gone post WW2 along with the mules. There was even a special saddle called the Buena Vista (good view) sold all over the South. Very comfortable all day long. Plantation Walkers did not have such as aggerated a gait as show horses–more natural. Great horses. It used to be the South too.


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