December 13, 2014

The son-in-law Christmas horse

By Julie Carter, Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

It’s that time of year when the cowboys are hanging out at the feed store shopping for their favorite cowgirl. The cowgirl is in the same store because that’s where the stuff that her cowboy likes is sold.

The place is full of leather goods from saddles to boots as well as ropes, cammo, ammo, pocket knives, and five-buckle boot-style overshoes. And, if he’s lucky enough to know how to read, there is a cookbook called “101 Ways to Cook Venison” or in the “how to” book section, “Teach Your Woman to Run a Trap Line.”

An annual best seller for that special guy at the ranch is a heavy duty one-gazillion candle power spotlight for calving season. If all else fails, she can put together a gift basket full of beanie weenies, spam, Vienna sausages, beef jerky and a huntin’ license good for shooting anything anywhere.

His gift options for her run along those same lines except the feed stores have upped their game a little with a clothing line that includes bling, boots that include lots of color and a few racks of jewelry items that won’t break the bank but will put out an eye when the lights hit the sparkles.

Of course there is always the practical side of gifts for her that include heated chicken waterers or a new cattle guard in the road where she has to open a gate four times a day coming and going. The ultimate in practicality are the “his and her” wood splitting mauls.

Do not bother to buy him a salad spinner, a George Foreman “get all the fat off “grill, a sweater vest or season tickets to the opera. Take Beano off the list too. He won’t use it.

Never under estimate the subversive nature of the cowboy when it comes to gift giving. The holiday season brings out his devious side whether on the buying or the selling end of a gift possibility.

This particular cowboy used his brains and his need to make some Christmas spending money at the local sale barn. Riding an admittedly “sorry” horse that he wanted to unload through the sale ring, the auctioneer asked, “What you ridin’ today Paul?”

Paul answered clearly, “A son-in-law horse.”

Puzzled, the auctioneer asked, “A son-in-law horse? What in the world is that?”

Candidly, it was explained. “Yes sir, someone here today surely has a son-in-law they hate. This is the horse for him. It won’t hurt him but he is a miserable puke to ride. He’s the perfect gift because your daughter will think the gift means you like your son-in-law, and yet your son-in-law will know exactly how you really feel about him.”

That $500 horse brought $1250 that day. There were at least two people at the sale that didn’t care much for their son-in-law.

Down the road, the argument between the young couple over how Daddy feels about the son-in-law will never be won. After all, “You know he really likes you,” she’ll say with conviction. “He even bought you a horse!”
Julie can be reached for comment at