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Spurs and the Great West

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nrobertb
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Re: Spurs

#301 Post by nrobertb » Fri May 04, 2018 10:13 pm

Lake Mead National Recreation Area lies in the Mojave Desert of Arizona and Nevada. My first permanent job with the National Park Service was there, living in this small trailer at the Willow Beach station. At that time everything I owned fit in there nicely. On two occasions I came out of the trailer and encountered a rattlesnake. One I stepped over before I saw it.

These were Mohave rattlesnakes, which have the strongest poison of any rattler species. Two subspecies are recognized. They grow to an average of less than 3.3 ft. in length, with a maximum of 4.50 ft. The color varies from shades of brown to pale green depending on the surroundings. The green hue found among Mojave rattlesnakes has led to them being known as "Mojave greens" in some areas. Like the western diamondback rattlesnake, which it closely resembles, it has a dark diamond pattern along its back.
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ffuries
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Re: Spurs

#302 Post by ffuries » Fri May 04, 2018 10:19 pm

Gawd I remember the Mojave Greens when we were living at George AFB, CA, our back patio seemed to collect the damn things. Never heard of them before we got stationed there.
Mike
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Re: Spurs

#303 Post by nrobertb » Sat May 05, 2018 9:49 am

One more snake story and then I'll move on to something else. One day at Capulin Mountain I walked out to the weather station to take the daily readings. On the way I encountered two male prairie rattlers engaged in a "combat dance", their version of a wrestling match. From what I've read, most rattler species exhibit this behavior. There are some videos on Youtube if you are interested in seeing what this looks like.
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Re: Spurs

#304 Post by 72 usmc » Sat May 05, 2018 10:04 am

I love the red bug. No way did that pull the trailer? It would be nice to have one in that condition today. The back plugs were dogs to get at.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: Spurs

#305 Post by nrobertb » Sat May 05, 2018 11:53 am

The trailer belonged to the Park Service and was there when I arrived. It was actually more roomy inside than you would think from the photo.

My parents bought the car at the VW factory in Germany and drove it all over Europe, then shipped it home for me. I put a lot of miles on it. It was fun to drive but had its quirks. In the New Mexico blizzards the transmission oil would get so thick that I could hardly move the shift lever. The speedometer cable would howl like a dog being tortured.

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Re: Spurs

#306 Post by nrobertb » Sat May 05, 2018 12:24 pm

Oh I'm back in the saddle again, out where a friend is a friend...

A Latigo Keeper -- a piece of leather attached to the saddle through which excess latigo is run to keep it from flapping against the horse or otherwise getting in the way -- next to the pommel of a saddle. Also known as a Tie Strap Holder or Cinch Strap Holder.This is a relatively new innovation. You don't see it on older saddles.
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Re: Spurs

#307 Post by nrobertb » Sat May 05, 2018 4:06 pm

A popular style in older saddles was the "square skirt". Most newer saddles are rounded off at the corners of the skirt.
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Re: Spurs

#308 Post by nrobertb » Sat May 05, 2018 10:07 pm

Maybe some of you have been on a trail ride. They're a lot of fun, but personally I prefer a gentleman's trail ride.

Know what that is? That's where you need two mules just to pack the whiskey. :lol:
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Re: Spurs

#309 Post by nrobertb » Sun May 06, 2018 9:43 am

The packsaddle is so simple yet perfectly designed for its intended use that it has been unchanged for a long time. Basically it is just an x-shaped frame on which you can hang or tie whatever you need to transport.
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Re: Spurs

#310 Post by nrobertb » Sun May 06, 2018 10:35 am

Actually I was just kidding about the two mule loads of whiskey. After all, as they say in the movie "A Million Ways To Die In the West", friends don't let friends drink and horse!

If you haven't heard the theme song by Alan Jackson, it is hilarious, as is the movie. Here is a link to the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMgGcafQoqM
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Re: Spurs

#311 Post by nrobertb » Sun May 06, 2018 6:17 pm

The diamond hitch is a rope lashing to tie a canvas cover on a packsaddle. It won't shake loose from bouncing and jouncing.
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Re: Spurs

#312 Post by nrobertb » Sun May 06, 2018 11:07 pm

The latigo knot is used to tie a saddle on the horse. It is easy to tie and easy to loosen and adjust. Some horses learn to inflate their chests with air when you first put the saddle on, so you have to re-tighten after a little while.
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Re: Spurs

#313 Post by nrobertb » Mon May 07, 2018 2:31 am

Stirrups used to be adjusted for length using the lace up method. A leather thong would be threaded through holes in the stirrup leathers. This was okay if only one person was using the saddle, but was tedious and time consuming to change. After WWII the Blevins quick release buckle came on the scene, and all modern saddles use it.
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Re: Spurs

#314 Post by nrobertb » Mon May 07, 2018 11:13 am

Here's another old square skirt saddle with high cantle, slick fork and tapaderos. It doesn't look like the length of these stirrups can be changed. Usually when you see rivets on a saddle it means that there has been an alteration or repair.
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Re: Spurs

#315 Post by nrobertb » Mon May 07, 2018 5:08 pm

From the days when many men chewed tobacco, comes this novelty item: a turtle spittoon. Step on the turtle's head and the lid opens.
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