The Little Bay Bronc
I grew up across the road from Tony Kunitz in Sinton Texas, he was my neighbor. I had a little bronc bay horse that would buck hard every now & then. I called him Little Willie.
He was given to me to ride one day when I went to help some boys in Skidmore. I went to help work some cows. He bucked off across a plowed field when I girted him up. They went out & roped him & brought him back to me. They were all in on it cause they were all snickering. I got me a deep seat & rode him all day. He was about a 3 year old then, & other than being small, was a good ride. I told those boys that all he needed was some wet saddle blankets.
The guy who owned him, had picked up a lease ranch that had 2 colts on it. He had a guy from Skidmore trying to break both of them. Little Willie had a bad sandburn on his hip. Come to find out, all these boys & that wild horse fighter had all tried to ride him & had all been bucked off. They knew I could cowboy so they had told me to show up with just my gear, & they had the ride. That guy gave that little horse to me cause he wanted to sell him, but didn't want to have to try to ride him again. He said to just come & help them work cattle when they needed help. That little horse was pretty fast. This was way back in 1985 or so.
One day, one of the Dad's had bought his son a black calf horse, that was "owned by Roy Cooper when he won the World". They were talking about how fast he was. Now I didn't have much money at all back in them days. But I put together what I had & bet them that Little Willie could take that black Roy Cooper calf horse. We marked out a distance in that plowed field & they started us. I'm telling you, there was some disappointed fellas & a shore disappointed father when little Willie took that black Roy Cooper calf horse.
I kept little Willie & rode him a lot when I was cowboying for the Griffith Ranch. He was slick in a set of working pens. Slide right up to a gate, side step out of the way, & spin around to close it. He never got tangled up either. That wild horse fighter had tied him in the bar ditches to graze, to keep down the feed bill while he was trying to figure out how to ride him & collect his riding pay.
I'd rope whatever came my way & pitch the slack & let him take the jerk. Never got him jerked down either. He could sure handle a rope. But he was broncy. I would ride him everyday for several weeks & he would buck around every morning. But he wasn't counterfeit. He wouldn't buck anymore that day.
I roped a big runaway steer one time. That little horse would run right up on their left hip. Almost too close. That runaway steer fell & we went down too. I slammed the ground pretty hard & busted some ribs.
After I got healed up, one day we went to catch some cattle. It was the first time I had rode Little Willie since that he had fallen with me. I took off after a runaway bull. When we ran up on him, he felt me stand up to pitch my loop. He went to bucking. He had never done that during the day. I guess he remember that when I had stood up to rope that steer that fell and jerked me down.
I was up at the Beeville Sale barn one day & the guy who was managing it asked me if we had any good ranch horses for sale. I said yeah, I have one. Damn good little ranch horse. But he has a little buck to him. He told me, hell I got some boys who can ride a bucking horse. I made the deal & got paid. Later on, I saw that ole boy & he told me "Damn! That little horse can buck!" HaHaHa! I asked him later on if he still had him. He said that he was shipped out to West Texas on a big ranch with plenty of rocks. Little Willie had those hard black hooves that never chipped. He said he was a damn good cowhorse.