One of my readers sent me some poetry to consider for Equine Ink. I really like this one, which takes a light hearted view of the differences between US and Australian equestrians. But, it also underscores how much we all have in common. In today’s world, I think it’s important to recognize how our shared love of horses crosses many boundaries.
You trailer your horses while we float our neddies …
while you are a cowgirl, I am a jillaroo–
Your guy is a rancher, my bloke is a stockman,
your deer’s in the wild; our outback, the ‘roo.
You tack up your mount with a strong western saddle
over a heavy blanket and then you neck rein
while we throw a stock saddle over a thick rug
and then like the Pommies, we use direct rein.
The breed of your horse is the one called the Quarter
while I ride the stock horse and post the trot gait.
Your hat is a Stetson, and I am your friend,
while I wear an Akubra and you are me mate.
Your foot’s in the stirrup while mine’s in the iron,
you round up your cattle as we muster ours.
Your ranch is our station, wild mustangs are brumbies,
Your fruit grows in summer, in our winter they flower.
Out bush with the dingos, deep in the outback,
my smoko’s a cuppa, my meal is called tucker.
For you it’s the wilderness where coyotes wander
while you drink your coffee with dinner or supper.
Your history’s teeming with colorful outlaws,
while ours have bush rangers, bad as can be–
While your Maples and Redwoods nest robins and bluejays,
our gum trees hold kookaburras and the Pee Wee.
So, call me a sheila, who lives as an Aussie.
To me, you’re a yankee who lives way up North.
We’re still human beings who laugh, cry, and wonder,
from one day to the next, and so on and so forth.
So while through the arvie I ponder downunder
with an ocean between us, and a sky up above,
though the land may be different, the beasts, and the fields,
after all’s said and done, it’s the same earth we love.
By Cathe Ferguson