Have you ever given a job to someone and spent the next hour, day or week wondering whether it would get done? Have you ever given a job to someone and rested easy from the moment the words came out of your mouth? You knew the job would be finished ahead of time. It’s interesting to ask oneself, “What type of vibe do I give off?” This one takes some serious self- examination.
I love the subtle clues in a piece. You’ll have to hunt for a few here. The time period can be determined from the type of hat he’s wearing and by the make of the saddle. The reins are of the macate’ type (anywhere from 20 – 50 feet long). Notice the snake hide on the back of the cantle (rattlesnakes have a natural glue that adheres like iron when dried). Many cowboys would kill a snake – skin it – and stretch the hide over their cantles. Ever heard of slobber leathers off a bit? They create leverage for the reins and provide comfort for the horse. Notice the hog nosed tapaderos. They will give you an idea of the type of country this cowboy is working. Ever noticed that your old timey cowboys never rode with canteens?
This is fun. I enjoy putting things in a piece that teach, reveal, and explain the who, where and why. I like to have folks own a work of mine and discover new things years after they have owned it.
Side note: “I’m reminded of my father, who, upon returning from work would ask about an assigned task, “Did you get the job done or do you have an excuse?”. All he wanted was to hear either, “Job done” or “I’ve got an excuse”. He never wanted to hear what the excuse was….just either of those two answers was all he wanted.