WORKING THE HIGH MESA
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 you mouth? You knew the job would be finished ahead of time.
What type of feeling do “You” give off? This one takes some serious self- examination.
I love subtle clues in a piece. The time period of this piece can be determined by the type of hat he’s wearing, the rifle and by the make of saddle. By the late 1870’s, most working cowboys wore a Stetson (this ‘ole boy has a felt floppy one). The ’66 Winchester in the scabbard (nicknamed ‘Yellowboy’ by the Indians – because of the brass breach) is off the starboard side of the horse. These two clues pin the date represented in this piece between 1866 and 1875. The reins are of the macate’ type (anywhere from 20 – 50 feet long). Ever heard of slobber leathers off a bit? They create leverage for the reins and provide comfort for the horse. Notice the hog nosed tapederos. 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 who, where and why. I like to have folks own a work of mine and discover new things years after they have owned it.
A friend of mine (Duke Davis) owns “The High Mesa Horse Ranch” in Lamy, New Mexico. While using one of his horses as a model I came up with the title.