Horses for courses


“I just can’t understand it”
Said the weekend farming man
“My horses are all ratty
And I do the best I can,

I feed them all the good stuff,
All the oats that they can eat
And still it seems impossible
To keep my bloody seat.”

“Do you think its in the breeding?
See they’re all by the same sire,
If you can’t sort this problem out
from riding I’ll retire.”

“Already had a broken arm
And close calls by the ton,
I think I’d have a heart attack
With just another one.”

Now I can’t knock a challenge back
And I couldn’t understand
How they could be such yang-yangs,
They were gentlemen in hand.

So I climbed upon the first one
and I rode him round the yard
he responded fairly smartly
and his mouth was far from hard.

well I had him going backwards
forwards, sideways, up and down
and he spun upon a sixpense
when I asked him to come round.

the rest were all about the same
and I couldn’t understand
but my ego, it was growing
with my chest at full expand.

I said “for sure I’ll ride your horses
And I’ll get the things to go,
For I’m a mounted trooper
And there’s little I don’t know.

“I’ve ridden horses around the town
In streets alive with folk,
Its takes some sort of horseman
To go riding in the smoke.”

“I’ve passed under the harbour bridge
And round circular quay,
I’ve worked up at the mardi gras
It didn’t bother me.”

“In apprehending baddies
I’ve excelled and that’s the truth.
And when I’m mounted on my horse
By geez I’m bullet proof.”

“Well ribbons, I’ve won plenty
When I’ve gone to Sydney show.
And when I ride to music, what?
I tell you I can go.”


“I don’t think there’ll be a problem
With the neddies you’ve got here.”
By crikey he looked happy
Had a smile from ear to ear.

So I worked the horses in the yard
It didn’t take a week,
Till I had them doing dressage
And convinced I was a freak.

I taught the buggers jumping
And they caught on pretty fast,
It seemed that they’d do anything
That I would care to ask.

So once I thought I’d done the job
I called the farmer out,
And of my riding expertise
I left no trace of doubt.

I jumped them over obstacles
On two tracks showed their flair,
Piaffe, passage, through water jumps
Impossible to scare.

The farmer stood and scratched his head
“I think you’ve won the battle,
But the biggest problem that I’ve had
Is working them on cattle.”

I couldn’t see a problem there,
The way I’d schooled them up,
They’d work the cows around the joint
Just like a heeler pup.

I saddled up my favourite one
And with blatant disregard,
I pointed him towards the gate
And jumped him from the yard.

No sooner had he hit the ground
And spied a murray grey,
He took the bit between his teeth
And carted me away.

I tried to pull the bastard ‘round
But he was on the hop,
Away towards the scattering mob
He wasn’t going to stop.

He zigged and zagged and weaved about
Amongst the bolting herd,
He’d been so quiet a while ago
It all seemed so absurd.

He spun to the left, and then to the right
And left me in the air,
And dumped me in the dust and dirt
Before I was aware.


And as he turned to bolt away
By geez I got a shock,
Piaffe, passage, and piroette
Amongst the scattering stock.

This horse did not belong out here
With cattle on the land,
Arenas mowed and manicured
With cheering from the stand,

Was where he should be working
And I’d no right here either.
A stock horse trainer and rider
I realised I was neither.

So now I stick to what I know,
I bought the farmers horses,
And weekly ride them out to shows
And quote, “horses for courses”

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