Friday night Trax was clearly bothered by the mule in the "gladiator" costume.
Little does he know I got one for him
I'm kidding of course, this lovely piece of history is much too old and fragile to go on any horse again.
Interestingly enough I bought this in a little second hand store a few weeks back for 40 dollars. It came from the Dale Stiles Farm. Dale Stiles was a pretty big saddle bronc rider back in the late 40's and early 50's. He later when on to teach at Casper College and was responsible for putting together the Casper College T-birds Rodeo team. You can read a little about that in a an old Western Horseman article I found on line. You have to read the whole article though, because he is not mentioned until the end.
I am not sure if Mr. Stiles is still alive or not, but I was told that his family is tearing down the old barn from his place and they have taken all the cool little things out of it to sell off. There were many other wonderful pieces at the store from the Stiles Ranch, that I would have liked to have bought, but since I am still trying to keep ahead of the vet bills, decided against it. The other piece I really wanted was the harness collar that went with this. I'm hoping I can still get it later on. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed! There was also a pretty cool pen and ink drawing of Dale, done by one of his students, I would have liked it as well. It wasn't an amazing piece of artwork (although nicely done for sure) as much as it was a great little piece of history.
In my eyes, preserving history is so important. Even if it is just in the form of an old bridle, a drawing done by a grateful student, or a harness collar.