The Idaho Kid, a cool sounding handle or nick-name that brings to mind a lean, mean, squinty eyed gunfighter from the 1880’s and very likely from Idaho or at least did something notorious in Idaho. So why would a sixty something cowboy/pilot, a bald, bow-legged and busted up cowboy/pilot use that handle on his blog? Well ‘if ya got a minute partner’ I’ll tell ya.
I actually earned the title 40 years ago after moving from Ashton Idaho to Mt Pleasant Utah. We had been on Lynn Loosli’s Pure Bred, Horned Hereford Ranch for 2 years just out of college. Lynn was an okay guy to work for but he and I were worlds apart when it came to cattle and horses. For 10 weeks every spring we would be in the saddle for 3 hour early morning and another 3 hours just as the sun went down spotting ‘bulling’ cows and pushing them into a chute to A-I. How disappointed the cow was that her lover was a technician with a long arm and plastic straw full of bovine semen I never quite determined; not sure I ever gave it much thought to be honest with you but getting the cows in the chute without upsetting them was quite often a challenge. A good horse was a must.
Lynn for all his knowledge and expertise was no horseman and completely clueless to the fact that I was able to do more on a green colt, the right kind of green colt that is, than any of his old sour ranch horses. We finally got cross ways over it and I left; simple as that.
Neil Mortensen, along with his family owned one of the prettiest ranches that I have ever seen at Mount Pleasant Utah.
Now I probably otta explain a little about Neal; where to begin and end is the question.
Let’s put it this way, when your best friend and horse riding pal is also your wife’s OBGYN it makes for an interesting friendship. To his credit Neil probably helped more couples get pregnant for the first time and delivered more babies than any man alive in Cache Valley Utah. I suppose that Logan Utah was a college town and full of young married couples helped some. In all seriousness, actually I am being serious but this could get out of hand, a finer man never walked the Earth.
Long story short the Mortensen family was looking for a Ranch Manager and I was looking for a job. We moved to Mount Pleasant the fall of 1978; I was 28 years old at the time.
I had started my first colt when I was 14; between that time and when we moved to Mount Pleasant I had started several more. How many I can’t say for certain because I have never kept a running tally. We were short of livestock on the Mortensen spread so later that fall and through the winter I rode colts for a local Veterinary by the name of ‘Doc’ Nichols.
Doc was a good guy and a ‘Chariot Racer’ and believed in the old horseman’s adage that ‘a horse that couldn’t run should be valued by the pound’; I couldn’t have agreed with him more, both then and now.
One weekend when I was gone for a few days one of his friends showed up to talk horses and asked where the ‘Idaho Kid‘was? I was never insulted by the nick name but didn’t go by it anywhere other than around Doc and his friends.
In 1999 the first year I started Cowboy Mounted Shouting I revived the name as the shooters and the association was long on ‘shooting names’ and such. It was fun and I have always been proud to represent the State in which I was born.
So if you haven’t lost interest hopefully I can come up with some more non-essential and trivial but fun bullshit; or horseshit whichever way you look at it.