Baxter Black: Larger Riders Mean Larger Horses
An interview with several dude wranglers and packers showed they have accommodated the increasing number of large people. Using Belgians, Percherons and their crosses are mentioned often. Draft horses are gentle beasts by nature and most wranglers are ready with a hefty footstool to assist in mounting up. This is done out of respect for the infrequent rider whose needs must be met. I admire the wranglers’ willingness despite the increase in cost to shoe, maintain and feed the heavy horses. The object is to give the customer a “good experience.”
Can you imagine an airline sending out a memo to all agents, flight attendants, telephone operators and bag handlers to make a significant effort to give the customer a “good experience?” As much as I depend on the airlines in my business, I cannot picture five or six airline executives sitting around the table debating how to serve them a better snack while on a 3 ½ hour flight.
“We should do something about those pitiful peanuts and pretzel sticks.”
“I know, we can’t keep splurging like that!”
For the big-boned traveler who takes up a lot of room, flying is a pain. You’d think the airlines would take a lesson from the dude wranglers. In the last 20 years obesity (such an awful word…how ’bout magnosity) has increased to more than a third of American adults. That’s a pretty big market (excuse the pun).
I commend those packers, hunting guides and dude wranglers. They go the extra mile to make the oversize customer comfortable even through it increases their personal risk. I have heard tale after tale of “mounting” and “dismounting” wrecks!
And in most instances it is the hapless cowboy who “breaks the fall.” They become a human air bag, throwing themselves in harm’s way to catch the descending landslide and, like as not, manages to crawl, dig or is dragged out from under the XL boulder once the dust is settled.
That kind of self-sacrifice should be rewarded.
I propose that at the end of each season awards be given. Not akin to the Academy Award Oscars but medals for bravery and service in combat conditions. The armed forces awards a Purple Heart, a Silver Star and a Medal of Honor. We could call ours the Black & Blue Heart, the Silver Concussion or the Broken Buttocks.
“And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, we will present the winner of the Ruptured Spleen medal to…Sandy from Black Mountain Outfitters in Emigrant, Montana, who set a new state record high! Her wreck registered a 7.1 on the Richter Scale! Limp on up here, Sandy, and get yer prize!
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