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Outcasts, Outlaws, and Second Chance Horses

For anyone wanting to know what cutting looked like when it still had the hide on, when it was still an outdoor sport, before it was an "industry" and before its roots in the range livestock industry were obscured, reading Pat Jacobs' book is obligatory. The good horses of bygone days, the long roads, bad food, sketchy lodging and extraordinary individuals come to life. It was unheard of to throw away the Chatter and families were nearly bankrupted by long distance phone calls dedicated to cutting horses and the mysterious electricity they created. Horses weren't tools; they were colleges or fellow artists. This was high romance in some of the damndest places, fueled by often impractical true believers. It had the same DNA as the Wild West with its indifference to risk, career planning and the bottom line. There has never been anything like it in the realm of contest horses, and Pat Jacobs has done a wonderful job recreating a world that so many of us miss. . . Tom McGuane
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