Old War Horses — by Mancos MacLeod


I grew up and have lived my whole life in the American West.  In the culture and generation that I grew up in, we had a term for the guys who scraped and scrapped and really made something happen in life.  We called them “Old War Horses.”

Sheep Herder Donkey 1

Ironically, it took some of them quite awhile to really make something happen.  It often took many years.  Many of them weren’t young men by the time they got it done.   Many of them had experienced many setbacks and failures.  But they just kept at it, continually working; continually moving forward, and continually learning from their mistakes and failures, well up into old age.

They didn’t always have the best bedside manner.  Not everyone liked them.  They typically didn’t drive the nicest cars, wear the fanciest clothes, or have the latest and greatest technology.  But they knew how to make things happen.  They knew what it took, and did it.  For the most part, even if they weren’t well-liked, they were respected.

In my generation and culture, one of the highest compliments that could be paid to a man was to be called an Old War Horse.

One of the problems we’ve got with the upcoming generations is that we’ve got plenty of movers and shakers; plenty of schemers and dreamers; plenty of wheelers and dealers.  But most of them are big babies that can’t take much of a punch.  We don’t have near enough Old War Horses.

If I had to bet on one or the other, I’d never bet against an Old War Horse.



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