The Story of the Ten Horsemen Soon to be Eleven

I’ve had questions about the headers on this blog.  Mostly, people think they’re real cowboys up there on our hill.  You wouldn’t believe how many folks drive in here, nearly having a wreck because they’re trying to figure out what’s going on up there on that hill!!  Some people come out here not to see or visit us…they’re here to see the cowboys…and cowgirls.

"Look Maw! Up there on the hill! What in the world?!"

"Well Paw, looks like cowboys and Indians to me!"

For me, it’s thrilling because Big Boss found his creative self.  He thought I had all of the creativity…well, he can write extremely well, but something on the crafty side.  Basically, I had very little to do with the whole project, other than nagging   encouraging him to get the last 3 horsemen made.  I helped him find some of the pictures and showed him how to use the photos once I blew them up for him.  But after, that…it was all his show!  And I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to look out of my kitchen window and see those youngun’s running across the hill!  It reminds me every day to pray for them as they go to school, pray for their teachers and bus drivers, pray for their health, pray for their relationship with G-d, pray for their future mates.

And now a word from the Big Boss…

My view from the kitchen.

 Grandchildren are postcards that we send to a time we will never see.

Insuring that they are not regarded as junk-mail is always our concern. Mankind’s historical records reveal that any society is one generation away from chaos. Erosion of ethics is much like the erosion of our topsoil–incremental–often so slight you don’t realize it has happened until you’ve lost it.

The 10 horses (soon to be 11) on the hill east of our home are life-size silhouettes of frontier Indian Scouts along with some 1800’s cowboys. Mrs. Emma Perry, who settled on this property in the 1860’s raised horses. She would be proud. The horsemen represent our grandchildren. We placed them there for their enjoyment, but much more than that we wanted them to know of their great value. That each one is unique, special, nobody else like them.

We placed them there for ourselves as well. We wanted to be reminded daily of the opening lines of this piece–to be aware of our responsibility to do all that we can to educate their conscience–to teach them that there is such a thing as evil, and there is such a thing as good, and that we can know the difference. Ultimate truth is knowable.

Our primary responsibility is to pray for them. To pray for their growth and protection, physically, socially, mentally, and spiritually. To ask guidance for their choices. To lead them as they individual answers to the four most important questions that any human being has to answer:

1. Origin–Where did I come from? Am I a product of impersonal chance, or am I “Imago Deo”, made in the image of God. This question shapes everyone’s entire worldview.
2. Meaning–Why am I here? What eternal purpose can they fulfill each day?
3. Morality–How shall I live? What will their choices be?
4. Destiny–If they are made in the image of God, will they spend eternity with Him?

Regardless of our endeavors, personal choice is the final arbitrator. There is always the possibility that one or more will break our hearts. We rest in the fact that the God we serve is capable of moving in the lives of His people–so we then pray each day for His moving in the lives of our grandchildren. Our great desire is that they will live lives of gratitude–the mother of all virtues, and that they will learn from us that the best use of their compassion is to extend it to someone who can do nothing for them in return.
Ronnie

The “how” and “why” of the horses on the hill…OK, this part was like pulling teeth.  I wanted the inspiration, the impetus behind the project…all I got was a blank look and “I told you why in the first paragraph!”  No, no..where did the idea come from?  I got the same answer. Sigh.  OK, new approach… had you seen something like this before? In a magazine?  In a book?  In your head?  Come on, help me out here honey!  “Oh.  Yeah.  Remember those Indians around Dighton, up on a hill?” Thank you dear.  Thank you.   He can write, but I would make a sorry editor.
 
So here’s how he created The Ten Horsemen, Soon To Be Eleven:
 
 About 10 years ago, I purchased four sheets of 10 gauge sheet iron to be used for horses honoring our first grandchildren, twins, Braeden and Austin Ruff.
 
I welded two of them together to make an 8 feet by 8 feet sheet. After sundown, I moved our wheel loader inside our shop building, lifted one to an upright position, and positioned an old overhead projector (from teaching days of long ago) in from of the metal sheet. I had traced a picture from a history book onto an overhead transparency. I blew the picture up to life-size, using the entire length and width of the sheet iron. After tracing with marking chalk, I then connected the plasma cutter ground wire to the metal. and began to cut along the previously traced lines. A plasma cutter works much better than a conventional cutting torch because it generated much less heat and does not warp the metal during the process.
 
(The photo below to the left is the backside of BB’s artwork. The below right photo is the sideview.)
 
 
 
 
 After cutting the cowboy’s outline, I laid it back down on the floor and used an electric welder to fasten bracing on the metal behind each of the horse’s legs. Holes were dug in the ground and concrete was poured into the holes to hold the figures upright. The initial investment was around $50.00 per horse and cowboy. Currently, it’s well over $100 for material. The entire manufacturing process takes about 3 hours. Installation takes another one to two hours. If the trend should continue, buying more hill will surpass the expense of the required additional metal!
 
CRR aka Big Boss
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12 Responses to The Story of the Ten Horsemen Soon to be Eleven

  1. Connie says:

    Thanks so much for the Ten Horsemen explanation. I LOVE THEM!!!!!!! God bless all your grands and you and BB too! Love from Texas!

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  2. phylly3 says:

    Your Horsemen are a work of love as well as art. Thanks so much for the explanation. Your husband is indeed, a very good writer! With such ideals it is no wonder that your children and grandchildren are remarkable people!

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    • BigBoss says:

      Thank you–We are happy that so many people enjoy our horsemen. Truckers, cattle buyers, equipment vendors–and followers of “:the Queen’s ” Blog. CRR

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  3. Fancy Nancy says:

    Very touching and meaningful post….yes, BB has a way with words. And so do you, my friend…maybe a little more folksy than his! :D, but always a good read! Love that you have an impressive visual outside your window to trigger prayers for your little ones. THAT is the best. And BB, the sculptor!….I am so impressed with your artistic ability! We need to make a trip up your way to see them in person!

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    • BigBoss says:

      Big Boss will be deceased by the time Fancy Nancy arrives (if history is a correct vision of the future)! Please come while I can still remember your name!

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  4. bZirk says:

    I really enjoyed reading that I love your posts, but I hope Big Boss posts some more too. : D

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    • BigBoss says:

      Big Boss thanks you for your kind remarks–but he is currently improving the Musil feedlot and will have to take a raincheck on posts of any magnitude until October after crops are all in. I do plan to start writing a book before my 63rd birthday on 11/14/12 (probably on the 13th)–will make sure you get a copy.

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  5. heartfelt4 says:

    I, too, thank you both for that wonderful explanation of the who, and how. and the why of the horsemen. The photo from down the road is exactly my memory of our first approach to your house…

    Dan and I hoped we had correctly followed the directions of Steve-the-Democrat (his appellation, not ours!), Queenie & BB’s good friend, whom we met as we entered town. Entering a broad dirt lane, we wound our way passed fields and cattle. My eyesight has been fuzzy lately (cataracts) so I wasn’t quite sure what those shapes were on the horizon. Finally, we saw a house down a longish driveway. After seeing Queenie’s and Debbie’s names on a sign, we knew we had arrived safely and soundly at our destination . As we pulled up to an out-building next to the house and stepped out of our rental car, we were amazed to see six (six in February, that is) cowboys who appeared to be crossing a ridge in the distance (the only hill in Kansas, I imagine…Kansas is FLAT! ;D). We were so impressed by how lifelike the figures appeared. BB did an excellent job creating them and Queenie, in being their inspiration. What a team they are!!

    Better than all of that wonderful creativity, however, was the love and hospitality we received in this home from these lovely people. Their love of God, family and their fellow man was, and is, inspiring and I’ll always remember our visit and how they touched our lives. Thank you, you two!

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  6. Dee Jellicorse says:

    What a wonderful post from you both! Congratulations on a fine family, one that continues to grow!

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  7. Fancy Nancy says:

    LOL We might just surprise you and show up on your doorstep one day! We are nearing retirement you know….and would like to do more traveling! Oh, and why don’t you host a reunion of some sort! That might get us there. 😀

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