Caribou Gear

What Would Be Your Rifle of Choice for Such an Adventure

Don Fischer

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Jun 27, 2017
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Fun topic,,,imortant to remenber that for six months,,,that is how long they were gone, thier schedule was ride horsebak for four days, hunt for two, rest for one. So any rifle had to be saddle scabbard friendly. And that means as narrow as possible.

For me having a fat rifle in a scabbard is hell. Usually makes a bump where my knee is. Literally a real pain,,,okay for a sort ride,,but not for 4 days a week for 6 months.

So here would be my short list, Savage 99 in ,358 or 300 savage. A newer Browning BLR in 308 or 358, A used Big Bore 94 in 375,,,maybe the angle eject for scope use,,,or, i was just looking at a used 94 with a 24" inche barrel in 38-55,,,great with tang sites.

Don Fisher above always seems to match my prefereces, I like his choice but it might be a bit fat for saddle scabbard use,,,maybe , maybe not.

Any bolt action should have a very narrow Shnabbel style forend,,,like my model 54 Winchester in 30-06,,that would work.

Last thought,,,,bear spray has really been so over and over proven, that a having a "bear gun" no longer really is needed. Great as backup,,,I guess.

My first big adventure was crossing the Canadian Rockies 50 years ago without bear spray and just a USN Pilots knife. So a 38-55 model 94 would seem like a canon to me now.

Reading thier story is so great,,,imagine a 6 month long trip,,,intentionally planned on extending from summer till XMas,,,deep into the cold part of the year,,,what grit!!

The first thing they shot an ate by the way was a porcupine.

Last last thought. They brought along 10 thick wool US Army blankets,,,with double use,,,for them to sleep under,,,and foldeed up as saddle blankets. How they must have smelled. Kinda makes me smile.

I did the same things 50 years ago,,,went on small game and big game (small deer only) desert hunting trips with a very well trained horse. I had two rifles,,,a marlin model 39 .22 for rabbits and a various other riflles for desert deer in the canyons. I used my thick saddle blanket at night and my saddle for a pillow. I would be gone for days a a time,,,during the cold months,,,rattlers are hibernating,,,mostly

Boy did I smell coming home, smell of sweat, horse and deer. I had a little cabin 4 miles into the desert mountains on a dirt road

A couple times a week I had this mountain maiden hippy young lady visit me, spend the night. Used to drive a Ford falcon station wagon . Was fine if the road was dry

Once I came back in such real smelly condition and she was there. Came up to give me a hug and almost gagged. She told me to take a bath.

I suggested that I brought the meat home, that she should give me a bath instead.,had an old claw foot tub under a shady mesquite tree outside. Nearest neighbor was miles away. She did,,,and did a fine job of it too.

Happy Trails Until later

MR
The idea of a lever gun is probably a good idea as far as moving around on a horse. But Been so long since I used a lever rifle, I'd probably forget how to load it. But having ridden with a rifle under my leg, It is not what I'd call handy I'd think that the mod 99 would be a great idea but never seen the others. Mod 88 Rem might work well also. I used to gun a bit at field trials and carried a SxS shotgun in the scabbard all day. Kept it out from under my led by letting it hang straight down and tied off at the bottom by the sturrip. Worked very well. But some difference between a scoped rifle and a SxS shotgun! I believe that in that situation the best rifle to have along is probably one you are really used to and have faith in. That of course, get's me back to my old Rem 660.

For cartridges it was mentioned the 358 Win and 300 Sav and sounds like both would be a good choice. My problem with them is I don't have any experience at all with either! What ever the cartridge though I want it to handle a fairly heavy bullet fairly well. A trip like that really has less need for a 1"- shooting rifle than a rifle putting out a large for cal bullet into say 2", arbitrary number, at 100 yds. You then find yourself in a position where the shot really may count depending on the bullet used! And believe it of not there have been far more shot that didn't need to be taken than shots that needed to be taken.
 

pilsner

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Mar 9, 2017
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160
I like that! 44 mag with some shot loads, heavy bear loads and 44 spl loads! Great! So what do you carry around in it? If you got bird shot in it and need a bear load real quick, how quick can you change ammo? Or if you have bear loads in it and spot a grouse for dinner, your back to changing ammo again. Oh and if it is the bird shot in there and you have to change to bear loads you'll probably need to get rid of the rifle to do it!
I carry bird shot under the hammer - the last round to fire - and bear defense ammo in the other 5 spots.
If its a grouse i have time to align the cylinder back 1 spot. If i need it in a hurry ive got 5 shots of bear ammo handy.
Some 44 SPL rides in my pocket.

My revolver stays on my person nearly 24/7. My rifle gets set down at camp, while sleeping, bathroom breaks, etc.

On the note of being on horseback a 12 gauge shotgun might also be a useful item to have. Ive always wanted to find an 18" barrel for my mossberg pump that takes choke tubes.
 

Michael Case

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Jul 29, 2021
Messages
123
Rifle scabbord slung vertical like old horse soldiers or I removed the bolt and put it in my pocket for comfort.
44, 629 crossdraw, 3 speedloards and a good knife on belt. Ease of travel and convenient. M77 Ruger ss 30-06 180 gr. Nosler partition.
A winning combination for Colorado Elk Horse hunt 16 miles from truck.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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503
Rifle scabbord slung vertical like old horse soldiers or I removed the bolt and put it in my pocket for comfort.
44, 629 crossdraw, 3 speedloards and a good knife on belt. Ease of travel and convenient. M77 Ruger ss 30-06 180 gr. Nosler partition.
A winning combination for Colorado Elk Horse hunt 16 miles from truck.
Are you talking about having the rifle slung over your shoulder or in a miltary style scabbard which is neary verical. Have you actually done this. 16 miles is not that long of a long ride,

I used to horse hunt with a fellow who was a renenactor. He actually used that style of of up front near vertical scabbard. It was a real challenge going through brush, but it worked,,,not to my liking, but it worked. Got filled with rain and snow. Risky thing to take the bolt out of the rifle.

I have several saddle scabbards, one for lever actions another for bolt actions which are harder to get along with on horseback.

For me the most important factor in a bolt gun is having the forend real narrow like so many vitage rifles,,,they were that way for a reason.

Another friend had his shooting bencg right near his horse stalls, the horses got so used to shooting they could fall asleep to the sound of gunfire. That is what you want.

When I was younger I actually hunted deer right off a horse. Seeing them at a distance I would ride in low kinda almost on my horses neck.

I liked having my rifle in the 8 oclock position looking down.

That way I could slip out of the saddle and pull my rifle naturally with my right hand, hold the reiins with my left and go to work, even walked along my horse, then gave him a little twitch to keep walking forwards whike I set up behind a rock or tree.
The best rifle I ever had for such duty was a Savage 99 in Savage 300, It had that classic narrow shbabbel forend.

At some point I figured I was done with the horse game after some injuries and sold the savage,,,silly me.

It took years of PT then restorative yoga, but mpstly I am fine now for riding

thanks for the response.

MR
 

RaiderRich

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Apr 7, 2020
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This is a fun one. I would probably take a lever action 45-70. Given 1 firearm I am going to assume a collapsible fish rod could also be carried. So instead of small game go after fish for meals between finding game that can be taken with the 45-70. Definitely would be an adventure.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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503
Hi Guys,,,



Here is my rifle choice but first allow me a rambling preamble.



I was in the Alaskan forest some years back and I looked up a tree at a grouse, looking at me. I open my 35 Whelen , unloaded my powerful load, ,,,slipped in one of my custom shot loads,,,,bang! The grouse falls to the ground. So cool, so very cool.



Or,,,I feel like shooting an arctic hare in Alaska,,,there the interior grass covered air strips offer tender plants to eat that need more light than they can ever get in the thick forest. Both kinds of bears and hares are often grazing right out in the open on the airstrips



Then again, out comes my big game load, in goes my light cast bullet load,,and the head shot hare is mine to dine on. The bears ran away. So cool, so very cool.



I did two such live off the land small game only hunting trips in Alaska,,,just $20 for my non res small game license. Both with my 35 Whelen, with a 1 in 16 twist in a Remington model 700 Classic. The 1/16 twist was okay using the Speer 38 cal plastic shot shells filled with a mix of 6’s and 8’s pushed by 12 grains of Unique



What a blast that was,,,virgin birds too,,,,many fell to my 35 Whelen. Up close and personal,,,some feet away not yards. When there I was there I was allowed 25 mixed bag of birds / day.



Fool I was to listen to my gunsmith when he was making my new custom 35 Whelen on a FN Commercial action.



He wanted to go with the 1/12 twist,,,better for heavy bullets he said,,I fretted over my custom shot loads and so settled on 1/14 twist,,,which was totally useless with my shot loads,,,and did not shoot my 225 grain Barnes bullets any better than the MOA the 1/16 twist was doing for me.



Also, I lost accuracy with the 357/38 cal pistol bullets. What a bummer, but I learned my lesson.



So what rifle would I take on the trip described in the story? After lots of thought,,,an older Marlin 444 with the 1 in 38 twist,,, the best possible twist for shot loads in any rifle,,,way better than my first Whelen.



With 225 Barnes bullets? Effective range for elk at least 150 yards,,,for deer, sheep or goats at least 200 yards. Which is plenty for virgin country and the bullet only drops 9 inches at 200 yards.



The muzzle energy is 2800 foot pounds with stay together Barnes 225 bullets. This caliber could easily use the 44 cal plastic Speer shotshells for custom loads that could be hand fed from the top.



It would be so accurate with lead bullets and other 44 cal jacketed pistol bullets. It could have a scope, is tapped for peep sights, and is a flat, strong lever action that is saddle scabbard friendly.



Get the newer 444’s with the faster twist for heavier bullets,,,,, and the great diversity simply crashes.



And there are plenty of them around on the used market that are almost cheap.
 

BKehoe05

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Aug 13, 2021
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8
Mine would be a .30-06 in a pump action so I don’t have to worry about the bolt in the scabbard. I’ve never owned a pump action .30-06 but it would be my choice. Sliding down the scale to 125 grain loads, I could take small game with it and bumping up into the 220 grain range I can take the biggest of the NA game species.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
Messages
503
I have always wanted/liked one of those early model 141 Remington pump rifles. They were very slim with that thin corn cob for-end. Later models, got real fat up front, like 1 ¾ inches. Lever guns are 1 ¼ inches thick, a huge difference in a scabbard on constant long rides. Early and later models were both available in 35 Remington,,,a perfect candidate for shot loads and small game loads.



A “lining off the land” rifle for a 6 month adventure must be very capable for both small and large game but no need for game bigger than deer. Two guys would have just been overwhelmed with the amount of meat from really big game.



Actually a more modern 38-55 would work okay too, even with shotloads, but it would be messy without the Speer 44 cal plastic shot shells. And it would be way under powered for bears.



Funny, they never once mentioned anything about bears. That seems odd bring in virgin north country for six months.



During the late 1920’s I read an account with photos of two Americans driving across Central Asia in early versions of 4x4 vehicles.



They hired some native help for the trip.



They both had Savage 99’s, one in 259-3000 and the other in Savage 300. Their party was 5 men total.



It looked pretty cool,,,but,,,,using gas powered vehicles was announcing the end of wilderness worldwide.



In all my travels,,,13 countries, I have only seen one small community that was mostly spared the curse of gasoline powered vehicles, had some limited motorcycle use however to bring supplies in during specific times only



It was a small village in the Peruvian Andes on the other side of Colca Caynon which is 11,000 feet deep. To get there one had to go down into the canyon,,,then up and of course do the reverse getting out. There were no roads to it just very narrow stone paved footpaths.



Going there was 44,000 feet of elevation change.



The Quechua Indians walked up and down, back and forth like it was nothing. All the ancient irrigation systems , even micro irrigation systems that brought water trickles into homes were still functioning, and the water was pure to drink. It was also one of the last pockets of the Andean Deer, called Huemal, which are 99 % extinct elsewhere through South America.



I actually saw one,,,a buck no less. The Canyons are so beyond steep hunting is impossible,,,just impossible,,,that is why they are still Huemals left there.



Great condor watching there too,



 

Panda Bear

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Apr 23, 2019
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845
first choice is my model 71 carbine with peep. good in the saddle, handy in the brush, powerful.

This is our choice as well or the combo.

It is not just what would we choose, it is what we have chosen.

Thanks to April ( Europe ) we use the Model 71 and/or 12 gauge/308 combo, via --- horseback, dog sled, atv, canoe, snowshoe, ice skates. same scabbard for all modes of transportation.
 

Michael Case

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Jul 29, 2021
Messages
123
Are you talking about having the rifle slung over your shoulder or in a miltary style scabbard which is neary verical. Have you actually done this. 16 miles is not that long of a long ride,

I used to horse hunt with a fellow who was a renenactor. He actually used that style of of up front near vertical scabbard. It was a real challenge going through brush, but it worked,,,not to my liking, but it worked. Got filled with rain and snow. Risky thing to take the bolt out of the rifle.

I have several saddle scabbards, one for lever actions another for bolt actions which are harder to get along with on horseback.

For me the most important factor in a bolt gun is having the forend real narrow like so many vitage rifles,,,they were that way for a reason.

Another friend had his shooting bencg right near his horse stalls, the horses got so used to shooting they could fall asleep to the sound of gunfire. That is what you want.

When I was younger I actually hunted deer right off a horse. Seeing them at a distance I would ride in low kinda almost on my horses neck.

I liked having my rifle in the 8 oclock position looking down.

That way I could slip out of the saddle and pull my rifle naturally with my right hand, hold the reiins with my left and go to work, even walked along my horse, then gave him a little twitch to keep walking forwards whike I set up behind a rock or tree.
The best rifle I ever had for such duty was a Savage 99 in Savage 300, It had that classic narrow shbabbel forend.

At some point I figured I was done with the horse game after some injuries and sold the savage,,,silly me.

It took years of PT then restorative yoga, but mpstly I am fine now for riding

thanks for the response.

MR
Vertical old Calvary style, with bolt out I use a boot. Bolt in I use a scabbord
Are you talking about having the rifle slung over your shoulder or in a miltary style scabbard which is neary verical. Have you actually done this. 16 miles is not that long of a long ride,

I used to horse hunt with a fellow who was a renenactor. He actually used that style of of up front near vertical scabbard. It was a real challenge going through brush, but it worked,,,not to my liking, but it worked. Got filled with rain and snow. Risky thing to take the bolt out of the rifle.

I have several saddle scabbards, one for lever actions another for bolt actions which are harder to get along with on horseback.

For me the most important factor in a bolt gun is having the forend real narrow like so many vitage rifles,,,they were that way for a reason.

Another friend had his shooting bencg right near his horse stalls, the horses got so used to shooting they could fall asleep to the sound of gunfire. That is what you want.

When I was younger I actually hunted deer right off a horse. Seeing them at a distance I would ride in low kinda almost on my horses neck.

I liked having my rifle in the 8 oclock position looking down.

That way I could slip out of the saddle and pull my rifle naturally with my right hand, hold the reiins with my left and go to work, even walked along my horse, then gave him a little twitch to keep walking forwards whike I set up behind a rock or tree.
The best rifle I ever had for such duty was a Savage 99 in Savage 300, It had that classic narrow shbabbel forend.

At some point I figured I was done with the horse game after some injuries and sold the savage,,,silly me.

It took years of PT then restorative yoga, but mpstly I am fine now for riding

thanks for the response.

MR
Are you talking about having the rifle slung over your shoulder or in a miltary style scabbard which is neary verical. Have you actually done this. 16 miles is not that long of a long ride,

I used to horse hunt with a fellow who was a renenactor. He actually used that style of of up front near vertical scabbard. It was a real challenge going through brush, but it worked,,,not to my liking, but it worked. Got filled with rain and snow. Risky thing to take the bolt out of the rifle.

I have several saddle scabbards, one for lever actions another for bolt actions which are harder to get along with on horseback.

For me the most important factor in a bolt gun is having the forend real narrow like so many vitage rifles,,,they were that way for a reason.

Another friend had his shooting bencg right near his horse stalls, the horses got so used to shooting they could fall asleep to the sound of gunfire. That is what you want.

When I was younger I actually hunted deer right off a horse. Seeing them at a distance I would ride in low kinda almost on my horses neck.

I liked having my rifle in the 8 oclock position looking down.

That way I could slip out of the saddle and pull my rifle naturally with my right hand, hold the reiins with my left and go to work, even walked along my horse, then gave him a little twitch to keep walking forwards whike I set up behind a rock or tree.
The best rifle I ever had for such duty was a Savage 99 in Savage 300, It had that classic narrow shbabbel forend.

At some point I figured I was done with the horse game after some injuries and sold the savage,,,silly me.

It took years of PT then restorative yoga, but mpstly I am fine now for riding

thanks for the response.

MR
Scabbord vertical, forward like old Calvary style
Are you talking about having the rifle slung over your shoulder or in a miltary style scabbard which is neary verical. Have you actually done this. 16 miles is not that long of a long ride,

I used to horse hunt with a fellow who was a renenactor. He actually used that style of of up front near vertical scabbard. It was a real challenge going through brush, but it worked,,,not to my liking, but it worked. Got filled with rain and snow. Risky thing to take the bolt out of the rifle.

I have several saddle scabbards, one for lever actions another for bolt actions which are harder to get along with on horseback.

For me the most important factor in a bolt gun is having the forend real narrow like so many vitage rifles,,,they were that way for a reason.

Another friend had his shooting bencg right near his horse stalls, the horses got so used to shooting they could fall asleep to the sound of gunfire. That is what you want.

When I was younger I actually hunted deer right off a horse. Seeing them at a distance I would ride in low kinda almost on my horses neck.

I liked having my rifle in the 8 oclock position looking down.

That way I could slip out of the saddle and pull my rifle naturally with my right hand, hold the reiins with my left and go to work, even walked along my horse, then gave him a little twitch to keep walking forwards whike I set up behind a rock or tree.
The best rifle I ever had for such duty was a Savage 99 in Savage 300, It had that classic narrow shbabbel forend.

At some point I figured I was done with the horse game after some injuries and sold the savage,,,silly me.

It took years of PT then restorative yoga, but mpstly I am fine now for riding

thanks for the response.

MR
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
Messages
503
This is our choice as well or the combo.

It is not just what would we choose, it is what we have chosen.

Thanks to April ( Europe ) we use the Model 71 and/or 12 gauge/308 combo, via --- horseback, dog sled, atv, canoe, snowshoe, ice skates. same scabbard for all modes of transportation.
I have always greatly admired the Model 71 in 348. It think it still "is" what America "was"
 

Michael Case

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Jul 29, 2021
Messages
123
Vertical old Calvary style, with bolt out I use a boot. Bolt in I use a scabbord


Scabbord vertical, forward like old Calvary style
I hate sensitive screens

Bolt in I use a boot on scabbord full protection. Slunge from attachment points on cantle, my saddles are rigged for packing and ridding.
16 miles at 8-12000 feet on horse back is hard on both horse and man.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Messages
503
I hate sensitive screens

Bolt in I use a boot on scabbord full protection. Slunge from attachment points on cantle, my saddles are rigged for packing and ridding.
16 miles at 8-12000 feet on horse back is hard on both horse and man.
Good for you. Yes 16 miles can be a cake walk or a walk on hot coals
 

wllm

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Dec 9, 2015
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14,652
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Two things.

1. Does the weapon need to be period available? If so, 6.5 Mannlicher with 160 grain bullets, in a MS Model 1903 with scope and iron sights.

2. We need to talk about ellipses
 

Mustangs Rule

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503
Two things.

1. Does the weapon need to be period available? If so, 6.5 Mannlicher with 160 grain bullets, in a MS Model 1903 with scope and iron sights.

2. We need to talk about ellipses
I am not sure how you are applying the term ellipses,,,plaese explain.

I think your thougt about a rifle being period available takes this post to a more interesting place for discussion.

Given that, then I would stick with a 94 38-55 or better yet a Model 95 in 30-40 Krag. To satisfy a need of mine,,,,which all other hunters here keep ignoring,,,small game loads,,birdshot too,, a 30-40, could have light lead downloads, and the rifles both had with them. the 38-55 and 40-72 with its 1/22 twist could make great close range shot loads for birds.

Am I the only one who gets, values, understands how inportant this is on a 6 month live off the land adventure?

From the cival war days and beyond soldiers were able to make the 45-70 an acceptable scavening tool with bird shot.

When Towsend Whelen developed the 35 Whelen he had light loads in mind,,,which he used to shoot the heads off of grouse in trees.

"Knock Knock" does anyone ele get this small game hunting game with just one rifle???

From what you have written so far I get that you are not just a well experienced hunter, but also a horse hunter as well

Please note my knod of approval. We have that in commom. Where we separate is in scabbard style and the rifles that go with it.

Seems like you are in a round wrold there and I am in flat world.
 

Randi

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Aug 4, 2019
Messages
549
This is our choice as well or the combo.

It is not just what would we choose, it is what we have chosen.

Thanks to April ( Europe ) we use the Model 71 and/or 12 gauge/308 combo, via --- horseback, dog sled, atv, canoe, snowshoe, ice skates. same scabbard for all modes of transportation.
boy that 308 and 12 gauge combo would solve a lot of survival problems and it would fit in a scabbard
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
Messages
503
Two things.

1. Does the weapon need to be period available? If so, 6.5 Mannlicher with 160 grain bullets, in a MS Model 1903 with scope and iron sights.

2. We need to talk about ellipses
Ohh and lets talk about the conformation of horses too. The last two horses I had were of very differnent shapes.]

I had a quarter/appaloosa that was as round as barrel. and a running quater horse that had nice defined whithers and was rather eliptical in shape.

With the round quarter/appy boy did the saddle like to spin,,,not fun. I want a flat sided rifle and a more flat sided horse with well defined whithers,,not broad chested and rolly-polly.

HMM might I be talking about a Mustang? Wonder where that came from.
Also I liked the configurarion of appaloosa horses before they put too much 1/4 horse in their breeding.

I invested in three months of training last year with mustang mare that came out of Wyoming. The cavalry horses had a lot of Tennesee walker in them and when they turnd them loose in the wild, that showed up in the mustangs.

The mare I invested three months of training in was just beautiful,,,really collected well too. I loved her body,,,but she proved herself to be unsafe and un-ridable.

Reminded me of some two-legged "mares" I have chosen in times past.

" Ain't no cowboy that can't be throwed, Ain't no bronc that can't be rode"
 
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