Shoot low boys…

Posted: January 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

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From the badlands came the cowboys…actually, from the suburbs came the cousins.
Me and my cousin, Ken. One time we went on a trail ride with our Grandpa.
It was a big deal to us.
We had been allowed to tag along on this great adventure. It was a chance to ride a horse through the uncharted trails of north east Oklahoma and to sit around a camp fire, eat some beans, and maybe chew some beechnut chewing tobacco.
It was a big deal to Grandpa for different reasons.
He had invited us into his social circle. He was a proud chaps wearing member of the Oil Capital club, they rode horses in parades and took annual trail rides.
He wanted to show off his grandsons to his Cowboy buddies. We, on the other hand, just wanted to ride wild and free.
We were riding two Shetland ponies named Pinecone and George. They were spunky, stout horses who weren’t quite four feet tall. What they lacked in height, they made up for in personality.
I was riding Pinecone. We started out early in the morning, Ken, me, Grandpa and a bunch of old dudes on well behaved quarter horses. They were hardly riding wild and free. They were plodding along enjoying the ride, appreciating some beautiful nature. We were boys, we got bored fast. So we decided to race. We broke away from the slow moving pack. We shouted “YAH, YAH!” (That’s Cowboy talk for GO FAST LITTLE PONY!!) and they took off!! We were riding wild and free! We were going fast…well, as fast as a really short legged horse can run. They aren’t really built for speed, but that didn’t slow them down! The wind was in our hair and we were bouncing on our short steeds. It was briefly awesome and awesomely brief!!
We were racing back into the barn. We were clearly winning, although I’m not sure if that counts if none of the other participants know there is a race. They were too busy just enjoying the ride, except for Grandpa…
We were running wild and free right into the barn. I couldn’t slow Pinecone the wonder pony down. He was clearly wide open!! He ran until he stopped…suddenly…without warning…right in front of a metal water trough. He stopped so suddenly that he flung me right out of he saddle! I flew right into the water trough.
The good news was because I was riding a Shetland pony, I didn’t have far to fall.
The bad news was that water troughs are really nasty! Warm water, June bugs, leaves and muck and pony saliva!
I was soaked! I got baptized in water and horse slobber!
Grandpa yelled at us for being irresponsible. It was one of two times that I remember my grandfather raising his voice toward me. I suspect we embarrassed him in front of his friends.
When you break away from the pack and blaze your own trail, be ready to get yelled at, you will probably get messy. Let me tell you, from personal experience, It’s worth it! But, ALSO, remember to honor the ones who blazed the trails before you, the ones who paid for you to ride, the ones who invited you into the circle. They can teach you a thing or two about being wild and free.

 

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