You’d think most people would be upset to see that their horse had died. As I pulled in the driveway, I could see the old boy hanging from the bucket tractor with a couple of heavy duty chains. My old man was loading him in the farm truck. He had plans of taking the body out past the Indian Reserve and leaving it for the coyotes. I wouldn’t say that I was happy he was gone, but I defiantly wasn’t poopy lipped either. There was a reason we picked him up for a bargain price outta Kamloops, and it wasn’t just cause he had touchy ears.
He spooked real easy. A funny thing happens when you spook a horse that is carrying all your groceries for a week of hunting out in the mountains.
Afterwards, you get to walk back down the trail towards the truck picking up scattered items that only a few min before, were loaded safe inside the pack boxes. It’s kinda like a maze. You follow the trail of groceries, and at the end of it you find a prize. It’s your horse. He’ll be wrapped around a tree with a broken saddle and rigging in a giant mess around his feet. It only takes about an hour and a half to get all loaded up and back on the move again.
He was also a little hoppy. When I say he was a little hoppy, I mean he would throw you ass over tea kettle if he got the chance.
One day I had some friends over. We decided it was a nice day for a ride. I got the animals saddled up, and we were ready to tour the neighborhood. As I climbed on, I got this eerie feeling that a storm was brewing. He allowed me to sit on top of him for a total of 3 seconds before crow hoping through the barnyard and out into the alfalfa field. I stayed on a long as I could, but he really worked me over. He folded me like a lawn chair as he spun and bucked. My legs had come out of the stirrups allowing me to be bounced and than hammered by the steel saddle horn. He found his rhythm and sent me flying through the air. I hit the ground hard.
You can’t let him get away with that. It’s never o.k. to throw a rider. You have to take control. I am a proud man, raised on this farm. It was my duty to get back on that awful beast.
I was more nervous than scared. You see, my neighbor had broken his pelvis the year before in a similar rodeo out in the bush. He had to get airlifted out. After receiving the beating I just been handed, you’d think I was nuttier than squirrel shit for signing up again.
I got an old hockey helmet out of the shop. I told my Mom, “Stop crying like a baby lamb and get the video camera.” I remember her words. “Don’t do it! Wait till your father gets home.”
I thought to myself, “He’s old as time… I can’t let him take a beating like that, No Sir!” The decision was made. “Hit record Mom.”
What happens next is difficult to describe. Words will never paint an accurate picture of the feeling you get when a 1000 lb quarter horse tries to kill you. Let’s just say the treatment I received the second time was equal to the first, and then some. He rag dolled me for as long as I could hold on, then ended it. This time for the dismount, he ejected me high out in front over his head. Somehow I gathered myself into a roll as I hit the dirt. I scrambled out of his path just before his hooves came pounding down.
Now I was done. I limped back towards the barn. I felt the adrenaline leaving my body, and the pain setting in. It felt like I had been hit hard with a baseball bat all across my legs, groin, back, and shoulders. My neck had that loose feeling like I’d just been in car accident.
When we reviewed the tape my heart sunk. My mother who was filming, must have become so concerned for my safety, that she aimed the camera at the ground when all the excitement occurred. There is a great introduction, followed by lots of sounds of the commotion. You can mostly hear a bunch of pounding noises, but all you can see on the screen is dandy lions and crab grass.
I short tied him face first into a post for a couple hours till the old man got on site. He climbed on and broke him down with out much trouble. Maybe one day I’ll have the phenomenon known as old man strength.