Horsin’ Around 10-4-10
Fort Collins, Colo.
There is an old saying that goes some thing like, “With age comes wisdom.” I think that is a bunch of bunk. I got my little mare going to where I thought she was doing fine, the only trouble is, I haven’t been riding her as much as I should. Maybe it is old age or just laziness but I always find something else to do around the house and just put it off until tomorrow.
Then my kid’s gave me a 42-inch TV, which takes up most of my time … OK-OK it’s all my fault, I should get off my OLD, worn out tail and get out and work with my new horse. This is what those close to me say. Anyway, last Saturday there was a cow sort contest at Wolf’s arena for all who wanted to get in and since I hadn’t been getting in the contests with my new little mare I decided it was time to expose her to more contests.
I had ridden her a couple of days before and she was a dream. So I thought maybe I could try to win some money, at least enough to pay my entry fees back. That is all I am trying to get done at this point. So I got in the event but I was late getting there and could only get in one class of beginner. Then I got in a more advanced class just for the experience. Turned out I wound up with Dave Wolf and so I thought we stood a good chance of placing in the money. Only trouble was that it kept me jumping from one pen to the other because both contests were going on at the same time and my little mare was getting a good work out, but Dave and I were in a good place to be in the money.
But that day a cold front had blown in and Lena was acting strange. I noticed it when I went out to catch and saddle her but I thought I could ride it out of her. During the day she didn’t want to respond to the cues I gave her while warming up. She wanted to be with all the other horses and not work out in the practice pen so I kept working her – thinking she would settle down any time.
Now she had never bucked with me at any time and I felt she could be stubborn and hard to get along with because she had been abused when she was first ridden but I figured I could work that out of her. Now I was trying to make a good last run for my partner. The cattle were bunched up along the rail, and I thought I could push the one I wanted through. That was when all of a sudden Lena exploded and jumped sideways at the same time.
Suddenly I found my self sitting out in empty air and knew I was going to take a fall. I remember looking up and watching my left foot come up over the saddle, with my spur sticking straight down. I thought this is going to be a wreck because if that spur catches on the saddle and I am hanging up side down … this little mare will kick my head in for sure. I have seen this happen and it is not pretty. Then suddenly I saw my boot come off and fly through the air. I prepared my back shoulders for the impact and landed. Turned out Dave came and helped me up and I went on.
Talking with a few other horse enthusiasts a few days later they all said their horses bucked on that day. One woman advised she has raised her horse from a baby and that was the first time he had ever bucked, and he did a good job of it by bucking her off. The other person I talked with said the same thing.
I have been trying to figure out why that day with the cold front coming in all those horses picked that day to buck. I know it has been a hot summer and that cold front does things to horses, but it is still strange.
Prior to his retirement, Roger Thompson was a CHA certified instructor of advanced Western horsemanship and beginning English riding.