Roger Thompson: Horsin’ Around 12-5-11
Fort Collins, Colo.
Here is another poem/letter from Shorty Huffman:
I’m 13 and a young man now. I’m plenty able to do things of my choice. Mom though, sill looks at me as a kid and thinks I should always heed her voice.
With much work and determination, I set a course to live a dream. I want to be a bull rider but know Mom will just scream.
Without much hope but courage at an all time high, I approached Mom and Dad hoping they wouldn’t shout and cry.
Dad, as I thought, was quiet and seemed to understand. He had rode bulls when he was young so he didn’t take a stand.
Mom went out of control, also as I had thought. She went on a tangent and most of the night we fought.
I don’t know what Dad said but he must have talked a bit, probably after I went to bed, cause in the morning Mom said I could try it.
We went to Murray’s arena on Friday night. They have a rodeo there, it’s really a good one, where those with talent are willing to share.
One guy showed me how to rosin my rope. Another showed me how to tie it down. Then told me how to stay on my hand, and told me to be movin’ when I hit the ground.
I drew a bull called Gunslinger, white with a curly forehead hair. They said he was one you could win on, if you didn’t get throwed through the air.
I tied down with nervous excitement; my dreams about to come true. I was going to ride a bull, something I’d always wanted to do.
I sat down and pulled up on my hand, gave the gateman a nod. Then everything went plumb crazy so I prayed to God.
Sky met fences. Fences met the ground and I was being thrown this way and that. While spinning round and round.
Then, as if in slow motion, I was looking down at the bull. And realized I was air born, then upside down looking at a moon that was full.
When I finally hit the ground. I lost every bit of air. I raised my head to see Gunslinger and could see he didn’t care.
I wanted my body to get up and my feet to get me away. But nothing seemed to work and I knew I was in a bad way.
That ‘ole bull put his head square in my chest. I felt the pressure of his size. Pushing down on my borrowed vest. I looked Gunslinger straight in the eyes.
The clowns stepped in and saved me. Then the gateman helped me to my feet. I was still not breathing well and was drug into retreat.
I knew one thing for sure though, this was my last bull ride. I had had enough to make sure that I could swallow all my pride.
But just as my head was clearing. I heard a distinctive sound. My Mom’s voice was cheering as she was jumping up and down.
Get him another bull she cried. He’ll ride this one for sure. Mom just became addicted to rodeo, and sadly for me, now there is no cure.
~ Shorty Huffman
Prior to his retirement, Roger Thompson was a CHA certified instructor of advanced Western horsemanship and beginning English riding.