The Art of the Wild Ride

Last week was a wild ride.  It reminded me of a wild ride of my own…

When I was in college, I set out on a quest to entice my earthly father to love me.  Admire me.  Say something.  Pursue me.

As a result, I did some things he shouldn’t have wanted me to do in a million years, but that’s the whole point. I have no idea what he wanted me to do.  Except major in something to do with money.  Not relationships.

So being as dad wore boots and jeans and raised cattle, I thought I should be a cowgirl.

So I bought some boots and went dancing.

Then I fell in with a bunch of kids who wore boots.  And hats.

Who drove filthy trucks to tumble down farms where they kept their own and other people’s horses. (I actually think we flipped a truck that day, but that’s another story).

This one little feller…

Was training a wild mustang someone he knew had bought from one of those protection organizations.

The rest of us stood around and watched him for forever.  While this crazy-eyed Appy on the other side of the barn tried to tear down his pen.  While we got hungrier and hungrier.  Thirstier and thirstier.

Finally, about 4:30, he declared her trained and moved her from the round pen to the arena.

They helped me up and handed me a bicycle inner tube.  Look, I know.  But I was just doing what I was told.  They said to take it.

We did a little figure eight and were pointed away from the house.  I gave her a little tap with the smooth heels of those ropers.

She ducked her head.

By the time I could lean back, she was in midair.

She was coiling for a spring.  The boys were beginning to yell and leap down from the fence.

I was scrambling to reclaim my seat.

She hit the ground the second time.  Front legs stiff.  Back legs spring loaded and ready to fire.

The boys were running and screaming but I didn’t know what the commotion was.  I had my hands full.

Those back legs fired, and we were flying.

One.  Two.

On three, she ducked and I did my first solo flight.  Over her shoulders, through the air.  I landed on the tip of my cute nose with my Rocky butt to the sky.

I scrambled to my feet.

I still had the inner tube in my hand.  I’d never used it and never let it go.

She was standing there with her front feet planted, sides heaving.  Like it’d been done to her.

I tightened my grip.  And started walking toward her.

A hand caught my arm.

When I looked up… three pairs of boy eyes glowed.

I’d ridden her.

I had a little dot of dirt on the end of my nose. But other than that, was completely whole.

I received the back slapping.  The trophy of spurs.

And they took me dancing.

Late in the evening, that horse trainer kid got a couple of beers in him and started crying, and asked me to marry him.

I still have the spurs.  They are on a table right inside my front door.





  1. Never, ever dare a country girl.

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