To say that he was “crazy about horses” in the 60s is like saying that “War and Peace” is a good book or that “Mona Lisa” is a beautiful painting, it does not give an accurate description. Mom said I got it naturally because her father loved horses. Add to that that the television genre for that period was Westerns and it’s no wonder I grew up believing my life was incomplete until I had a horse. We lived in San Diego and not only did I not have a horse, there were none nearby and I didn’t know anyone who had one. When I set out to save enough money to buy one, I managed with a lot of creativity and imagination.
The Barbie dolls took a long second away from my “Buddy-L” horse transporter, with three plastic horses. A BB gun was another favorite Christmas present … every cowboy on TV had pistols and rifles. I tied can lids to the back fence with a piece of string and would stand in the yard and shoot them, spinning them. We hunt in the canyon behind our house. No sparrow was safe, but I found out the hard way that shooting a pigeon would break your heart.
I’m still in awe that my first horse never threw me. It was a picnic bench placed upside down on the edge of our picnic table. It had a belt around the bench, another was the leather stirrup and a third was the stirrup. And I actually put all my weight on the stirrup and mounted my horse like you’re supposed to, from the left. Once mounted, I kept my right leg bent on the picnic table. Two dog leashes tied to the “X” of the overturned bench were my kidneys. Whenever he could find it, he would open a book on driving that he had taken from the Bookmobile and practiced riding, holding his kidneys, and placing his feet correctly while driving. Between my riding lessons and during the weeks that I didn’t have the library book, my imagination took over. I traveled all over the Shiloh Ranch with James Drury, “The Virginian” or showed up at the Texas Ranger headquarters in “Laredo” as Captain Parmalee’s long-lost daughter and got to hang out with Joe, Chad and Reese. Joe Riley, William Smith, was my personal favorite until he put on an eye patch and surprised me by killing Nick Nolte at the end of “Rich Man, Poor Man.”
I had set my monetary goal for buying horses at $ 300. I kept checking the San Diego paper classifieds to see how many were for sale and for how much. Trying to reach a goal of $ 300 when you were given 25 cents a week was difficult. He taught me the value of a penny. During one of my many investigations of classified ads, I saw an ad in a box saying that if a certain car dealer couldn’t put it on a new car, they would give it $ 100. One hundred dollars would be a big step towards my purchase goal. of horses. I called the dealer and told them I wanted to buy a car. When they asked my age, they told me they couldn’t do it. I tried to collect the $ 100, but they didn’t either. Another lesson learned in life: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is and nothing is easy.
Someone finally gave me a subscription to a horse magazine that I read like a Bible. I was going to get a full education when I became a horse owner and jockey. Thanks to an article in that magazine and a Basset Hound patient, I can still create three different types of halters with a piece of rope and a loop.
Yes, I finally got my horse. When I was 16 my father gave me the ultimatum, you can have a horse or a car, but you cannot have both. I chose the horse. The other problem is that I was financially responsible for all the costs of the horses: feed, vet, blacksmith, etc. Again, nothing is easy.
But the horse craze doesn’t end when you get your first horse. Crazy about horses is that your mom catches you leaving the house to go to school with spurs on, skipping classes to see western stores and horses for sale, and your best friend’s mom knowing she will never have it. bushes in front of your porch because that’s where you tie up your horse. The crazy horse is riding too late at night and coming home along the state road with a flashlight so traffic can see you in the dark. Horse Crazy means that while all the other seniors from your high school are heading to Florida for spring break, you and your best friend are driving to Colorado in search of cowboys. While the rest of the seniors head to a lake for Senior Show Jumping Day, you’re riding all over town to meet a couple of other horse-crazy classmates for a day. complete on horseback. When he finally comes home that day and dismounts, his legs are like rubber and he can’t even stand up. One Saturday night of raising hell was stuffing a couple of bottles of Boone’s Farm into an ice pack and heading to the horse auction. You and two of your friends never stopped rubbing shoulders and commenting that we should have signed up for a number, that he was a good looking horse and that it came out cheap.
When you’re crazy about horses, instead of going to college, you head to Montana and work on a tourist ranch. Once room and board are taken out of your pay, you have enough left to put gas in your car and buy some extra expenses. He also discovers that there is nothing romantic about branding cattle. Horse madness means that you will clean the stables and groom the horses in exchange for riding lessons in English. Crazy about horses means you still have the saddle you had 40 years ago. The funny thing is that it has shrunk over the years and no longer fits your butt. Now it is a decorative item in your western themed guest room. Finally, the horse craze means you know the satisfaction of standing in a warm barn and listening to the horses eat and you will always look twice when you see someone riding. You never go crazy about horses.