Most of you who have been following my posts this month probably guessed I would choose horses for the subject of the H post. I could hardly leave Banjo out after writing about all the other animals at “Grandma’s Ranch.”
Banjo is the third horse I have owned. I started with an American Saddlebred when I was 19. He was a beautiful big horse that I bought from the man who owned a riding stable where I worked for a short time after high school. His name was Turk. The horse, not the man.
Turk was an amazing horse that could work under English or Western tack, and he won Best of Show at the Michigan State Fair the year after I sold him.
My second horse was Buck, named so because he did like to buck people off. I got him as a green-broke horse when I was pregnant for our third child. For a few weeks I worked with him on the ground and could even put the kids on his back and lead them around, so I thought he was ready for someone to mount him. My husband preferred that I not do that, for obvious reasons, so he volunteered. Buck promptly bucked my husband off, much to the delight of the kids. “Oh, look, Daddy’s a rodeo cowboy.”
My husband was far from delighted, and even more so when a seasoned horse-woman caught Buck, led him to my husband and said. “Get back on.”
I didn’t hear my husband’s response, but I’m sure it is not printable here. The woman said, “If you don’t get back on, the horse won. You never want to let the horse win.”
So my husband did get back on and let the woman lead him around just long enough to show the horse who was boss.
I had a similar experience when I first got Banjo. The first time I rode him, he was fine, but the second time I mounted him, he decided to rear. He went straight up, and for a moment I thought we were going over backwards. Luckily my daughter was there, and she was able to grab the horse as he came down and hold him until my nerves settled down.
My impulse was to bail. After all I am a lot older now than when I used to like to ride horses that gave you a little rodeo before they settled down. Those horses always had a lot of spirit, but I am too old to risk any more broken bones.
Still, I remembered what that woman told my husband those many years ago. So I had my daughter lead us around. Then I called a trainer who worked with the horse and with me until I could show Banjo who is boss. He still thinks he is, but I know better.