I would be remiss if I didn't write a couple stories about horses. To be honest, I was not much of a cowgirl growing up. Horses made me nervous. Being in 4H made me nervous too. For one thing, I had a great deal of difficulty telling my right from my left. You would see me in the arena with an L on my left hand and a R on my right. Until I got a wedding ring on my left hand, I would still have to think about directions.
All of us kids had a horse. There might not have been enough saddles to go around sometimes, but we each had a horse. Mine was POA pony and he was devious and hateful. He knew that I was scared and he would go out of his way to start something. In the spring time was the worst, because all of the horses had been out to pasture all winter. They really feel their oats on the first long ride in Spring.
Biggie was no exception. He spent the better part of a cattle drive running away with me or laying down in a ditch or cold mountain stream. His full name was Big-Enough. Dad bought this half-starved pony at an auction for $4.00.
It was with great relief, that my cousin Todd fell in love with him and they were a perfect match. Biggie understood that Todd was no pushover.
That left me without a horse for a while. There was one summer that I rode an old mare called April, who belonged to the neighbors. She ran me through a clothesline and a succession of horses followed her for a next few summers.
Then, my dad gave me Johnny Hawk to ride. He had been his best horse for years. Johnny Hawk was the smoothest horse that you would ever want to know. You could run bareback on him and never slip. He "knew" which way a cow was going to turn. You always felt comfortable and safe on him. I won my first trophy and multitudes of blue ribbons on him.
He came from a line of AA and Triple A Horses and he was fast. But the best thing about him was that we were friends. Either my dad or I could ride him without a bridle and guide him by your knees. This horse was just beautiful inside and out.
I mention these horses because they shaped a great deal of my life growing up. I would never personally give a child a pony. They are cute and small, but they can be nasty too. If you had a child who was bossy and stubborn, they probably would be fine. But I was not too assertive and it broke my confidence for a very long time.
Sometimes we go through life with the assumption that we automatically inherit a trait or talent that your parents or siblings have. Do I regret horse riding? No. Does it come naturally to me, not really. But I learned a great deal growing up being around horses and ranch life. I may have been a chicken, but I still forgot more information about horses that most people know these days.
To say the least, I was a late-bloomer in a family that had achieved many things. It is never too late to find your own niche. I had plenty of talents, just not the ones that everyone else possesed.
Now I should come back to Horse Sense. We lack a great deal of it in America today. Most of us know that if something is hot, you wait for it to cool. Right now, words are being bandied around like firecrackers and not much else is getting done. The average person in America is working hard and hoping that they will be able to ford the river when the rains of destruction come in the way of financial ruin.
We will not sink, if we can remember that we are in a special place. It is no accident that you are an American. Be inspired and inspiring, our forefathers sacrified a great deal for us to have that priviledge.