Monday, August 04, 2008

Smokey the Cow HorseI couldn't find a picture of the hardback version of this book, so I scanned our copy. Smokey the Cow Horse by Will James was published in 1926. It was reprinted in 1993 as a paperback. This was at least my second time to read the book. This particular copy was originally donated to the Sacred Heart school library in 1968 by my mom's family. Around 1994 it was retired to my mom. In this book, Will James writes about the perfect cow horse who suffers some hard knocks in life due to people who don't know or just don't care about horses. Smokey eventually finds happiness again. It'll bring tears out if you have any in you. It makes me want to treat my ponies better. This weekend was a struggle with the horses at the rodeo. There is a phenomenon that happens when our fat, insecure horses go out in public. They are "herd bound". They get nervous when they are only just feet away from each other. I know it's genuine fear. They trust each other more than they trust their riders. There are plenty of factors for this - we don't ride them enough, sometimes they get ridden by people who don't know what they're doing, and they don't have a job to occupy their minds. Horses are smart enough to know that riding in circles serves no purpose. They need to chase a cow around now and then. They need to come away feeling like they actually accomplished something that day. Horses aim to please, but if they don't feel a solid connection with their rider, then they automatically decide to please themselves. I get so frustrated with this condition because it limits where I can go with them and what I can do. It's especially dangerous with Apache, since he will buck. They all handle it differently, of course. Ranger prances and goes sideways. Lucky is the best, but he will snake his head and spin around on you. Gabby just goes stupid and flings himself around, disregarding what or who is around him. But, as dangerous as it is, I think the part that bothers me the most is that I can empathize with them. I used to not be so needy of other people, but that changed big time in the last 5 years or so. I'm fat and insecure. I don't have much of a purpose. It's not fair that I'm not allowed to blame the horses for how they are, but I have to take the blame for letting myself become the way I am. On top of that, I should be taking the blame for the horses being practically useless and dangerous. Nah, you probably don't understand. Sometimes I just miss the days when it was just me and Mollie taking on the world. With our sidekicks Honey and Prairie, of course. Speaking of sidekicks, Buck Taylor was at the rodeo team roping. He played Newley on Gunsmoke. Here's a video about him.

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