Untying G from the trailer, he thoughtfully lowered his head down, allowing me to place the reigns over his ears. After coaxing my horse over as close to our trailer as I could possible get him to go, I climbed up onto the finder well. Leaning over, carefully reaching for the saddle horn, I jumped from the trailer onto the saddle. He stood very quiet while I leaned over, situating my feet in the stirrups. Reaching for the reigns now, I was ready to go and so was he.
I rode over to where my dad was waiting, and he led us to the arena and we went over the barrel pattern a couple of times while waiting for my turn. “Right inside… figure 8 to the left inside…head to the right side of the third barrel and then bring him home.” Nothing too complicated, especially when the majority of the ride, for this little girl, was done at a trot.
In the alley way now, my dad pats me on the knee and smiles. Meanwhile, I am pleading with him to please not swat G on the rear with his hat, like he does with my older sisters, as I head out. I was happy to come out of the alley way at a very slow trot. He assures me that he won’t, but I still keep a close eye on his hand, making sure he doesn’t bring it up to his hat as I kick my horse forward, toward the first barrel. He keeps his word, of course.
I round the first barrel, no problem. The second barrel is in my sights and we trot around it and head to the third. G begins to slow so I kick a little to keep his speed at a trot, but he is being stubborn, insisting on slowing down and I immediately recognize this suspicious behavior.
I begin kicking frantically to no avail. G comes to a complete stop right between the second and third barrels and I begin to hear all the people in the stands laughing.
HE WAS POOPING!
I understand that when you got to go, you got to go, but come on! He couldn’t of waited just a couple more seconds before relieving himself? I was so mad I could have spit. I should have spit, right between his ears! I kicked, and kicked, and kicked, for what seemed like an eternity, and he pooped.
I was beyond relieved when he finally finished and began moving forward again. I think I rounded that third barrel and ran that stinkin horse “home” as fast I had ever rode, just to get out of sight of all those people.
Daddy was waiting, as always, to tell me I had done a good job, and he did. I don’t remember much else after that, except the feeling of being laughed at while I sat on a pooping horse is etched in my memory forever. Needless to say, I probably had the slowest time in the history of barrel racing.
Although, at the time I was furious with my horse and embarrassed beyond consoling, moments like these were what made my childhood great. These are the things I look back on now and laugh at. These are the moments I cherish.
G and I didn’t always see eye to eye, but he left hoof prints on my heart.