Monday, April 27, 2009

Lil' Bit Cowgirl

I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit cowgirl too. Love rodeos, westerns, country music, target shooting, camping and the outdoors. Don't have any cows, don't own any horses either. But I have friends here in Oklahoma City who do. That is the best of both worlds!

One friend is a horse whisperer, and that is an amazing thing to watch. His horses don't understand "Giddyup" or "Whoa Boy". This animal master utters soft little sounds, kisses and commands. He uses hand signals and bales of love to train his gorgeous babies, including wild mustangs. Rode horses with him and his assistant once, and my ride's name was Lightning. Uh-huh, that's what I said. Now SOME things just ought to give you pause. Maybe , just maybe I shoulda asked if there was a horse named Pokey, or Molasses. Perhaps I should have wondered about his name just a tidge more. Like why would a beautiful chesnut, quarter horse be named after something that is white hot and travels 3,700 miles per second? Instead of pondering that obvious bit of nomenclature, I just climbed right on, took three tries to pull myself up but hey! that's what happens when your biceps have migrated south and can tell you the wind speed and direction on any given day in Oklahoma. (I don't go sleeveless in public anymore. Last time, the wind caught me just right and it sounded like my blue SCHWINN from childhood when I used to attach my Old Maid cards to the spokes with clothespins. You can hear it can'tcha?) OK, so I was ready to re-live the life of Annie Oakley or Calamity Jane. (Some people would say the second persona is more apropos for me if you've ever seen me behind the wheel...but that is a post for another day!)

After WALKING the horses for what seemed like days on the trail, really about 15 minutes, I made the mistake of asking "Hey Bailey, we gonna ever change gears?" Well he turned around and had the nerve to grin this evil smile at me and then, being the horse whisperer that he is, said something sotto voce in equine-eeze and oh man! We changed gears alright.....we downshifted right into second, laid some hoof, and I started catching air between my denim-wrapped aspirations and the leather saddle that was firmly getting my attention. I learned right quick that it is more than possible to ride with one boot-clad foot tippy-toed in the stirrup and one knee not-so-gracefully draped around the horn (it doesn't honk by the way- and who is the big, fat, goat-head that named it the "HORN" anyway?!?) Oh, and I let fly a beautiful one-word prayer straight up to my Lord and Saviour. And He heard me. People in Cleveland heard me, 'cause I yelled it loud and proud.

If only I would have had on a sequined be-fringed jumpsuit with big ol' country singer hair and a belt buckle that could double as a dinner plate...I bet I coulda hired on at the local rodeo as "Rip Roarin' Rhonda June- Stunt Rider Extraordinaire". Yeah, alright- I'm kidding. It was pretty comical, pretty sure even the horses were laughing.

My horse was so well trained that any little vocal nuance was a type of "go-command", unbeknownst to me. A well-oiled machine like that means you have to be reeeeeally careful. An itty-bitty cough or soft glottal stroke and you could end up in Dallas before you know it. I was hanging there , in my hindsight dangling gracefully really, off the side of that saddle, pulling on the left rein. So we just kept riding in a BIG circle to the left. Lightning problably thought my blinker was stuck. And all the grunting and groaning I was doing from the saddle horn torture was obviously a language Lightning understood, and it meant "Hyah!!!!"

I leave you today with a savvy piece of advice from this little-bit cowgirl: If you have never ridden a horse, try it at least once in your lifetime. And the walking gear is just fine. If you ever get a chance to ride a "whispered horse" named Lightning, and you're posing for a picture? For Heaven's sake don't blow a kiss to the camera, 'cause that'll getcha 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds! Don't EVEN ask me how I know that....I just, uh...anybody seen my hat? How about my dignity? Hmmm? Anybody??? Now how 'bout that?


  1. I'll have to try that out someday. I don't have near death experiences often enough.

    I also wouldn't mind speaking to this horse whisperer regarding a screenplay I'm working on.

  2. Mom, this was AWESOME! You really have a gift for humorous Southern-style story-tellin'.

    @ Shawn: LOL! Let me guess... either "Horsedance" or something called "The Pony Murmurer" and you're going to try and sue Hollywood again?

  3. Shahhhn- I have had enough for the both of us, really.

    Heath- "Pony Murmurer".... bwahahahaha!

  4. hehe, I don't know much more about horses than what breif blurps on Animal Planet have taught me. My few horse-riding expirences taught me that my hiccup sounds oddly like "giddy-up".

    Horses speak english, they just don't want us to know.

    Funny post, your blog looks great!

  5. have to be careful in foreign countries when giving commands to horses too. I had a similar experience when I did the wrong thing on horse back in Germany and actually landed on my backside on the ground. Good post!

  6. nan-nan, I am so thrilled to have found your blog! You are a very funny storyteller. I mean it. I adore your daughter and can see where she gets her style and wit. Fabulous post!

  7. That there is excellent writing. Funny and evocative. I rode a horse called "Widow Maker" once. Pretty sure he interpreted all whispers to mean " get near a big cliff and throw human off".

  8. Sparkly Princess:

    You are adorable!!! Thanks for following me. Thanks for the compliment, you doll, you!

    OB-OB: Sprechen ze "OUCH!"

    I just love your name! Thanks for saying such sweet things. Keep comin' back, ok?

    Troll Man: First of all, thanks for the high praise, and coming from you, that is what it is, because your writing just slays me. So, THANKS! I'll be thinking of ya tomorrow if an when they show Secretariat leaving the pack in the dirt. Send your work address to my email and I will send you the Big Red photo if you want it. he is standing in the grass with his handler holding on to his bridle. What a loss-he was truly the greatest.

  9. Nan-Nan,

    No thanks. You can scan and send a copy if you want though. On Tuesday, I will be announcing a THROWDOWN CULINARY CHALLENGE at The Troll Report. You'll prolly want to compete when you see the details.