Growing Up Hurt and Humiliated. Part 5

After my family moved from Mississippi to Alabama, we didn't live on a farm anymore, but we did still have some farm animals. Mostly just horses and cows, as Dad had taken up the hobby of Team Roping, which required both animals.

One of my chores around the house was to keep the horses clean and kept up, which meant bathing them, cleaning their hoofs and brushing their hair. I was a pretty short kid, so when brushing the mane, I would either have to climb up on a bucket, or on top of the horse. Normally, I would want to tie the horses off, but it was a huge pain in the ass to get a bridle on.

There was one horse in particular who's name was Scratch. His name was Scratch because he had a penchant for not stopping when running full tilt at a barb wire fence. As per my duties, I had shimmied myself on Scratch's back to comb his mane. Unfortunately for me, Scratch had spotted a female horse in the neighbors' field, and as he is want to do...took off...with me on his back. Oh, and no bridle. No saddle.

At first my small child arms were around his neck, then as the speed increased, the grip began to break. Then my fingers dug into his neck as hard as they could, but couldn't hold. The last bastion of hope was his freshly combed mane. That didn't last long, as he was mid field, and at full speed. I knew that in that moment, I was going to have to fall. It was almost Matrix like, as I tried to recount how stunt men had fallen off horses. I thought, "OK, don't fall off the back, you'll get kicked to shit." So, as my grip finally gave out, I fell to the side. Bad bad bad. The first thing that hit the ground was my nose. Followed by a hoof to the back of the head. At some point, I stopped rolling, stood up, and coughed grass, mud and blood out of my mouth. The grass, mud and blood was still firmly planted in my nose.

My brother who witnessed this fine horseback ride, reported what was going on to my parents. Not in worry mind you, but more what seemed to be elation as it was later reported to me "HES A RIDIN THAT HORSE!"

My parents came from the house to see me walking back through the field in a heap, I looked like exactly what happened to me.

Presumably, if there were a truck around, my Dad would have told me to go get in it.

Next time, I'll continue on why I don't mix well with farm animals. Like at all.


  1. This was one of my favorite stories shared at Thanksgiving that year. I like your mom's account of this which in the kitchen and asking where you were and J replying "HE'S RIDIN' THAT HORSE!!!".


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