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I Told You So

continued by Brenda Zeigenbein
continuation of previous story entitled, Operator Error

I’ve been telling stories on my friends and I thank them all for being such wonderful sports. I thought it time, however, for me to explain why I identify with them and their predicaments so well. It is because I’ve had so many “experiences” myself.

One time Clarence and I made a trip to southeast Missouri to visit friends and ended up buying a pretty little three year old mare. Clarence bought the mare to sell but I thought she was so cute and pretty, I begged him not to sell her. The mare wasn’t broke to ride when we got her and we had a boy ride her a few times and then Clarence started trail riding her. At that time we did a lot of trail riding. When the weather was good, I hurried home from work so we could saddle up a couple horses and make a big circle before dark. The pretty little mare was breaking out pretty good. Her biggest problem was being a little bit lazy and she didn’t tolerate the spurs very good. Clarence was careful not to spur her when she was fresh but after she got warmed up, he would touch her with the spurs when going up hill. She would swish her tail and try to buck but by that time, she was getting tired and it was difficult for her to buck very hard going up hill.

After Clarence rode her on trail a couple or three times, I began to make noises about wanting to ride her. Finally, Clarence gave in. We got ready to ride one weekend, Clarence was to take a two year old and I was going to ride the pretty little three year old. As we prepared to leave, Clarence noticed I had my spurs on and he reminded me that the little mare really did not care too much for spurs. I replied that I would be careful and not spur her until she got wore down. Clarence shook his head as if to say, “Allright, but if you get bucked off, don’t expect me to feel sorry for you”. We left and started down through a little subdivision to get to the trail we liked to ride. Clarence’s son and his family lived in the subdivision and as we started past their house, we noticed they were all outside in the yard. We stopped to visit with them a few minutes. As we started to leave, we cut across the back yard and saw there was a small ditch with water in it we had to cross to get back to the gravel road. Clarence was in the lead and his two year old didn’t want to cross the ditch. He was patient with her and let her sidle up and down in front of the ditch for a minute until she decided it wasn’t going to eat her and she stepped across. Then it was my turn. My horse did not want to cross and we sidled back and forth and back and forth in front of the ditch, my mare with her head down looking at the water. She was determined she was not going to cross the ditch and I was just as determined she was going to cross (it would have been far too simple and easy to go down the driveway and around). Clarence and his horse were waiting for us on the other side and Clarence laughed and hollered, “Put the spurs to her”. I knew he was teasing and there was no way I was going to spur her. Finally the mare put her head down and looked one more time, then jumped for all she was worth. This was a tiny little ditch and she jumped as if she were crossing a six foot chasm. I wasn’t at all afraid and in fact, was laughing as we sailed over the little ditch. As we landed on the other side, however, my feet flew back and, involuntarily, I spurred the mare in the flanks. Immediately I knew I was in trouble as the little mare began to buck. She bucked several times and each time she hit the ground, my feet flew back and gigged her again. It wasn’t long until I felt myself starting to come off my horse. It was then I noticed Clarence was having trouble with his horse. His two year old had gotten excited and he was turning her in circles. When Clarence got his horse under control, he looked over and saw me sitting in the middle of my mare. He said, “I thought she threw you” and I replied, “She did, I got back on”. As his horse was turning in circles, I came off my mare but landed on my feet and fell forward onto my knees and one hand. I was still tightly grasping the reins with my other hand. While Clarence’s attention was focused on his own horse and problems, I had gotten thrown, got up, and and got back on my horse.

Clarence’s son, daughter in law, and grandchildren had watched the whole show and came running toward us saying, “Are you allright”? I remember replying through my laughter, “I rode her to the buzzer”. Needless to say, this episode occurred when I was a little bit younger, a little bit lighter, and a whole lot braver than I am today.

Clarence and I continued on our trail ride and it didn’t take me long to realize the little mare was not only cold backed but she was also a little bit hard trotty. In fact, she was really not much fun to ride. After making a great big circle that day, I sheepishly told Clarence I thought it would be all right to go ahead and sell the mare if he wanted to. Clarence, being one never to pass up an opportunity, just had to say, “I told you so”.

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