Sunday, March 30, 2008

That Ornery Horse

That is my mother, Finley's older sister Doris, on That Ornery Horse; Finley's chit chatting with the beast, they were best of friends; the woman standing back there on the Lodge's boardwalk is Doris and Finley's mother, my Grandmom Clarke.

Very few people ever got anywhere on That Ornery Horse. I can't remember the old guy's real name, so he shall be referred to here as That Ornery Horse. He sure was ornery to me. When I rode him, he wouldn't go hardly one darn direction that I wanted him to.

That is a 16-year-old me sitting all wrong on That Ornery Horse. I don't know a thing about horsemanship, but if you do I'm certain that you can take one quick look at this photo and tell that I have no idea how to handle a horse. The way I'm sitting in the saddle and handling the reins told That Ornery Horse that I knew not a thing about how to control him. Then I'm allowing him to graze on grass, when I was wanting him to walk around and take me for a horsey-back ride. I can't tell you exactly what I was definitely doing wrong, but I can tell you that I was doing it all wrong.

That horse was real sneaky rascal.

One time, in 1969, an experienced horseman, who was a paying guest at the Lodge, was showing me how to saddle that horse. And the darned horse snuck a peek backwards to see where my feet were placed. Then he casually placed his hard hoof down onto the top of my relatively softer foot. Now that's a sneaky rascal.

And the whole dang time I lived and worked at Katahdin Lodge, it was me who watered the horse in the morning, fed and watered him in the evening, and mucked out his stinking muckin' little barn.

He was a pest too.

Anytime I was mucking out his two stalls, in the little horse barn my Uncle Finley had built for him, I had to shut the door to keep him out there, or he'd come in to just stand there and harass me. I would be steadily shoveling his horse manure out of his living space, and he would ease on in next to me, then lean over against me and pin me up against the wall.

What an ingrate!

I am no horseman at all.

I only tried to get him go for a nice long ride back to Hale Pond once, but he wouldn't go more than a hundred yards down the mile long woods road to Hale. I knew my limitations with him, so I never tried to ride him again.

No big deal. When that horse was under my care, he got treated like he should. I always gave him his necessities, along with a few gentle words and a light, friendly scratch to his face, no matter what the weather or anything or anybody else was doing. I worked on his schedule. That's only fair.



David Robert Crews Copyright 2008







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