The other day my friend Russell was telling me a story about how his girlfriend’s town-raised brother fell off his new horse.

Russell is one of my cowboy buddies, ranch born and raised, has done nothing except cowboy his entire life, it is what he is. He is exactly how one pictures a cowboy; long, lean, rugged, weathered face, worn boots, handlebar moustache, dusty cowboy hat, faded wranglers, and his drawl is so soft, he can barely be heard……….when he speaks, which is not often. Unlike best guy friend D. who’ll yak your ear off given the chance.

Russell came out and we looked over Scooter. I wanted his opinion on treating Scooter’s arthritis a better way or something different than what I’ve been doing. An objective opinion always helps.

Russell’s story about the city boy made me recall something that happened to one of the ‘boarders’ we had in N.MI.

The new boarder was a brand new horse owner. Linda had no inclination to learn about horses, she thought she already knew what she needed to know. Anyone around horses knows that it is a continuing education-not something you ‘just know’.

Linda was 24 years old, 5 years older than best friend L. and I at the time, she was married to a real jerk who had some money and they had a 5 yo son.

Linda had bought a coppery sorrel gelding named Clipper, he was a nice horse. I rode him a few times and he rode quite well.

When Linda first showed up at the barn, she was wearing sockless slip on Keds, shortshorts, and a t-shirt. Best friend L. and I told her she’d be much more safer and comfortable if she wore jeans and definately boots in the future. Linda just nodded her agreement.

She owned boots, because the day she bought them, she stopped by the barn to show them off……the only time the boots made it to the barn.

The next time Linda showed up to ride she was wearing tennis shoes(no socks, her trademark) with her jeans. As she was saddling Clipper, he stumbled sideways, and promptly flopped a big hoof on Linda’s toes. Linda screamed bloody murder, shoved Clipper off her foot, and examined her damaged big toe.

Best friend L. and I both said, “wear boots!”

The next sockless tennis shoe fiasco happened when the farrier came to visit. Sometimes Clipper did not like to be caught. My horses are easy catches and it was not my responsibility to chase Linda’s horse around the pasture last minute. We’d been thru this before, if the farrier is shoeing/trimming your horse, you be there and handle it. I also had a full time job that I was needing to leave for in minutes.

As Linda is chasing after Clipper with a lead and halter very much resembling a huge lioness chasing a gazelle on the African Plains. She steps wrong and twists her ankle. Linda then lays in the field until I go see what her problem is.

Again I tell her, “wear boots dammit!”

After Linda’s sprain heals, she comes back to the barn to ride Clipper who has been rode regularly on the trail while she recovered. He went beautifully on the trails. He really was a lovely trail horse despite his owners complaints.

So, best friend L. was working her colt on a lunge when Linda returned from her ride. She was walking..more like limping and leading Clipper. Her foot slipped in the stirrup and her leg sustained a huge, bloody scrape.

Linda was lucky on that day she did not get dragged to her death…..

L.’s response, “wear boots!”

The final episode of Linda’s tennis shoe riding was on a trail ride with L. and I. Linda begged to come along and we gave her the excuse she probably would not have fun with us but she insisted so we told her  okay, “ride at your own risk.”

 That summer, L. and I had been working long hours. We ditched our at-the-time boyfriends and a good keg party for this ride we had planned. The last thing we wanted was someone tagging along worse than a 3 yo brat.

Linda showed up in her now famous sockless tennis shoes. She was also wearing cut offs. L. and I just shook our heads.

We went on our ride. We came to what L. and I called our ‘running hill’ It was a large sandy hill on a 2-track lane that we always ran our horses up as fast as they could go. Then we’d all out gallop on the sandy 2 -track for a mile or so. We warned Linda about our impending race so she’d be prepared. We galloped off and raced up the hill and down the sandy road.

I saw Linda pass me on clipper at full stetched gallop. She was barely hanging on and bouncing all over her saddle. Her reins flopping wildly, she had no control over her horse.

I eased my horse up to avoid trampling her should she fall off in front of me which I was surely believed she would eventually do. L. was in front and she kept going straight instead of turning because she glanced back and saw Linda flopping around in her saddle . Clipper did not follow and made a swift Left turn down another trail. Linda did not make the turn. Instead she did a superman fly thru the air, bounced and rolled to a stop in a cloud of dust, all the while screaming her fool head off. Being behind her, I viewed the whole thing in what appeared like slow motion. It was all I could do not to laugh hysterically.

L. stopped and went to see about Linda’s well being and I chased after and caught Clipper before he made a beeline for home or worse, the highway.

When I returned, Linda was still laying in the trail, her ankle swelled up the size of her thigh and turning all kinds of black/blue/ bloody red.

One look and I knew it was broken, a bad break (tib/fib).

L. and I looked at eachother and said in unison, “should have worn boots.” instead of commenting about her poor riding ability.



Filed under Friends, Horses

15 responses to “Boots!

  1. I have a pair of boots. They’re called Uggs. They are pink and lined with soft fleece. Do those count?

  2. Some folks – you can tell ’em and tell ’em and tell ’em and they’re just like a man whether they are male or female – know it all and don’t hear a word you say. But karma has a way of finding people like that and paying them back….

  3. It drives me crazy when you see pics of horses for sale and the rider is wearing sneakers–makes you wonder what kind of yahoos they are and whether they bother looking after the horse or riding it properly. It’s 10x worse when it’s a kid riding in sneakers, one of my pet peeves. Besides, barns can be such messy places. Can you imagine what her feet were like after walking around in muck with no socks?! 😉

  4. SailorMoon

    I’m laughing my big butt off over at your “superman fly” description!! Some people are just thick…thick headed that is!! Note to self: if I ever ride a horse, wear boots. Not that I own any cowboy boots, but I’ll wear my dress jean boots at least!! (not my usual flip-flops!!) 🙂

  5. Oh, this made me giggle! Have you ever head the John Wayne expression” Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid?”

    Yeah, seems like maybe there’s a truth to that. 🙂

  6. Aniin BG, just got into work, Diane’s eye appt. took three hours with all the tests and paperwork. She is scheduled for cataract surgery next month.

    I was reading in the paper about the glut of horses for sale in the U.S. and how many people are just letting them go wild throughout the country.

  7. I have a few sily pictures of me wearing my boots…..and shorts.

  8. Poor Clipper! What an inexperienced twit! She shoulda had lessons. Poor horse having to deal with all that. sigh….. D 🙂

  9. swampwitch-nope, those are not considered proper riding attire

    rachel-yep, Linda had some Karma all right

    defrostindoors-omg, I swear, you and I think ALIKE!

    SM-the superman fly was funny, especially from my point of view

    pinky-the BEST quote Ive heard in a long while, heheh

    brian-the market will sort itself out, dont fret. What I do not understand is if no one wants ALL THESE horses, why hasnt anyone called me??!!

    celeste-me too! shorts + boots make quite a fasion statement 🙂

    FF-yes, Clipper was a sweety, poor thing.

  10. Love them cowgirl boots
    Sounds like you girls ride pretty wild

    “Clipper did not follow and made a swift Left turn down another trail. Linda did not make the turn. Instead she did a superman fly thru the air, bounced and rolled to a stop in a cloud of dust, all the while screaming her fool head off. Being behind her, I viewed the whole thing in what appeared like slow motion. It was all I could do not to laugh hysterically”

    Was that a ‘supergirl’ leap thru the air. – lol!
    I know, I know shouldn’t laugh
    Hope she’s feeling better

  11. was she blonde?

    don’t hit me.

  12. Boots, got it.

    Get this: I used to be so clueless about this stuff that I once let my son ride a horse wearing his soccer shoes, with cleats on the bottom.

  13. You told that story so well.
    This could be one of those ones where you end by saying

    watching Linda fly off her horse… Priceless.

  14. long, lean, rugged, weathered face, worn boots, handlebar moustache, dusty cowboy hat, faded wranglers, and his drawl is so soft, he can barely be heard
    sigh……………….my weakness.

  15. quasar9-she healed and when I moved to Okla, she still had Clipper and eventually built a small paddock and barnf or him at her house

    jenny-nope! a brunette


    pamela-yep, it was priceless

    hope-he is easy on the eyes…..:)

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