Saturday, April 9, 2016

Tender Years: Horses




"A grownup is a child with layers on."  - Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.





Despite the lore, everyone in Texas does not have a horse!  I do 
suppose if you live in the rural areas, you do either have a horse , know someone who has a horse or know someone who rides.  We never had a horse.  My middle sister, Sarah, dated and married into a family that had horses.  Working cowhorses.  Horses that could swim the sloughs, walk through mud and pull a steer to safety.  Carry a calf to dry land.  Later on, my other sister, Edna, and her husband got a couple of horses and for a while everyone participated in the local Trial Riders Club and Lion's Rodeo Arena.  

Sarah & I on Dan
My earliest "rides" were around the yard with Sarah.  I liked the big, beautiful animals, but I had a healthy dose of respect for their size and power.  I also have a fogy memory of her taking me at least part way on a trail ride.  Everyone dressed in jeans, boots, hats, and western shirts.  A lot of dipping and chewing.  A lot of laughter.  A lot of words I'd never heard.  Horses getting sideways with one another.  A man or two getting sideways with their horse.  A man or two getting sideways with each other.  Is sideways a Texas term?  Sort of means a disagreement with a little hostility that doesn't go very far.  I remember tromping through mud to go to a port-a-pottie.  I remember being disgusted by the filthiest bathroom I ever saw!  But I was with Sarah and that made everything all right.

I remember Sarah's youngest sister-in-law going for rodeo queen one year when I was nine or so  She had made her a baby blue, satin suit with rhinestones and glitter.  I thought it was the prettiest thing I had ever seen!  I wanted to ride and be rodeo queen and dress like that.  But I never told anyone. There were lots of things over the years I wanted to try, wanted to do, but I never told anyone.  It never occurred to me that you could tell someone and they might could get you lessons or something. So, I never rode, I never danced, I never learned to twirl a baton.  All I ever took lessons for was swimming and that was mostly because Mama wanted me to be safe in water.  

I remember going to the rodeo arena quite often for a while with Edna and her girls as I entered adolescence.  I loved the the cowbells, the smell of horses, the country music blaring over the speakers when they weren't announcing events.  The flags that were paraded by horse and rider. There'd  be barrel racing, calf roping, and of course, bull riding.  And clowns.  I remember the Frito pies from the concession stand:  they'd split open a small bag of Fritos on the side, spoon in chili and cheese and whatever else you wanted and hand you a plastic spoon.  The hamburgers they grilled and served up!  Everything tasted better there!  I don't think all the credit goes to the cooks, I think it had something to do with eating outside, under the stars.  

What about you?  Have any experiences with horses as a child?  Were there things you would have liked to learn, and did you express that to anyone?  What does the expression 'sideways' mean to you? Does food really taste better outdoors?

Thanks for sharing!

Barbara



36 comments:

  1. This sounds like a lot of fun!
    I love horses, but they are not very common in the part of Italy where I live.
    Beautiful animals!

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

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  2. Anyone who camps swears by the "food tastes better outdoors" rule. Eggs certainly do--can't beat eggs cooked over an open fire.

    My grannie had horses, as did my cousins, and I took lessons when I was little. I always forget just how big they are until I go riding again. I'll always have a healthy respect for them.

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    1. I know even the simplest meal at the camp always seemed like five star fare to me!

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  3. My only real connection with horses is a friend I know who owns a horse. That's something so odd in the midwest. No one here has a horse. So I always find it cool and recently went to visit it and did a photography shoot for her. Outside of that, I only knew horses from seeing them at the State Fair or watching Fury on TV.

    Sideways is never a good thing and when I hear that in an expression, I realize it means trouble. For example: "The peace negotiations seemed to be going well until suddenly everything went sideways". For whatever reason, I picture guns blazing.

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    1. Thanks for sharing! Always amazes me the things we take for granted in our own area or our own lifestyle that we find is rare in other places.

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  4. I'm sorry that you didn't get to learn the things that you wanted to learn. I wanted to learn to play the violin in elementary school. Mama said that we couldn't afford it, so I didn't. When I got to high school, I wanted to learn to play the saxophone. I didn't bother to ask because I figured it would be the same notes again, so to speak.

    The trail riding event sounds like fun. We've seen several times the trail riders go through our town as they're headed to Houston. It is awesome seeing all those horses. :) I didn't have any horse experiences as a child. Thankfully, our children have been able to ride horses in the past.

    "Sideways" to me means that things just aren't quite right, confused maybe.

    Yes, food definitely tastes better outside. Maybe all those mosquitoes add extra flavor. haha

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne, and thanks for sharing! Looks like we have beautiful weather for this weekend. ;)

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    2. You're welcome and thank you, too. We had thunderstorms earlier today, but the sun came back out a little bit ago.

      Here's to sunshine the rest of the weekend. :) Have fun!

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  5. I think I was one of few children in the world who were never interested in horses. One of my best friends, however, is all about them, and when she talks about them, I love to listen :) My little sister rode horses for a while, but my family never really got invested.

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary
    MopDog

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    1. I never really got into them. My husband was an avid rider for a time. Now, we have two. They are never rode. They are basically just big overgrown pets!

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  6. When I was ten or so, I went to a week-long riding camp one summer, which I really enjoyed. It was my first time on a horse, so we weren't doing anything fancy, but it was lots of fun. Until the second last day when I was standing beside my horse and another horse looked sideways at it (such a perfect expression! :D) and in the kerfuffle, I got kicked by one of them. Except no-one believed me and thought that I was just spooked by them and that's why I was crying. I finally had to lift my shirt to show them the horseshoe-shaped mark on my side! Still, I think that they are fantastic creatures. I know that I just got caught on the wrong side of one. :)

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. Yeah, in between two horses is never a good thing. Never know when one of them will decide they need to make contact with the other. Even being playful, they are sometimes rough with one another.

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  7. I've only been on a horse twice in my life and had no desire then or now. When I first came out here John had a horse named Waco,

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    1. I have liked, enjoyed my few experiences riding, but I have no desire to pursue it more. That's a cute name for a Texas horse!

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  8. Enjoyed reading about your trip down memory lane. We didn't have horses. There were chickens, turkeys, and mink; a fox for a little while. My one memorable horse ride was on a trail behind Dole Pineapple Plantation in the middle of O'ahu to see a waterfall. I was just glad I didn't fall off.

    The only time I remember hearing "going sideways" is in a country song, something about on Wednesday (or Thursday?) things went sideways. Figured it meant everything went wrong.

    Gail’s 2016 April A to Z Challenge
    Theme: The Fun in Writing #226

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Caneyhead! Odd combination of animals as mink and fox can be predators to chickens. At least when you did ride a horse you did it to experience something very unique and different.

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  9. My pastor keeps cattle, and in the summer they have "ropings" on Monday nights. They rope cows in the arena and do a little bit of trail riding with anyone who wants to ride a horse. Afterwards, they have singing, snacks, and devotional time. I have some fond memories of the times I got to go.

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  10. I love these posts. They bring back many memories for me. I grew up in south TX but we never had horses. None of the seven of us were interested in them that I know of. We had lots of cows, chickens and cotton.

    I heard going sideways a lot growing up. It meant things were going wrong and there was trouble. I don't know if this is a TX term or not.

    Food definitely taste better cooked outside. I'm not sure why that is. Is it the fresh air, or the mosquitoes, ha! Every time we were outside at night we got bit by several mosquitoes. This always happened at the fair, but it was all worth it anyway.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. I'm glad you've been enjoying your time in Caneyhead, Sunni! I bet you have many stories of memories inside you, what with 6 siblings and the animals and the cotton.

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  11. I was on a horse once. Not by choice. Hated it.

    One day, when I was about 16, I was looking through a Seventeen magazine, and I came across a pattern for a sweater. Which was unusual. The first and last time I ever saw one in there. I wondered what all those abbreviations meant.

    Out loud, I said these fateful words: "I would like to learn how to knit." My mother was sitting there. She said my great grandmother would love to teach me. Now, almost 30 years later, I'm still knitting...

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  12. I was horse crazy from my earliest years, but we couldn't afford lessons. In junior high I met Vickie B, whose family had 3 horses. They were kind enough to give me basic instruction and let me ride Tango, who was about as slow and sedate as a horse can be while still awake and breathing. In college I skipped meals and used the money to rent trail horses by the hour. I still can't afford a horse of my own but ride at any opportunity.

    I agree, food - any kind of food - tastes better outside, especially when you're at a fun event!

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    1. I'm happy you have found ways to include horses in your life if you enjoy riding. Thanks for coming by Caneyhead!

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  13. This is a cool story. Seems you had an interesting childhood. I love horses but am not around them.

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    1. I'll say I definitely had a different childhood from most today. Thanks for coming by!

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  14. Live long and prosper, Barbara. Its been total fun experiencing your thunder storms.

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    1. Thank you for that extraterrestrial blessing!

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  15. I've ridden a horse a time or two. As most young girls, I wanted a horse very badly when I was young. No desire to own one now. But I have a granddaughter who loves them so much!!

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    1. It does seem to be a common dream of girls, does it not?

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  16. I was enrolled in ballet at age four and thus began thirteen years of daily discipline, poise and standing on the tips of my toes as if I was ever meant to do so. Bleeding toes and pain were not to be discussed or the fearsome Madame Tuke was swift to swat with that shiny black pointer stick. She called me Buffy (perhaps from the TV show ‘Family Affair’) and liked me well enough to take me home with her when I wasn’t picked up on Friday nights. I thought her home was such a glorious escape that I never minded going there, especially because she had an enormous screened-in patio full of cats. I was in my glory and when someone finally came for me on Sunday afternoons, I wasn’t anxious to leave. It was later that horses, cowboys and tumbleweeds became fixtures in my life. Food somehow always tastes better outside, as if food just goes better with friends. Madame Tuke would turn in her grave if she knew the dances I learned after ballet (grin). I love the picture of you and Sara on the horse!

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  17. Sounds like Madame was a very good woman and a positive influence in your life when perhaps you really needed it. I have no idea how a ballet teacher would feel about the two-step or line dancing. Appalled for sure if you didn't do it with your toes pointed! ;)

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  18. My daughter has had the chance to do a bunch of small pony rides, and I did take her on a carriage ride.

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  19. My grandmother was quite a horsewoman, and my mom and I rode when I was in grade school. Now, our family owns four horses. Love those critters.

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  20. My grandmother was quite a horsewoman, and my mom and I rode when I was in grade school. Now, our family owns four horses. Love those critters.

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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