Straight from the Horse's Mouth
The Best Day of My Life
Kids. Ain't they precious? Y'all can't help but love 'em. 'Specially the ones that love horses. 'Specially the ones I've had the pleasure of knowin'.
I remember one special kid that I haven't seen for several years now since we moved. Ian was a peanut of a kid, a good guy for such a young kid, with a great sense of humor. Always clownin' around, but in a safe, happy and respectful way. He always saw the humor in a situation. One day we went trail ridin' and we halted before crossin' a road to "stop, look and listen". I heard the horse behind me grunt and heard the flap of the saddle as she did a complete body shake. The lead rider, recognizin' that familiar sound, turned and started to say, "Oh Ian, doesn't that feel funny?" but all she got out was the "Oh, Ian - Ian???" We all looked around. Ian was not on his horse. We heard a giggle, and there he was, sittin' on the ground, laughin' about it. His horse, an expert shaker, totally unseated him. Ian thought it was funny. We all laughed. What a true horse lover, and what an unforgettable moment.
Silly but famed costume that won us first prize.
But my best recollection of Ian was a Halloween show. Ian rode me in the show and we just didn't place very well - that is, until the costume class. My home-made costume was put on - I was all dressed up as a backwards horse. I wore a set of curtains that hung to my hocks, a bareback pad placed backwards on my ol' swayback, a big foam rubber horse neck and head (with button eyes) on my rump, and yarn on my neck and head like a tail. It wasn't beautiful but it had the right effect. 'Specially when I walked - the fake head bobbed up and down and sideways just like a real head. I had fake reins attached to the horse head and real 'invisible' string reins for Ian to steer me with. We practiced in advance - Ian ridin' me backwards and steerin' me with the strings - we were a team.
Out of the van came Ian, all dressed up as (you guessed it) a clown. Nothin' could have been more appropriate. His big red nose, fluffy colored hair and make-up made even me laugh. Up he went and into the ring we strolled. Backwards. Well, I was really walkin' forward, peekin' through my yarn 'tail', but it looked like Ian was backin' me up the whole way. The crowd chuckled quietly at first, then guffawed, then cheered. Some laughed so hard they cried. Ian beamed. All the dressed-up horses looked great, but we stole the show. At the end of the class, Ian lined me up so my fake head faced forward with the other horse's real heads. The judge couldn't contain his laughter. He walked up scratchin' his head and patted my 'knee'. "What is this," he asked, "a hock? .a knee?" and pretended he couldn't figure it out. He patted the fake neck and it bounced. I peeked through my yarn tail. Ian chuckled and giggled the entire time.
The judge looked everybody over as the woman with the ribbons carried out a piñata and a huge bunch of carrots, complete with the luscious green tops. "Oh please, oh please." I thought, tryin' to contain my drool.
The judge announced us as the winner, and we proudly accepted the piñata, carrots and ribbon as we 'backed' out of the ring. Everyone cheered except a few of the other riders (some cried - I felt sorry for them but only briefly). Ian and I cherished that moment. Cameras clicked and snapped and people came over to congratulate us and check out our costumes. Ian said, "This is the BEST day of my LIFE!" and I could just feel his joy. It was certainly a favorite day of mine, too. I hope Ian is still out there enjoying horses and I hope he has many more 'best days'.
P-pot, hopin' y'all had a safe and fun holiday!