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Thursday, December 30, 2010

I’ll Show You How It’s Done

When I was in college, one of the requirements (of the HTM program) was to go on an internship.  For most of us this was a 6 month job interview.  So the hope was to learn something and come out of it with a job at the end.  At the time I was completely enamored with cutting horses.  So I chose one of the only trainers to ever win the triple crown of the cutting industry (for those that don’t know, this is the Futurity, Derby and the Classic).  I won’t use the name of the trainer; we’ll just call him Jim.  Everyone who knows me should know who this is, but if you don’t…sorry, don’t have permission to use his name.  I won’t tell any untruths, but the truth can be ugly sometimes.  I will use my friends names (again, no lies about what we did), but I can’t consider Jim a friend.

When I first arrived, I was a little disappointed because there was no fanfare (I mean, come on, doesn’t he know who I am?).  He pointed me to the trailer I was to live in (looking back I now use this term loosely….it was pretty old and pretty trashy, once a cow ran into one end of it and knocked all the cabinets off the kitchen wall.  But it kept me out of the weather).  I was pretty excited; I was going to ride cutting horses for one of the best!  First full day there, did nothing but clean stalls…boohoo!  Thought I was already pretty good at this.  I spent the first month or so just loping horses down; I guess he was judging my horsemanship to see if I was worth my salt.  Finally got to ride some colts, but after two weeks…I had one fall on me and break my foot.  So, my internship ended early.  But on the plus side, Jim did offer me a job!

After my foot had healed up and I had graduated college, I started back to work for Jim.  If I had only known!  He was pretty rough on help and horses!  I did get to ride a lot of colts, but man was Jim hard to get along with.  He did some shady things that I didn’t agree with and should have stepped up and told him so, but what 19 year old kid talks back to a 40+ year old man?  Not the way I was raised!  He was always stopping what he was doing and “showing us how things should be done”.  By this I mean, he would harass you while he was doing it.  Like I said, I rode a lot of colts and did learn some things from him (most of them, the what not to do variety). 
He had been trying to catch lightening in a bottle again on his breeding.  He had a full brother to the Triple Crown winner and mare futurity winner he always bred together.  The stud was buck kneed, and couldn’t see a cow unless one ran in front of him!  But he bred them every year, to no avail.  Once we were having trouble getting him to mount the mare and I guess Jim had seen enough, so he jumped off his horse and across the fence.  He was cussing and carrying on the whole time about how long this was taking, said he would “show us how it was done”!  About the time he got to the head of the stud, the mare swung her hind end around toward him.  He threw up his hands and opened his mouth to yell at her!  Perhaps he thought he was going to get kicked!  Instead, bless her heart, she let loose with a stream of urine.  The kind of stream only a mare in heat can produce, she was shooting for range!  Right in his face, open mouth and all!  You never saw such a fit of coughing, cussing and spitting!  Of course, we dared not laugh at him. 

Once he spit out enough, he headed to the house…never to be seen for the rest of the day!  Which was a good thing because we laughed so hard, after he left (we did want to keep our jobs!), that not much else was accomplished during the day!  The incident did not change him much, but I could put up with a lot just thinking back to the look on his face when that mare peed in his mouth!

Eventually I left there, got too big for my britches and neither one of us would back down.  Being young and single, this was the first of many training jobs that I had in my nomadic lifestyle!

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