- Marked by impulsive vehemence or passion
- Marked by force and violence of movement or action
When Felicia and I were first married, her Granddad gave us a little mare he called Sugarplum. He named her Sugarplum because he was an honest man and he liked the fact that she was born on Christmas day. So instead of doing the time honored thing that happens in the horse industry, he didn’t fudge the birth date and say she was born sometime after the first of the year. She turned into a yearling at six days old!
We brought her to our house when she was just over 2 years old. To say there was a personality clash between her and I would have been an understatement. Although, looking back I was the one with the personality clash! The first time I had trouble catching her, I quit liking her! So needless to say, she was hard to catch (for me) every time. It’s funny how that works out. You don’t like a horse, the horse doesn’t like you!
I started her under saddle and she did really well, but my dislike for her was my undoing. To be honest it would have been beneficial for both of us if we had just sold her then. Because she was hard to catch, I was generally mad before I got a saddle on her. It used to drive me crazy that Felicia could almost always walk up to her in the pasture and I had trouble catching her in a 10x10 pen! But, I persevered (or was stubborn. Generally the only difference between the two is if you are successful or not!) and over time she actually got a pretty good handle. This probably had more to do with the fact that she was the only horse we owned at the time, so I was bound a determined to ride the foolishness out of her.
There are really two episodes that stand out in my mind about that mare. Once I had a particularly hard time catching her. I finally got her caught, but I was frothing and foaming at the mouth…thinking and saying evil things to her and about her…and about her lineage. To say that I was out of my mind would be speaking the truth. I tied her up and ran into the house. When Felicia got there I was jerking drawers and cabinets open. She said, “What on earth are you doing?” I told her I was looking for a gun to shoot her horse with. Thank the Lord I couldn’t find it. Cooler heads prevailed that day (mostly Felicia’s) and Sugarplum got to live another day.
The other time was one where I actually paid for my sin right then. One of the things that Sugarplum did that drove me crazy was tossing her head. I now know (not quite so impetuous now) that she was insecure and I, of course, was doing nothing to help her. Part of my plan for riding the foolishness out of her was lots and lots of miles. Her muscles were hard as rocks. I bet there wasn’t an ounce of fat on her; I just rode the pee waddlin’ out of her! Anyway, this particular day we had a 6 or 7 mile long trot through the pastures and I thought maybe all this head tossin’ would be wore out of her. I should mention that due to our catching procedure I was already mad before I got on her back. So as we were walking back toward the barn her head was just a goin’. Up and down, down and up! I just snapped, I reached out and karate chopped her between the ears as hard as I could. I guess I thought I had turned into super ninja cowboy and would be impervious to pain.
Now all my life I have heard the stories of cowboys who got mad at their horses and kicked them in the belly; thus, leading to a cowboy with a broken toe. I always said that would not be me. I was correct. When I hit Sugarplum between the ears, I noticed a sharp pain. A sharp pain, as in someone trying to chop you hand off with an ax pain. It is amazing how much better a horseman you become when you are in pain. I rode around a little while longer, cooling her out. But in reality I was trying to think of a way to make this Sugarplums fault. But alas, even in my mind then…I couldn’t make this her fault.
About that time Felicia got home and noticed I was riding, kinda holding my hand funny. We were still in that honeymoon stage of our marriage so she came right out to see what was wrong. Of course when I told her that I tried to chop her horses’ head off with my hand, she lost all sense of pity. She just turned around and headed into the house. I know she had to be thinking “what kind of idiot did I marry?” Since then I have proven time and again, what kind of idiot she married.
Needless to say, I was not the cowboy who broke his toe. I broke my hand! I think over time all young cowboys mature (I guess if they don’t, they die young cowboys!). There are several reasons from “how it hurts when you hit the ground” to “your just a whole lot smarter.” I tie my maturity to the love of a good woman and a relationship with the Lord. I also will be pretty hard on any young men like me that come around to date my daughters, so I thought it would be a good idea to show them how a man should act. Don’t get me wrong….sometimes I slip and fall into that young cowboy mentality, but it happens less and less now.
If you’re lookin’ for a moral to this story, I guess it’s this:
You are not a super ninja cowboy and temper tantrums just lead to injuries!