My son really wanted me to write this story down.. as we were waiting for an hour in the car, staying out of the rain.. waiting for his big sisters to get out of middle school and high school..he asked me ” Mom what is the scariest ride you have ever been on. When we were at the IPE this weekend dad said that when he was married to you, that you liked to go on all the scary rides?” I said to my son ” The scariest ride I have ever been on was on the back of a runaway horse named Silver.” and since we had time to kill I entertained my son with the entire story.
I was 13; I had a pony named George..and to keep him I did trade work for a local horse breeder. I would shovel poop; haul water, feed, groom and work the horses..that’s how I kept Georgey in style. Silver was a 2 y/0 Arabian/Quarter cross.. and yes he was silver.. he was shiny and very sassy. One of Silver’s favorite tricks was to kick up his hide legs and fart poop bombs.. it was hilarious..except for when he was successful.. then it was just gross..and he would actually celebrate when he got you..by snorting, prancing to the side and flicking his head backwards to get a good look at your shock and rage.. he was a sassy bastard.. My George liked to bite…and Silver like to launch his shit..between the two of them .. I always had to have my game face on..
I learned all about the birds and the bees working for a breeder.. and I learned about money.. The most expensive horses were inseminated .. It was an exciting day in horse breeder world when I was allowed to watch a pair mate.. I got to watch with some of the richest people in the business.. they played classical music and drank expensive wine ( at 13 I didn’t get all the fuss ) but the horses that were allowed to do it..did it tethered and padded up.. they didn’t want any rips, bruises or any injuries on the top quality Arabian race horses.. the adults acted like I was being let in on some very special ritual..it made me feel special and very grown up..but back to Silver..
Mr. Jones had taught me how to feed Silver a training halter..and he guided me in learning how to guide Silver with just a light touch of a training whip..and so I began to work him in circles around the small coral.. Silver and I started to bond..but he was still cheeky.. he was always trying to pin me up against the fence..I am sure just for kicks.. Mr. Jones was trying to break him into a saddle..and so he would tie Silver to the fence and lean on his back.. eventually he was able to get up on his back and ride him bare back around the coral.. then he would have me sit on Silver while he would lead him around the coral by the reins.. by the end of summer I was taking Silver myself out into the bigger more open coral and riding him bareback.. Mr. Jones said he was almost ready to saddle.. but Silver had a wild spirit and so it was taking a lot longer for him to break ..Mr. Jones couldn’t give him to the guy who had bought him until he was ready.
But one day I was a little too brave .. A little too foolish with Silver.. It was bright and late in the morning. I had cleaned about 10 stalls..groomed the horses and now I was leading them into the bigger coral to work them.. I was riding my pony George and leading Silver by the reins.. Silver was in a great mood..he was behaving.. he wasn’t prancing about and launching shit balls..and so I had this great idea that I would just hop on him bareback and ride him to the larger coral. He was great at first.. He let me get right up..and I had my George’s reins as well.. it was September.. just like it is right now.. September 1983.. The morning was turning to afternoon and the sun felt so nice on my hair..so warm and soothing..and riding Silver bareback felt nice and warm and soothing too.. I was so relaxed.. it felt great to ride and relax after shoveling shit all morning…and throwing buckets of water on the stalls to clean them.. but then a stick .. a big black stick surfaced in a puddle..and Silver spooked.. First he side stepped..and George’s reins slipped out of my hands…and Silver’s reins were only in one hand..as he BOLTED!!!
All I could do was hang on for my very life.. there wasn’t any thinking.. only surviving..He dashed down the dirt road..and he ran..and ran and ran.. I couldn’t get the reins under control without loosing my grip on his mane .. all I could do was grab his mane and inch up to sit up as close to his neck as I could.. I couldn’t even look or see were we were going.. and I used all my thigh muscles to cling to him.. my long hair whipped me in the face….and got stuck in my open mouth..choking me..then his mane whipped into my eyes as I tucked in as close to him as possible.. by instinct I knew I had to make myself as tiny as possible..because we were entering the woods.. and he could easily rub me off on a tree or two.. I felt him leap over bushes.. leap and leap..but all I could do was hang on.. and I felt branches hit me.. I felt my hair being pulled out by branches..but I couldn’t even scream..I just hung on.. there was no thinking.. and it seemed like the ride lasted forever.. I felt my legs ache and cramp ..and that is when he finally started to get tired and slow down.. just when I thought I had nothing left.. he slowed to a prance..and then a walk.. and then finally Silver stopped.. I raised me head from his neck and main.. my hair was tangled into his mane from the wind and branches.. My hands were locked into his mane in a death grip.. my hands hurt..as he started to shake his neck..because I am sure my grip was hurting him.. I couldn’t get off him right away because my legs were numb from clenching my thighs so tightly to him.. and when I did dismount ..I fell down on my knees.. I was totally drained..and I was numb with shock..he looked down at me and snorted..almost like he was saying ” Sorry about that.” we both just stared at each other..then he started to much on some greens..
Then I had to pee really bad..I was so happy I hadn’t peed my pants..I thought to myself ” Most grownups would of peed their pants” with that thought I went in the bushes.. and as all my senses came to me I realized were were probably 10 miles into the bush..so I had no other choice but to get right back up on Silver and ride him out of the bush.. and that’s how Mr.Jones and some of his employees found me when they came looking for us.. They were happy to find me alive..they couldn’t believe a little girl like me had the strength to hang on that long.. and Mr.Jones said to me .. a few days later.. after he got over being pissed at me for being so foolish.. he said ” Seeing you ride him out of the bush after that, was one of the bravest things I have ever seen little lady.”
And that fall Silver got saddled up and shipped off to his new home.. I never saw my wild friend again.. but what a ride! HYO Silver!