Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Horse Named Gus, part 1

By:  Carl D Morris

Gus (recently deceased) was a horse I bought as an approximate 3-year old, green-broke, purebred quarter horse.. His name on the papers was about 2 inches long... and said something about "Gustafson".. The crippled up guy that had him told me he was leaving town right away and would take 350 dollars for him. I bought him and took him home.

My first real ride on him, I was out in the hills by Byron, Wy and riding with brother Bud and some other friends. I could tell Gus was green, but we were doing okay. Toward the end of the ride, somebody thought we should gallop back to the house... and they all took off. I kicked Gus up to a gallop,too. I could tell he didn't much care for that. Everybody was moving out pretty good, so I kicked Gus some more to encourage him to go faster. He went faster... but suddenly, as we were rapidly loping along, he turned loose. I'd never been on a horse that started bucking and twisting at a full gallop. I remember being up in the air.. way above my saddle... travelling at probably 30 miles per hour.

In puzzlement, while I was way up in the air, with nothing solid beneath me, I noticed that I was still holding these two reins in my hand. I could tell this was going to hurt. I remember wondering if it would be better form to hold on to the reins... or just let go of them. I decided I might as well let go of them. It seemed like it took an eternity for me to hit the ground, where I finally landed on my back and came to a skidding, bouncing stop. Where I landed was a combination of sage brush and cactus. Bud said later that when he happened to look back, I was on my way down from way up in the air, and I made a very respectable puff of dust when I landed. It did hurt... I know I was plucking cactus out of my back and scalp for a long time afterwards.

I, many times after that incident, shook my head in shame... for being so naive... maybe even stupid. I promised myself that day, then and there, as I was painfully walking back to the house, that I would never, ever again buy a horse from a man that was in a hurry to sell .... cheap... and was wearing a back brace and could barely walk. Duh..... (More to come later....)

Carl D Morris and granddaughter Shae

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