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  • Christie Bonham

Biting the Dust

Updated: Aug 21, 2019

Aaah, looks like a serene setting for a gorgeous Saturday morning ride. Those were my very thoughts not too long ago. I have to admit in all my years of riding, and, lucky for me I have quit a few under my belt, I’ve never been bucked off a horse. At 46 years old its not a place I wanted to start.

As any rider should know and readily admit, when things go wrong, the rider needs to take responsibility and not place blame on the horse. Milagro had been giving me subtle clues and I was listening, I just wasn’t listening hard enough.

When Milagro came to the barn, all that us ladies could gather was that he had had a hard life. What better place to start a horse like this than with a gentle hackamore. Its suffice to say that the Caballero way of doing things is to use harsh bits and tough riding to get a horse to submit. I could only imagine what kind of abuse this boys mouth had taken over the years. A hackamore was a perfect solution.

Milagro had started to show his rebut of this non-bit devise by tossing his head and getting feisty at the top of hills or ravines. He had also started to amp up his game, and on two occasions threw in a few crow hops to boot. I do have a decent seat and was able thwart his fussiness, but knew he was telling me something. I checked for the usual saddle fit and soreness. He was sound as a could be and rode beautifully. But when he got the opportunity to test me, he was taking it.

I began to read up on bits and spoke with friends on possible options.  I decided to order him a new Korsteel egg butt snaffle and a leather running martingale. After getting the items ordered, as always with being down south, I had to wait.

Deciding that I didn’t want to miss out on any of the glorious days of winter riding I set out with the ladies this particular Saturday morning. Milagro loves to ride with his brothers from the barn.

After cresting the top of a ravine with a barb wire fence and posts on one side, we started down the other side. That’s when all hell broke lose and Milagro literally turned bucking bronco.

On the fourth buck I lost contact. I could feel the slow decent to the ground, and tried to brace myself for impact. Then, down I went. The first thoughts were, I’m clear, I’m not hung up in my stirrups. Than I realized how hard the ground was. I looked for Milagro. He was twenty yards away standing proud. Suddenly I saw a hint of Arabian in him. That tail and head held high, nostrils flared. He took two looks at me and then my Arabian knight ran off into the desert for home leaving me in the dust.

The ladies sat in their saddles and asked if I was alright. Some workers near by politely gathered my scattered hat and sunglasses. And then I slowly got up off the ground. Since my riding amigo had left me, I knew I was in for a long walk back tot the barn. How convenient that this happened exactly half the distance from home? I guess it was time I tested out my new riding kicks Santa had brought me this year.

A long walk it was with a battered body and bruised ego. We called ahead and Milagro had made it safely home. Saul had found him waiting outside the front gate.

The saying goes that we should not only listen with our ears but hear with our hearts. Milagro had spoken his truth. I had just not tuned in completely. We now await the arrival of our new gear . . .

Milagro and Me

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