Never a Horse Whisperer

It’s been half a century, now, but I still remember that enormous Tennessee Walking Horse.

We were at my Aunt Mackie’s house on West 24th, back when that was wayyyyyy out of Norman. I was maybe four or five, and probably about three feet tall.

The Tennessee Walker was the biggest thing I had ever seen.  He must have stood 16 hands tall. 

I remember having to look straight up to see my cousins in the saddle.  I was totally awestruck.

And then, it got even better.  Somehow, I found myself in the saddle.  Like John Wayne or something.

How I got there, I will never know. Maybe a helicopter was involved.

But there I was, looking way down at the ground, where my cousins looked like ants.  Then someone took the reins and started walking us around the pasture.

I became a cowboy that day and probably grew about a foot.

But in truth, I was a pretty average rider, despite my Potawatomi blood.  But you should have seen my sister.

She could ride like the wind. Effortlessly. Fearlessly. Beautifully.  It was something to see, with her long hair caught in the breeze.

Cathy was already a teenager. And my uncle had given her permission to “ride anything you can saddle.”

I saw her slowly walk up to so many horses, gently holding out her hand, whispering to them, and eventually winning them over.

I don’t think Cathy ever got to ride my Uncle’s quarterhorse, Go Man Go Jr., who was worth more than I could even imagine.

But if she’d been given the opportunity, I’m pretty sure she could have.  Because, man oh man, that girl could sit a horse.

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