I think all the fathers of crazy horse girls
(even the ones whose daughters wear pearls)
Will easily relate to this father’s story –
It’s full of tears and guts and maybe some glory.
It is an ongoing tale of being part of our team
That is an essential element of realizing our dream.
We don’t just “like horses”, we exist just to ride,
And we’ll always have a noble steed by our side.
Though at times it may seem that we’ll outgrow this phase
We’ll always obsess over shiny chestnuts and greys.
But back to my dad, who didn’t know at the time
That horses might cost him every single dime!
Dad, you and Mom may have had too much that day
When I was just three and you both shouted, “Hey!”
“We’ve come up with the perfect birthday present,
A sweet mini tease stud, we’re sure he’ll be pleasant!”
You led me around town on that rouge Shetland pony
That stopped, dropped and rolled on roads the most stony.
So you jumped in the deep end, an awkward high dive
To add Gloria, a small bay, to our happy little family
And she took to her life with an attitude quite gamely.
I rode that pony round and round, lap after lap
With fly-away hair under a velvet hunt cap.
It was time to move up when I was seven years old
To a fancy grey pony, that you called “The Stro”.
A pony so smart that he lacked any fear
And you came to the shows and fed him a beer
One day unexpectedly, the Stro Pony died,
And you wiped away my tears as I cried and I cried.
But being without a pony was never a question
Even you laughed at that absurd suggestion!
So with Mom, my trainer and you all in tow
We went to look at a pony into which I could grow.
You liked Andy best, with his strawberry roan coat
And we brought him back to the barn, instead of a boat.
When I was 14 leaving the barn one night,
You leaned over and asked, with total lack of foresight(!)
If I’d like to learn how to drive the little red bug
I replied, “sure”, with an ominous shrug.
I suppose now might be time to fess up and say
That I drove to the barn many a day!
One day I turned 16 and you said with a grin
“First I’m going to take a big shot of gin
Then we’ll go hook up the red truck and two horse
Because you’ll need to haul Murray and Jordan, of course.”
And on your two door pick up with a manual tranny
I learned to pull horses, and still drive like a granny!
You didn’t bother trying to teach me to back
Knowing that was a skill I (still) sorely lacked.
Is it time now to admit what you’ve always known
(Even though I am indeed fully grown)
That I did hit that telephone pole in reverse
But swear I slid on the ice, it was some type of curse 🙂
During my teen years you were a competitive sailor
When you’d stop at a show, we’d visit the tack trailer.
There was always something of which I was in dire need
My incessant whining probably made your ears bleed.
But whether I was begging for new shirts or hats
(Not that I blame you, it’s like watching grass grow,
And still, is an essential element of any show.
Who wouldn’t want to cough up a strong lung or two
Trying to pick out their kid on a brown horse in blue?)
The summer before college we lived like frat boys
No milk in the fridge, no clean socks, lots of noise.
Mom would have been appalled that we never did laundry
Who dry cleaned my hunt coat was often the quandary.
Yet you always made sure before I left for a show
That I would want for nothing with a pocket full of dough.
One day you and Mom came home with a rangy looking paint
Not knowing this horse would eventually become my saint.
You thought it silly, the money I spent on my Mouse
When I should have been saving for my very own house.
But I know you saw just how much he changed me
There came a time when you finally “gave in”
And realized that the only true way to win
Was to become a working cowboy yourself
Whose boots gather no dust sitting on shelves.
Now you’ll head out in the desert to help round up cattle
Though you’d like a nice soft pad for your worn saddle!
You’ve sat at a million different types of tables
While Mom and I debate our ultimate dream stables.
You jokingly ask about a double twisted kimberwick
And I wish you’d invent it, it just might do the trick.
You pretend you don’t know the words to “My First Javelina”
Perhaps that’s because we sing it a bit like hyenas.
Dads of horse women are their own brand of strong
And you can correct me if you think that I’m wrong,
Though you may not want the flat class play by play
You are waiting to hear how things went through the day.
You celebrate with me, and share in my tears,
Listening to me grow as I expound on my fears.
I’m excited that next weekend you’ll meet Jorge in Green Bay.
And surprise! This time, I have my own check to pay.
I want everyone to know just what you’ve endured
Through all my horsey ups and downs that may have occurred.
I love you, Dad, I hope you spend your day on the water
Thanks for all your support, love your horse crazy daughter!