Wednesday, July 28, 2004

At our July 4 family get-together the nephews and niece were talking about a horseback riding episode at Chickasaw State Park when they were about 13. It was so funny I asked them to write it up for me.

Here is my nephew Jay's recounting of his ride on a "bipolar" horse.

by Jay Parchman, 07/27/2004:

Several members of my family and I spent a horrible half-year one afternoon at Chickasaw State Park in Henderson, TN in 1980. The event was "horseback riding". I had always thought the the human being would be in control if riding something, correct? Nope. Here's what my memory says:

Aunt June and her two kids Alvin and April (my first cousins), my cousins Jennifer and Cindy and yours truly were very much looking forward to being one with nature that summer day. We arrived at the park a little after
lunchtime. My initial fears were justified when we learned that we would not be escorted by anyone ... please keep in mind the workers there were doing absolultely NOTHING that day. Ah well, just means it will be only family having fun together the more naive side of me said.

"King" was the name of my horse. Before you question it .. YES, it indeed has been almost a quarter century since then yet I still very much remember that name and vowed to never name a pet of mine the same. Court
Jester, I mean King decided to go slower and slower as we started out. Before I knew it, I was at the back. Then before I knew it, it was a fork in the road and my family was almost out of sight. All half-ton of King
decides to stop. After yanking the rains to no avail, I finally get off the horse and try to manually pull King in the right direction. I'm also yelling at my family to wait up ... my ears only pick up "We're trying but
they won't slow down ..." which faded more and more. At this point, I'm thinking "Jay, be glad your dear sweet Mother is not here ... this dilemma would not be easy on her", grin.

After King's yelling screaming and kicking stubborness refusal to move, I finally regain some valor (this is after I've screamed HELP HELP HELP to no avail and thought ... this HAS to be a movie, haha). King now takes his wrath and starts running full speed in the wrong direction. Keep in mind that you're reading the words of a bona fide child of the suburbs. Years later, I learned that this latest onslaught of "HELP!!!!!" was
indeed again picked up by my cousin Alvin. After going in circles for a while, King does decide to head back to the camp. A worker then spent about three minutes calming this bipolar horse from his now bucking and
kicking. The next question asked to me --- "Do you want to pick up another horse and try to catch up with your family?" Uhhh... 'I think I'd rather be bound, gagged, tied to a chair and forced to watch a 72-hour
marathon of Three's Company reruns in 110 heat' was the first thing that popped to my mind but luckily my tact prevented this from happening. I then politely declined and listened to the Chickasaw horse trainer talk about how King had never been the same since ---". Gee, just what I needed to hear. Maybe King was on the grassy knoll? Couldn't quite remember if they actually said that or not.

Or maybe King was actually trying to show me the location of Jimmy Hoffa. OHHHH if only Lassie had been there as an interpreter! King could scream at Lassie, Lassie could bark back at me ... and of course, like ALL people around Lassie, I would know exactly by the tone of the woof that it meant we needed to walk 30 paces straight ahead followed by 14 more to the right
at a 45 degree angle.

Meanwhile ... my dear family suffered through a longer period of time although what I'm telling you on this part is second hand. April's horse had a tremendous problem with flies that day. Yes, that meant her horse
wanted to buck and ignore her wishes as well. All conveniently without a guide! Aunt June had a "great time" too but the details escape me.

Well, I guess in hindsight, it was all worth it. We've all received a lot of laugh mileage from that day. And I hope that maybe King is still with us and enjoying a leisurely retirement ... hey, maybe he's even just 100
miles south of me near Nags Head, NC running with the wild horses! :-)

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?