You didn't miss anything but a tiring life. Herdin... (
I always had a barn full of horses to ride. Spent about two hours a day on those I was breaking or training. I love a good pleasure horse. Had a black mare like Ben Johnson rode in most of his movies. At a walk she could cover a lot of ground, her lope was like a rocking chair, but her trot was painful to endure. Had to stand up in the stirrups when I trotted her. It jarred every bone in my body.
During the summer I rode from dawn til 10 pm, during school it was one before school and til 10 pm at night. Thankfully, we had lights in our arena and a neighbor had 600 acres and he let me use his land because I let him know of any problems I saw with his cattle or fencing.
I roped a little too, do you remember Roy and Ray Cooper? Saw them at the Dixie Nat'l in Jackson, MS. in Feb. a few times, poetry in motion. Got pretty good and then tried bulldogging. Loved it, but wasn't built for it, too short and too light or the steers were too big. Either way, I gave it up after the third time I was run over by a four legged freight train with horns.
Love throughbreds too, the worse bucking stock I ever rode and tried to break. I got a few to break and you never knew when they were going to explode under you. Most were abused in the gates or started too young and just crazy and saw buggers everwhere.
One threw me through a three-strand barbed wire fence like a bullet. Ripped my clothes but I didn't get a scratch. One tossed me higher than I'd ever been, I landed face down and spread-eagled in a hard-packed area. I know I couldn't breathe for over three minutes, just before I passed out, I started breathing again. The big red beast was just watching me from about ten feet away, I swear he was laughing at me. Anyway, after about ten minutes I was able to get back on him and he never bucked again. Guess he just wanted to show me who was boss.
Instead of paying me a Doctor offered me a deal for breaking a mare. A grandson of Go Man Go. I went to his place and looked at him, a beautiful three year old bay gelding, so we made a deal. Wasn't a horse I couldn't break. I later found out he had been to three professional trainers and none could break or ride him. He loved to buck. It was his thing.
The first month he bucked every day, after that he settled down if I rode him hard every day. Skip a day and he would buck. The neighbor with the 600 acres told me a highway was being built right through the middle of his place. When it was almost paving time, I decided to see how fast my horse could run, so I eased him out on the roadbed and figured out about a mile stretch and loped him a little ways and then asked for a little more speed. He kept stretching out longer and longer and I felt like my feet were about to start dragging the ground.
Then I realized, if he tripped or stumbled, I was probably going to die, so I gradually slowed him down. Never been on a horse that fast in my life. I was on cloud nine for a week. Then I had to sell him because dad said he needed some money. Or maybe he was worried the horse would kill or maim me. You never knew what my dad was really thinking.
I had a nice padded seat Circle Y stock saddle, even the fenders had a little padding, basically a cutting saddle. It was the only saddle I ever had. Whenever I used another saddle I felt exposed and out of my element. Weird, but the only way I know to explain it.
Sorry, get me talking about horses and my jaw becomes unhinged and starts flapping in the wind. I'll hush now.