everyone wants a broke horse.

i had my mom's boots on and the wind was blowing so hard i could feel the dirt sticking to my sweaty face. i knew that it was also slowly whipping my hair into thinly dirt coated knots. i knew because it had happened so many times before. after you finally push a heard of cows off the range and get off your horse, you know that if you look closely in the mirror you would be able to see the dirt clinging to your face and with one touch to your head you know your hair is holding more dirt than what's on the bottom of your boots.

i missed that feeling. and i reveled in it as i sat on that tire and watched my dad turn this gelding in circles with only his hands. i wanted so badly to get up on that beast and feel his unruly power underneath me. i wanted that rush. i wanted to be on a horse again so badly, but i knew it was stupid. carmelo hadn't even ever had a saddle on his back, let alone a rider.

so i watched as my dad kept working, and working, until finally he got far enough to lay across the horses back (still no saddle). i couldn't believe it. and it didn't stop there. after only a couple of hours we had him saddled. and after a few jumpy circles in the round corral carmelo settled down and finally let samuel mount him. i was in disbelief. only a few short hours ago this horse was running around aimlessly and was pretty skitish, now my dad was leading him around with my little brother on its back?

it was beautiful. the whole process. from getting carmelo to turn this way and that by the point of a finger, to getting him to come to my dad with the click of his tongue. i hadn't seen so much raw.. progress in months. it was astounding. finally, i knew what i had to do. i jumped down off that tire and walked up to that horse. my dad kind of looked at me with a questioning sideways glance, but i nodded my head and he knew. next thing i knew i was climbing on top of carmelo's warm back. every breath he took made my legs go in and out and i could feel his racing heart beat while his heavy breaths rang in my ears. this was happening.

we were out in the middle of nowhere, and no one was saying a word. just us and the desert. i sat atop carmelo and my dad turned him right and left as i applied pressure to the appropriate side with my foot. i just soaked in the smells, the dust being stirred up from carmelo's foot steps, and the experience of the change that had just taken place in this beast. he was finally broken.

as i swung my leg over his back to dismount, i glanced up at my dad with such admiration. how does he do it? how do you make an animal obey you, respect you, tolerate you this way? i was in awe. at this man that i am lucky enough to call my dad, and at carmelo's calmness--after all of that. we've broken horses together before, my dad and me--but never like this. what i remember before is a few bucks, a mouth full of dirt, and a "get back on," from my dad. this was different. this was elegant. this was artistic. i guess my dad's just getting smarter about horses, or horses are getting smarter about my dad. who really knows?

all i know is that what my dad said as we walked away from the pen that carmelo was safely locked up in has stuck in my mind since that evening. "well, everyone wants a broke horse," he said. and it stuck. just like i said, it's been there ever since. i don't know why, but i mused on it all night. i always think too much, about everything. if you know me at all you know that. but i twisted and turned that sentence in my mind over and over again until it was so pliable i could have made it into a pretzel.

and that pretzel looked like a stark realization. nothing comes easy. and i know people say that all the time, but after this day it hit me like a ton of bricks. everything requires effort, talent, practice, work. you have to develop relationships. work at them. cultivate them. just like breaking a horse.

and just like breaking a horse, you have to train yourself as well. happiness, contentment. these things don't just happen. your disposition is something that you have to refine. moods that are easy aren't the good ones. being angry, being sad, those emotions are easy to feel. being happy, being positive is something you have to work at.

my dad was so right though. everyone wants it easy. they want the easy way out of their problems, the easy way to have fun... everyone wants a broke horse. that's the problem with our society. that's why our nation is so far in debt, that's why the divorce rate is through the roof, that's why people lie and steal. it's just so much easier.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, Keisha. I like your comparisons. I loved the pictures, too. :)


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