My dad and I are extremely close and we spend A LOT of time together because we get along so well. Sometimes it can be a little scary, but we both have amazing taste in horses and we are both very good riders. Now I ride English; specifically hunters and equitation, and my dad was a cowboy… not the ranch hand cowboy out on the range, but a world champion.
Before my time, around the mid 80’s, I guess my dad had a midlife crisis and bought a cutting horse and 18 months later he had an entire facility in Stephenville, Texas for his new passion. He rode with some of the best in the business and had one of the best horses in the world, Dry N Freckles.
This past week I have been watching the National Finals Rodeo from Las Vegas and it is culture shock to me. Bull riding, saddle broncs, and team roping are things I have never seen, but my dad is all to familiar with the rodeo/cowboy scene. He tells stories of friends who can stick their fingers in the roof of their mouth and wiggle their eyes back and forth from a bad bull ride, shenanigans with Reba McEntire before she got “Hollyweird”, and late night’s in Fort Worth, Texas at M.L. Leddy’s and a saloon named Filthy McNasty’s.
My dad, commonly known as “Jefaaafaaa” around the barn, has made bets with me that he can ride better and he would never loose a round, but he refuses to prove it, or take a lesson, so I guess I win by default.
I’ve done some pretty jaw dropping things to impress a crowd, but my dad rode his horse through a motel lobby and in to the elevator, went up the elevator, then he went to his room to drop off his bags… but his crazy days are over (according to him) and he is now seen at horse shows and polo matches parked in a golf cart under a tree. Granted, I am just as talented as he is and I’d like to think that I am a little more refined, but everyone know where I get my arrogant tendencies.
We are both addicted to showing horses and we both love the high of winning big events, but I don’t think his era is over. I see that look in his eye when he sees a nice horse and wonder if I will ever see the cowboy side of my dad.