I read a horse story this morning, about a guy who loved his horse. It got me to thinking about my horse, Mary Lou. She was a quarter horse, a sorrel mare with a white dot on her forehead. Her mane was flaxen colored, her tail was dark.
She was so pigeon toed, the most pigeon toed horse I ever saw. But when I got her, I couldn't afford to be picky, and I found someone who would trade me a Jersey milk cow for a horse. That's how she became mine, I wanted a horse and I didn't want to be stuck milking a cow!
Mary Lou was a funny horse, she could either be the best horse you ever rode, or the worst...depending upon the mood she was in. I rode her for years and it didn't take long to learn she could turn on a dime, and run like the dickens. It was great cutting out cattle on her back.....
One time, I wanted to watch her run, instead of being the person on her back. I found a guy to be my jockey and I entered her in a community race out in a stubble field. The horses running against Mary Lou were race horses, and cattle horses. The race horses were thoroughbreds off the track.
When the race began, I was one of a couple hundred spectators. I was yelling, "Come on Mary Lou!" Suddenly I realized, she'd somehow heard my voice in the middle of all the noise of the crowd. She cut across the entire field of horses and headed straight for me!
She almost plowed to a stop when she got to me, but the jockey was able to turn her and get her back into the race. She saw the other horses in front of her, and she took off like a jack rabbit, you could actually see her lower herself to the ground and stretch out running. She gained like they were standing still, passed them all and won the race.
It was awesome to see my little pigeon toed mare beat the field. I was standing next to a guy who'd put a lot of money down on Mary Lou winning the race and I asked him, "How did you know she could run like that? You took a chance putting that kind of money on her?" He said, "I don't know for sure, I just looked at her pigeon toes and thought I bet that horse can run!"
It was sure fun to know she could go as fast as a race horse and win!
Eric Pape in Illustration #53
18 hours ago