Buck, my oh so creatively named buckskin Quarter Horse x Shetland Pony, circa 1982

Buck was a horrid, murderous shithead. He would blow up his stomach before you tightened up the cinch, so that five minutes into a ride the saddle would slide sideways and you’d fall off. He’d rub you off against fences and trees. His favorite trick was to find a low-hanging branch and bolt toward it, so you’d be knocked off. He also bit people, and if you weren’t careful he’d turn around and chomp on your foot while you were riding him.

He was only barely green-broke when I got him. I was nine years old and had no idea what to do with a horse. I got a quick lesson in how to put his tack and how to feed and brush him, and that was about it. I was on my own, and it was trial by fire. Parents: DO NOT DO THIS TO YOUR CHILDREN.

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