one of the friends i met was named j.d. - a charismatic guy who i had a lot in common with. j.d. was next in line of people i latched onto and try to define myself through. we had similar backgrounds, his probably a bit worse than mine. i remember his parents being in jail for a while, or as j.d. bragged to everyone – ‘on vacation’. he thought it was hilarious to tell people. he was also pretty proud of the fact that he used pages from the bible to smoke a joint one time because he was out of papers. i spent quite a bit of time at his house and all i remember is that there were never any adults there. it didn’t seem weird to us at the time and only now as i reflect on it does it seem at all strange.
one time when spending the night with j.d., we, along with a few other friends, decided to sneak into this guy’s farm who had a bunch of horses. the horses were allowed to run free and after spending most of the night drinking and playing nintendo, we made it our mission that night to get on one of them. mind you, there were about 10 horses and they all traveled in a herd and of course none of them had saddles. not to mention is was after midnight, there was a full moon and there were 5 drunk teenagers silently climbing a fence to come after them. i think it is safe to say, none of those horses were in much of a ridin’ mood. as we approached the horses, all at once they would take off to the other side of the fenced in area. undeterred, we would then slowly follow them over to the other side of the fence, trying our best to settle them down before, as we got within about 10 feet of them, they would high-tail it back to the other side of the fence. this lasted for a good hour or so before we were finally able to single out one of the horses from the pack and calm it down enough to let us pet it. before long, we had gained its trust and the time came to try and have someone mount this bad boy. somehow it ended up being me. i am not sure how it actually ended up being me, but i will say that it had to do something with my extreme bravery for someone of that age. so with the horse calmed, we had one guy in front of the horse petting its head/hugging the horse to keep it from going anywhere while j.d. and another kid prepared to hoist me up. as i stepped into j.d.’s hand, the other guy helped push me up; all the while the horse held perfectly still. he didn’t try to fight me and showed no signs of trying to get away. i got on top of him and still he remained motionless. immediately, i noticed something that i would never have guessed before being on a horse – they are really fucking big. and as i sat there straddling the horse, my feet not even coming down half the horse’s body, i knew instantly that this might not have been a great idea afterall. i instinctively looked for something to hold on to and the mane looked like the most obvious choice. once again, my lack of knowledge was becoming clearer and clearer as i wasn’t sure if grabbing the mane would hurt the horse and by hurting the horse he would commence to doing his best to buck me off.
where to hold on to the horse became a moot issue about 7 seconds later. as i got on the horse, all of us held our collective breaths. it was like all night we were pursuing this unattainable goal of getting on a horse in the middle of the night and now that we somehow accomplished this, we had no idea what to do. no one made a noise or moved a muscle. like i said this lasted about 7 seconds before someone decided that getting one of us on a horse and just sitting there wasn’t as much fun as it was 5 seconds ago. hence one the kids grabbed a handful of dirt, threw it at the horse and starting screaming as loud as he could. this proved to be a bit of an overkill because as soon as the kid bent down the grab the dirt, the horse was sufficiently spooked and decided to get the fuck out of dodge. he immediately turned towards the far end of the fence where the rest of the horses were and hauled ass. like i said, at this point, where to hold on to became less important. i grabbed onto the mane with both hands and saw the fence approaching at a very quick rate. this quickly turned into a game of horse-chicken as he appeared not to be stopping anytime soon and as i said going about 80 miles an hour (estimated) directly towards the fence. as i contemplated to myself the point at which i should cut my losses and bail out, the horse made the decision for me. he bucked me off in one kick and i landed very badly on my shoulder. after hitting the ground, there were two things that immediately came to mind – 1) i just landed on my shoulder, how bad am i hurt? and 2) i need to get rolling because there is a good chance this devil horse will run me over any second. i immediately rolled to what i hope was the direction the horse was not headed and as insurance rolled a couple-few more times just in case.
as i laid there, i immediately decided not to get up because if nothing else, even if i wasn’t hurt i could still get some sympathy points from the asshole who decided to throw the sand. turns out, my shoulder was pretty messed up, nothing permanent, but for about a week, i couldn’t raise my arm to brush my teeth or comb my hair. the injury (a badge i wore proudly) with the story that went along with it more than made up for it.