The first time I saw Homer, he was standing in the corral. His owner hadn’t rode

him much, as far as I could tell.

A big red roan and three-years-old; by luck he was for sale. His owner asked four

hundred. Seemed a little like blackmail.

But I handed over four green bills, put Homer in the truck. Then I drove him to

our holding pen and soon found I’d been stuck.

The doggone gelding looked at me with eyes that seemed to say. Just try and get

me out of here. The corral is where I’ll stay.

I rode ole Homer in the holding corral most every day. But when we’d ride up to

the gate, he’d brake and shy away.

After ’bout a week or so he stepped out through the gate. I grinned from ear to

ear but had no inkling of my fate.

We’d rode about a mile or so, his chin strap broke away. Homer knew just what

to do. ‘Twas my unlucky day.

He chomped down on the bridle bit and locked his jaw up tight. He jerked the

reins and took a leap; you’d say we took to flight.

Homer shifted to high gear and headed for the corral. What flew out from his

rear was jet propulsion sent from $#&&!

I held on tight for my dear life. There weren’t much I could do. Homer galloped

breakneck speed. Looked like my time was due.

When Homer slammed into the gate, I feared I’d end up toast. ‘Cuz when he

stopped, I stayed in flight and bounced right off a post.

That day was my misfortune and it hurt my boyish pride. Homer got the best of

me. I was thinking “homicide.”

Homer wasn’t injured, but the gate was quite a mess. And I swear my head kept

spinning for a week or two, I guess.

Homer finally settled down. He lived a full, long life. He worked up to the lead

horse. Never caused a bit of strife.

Most horses have their crazy quirks. And while they’re young, for sure. But,

bridling Homer, from then on, his chin strap was secure.


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Bryce Angell’s father was an outfitter and guide for 35 years, and Bryce was there to shoe and care for the horses and help him do the cooking. Bryce is from Idaho and still rides into the Tetons, Yellowstone and surrounding areas. His poems are mostly of personal experience.



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