There was a time in my life when all I wanted to do was ride horses. It didnít matter where, when, how or what, just ride. As I grew older I became more discriminate. The older I got, the more I began to narrow the choices. Since I am now older than dirt the choices are pretty slim.
I started life as a cowboy although that was not the way the rest of my family rode. My aunt was on the equestrian team in the 50ís. She and my uncle probably never wore a cowboy hat in their lives so I went the proper english way for a lot of years while living in New York (although smidgens of the old west shown through from time to time). When I settled in Pennsylvania the cowboy emerged. Over the next twenty years, through trial and error, I found that trail riding and team penning is what I enjoyed the most.
I ride all year Ďround but I get away on some weekends during the summer for a trail ride and my trailer is now properly equipped. I have a three horse slant load in which I can sleep, shower (hot and cold running water), or watch TV, all in the small area in the front of the trailer that used to be for storage. There is a double bed mattress over the gooseneck and I even set up a port-a-potty in the stall area that I can access from the ďlive in compartmentĒ. I use a propane heater set up in the doorway to the stall space when itís cold. The trailer has an awning under which I set up a table and chairs to entertain other riders. The fender over the trailer wheels holds the little propane stove I use for simple meals and coffee in the morning. That is about as close to roughing it as I really want to get at my age.
I enjoy all the trappings that come with being a cowboy; I love the look and feel of it. I like the comfort of a good saddle over a well broke horse and the smell of an early morning in the mountains.
I may have to work for a living during the week, after all thatís what pays for everything, but in the evening and on weekends, the real me comes through. The me that should have been born 50 years before I was. The reality is that I am in this time and the rest is the stuff that fiction is made from.