My son Ricky grew up around horses. He worked with us at the ranch since he was thirteen years old; and he’s an excellent rider. He accompanied us on trail rides; and on various ocasions, whenever someone needed assistance on the trail, Ricky was at their side within seconds. It didn´t matter where we were, on the side of a mountain or in a river, Ricky maneuvered his horse with such skill, there was nothing which stood in his way when anyone needed a hand.
It was important to Ricky, especially during his teen years, to maintain his ¨cool¨ cowboy persona. Not that he needed to prove anything, quite the contrary. Ricky was, and still is, a cowboy. When referring to the cowboy image, most people think of them as brave, rugged, quick to take action, and with superb horsemanship skills. This was the image Ricky felt he must uphold.
He reminded me of this one day when he schooled me on the degree of cool, calm, ¨I’m in control mom¨, that one must display at all times, no matter what. Little did he know, there would soon be a time when in the blink of an eye, his wall of cool would come crumbling down.
During the fall when the weather was cool and crisp, we had a group staying at the ranch, and we had returned from a morning ride. One of the riders, a tall, large-boned woman slumped wearily in her saddle, completely exhausted after our 3 hour ride in the mountains.
Without waiting for assistance, she began to dismount. Her legs, and entire body were so tired; she found it easier to slide off the saddle rather than step down out of the stirrup. Unfortunately, on the down slide her blouse became stuck around the saddle horn! She was trapped, and dangling precariously on one side of the horse while she hung onto the saddlehorn, and teetered on her toes for balance.
This was a dangerous situation because if her horse moved, or spooked, for any reason, he would drag her along with him. Luckily, Ricky happened to be walking by at just the right moment when she called out for help.
I wasn’t as close to her as Ricky was, but when I tuned in to what was going on, my eyes locked on Ricky, and his startling reaction.
This woman was not only tall, but she was also EXTREMELY voluptuous. So much so, that my dashing teenager froze in his tracks. I saw the blood drain from his face, and the glazed expression in his eyes, I knew he had no idea how to deal with the situation at hand.
His eyes darted like hummingbirds in search of Raul, who was busy helping other people with their horses. Ricky tried calling out to him but no sound escaped from his lips. All he could manage were hand motions like an air traffic controller guiding a plane in off the runway. Raul saw Ricky waving at him from the corner of his eye, glanced up briefly as he said in a gruff voice, ¨I´m busy.¨
A low moan escaped from Ricky’s throat as he contined guiding in the plane. I felt the heat start to rise. The woman was becoming increasingly desperate, and so was her horse.
I called out to Raul; and this time when he glanced up, there was fire in his eyes! He took one look at Ricky, then at the woman, and assessed the situation. In about four strides he was at her horse’s side, and while facing her, he called out in a loud voice, ¨Everyone close your eyes!¨
He grabbed her blouse with both hands, yanked it open, and completely freed her from the saddle horn. In a matter of seconds, everyone´s happy, smiling faces melted into looks of shock, and surprise as buttons flew through the air, and landed softly in the dust.
Shockingly, her ample bosom was fully exposed, with a lacy, and the light blue bra which held her firmly in place was out there for all to see. Without a word, Raul turned away, and went back to what he was doing.
We looked at each other for a few moments, not quite sure what to make of the situation. Someone couldn´t contain themselves any longer, and burst out laughing. We all did in a sort of nervous, relieved way. The woman quickly covered herself with what was left of her blouse, thanking Raul profusely, and ran back to her cabin to change.
Later that evening, I asked Ricky why he didn´t help her when he was closest to her. Can you imagine what would have happened I asked, if the horse became too impatient, and had taken off?
Suddenly, my young cowboy´s ¨cool¨ demeanor had returned. He leaned in close, looked me right in the eye and said, ¨Well, what did you want me to do mom, grab her boobs?¨
Before I could answer he winked at me, and walked away. I decided it was best not to retaliate. After all, what else could he have done?