Yesterday’s horseback riding tour in Long Beach, Washington reminded me of a horse called: Crazy Gus.
My travel companion requested we rock some horseback riding down at the beach. After some quick Goo-diligence the company that fit best was Long Beach Horse Rides. The first horse I was paired with was named Roxette or Roxy for short. However, there was a change with the number of double-riders therefore they asked for me to be reassigned to another horse named, Amigo. No, seriously … that the was name of the horse!
Without a doubt, horses are majestic creatures with an individual personality. Horse wranglers, or trainers will readily agree with the statement.
Amigo and I had a chill time together yesterday. I was good to him, he was good to me. Not so much with a horse named Crazy Gus.
Turtle Bay Resort
Once upon a time, I was married in 2004. My wife had requested to vacation at North Shore, Oahu, Turtle Bay Resort. (Yes, the filming location for the movie, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) While on vacation there, she further requested to horseback ride along the beach.
As a dutiful husband, I booked the horseback riding tour. On the day of the tour we arrived on time so we can process paperwork (liability waivers, etc) Then we mingled with the other riders as the horse wranglers observed us. It was time to saddle up to our assigned horses.
After a quick discussion between the wranglers in whispered tones, they waved me over. “Hey Oakley (for my sunglasses), you have Gus,” one of the said.
I thought, Gus. Not a bad pull, like Simon and Garfunkel, get on the bus, Gus.
I approached the loading platform as directed. A different wrangler, mumbled to me, “Crazy Gus, huh?”
WAIT! HOLD UP. CRAZY GUS?! “Excuse me? Crazy Gus? I thought it was just Gus. Why, Crazy Gus?”
With a wink, she answered, “You’ll see. Just don’t let him get into the grass.”
I mentally complained, thanks a lot.
NOT a Black Horse and a Cherry Tree later … About halfway through the tour, a lawnmower was started several hundred feet away but STARTLED all the horses, save for Crazy Gus.
It was then he started pushing the threshold of my patience by drifting close to the trail edge where grass grew. He took a swipe or two before I gently guided him away as we were losing touch of the pack.
Thankfully, one of the wranglers was at the end to ensure everyone made it back.
THEN IT HAPPENED. Rather, Crazy Gus happened. I think about we were about 75% done when Crazy Gus bolted into a small pasture of knee-high grass. I pulled up on the bridle to stop him, but he wasn’t.
Once he got a couple dozen feet off the trail and into the grass, he stopped. He stopped to eat!
This sonofabitch … I leaned over to his ear to whisper the following.
“Listen here, you ornery sonofabitch. I know you’re bored, but I’m not. If you don’t behave I’m gonna march the both of us to the GLUE FACTORY. Once you’ve been processed, and place on a shelf, I’m gonna buy it. NOW MOVE!”
I raised up my legs, pointed in my heels, slammed them into his ribs, careened the bit with his head attached towards the trail and yelled, “HAW!”
His eyes were as big as pie-pans! Most of all he was quite obedient after that little pep talk. The trail boss approached to ask if we were ok, I replied yes.
LATER ON …
No other incidents happened. As I was stepping off the platform, I patted Crazy Gus gently to assure him I was pleased with his behavior.
“MISTER! Mister! I’ve gotta ask, what did you say to Gus in the grass that got him to behave like that? I must know,” she pleaded with me.
“Oh, that?” I shrugged and thumbed in the direction of the trail. “That’s between Gus and I. It was a private conversation.”
I winked towards her like she did an hour earlier. A Cheshire Cat like grin creeps across my face every time this memory pops up in my mind.