Michael Skye

Transformational Travel Guide

What Horse YOU Gonna Ride in 2017?

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016

“Remember what I told you,” the old man calls out to me, as he heads back towards camp with the other horses. I’m 12 years old on a summer trip from the East Coast, visiting my grandfather in Utah. We’ve taken his horses high up into the Rocky Mountains for a week-long camping trip. “Don’t you dare try to ride that horse!” he orders… I look at him. World War II veteran. Multi-millionaire entrepreneur. Patriarch of a very large and growing family. Farmer. Cowboy. Self-made Man. Part of “The Greatest Generation”. I’d told him I wanted to stay at the river a while longer with my horse, and he’d let me. “It’s not a good idea to ride a horse when it has a full belly of water, and that young horse has never been ridden bareback before. So don’t get any funny ideas. Just walk him straight back to camp.” But he knows me. Of all his 25 grandchildren, I’m the troublemaker, the rabble rouser. I’m the one who chases his sheep around the farm in his go-cart, doing my best to lasso them and then ride them. I ain’t no country kid like the rest of his grandkids, and I’m gonna prove I can cowboy up just like the rest of em! (Looking back now, he must have known what I was gonna do! And he still left me alone with that horse. My kind of teacher!) I wait for him to disappear around the bend of the trail, and then I look at this beast. Slowly I place my hand on its ribcage and feel its heart beating through its huge body… Or is it my own heart beating? I’m gonna be the first one to ride this beast bareback, the biggest of the lot! Gramps doesn’t think I can do it. We’ll see about that! I imagine myself taming this beast and riding him back to camp, just like they do in the movies! They’ll see I aint no ‘city slicker.’ I pull the beast over to the largest rock I can find. The horse turns his head to the side and his eye locks with mine–as if to say, What the hell do you think you’re gonna do? I’m gonna ride you! I climb onto the rock, steady the beast, take a deep inhale, and… launch myself onto his back! I’m riding bareback! Hi...

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