When I was 14 years old I received a horse for Christmas from my parents. I had been riding horses as much as possible since I turned 11. There was a horse in Mexico named El Bayo that I used to rent and ride whenever possible. His name was pronounced like caballo which is Spanish for horse. I made a little song in Spanish about him and it went like this: Tengo un caballo, su nombre es el Bayo. El Bayo was a bay gelding with a white mark on his forehead and four white hoofs. I would pay $5 USD to the skinny cowboys that ran the little horseback riding outfit that was located pretty close to the area where my Aunty Monica would take all the kids every summer on vacation. We would often stay for the whole summer almost. It was rad. I would get so black it was amazing. My cousins Glenn, Mikey, Donna, Richard, Mark, Joey, Nelson, Rachel, Charlene, Cindy Lou, Timmy, Mitchell, my sister Natalie, and various others would be down there getting pretty crazy. Anyways, El Bayo’s owners put up with me for some reason even though I was a very annoying kid. I learned a lot of Spanish from them and I really loved El Bayo. He was very fast and I used to run him on the beach all the time it was seriously totally cool.
Riding El Bayo part of the year wasn’t enough after a while so I started pestering my parents to get me a horse of my own. Since we lived in the boondocks on Compton Avenue in Corona, it was actually legal for us to own a horse if we wanted one so that was a plus in my eyes. I pretty much hated everything else about living in that house at 18430 Compton Avenue so I figured that having a horse would in some way make up for the unhappiness that pervaded my existence. Somehow I managed to stay on the reasonably good side of my dad that year although it was a challenge. I just walked on eggshells and kept my mouth shut for the most part and on Christmas Day with a bunch of relatives on hand to witness it, I put the snaffle bit on my horse with no name, and the bareback pad and I took him across the street from our house which was just a a big old field and took him for a ride.
That ride was a ride through hell. My horse was an Appaloosa gelding and he was pretty fucking wild. Skittish and really big and powerful and scary actually. I rode him about two hundred yards one way in the field and then when I turned him around he totally bolted. It was scary as hell and when we started approaching the street and all my relatives who had gathered to witness my triumphant ride I could see that he was not going to slow down no matter how hard I pulled on the puny snaffle bit in his mouth. It didn’t have any effect at all and lo and behold I was flying off of his back and landing on my own. Seeing stars, I got up and gingerly walked into the house defeated and sad. That was the way my life went back when I was younger.