Guymon Daily Herald

College kids remind me of a time when I was free

- By James Lockhart

I’m almost a halfcentur­y old. My daughter is 22 and in college. She thinks about two things and two things only ... barrel racing and becoming a chiropract­or so she can work on barrel horses and her fellow barrel racers.

It doesn’t take much thinking to figure why she does the things she does. It’s either she’s going to a barrel race or going to look for a cheap barrel horse. She a tightwad just like me, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, in that regard. It’s almost a sport when me or my wife call to see what she’s been up to.

I can remember buying and selling horses when I was in college. I’d buy a good broke horse, rope on it for a couple months and sure enough, without even trying someone would want to buy it. I made good money doing that and didn’t have to work a minimum wage job in college.

My daughter is kind of the same way. She’s bought and sold just about every do-dad a barrel racer needs since she’s been in college. She makes a little extra and has done a pretty good job of keeping her money together.

She found a grey horse on the internet the other day and was all excited. I took one look at a picture of the horse and said NO. Her mom tried to be a little more political than me. A few minutes later her best barrel racer buddy looked at the picture and said he’s UGLY.

That dang horse could eat feed out of the bottom of a 55-gallon barrel and look at you while he did it, to say he had a big head is an understate­ment!

“Oh, but dad he runs in the one D,” my daughter said.

I thought to myself, maybe, if he was running against a bunch of plow horses, still hooked to their plows he might run in the one D.

This evening, she said she’d found a good deal. This horse is a bargain at $5,000. The only problem is he has to have all four knees/ hocks injected. I told her she ought to take cash and offer $3,500. That’s a fair price for an older sure enough crippled up horse.

Secretly, I thought to myself he probably isn’t going to buck her off when she only comes home twice a month to ride it. As far a I’m concerned that’s a safer bet than some ex-race horse that’s barely broke. Twice a month riding on those types is a recipe for disaster in my book.

Her little car gets good mileage and she can come home and go back to school on a tank of gas. It reminds me of when I was in college and had my pickup and a one-horse trailer. I’d drive all night to come home after a rodeo.

My mom always had a good Sunday dinner. I’d eat a good meal and head back to college with some leftovers. Those were the days. I was as free as I’d ever be in my life. Not many bills, not much responsibi­lity and worst of all not much money, but dang it was fun.

I wish my knees didn’t hurt and I was skinny as I was back then. Shoot, I might just hit the road with her and go enter a rodeo.

The Bible says not to live your life looking back at the good old days. That’s a lot easier

The grey horse.

said than done when you’ve got college kids. I still wish I could do it again.

EDITOR’S NOTE: James Lockhart lives near the Kiamichi Mountains in southeast Oklahoma. He writes cowboy stories and fools with cows and horses.

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Submitted photo

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