Horseback in Oregon

Being from the North End of Boston, I didn’t know vegetables came from the ground, I thought they came from Rosario’s Fruits and Vegetables on Parmenter St.

As I was cutting down trees, I needed to find a way to transport them to the building site.

Around the same time I befriended a blacksmith in Merlin, Oregon who gave me a logging fitting for a horse using a single yoke.

Never having ridden before I decided to buy a horse that was 300 pounds overweight. She was a 9.5 year old mare that hadn’t allowed anyone to ride her in years.

She ate 24/7. I was not surprised. I knew Italians from my old neighborhood who did the same.

Not having a saddle I learned to ride her bareback. We became one, controlling her with my hand on bridle and mane.

She would constantly buck in an effort to throw me, upward, rear, jumping cliffs, downing mountains, with lightning speeds abruptly turning 90º.

She’s large. I needed a rock or stump to mount her. She figured it out and would stop 5’ from anything I could step on.

Quickly I learned, dive over her back, then rotate facing forward.

She and I would ride into the mountains early mornings, visiting old gold and copper mine shafts where would gaze on tools left by miners of the past.

The higher we climbed the more piercing the silence.