Chasing Euphoria

The plan was risky. It would be a “Deer in the headlights moment” if caught. But the drive to satisfy her craving drowned out any remaining speck of good judgment. She was all in. Oh how she loved a thrill ride. Knowing what was to come released a Manic surge of energy.

The next day, unable to return to sane thinking, she bought the ticket to her train wreck. She met two North Siders and boldly shared her plans. They listened. Colfax recruits are persuadable, if money and white are guaranteed. Now with her partner and foot soldiers riding along she felt invincible.

The recruits flirted with the Clerk at the counter of the Shell Station, and asked her to show them some of the pot pipes displayed in the glass case. That distraction gave her the chance to complete the boost. The target was the victim’s purse because Dealers tend to carry cash and dope. She reached under the counter behind the clerk’s back. There was no purse. Like a gambler reaching into his pocket to make his last desperate bet, she noticed a set of keys on the counter. On impulse she dropped them into her large boost bag and left the store.

Too bad she didn’t listen to her team begging her to cut and run. Nope, too late. She stole a Meth Dealer’s pickup truck.

The next day she was so freaked over what she had done, she made another mistake.

She confessed and wrote a three page report on herself.

The Jockey

He made quite an entrance as he gently guided his Yellow Pickup down the bumpy gravel driveway of Rancho de Cielto. Five miles west of Ruidoso Downs racetrack, it was convenient for overflow boarders of green racetrack prospects.

Stopping next to the corral of his mount, he pounced out of his truck, a song coming from his throat, loud enough to catch my attention. He leaped into his pickup bed, continuously singing, and collecting up his tack for a ride.

Curiously, I sensed a Broadway style, rare event about to begin so I quickly put my little Quarterhorse Mare back in her stall. I was not disappointed.

It took the jockey less than five minutes to saddle his mount. He sprung on board with stirrups long, his legs dangling, and a loose rein.

With a song still refreshingly engaging, he guided the green colt into the circular exercise track.

The first lap was a Rodeo thrill ride. Riding loose, the Jockey allowed the prancing colt to move at will. The colt danced to the left, back to the right. A skip, a buck, a long glance at me sitting on the rail. He tried to spring forward, he tried to rear up when checked. Clearly, it was this colt’s first trial run on a track.

By the end of the first lap, the Jockey had calmed down the colt enough to shorten the stirrups, collect the reins and move out.

The colt settled into a smooth gallop, the Jockey calmly guiding him around his second lap.

Then came the test lap. The Jockey leaning down stretched out over the colt’s neck.

Slowing the colt down to a walk, they took another lap. As the colt cooled off, the Jockey rode past me. I could not resist stating “Sir, that was the finest exhibition of horsemanship I have ever witnessed “…

The Jockey replied “Oh yes, I know”…After completing his ride, he cleaned up the tack, put it back in the bed of his truck. He drove away leaving me with a memory I will never forget.

I was an amateur equestrian, blessed to own and ride a few nice horses. I rode Western and trails, small schooling show jumps, even toyed with basic dressage. I worked as a racetrack groom and as a barn assistant.

What I observed that day was astonishing. Not only because of the excellent horsemanship but because the Jockey had so much confidence,and awareness of who he was and how good he was at his craft.

I later learned he was a famous Jockey and the brother of a man I met another year later.

Two remarkable horseman in one family….