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OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL BE THROWN (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

By Ken Keckler DVM                                                                                                                                                                              

What a wonderful day! Look outside.

A day like this just begs for a ride.

After the stalls are mucked and the horses are fed,

You’ve got feet in your boots and a brain in your head.

(At least for now, there’s no way to predict

whether you’ll be stomped on, or bitten, or kicked.)


Your docile, reliable, loveable steed

Would never cause fractures or something to bleed.

That's what you think as you comb out the mane,

Something to cling to in case he’s insane.

Saddle in place, snug up the girth,

A hind hoof cow kicks for all that it’s worth.


Feel taught muscles twitching under his hide.

Lips sneering, ears pinned, this will be a great ride.

Your trainer’s voice in your head “Perhaps

You should put on your helmet, chest protector, and chaps!”

The mounting block is giving him fits:

He scoots away so you’re doing the splits.

With a final heave and a thrust

You land on his back and then land in the dust.


Oh, the places you’ll be thrown!


Into the air, leaving your seat,

Underneath those tap-dancing feet.

Into a bog, all wet and muddy.

Against a brick wall, leaving you bloody.

Into a drift, if it is snowing,

Into traffic with horns a-blowing.

Just think of the places that could be possible.

You could be thrown right into a hospital.


Deep into a thorny thicket.

Onto a cop- you’ll get a ticket!

Stuck to a maple, covered in syrup,

Or flailing wildly, one foot in a stirrup.

A pile of leaves, if it is autumn.

On bales of hay, if somebody brought ‘em.

Blasted into the dirt and gravel,

There’s so many places that you could travel.


Oh, the places you’ll be thrown!


Poison ivy, or poison oak?

In gallons of calamine lotion you’ll soak.

There’s some chiggers. There’s some nettle.

A big campfire with a cast iron kettle.

Getting pitched into the fire wouldn’t do

But going home drenched in hobo stew?


In wet cement, there’s no discretion,

Write your initials next to your impression.

Flung into hunt hounds, you’ll startle the pups

When they see you going ass over teacups.

Into a field of cornstalks- my fear’s

That you will look silly with several more ears.


Except maybe not. You might stay mounted on it.

It’s possible, I suppose, but I wouldn’t count on it.


Oh, the places you’ll be thrown!


The burdock this time of year is so thick

With hundreds of round prickly burrs that will stick

And stick and stay as you grimace and tear

The thousands of barbs from your clothes and your hair.

Which leads you to wish, as you de-thatch

For a Velcro saddle and britches to match!


What a wonderful day! Look outside.

A day like this just begs for a ride.

Now the bruises are healing, there’s still brains in your head

Maybe a ride in your old truck, instead.


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