Why would anyone ever name their horse Joker? One day I was walking home from town and I cut across country to save some miles. That is why I ended up walking through my cousin’s field. My cousin kept her horse in that field. I didn’t know much about that horse except his name was Joker. Now that I think about it, I never seen my cousin or anyone else ever ride Joker. I guess there was a reason.

I was walking along minding my business when I spotted Joker. He was about a half mile away and he spotted me about the same time. He perked his ears up, looked me over good and then came galloping over to meet me. I was thinking, man, what a friendly horse. Joker came right up and let me scratch behind his ears and rub his nose. My horse never did that unless I was carrying a bucket of oats. Man, what a friendly horse.

I was about halfway across his pasture at the time. I was also getting tired of walking home from town. Town was six miles past and I still had two more to go. That’s when I started thinking that maybe this nice friendly horse will let me ride him the rest of the way home. I scratched his ears some more. I rubbed his back. He let me get right up beside him and stood nice and still. Golly, old Joker was practically begging me to hop on his back. So I did.

Joker looked back at me. He smiled. Man, what a friendly horse. I was sitting there on his back, no saddle, no bridle, no halter, no reins, nothing but my hand in his mane. I nudged him in the ribs with my heels. Joker took another look at me. He looked delighted! Then he came unglued. Friendly horse my ass; Joker took off bucking for all he was worth.

I am a pretty good rider. Joker couldn’t buck me off. Maybe he wasn’t that good of a bucker. Maybe I had a death grip on his mane with both hands. This bucking wasn’t too bad, in fact it was kinda fun. The problem was Joker was heading back the way I had come. I had no way of heading him in the right direction. I sure didn’t want to have to walk all the way back across that pasture again so I jumped off.

Joker came over for another ear scratching. Okay smart ass, I pulled my belt off and looped it around his lower jaw and hopped back on. Now I had a makeshift bridle. Now I figured I could make him go the direction I wanted. Joker took off bucking again. I held on tight. I pulled his head around and sure enough we started bucking in the right direction. We got back to the place where I originally met up with him. Then Joker pulled the belt out of my hands. That belt was way too short to make decent reins. Now that his head was free he bucked back in the direction I didn’t want to go.

The heck with this. I jumped off again. Joker came back for some more ear scratching. I pushed his head away. He pushed back. I tried walking around him. He cut me off. That darn horse was not going to let me go any further in the right direction in his pasture. He was insisting on more ear scratching. I couldn’t get around him. I wasn’t about to jump back on his back again either. In fact I was about fed up with his antics so I slapped him across the nose with my belt. He backed off and laid his ears back. I headed the way I wanted to go. He cut me off. I threw a big clod of dirt at him. He came up and pushed me backward with his head. Joker kept heading me off and pushing me back. I didn’t want to piss him off too bad so I didn’t slap him with my belt or throw dirt clods at him any more. He was lots bigger than me and there wasn’t any handy fence to jump over to get away from him. I was slowly getting pushed all the way back across the pasture to where I had started out.

I figured I might as well get a bucking ride back the rest of the way so I tried jumping back on Jokers back. He was on to me. He kept moving in circles until I gave that idea up. Joker got his way that day. I was herded all the way back across his pasture. I climbed through the fence. He reached across for a final ear scratching. I gave him a good one. He deserved it. What a Joker.

I never got close to another horse named Joker again. Don’t ever plan to either.

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