The Tenderfoot — Part II

Photographs — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

One day while Rebecca and I were visiting with Letty García and Michael East I casually mentioned (but with intent) that Rebecca had taken riding lessons back in Vancouver. Immediately Michael East suggested that Rebecca should ride. I expected East to plunk Rebecca on one of his matungos (Argentine Spanish for an old nag). I was surprised to find that to the contrary, East picked one of his best cutting horses (usually a quarter horse as was the case with Gramercy Flow) and saddled it with his best working saddle.

Rebecca had been instructed to bring a bicycle helmet for protection from her mother. While it looked odd in the surrounding I kept quiet. With both Michael and Letty giving her instructions Rebecca quickly forgot what she might have learned back in Vancouver when she rode for a week’s classes a horse with an English saddle in Southlands, a Vancouver area with horses and horse owners. She repeatedly kept dropping one of the reins (they were extra long) and no matter how much she kicked the horse, Gramercy Flow must have instinctively known about the tenderfoot on the saddle and did nothing.

Rebecca became frustrated and finally had a berrinche (in Mexican Spanish this is a meltdown/temper tantrum). She indicated, forcefully, “I quit,” dismounted and ran off.

We heard some barking and soon Rebecca was back telling us that a little dog had run after her and snipped at her ankles. She was saved by any further pursuit by a handsome young man we later found out was called Milo (seen here with Rebecca and Mike’s oldest grandson (2) Quinten).

Perhaps what exacerbated Rebecca’s berrinche is the fact that both Michael East and Letty smiled, but said nothing. Finally Rebecca got on the mula (the special little four-wheel-drive cart that Letty was teaching her to drive) and cried.

Later Rebecca admitted that she may have overacted a bit and I am sure that she will give the skill of riding a horse another chance.

Later that day we visited with Michael East’s son Johnny, Summer his wife and two grandsons. It was there that we saw Milo who is a friend of the family. Rebecca was much too embarrassed to shake hands with him. As we left I said to Rebecca (in the presence of Milo), “Seeing that you didn’t properly greet Milo who saved you from a terrible fate, you might want to properly say goodbye.” This she did as she eyed me with anger for putting her on the spot. I have been told by all that I was in the wrong.

Link to: The Tenderfoot — Part II

Originally published at