Mission Bell, Monterey, California

I had a girlfriend, Ann, who owned a horse sixteen hands tall. She named it, Freedom, and always road it bareback or with a bareback pad. One day I climbed up on that big ruby horse, gave it kick in the flank and galloped off. After about fifty yards, the bareback pad slipped and turned, and I found myself hanging upside down under the horse at full gallop. The hooves were pounding next to my head, and there was nothing for me to do except let go. I hit the ground on my back, hairy legs stomping, dust and dirt flying, and in two seconds, I realized the horse had stepped around me. We were both fine, and I was lucky. The lesson was clear. Make sure the saddle’s tight before you jump on a horse, even if a cute brunette owns it.