When I was young and in my prime I used to wear those traditional cowboy boots with the pointed toe and high heel. At the top of each boot was a loop big enough to put your index finger into. Then with some grunting, heavy breathing and pulling, your foot slipped into place just like a tongue giving a French kiss. Back then, any cowboy worth his salt knew that this style of footwear allowed your foot to come out of the stirrup if your horse was really serious about bucking you off. I was in the camp who knew that getting bucked of was more likely than staying on and the ground was going to greet me shortly. With that in mind, I’d better be looking for the best place to land, and I didn’t want my foot hung up in the stirrup when I took my high-dive.
But no more! Today I ride my friend Fuzz, who assures me that he doesn’t want to use all his energy to put me on the ground. Besides, we have a mutual admiration for each other. With hitting the ground no longer an issue, and no longer wanting to make a fashion statement, comfortable shoes with no point-to-the-toe here I come! Today my toes can wander, no longer trapped inside like a bunch of folks squeezed into one of those high rise elevators in New York City.
I’m also finding pleasure riding a new horse who my daughter has loaned me for the spring cattle drives. Bugs is closer to the ground, so gravity is not such a big issue. I can throw my saddle on without having to grunt and groan. Getting on a tall horse used to be a big event that required hunting for a log or a rock to stand on. With Bugs, why, I can just get to his high side and hop on like I could in my younger years. Yes, comfort is more important these days than the pain of breaking in new shoes. My current shoes have take care of my feet for the past four years. They are so comfortable that they are going to get the call for almost any occasion. Happy toes are more important to me than people’s opinions. I mean the people who see me coming and whisper to each other that if that guy had just saved for his older years he wouldn’t have to wear those scruffy, comfortable shoes.