My Buckin' Tailbone

By Sonya Spaziani
Cowgirl on Coffee


I had looked forward to this ride with a couple friends on hilly and brushy trails, and pushing cattle to another pasture. I was riding a borrowed unknown-to-me buckskin mare. She was a grumpy old girl, that hadn't been handled much or ridden in a few years (I even wondered if she were only greenbroke in her younger years), pretty much simply a broodmare. Our task for the day was moving cow-calf pairs and some hefty bulls to another pasture. We had a heck of a time moving one particular big, young, and athletic beefcake who refused to pass the area he knew to be 'hot' where he had a run-in with the electric fence before, which used to cross there. It was the job for the three of us, along with another hand to push this impressive black angus ribeye over and beyond this 'hangup' to get him with the rest of the herd. The still-in-shock buckskin broodmare I rode, never having experienced any of this before, did surprisingly well. Though far less responsive than I was used to with my rope horse, Gus, and I spent much time and energy with my heels in her sides, but she minded reasonable well considering her life as a paddock pet... with this bull that outweighed her two times.

We finished our job of moving the herd, however, no matter the tricks, the reins, the hollers and clucks, we couldn't convince Ribeye to see things our way, and instead of risking life and limb as he grew ever more agitated with our coaxing, demonstrating his disdain for our help by mock-charging our horses and pawing the grass, we figured he'd follow the herd once they began moving up the hill and out of his sight, on his own. Calling it good, it was time to head a big stretch back to the stocktrailer and go home, so the three of us did what cowgirls 'on coffee' do and that is run our cowponies, full throttle, all the way back yipping and hollering. My two friends were up ahead of me, and me being me, couldn't let that happen... but my rusty ride, now tired and irritated with my heels in her sides demanding mock speed to regain lost ground, refused to go up another gear- and as she was galloping began bucking trying to rid herself of her coffee'd cowgirl with a need for speed.

I've ridden out bucking horses while working them in roundpens before, but never while on the run. Unwilling to be beat I held on with determined might- my legs and mostly my pride reined her in hard. The buckskin finally pulled up hard & fast but put in one more hard heave and dive onto her front legs. My pride still held strong, but not without my seat passing the saddle horn, as I watched the bronc's neck and flying mane rise at my face....and nearly going completely over. With time for only momentary surprise when I pushed forward and down in my stirrps that I regained my balance, and slamming my tailbone down... but not into the comfortable thrown of the saddle, but right onto the saddle horn itself- and hard. Momentarily stunned by the uncomfortable surprise, but relieved, as I could feel the angry old mare give to my reins, I reflected on my successful buckout as I got the mare to stop. Snorting & shaking her head mad, but stopped. Regaining composure and overall pleased with my performance, I looked ahead expecting to see my friends waving their hats with admiring smiles and adoration. However, instead I took note that they apparently missed my impressive ride, they even appeared somewhat let down to see my gentle lope to catch up to them (after the bucking). I made more than 8 seconds but no one noticed but Ribeye. Friends being friends, laughed their heads off when I told them about my buckin' saddle horn mishap. I still hear about it today.

Nope, I didn't go to the doctor, what can they do, certainly can't put a cast on it. Just dealt with the hand given me... a sore fanny. And if I sit on the hard ground, I'm still reminded of that day, especially when I'm out by the firepit and enjoying a good ribeye. ;)