BY GIVING ME HORSES
by Andy Nelson
You taught me to give, by giving me horses,
And set me adrift on uncharted courses.
You taught me to love, by loving them truly,
Not just the tame, but the wild and unruly.
And when one was given to a neighborhood boy,
You taught me instead, the true meaning of joy.
You taught me to work, by working beside me,
Training our horses, with you there to guide me.
You taught me to serve, by serving together,
No matter the time, no matter the weather.
And when one grew old and crippled with blindness,
You laid him to rest and taught me ‘bout kindness.
You taught me respect, by respecting each steed,
And treating them gently, no matter the breed.
You asked much, for you knew their ability,
Asked forgiveness, and taught me humility.
And when one was ill, in some sort of fashion,
You aided him right and taught me compassion.
You taught me to trust, by trusting their actions,
And not taking heed to outside distractions.
You taught to me share, and to give of yourself,
And not put your talents away on a shelf.
And when a few coyotes, ran one through the fence,
You taught me that actions come with consequence.
You taught me gratitude, and of thanks giving,
That horses, not things, make my life worth living.
And when one was stricken, I learned of remorse,
You taught me your best, when you gave me a horse.
© 2013, Andy Nelson, used with permission
Pinedale, Wyoming’s Andy Nelson is a second-generation farrier, cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host (with his brother Jim) of the popular syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show.
Known as a funnyman, this poem is a heartfelt serious piece. Watch Andy Nelson recite his poem, along with songwriter and musican Jared Rogerson, on Youtube.
One of Andy’s daughters is shown in this photograph, courtesy of the Nelson family.
Andy is in demand at gatherings across the West, and will be at the Heber Valley Music & Cowboy Gathering in Heber City, Utah, October 26-30, 2016.
In Heber City, he’ll join other poets: Waddie Mitchell, Doris Daley, Jeff Carson, DW Groethe, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, Ross Knox, and Walt “Bimbo” Cheney; and musicians Michael Martin Murphey, Suzy Bogguss, Bar J Wranglers, The Highwaymen Live Tribute Band, Dave Stamey, Wylie & The Wild West, The Haunted Windchimes, Joni Harms, Belinda Gail, New West, Trinity Seely, John Wayne Schulz, Heifer Belles, Molly in the Mineshaft, Olivia Harms, Miss Devon and The Outlaw, Dansie Family Band, Kenny Hall, Ken Stevens & Jerye Lee, and the Heber Valley Orchestra.
Andy Nelson’s latest CD is “I Won,” and it features a wide range of poetic moods, from nonsense to reverence, that show the breadth of his talents. He is accompanied by friend and top songwriter Brenn Hill—who produced the album—on several tracks. The great-looking package sports a cover by noted cowboy cartoonist Ben Crane.
(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but any other uses require permission.)