“Jackson, you should rope on Big Horn this season. You’ll want to keep him at Coach Phillip’s place, though. “Jackson turns to look at me. “Coach will help you get him tuned up, and Dad won’t have to look at him.”
Jackson turns in the saddle and says, “Let’s see how quick he’ll stop for me, Sis.”
He spurs Big Horn forward, standing in his stirrups and leaning over the horse’s shoulders as the big horse lunges into a gallop. Dust and pebbles spray behind him as Big Horn sprints down the road.
“Thanks for the warning. I’m eating gravel here.” Rocky pulls against his bit wanting to race. I pull firmly on the reins and persuade him to stay behind.
Hundreds of feet ahead, Jackson sits back into the saddle. I hear him say, “Whoa, boy.” In a single heartbeat, Big Horn shuts down and is motionless.
I ride up beside them. The smile on Jackson’s face mirrors my own. I keep riding toward Coach’s corrals and barn, thrilled with the notion that Jackson, not I, will prove Big Horn’s abilities to Dad.
Jackson catches up to me and says, “Dad said he doesn’t want his daughter riding a defective horse in a rodeo. He never said anything about his son.”
“Now, wait right there, Jackson.” Heat flushes my face; I pull my horse to a stop. Shielding the sun from my eyes, I see the smirk on his face. He stops beside me.