This week’s TV show is a bit different. For one thing, you’ll see extreme sculptor, Ben Risney, carve a horse’s head out of a pine stump with nothing but chain saws. I was there and I still can’t believe what he did! You’ll also meet Tommie Turvey, Jr. and his sister, Karen, two consummate horsemen who routinely do things with horses I also find difficult to fathom.
The Turveys are two of the hardest working people I know. They live show business every moment of every day. Not the popular image of showbiz, with the glamour and parties. They live the real showbiz with its long hours, hard work, countless details, dirt, sweat, and sore muscles. It’s a family tradition started a generation earlier with mom, Corky, and dad, Tommie, Sr.
Tommie and Karen have caused me to see things a bit differently. The popular wisdom in natural horsemanship is that you get a horse because of his mind and his temperament. “A good horse is a good color” is the catch phrase often used. Tommie does just the opposite. “I choose a horse for how he looks,” Tommie explains. “That’s the only thing I can’t change with training.”
Tommie and Karen have also adopted the motto: Ride Fast. Take Chances. Again, not what I would advise my audience, but I sure understand why they say that. Their stock-in-trade is thrilling an audience and they are masters of it. Watch this week’s show – just click on the gold arrow and give the file a couple minutes to load – and you’ll see snippets of some of their performances, as well as Tommie teaching me to drive a chariot.
I suppose the take-away message here is simply to keep your mind open to new points of view. Try to learn from every person and every horse you run into. And if you ever feel like you have it all figured out, ask the next person you see to give you a swift kick in the pants. Ride fast and take chances … or have fun and ride safely. This week, you take your pick.