Dad had decided it was time for me to have a pony; we were test driving a lovely black mare, quite large by pony standards, mean as hell by mine. Horseback riding, to this point, had either been wedged behind Dad, atop his giant palomino, scaled to accommodate Dad's former football player frame, or perched cautiously on Mom's Sunshine's Blonde Bomber, a show horse that was never actually ridden by any of us, but one that photographed well and won plenty of pretty blue ribbons.
Dad brought the mean pony over, I climbed back into the saddle. Over the head and tossed to the side, the candidate threw me at least six times. Five times, at Dad's insistence, I led him to the rail and pulled myself up with the reins. Sore and frustrated I walked out of the ring, closed the gate, and laughed as Dad tried to corral the wild beast. Together we walked him back to the barn, "not this one Dad". He laughed, "nice try Boo".
He taught me everything I know about the person I want to be. Life is much more fun when you swim in the waves.