Big lessons from Big Sexy

In these parts are people who fish and people who hunt, and then there are the ones who don’t care much for either. And there are the people whose avocations are things we don’t always think about and Bubba is one of those.

Bubba’s real name is Edwin Broden and he is 18-years-old and, for the past five years his life has been pretty much wrapped around four-legged critters, except, of course, for matters concerning school.

You may have seen Bubba, sitting tall on a horse named Bud Lite. Maybe it was at the Krewe of Shaka parade, or one of the other Mardi Gras parades, although mostly he and his fellow riders do Shaka.

“I just like riding and seeing the people, how they call my name and holler my name out,” says Bubba. “It feels good. So long as nobody tries to spook your horse.”

The feeling of sitting high on the horse and making his way past the crowds gives Bubba a thrill that isn’t much matched by anything else, except perhaps for taking Bud Lite out in the fields where he can lope and canter and, in those moments, enjoy the feeling of binding to the horse, with no space between animal and rider, that has been known as long as men have been riding.

So, with all this riding in his system it made sense that Bubba’s big graduation bash, which was held on June 12, would include horses in some way or another.

There, in Martin Luther King Park, everyone who knew Bubba got together for a celebration of the end of his time at Thibodaux High School. There was a DJ and there was even a brass band for a second line – some people who knew one of Bubba’s cousins – and, to the delight of children who attended, there were pony rides.

Horses were there for the riding, too.

During the course of the party, every so often, Bubba and a few other mounted friends would take off for a little jaunt back to town.

For the last adventure, Bubba did not get on Bud Lite, but another horse named Big Sexy.

Bubba has ridden her before – a nice, easy horse with a nice, easy gait.

So along with his brother Johnny Matthews and good friend Ryan Baptiste, Bubba rode as Big Sexy cantered and ran, gently walked and boldly loped, helping to make June 12 the best graduation party day for anyone ever.

It was on the way back from the last ride, on Sanders Street, that Johnny and Ryan got their horses into strong forward gear and, for a moment, left Bubba and Big Sexy in the dust, so to speak.

“Big Sexy wanted to be with everybody else,” Bubba said, and before he could click his tongue, she was running forward, with Bubba easing up on the lines to let her run, and then he felt the saddle slide.

Bubba felt himself pitching to the left and then he felt himself going down and, suddenly, there was Bubba making contact with the pavement and the road rash looks for sure like what someone gets from a motorcycle wreck, but it was a horse incident.

Big Sexy kept on running until she caught up with the others and when they saw there was no Bubba on the horse they stopped.

The riders turned around and headed toward Bubba, who was shaking his head and figuring it all out, this being such a surprise. He had no idea the saddle was loose, no way, he is certain, of having known. Not after riding so much that day. The others helped Bubba as he dusted himself off. No broken bones, no damage to the face. Somewhat chagrinned, after returning to the park, Bubba continued with all the graduation festivities.

He’s feeling a lot better now.

Bubba is not mad at Big Sexy, since she only did what horses do.

But he has taken with him lessons that will no doubt serve him well in the future.

One is to remember that if you fall off the horse, it is indeed the best thing, as soon as you can, to get back on, which he did.

Next is, whether riding a horse, a hunch or a dream, make sure your saddle strap is cinched up tight.