Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bad Beats

Horseback riding is inherently dangerous, as anyone who's heard of Christopher Reeve knows. You accept the risk when you decide to get into it, much like skydiving or motorcycle riding or, heck, even getting behind the wheel of your car.

But it's always the risks you don't anticipate that get you. That's what happened to a friend of ours, horse trainer Ricky Moore.

Ricky before the accident

Ricky after the accident
In poker there's something called a "bad beat". It's a game of luck, of course, so you always know there's a risk you could lose even with a great hand. But a bad beat is more than just losing. It's losing when you have the other guy completely dominated, when the odds of you losing are so small they barely register, when you've put all your money on a sure thing and suckered your opponent into doing the same, and you're absolutely certain you're going to win ... and then you don't. The very last card they turn over is the one card in the deck that could screw you, and it comes. It's the completely unexpected shot in the dark that dashes your hopes.

Ricky was always a risk taker, an old-school cowboy if you ever met one. He'd ride from sunrise to midnight, on anything with four legs. He never met a horse he couldn't tame or a dare he wouldn't take. He's been bucked, bit, kicked, and thrown more times than you can count and he always kept coming, with a big smile and hearty laugh. He's tough as nails and has a kind, giving spirit that makes animals and little kids instantly trust him.

He trains horses for a living, so he's dealing with the worst of a species that's very dangerous to begin with. But it wasn't a horse that hurt him.

No, he was just touring the new Austin City Hall and fell off a rail two stories. He fell on his head and suffered severe injuries to the brain and broke every bone in his face. His memory was shot and he's going to have to spend some time learning the basics again like speaking, walking, and remembering who everyone is.

Ricky got one of the worst of bad beats, but knowing him he'll keep on playing, happy to be in the game and ready for the next challenge. Our thoughts and hopes are with him, and we hope you'll do the same.

1 comment:

Denise said...

He's on my prayer list. For sure.