Martin realizes he’s going to have to quit school, come home, and help his mom because no one else will.
“His life is going to change, for the worse,” Sparks said.
The family is on vacation at a dude ranch when the truth strikes home. There, Martin hears a barn hand practicing cowboy poetry that resonates deeply with him.
“He’s trying to make sense of all this ‘shit’ that’s happening to him,” Sparks said.
The Barn Hand teaches Martin cowboy poetry and he gets involved in a show at the dude’s ranch.
“He can’t stand horses, he absolutely hates them, he’s terrified of them,” Sparks said. Their astounding stupidity, their unexplained, unexpected and always explosive sniffles, the way they shake distinct patches of their skin to dislodge flies, the way they madly shy away the most harmless of events – golf umbrella 15 yards, a falling leaf, from all places, a tree, a bale of hay stacked exactly where it was supposed to be stacked and since last month.
“Martin has always hated horses, but he did not want, it must be said, the death of horses. It must be said because the horses around him died or almost died at the hands of Martin or almost at the hands of Martin, and it is the horses, mostly dead, which paved the way for his passion that forged the life. Horses brought Martin to Cowboy Poetry and horses, especially alive, were the central theme of Cowboy Poetry.