Like I promised, I will now describe my awesome adventures on a horse. A horse you say? Yes a horse! Like this horse in fact!
The reason we all decided to embark on this horsey adventure was because I freaking love riding horses. I used to ride pretty seriously as a kid. How seriously you ask? Well I herded cows, cut cows from the herd, did a little jumping (in a western saddle mind you), and some trail riding. I even got to learn to rope a little bit and wrestle calves. So if you ever need to know how to subdue a calf in order to get it ready for branding, I’m your girl.
So yeah, I rode a lot, for like 6 or 7 years. Granted, I haven’t ridden a horse in almost ten years, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
Originally the owners of the riding place put me on Ginger, because I was the most experienced of the group. She was a nice enough horse, a little stubborn, and a little lazy, but we got along. My boyfriend on the other hand, well, originally they put him on Big Boy, who was fine. But then they changed him over to another horse and that was not okay. The horse really, really didn’t want to be told what to do, and Danny is not the best rider. When Danny was telling the horse “Woah” I could definitely hear a note of panic in his voice. Thankfully, they swapped him back to Big Boy quickly, so no big deal.
Amazingly, as I was riding, I found that pretty much everything came back to me! I was firmly in control of my horse, which probably startled all of the horses. They seemed like a bunch that was very used to bad riders, meaning the horses were able to do whatever they wanted. What didn’t come back was my complete understanding of balance. Sometimes when we were coming out of a canter back into a trot, I definitely got off balance and a little far forward. But hey, at least I could still completely control my horse, so that was a plus!
After riding in the woods and fields for about two hours (during which my knees were starting to scream at me in protest), we stopped and had a picnic! And boy was it a feast! We had honey goat cheese, two other kinds of cheese, salami, hummus, snap peas, carrots, apple slices, strawberries, peanut butter, and sammies.
We stuffed our faces, then laid down for a few minutes, you know, for the digestion. After a suitable time had elapsed, we hauled our slightly broken bodies up and headed back to the barn to grab our horses again.
When we got to the barn, there was a bit of a kerfuffle happening. A mother daughter duo was riding, and both obviously had no idea what they were doing. The mother was on a horse named Mocha, who was having none of it. That horse was annoyed with life and literally ran the woman into the barn.
So the owner, a gizzled looking older man, gets up from the picnic bench and yells at the hostlers to get the woman off that horse. Then he promptly swings up into the saddle and starts telling Mocha what’s what.
See the thing about these horses is they know where they’re fed. And they know where it is that their work day ends. So when they catch sight of the barn, they take off for it. As a rider, you should be able to control them and make sure they don’t do that. But as I said, this woman was not a good rider.
The man takes this horse and makes it run off away from the barn. Then he only allows Mocha to walk back toward the barn. The whole while, Mocha is throwing its head, and even rearing a bit. He finally gets the horse to do what he wants, and as he dismounts and walks Mocha back to the barn, he shouts out for one of us on the ground to take it and handle it.
Being the crazy person I am, I immediately step forward, whilst another of the men cheer me on. I felt like a hero in that moment.
And we rode out into the sunset.
Well not really. We only rode for another two hours, and I had to fight my horse most of the time. But I still loved every minute of it!
Aaaand then later that night, the next, day, and every day for a week I was incredibly sore. My friend Christa and I had bruised in places that I swear have never had bruises before. Awful. Those first couple of days, sitting down was a problem. But to be able to feel like I was flying, to smell horses and hay, it was allllll worth it.
Well that’s that readers! Until next time!
Here’s another picture of horsey butts, as a bonus: