Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Spirited Horse, Please!

The rest of the day was for us to relax and do what we wanted. One option available was to take horses out on a trail ride. I hadn't ridden for over thirty years and before that it had been only a handful of times, but I was eager for the adventure. Many of the women were asking for gentle, quiet horses but something in me wanted one that was more spirited. I wanted to ask but was afraid of what people would think. Finally I overcame that and decided I had as much right to ask for a spirited horse as those who were asking for something more gentle. I was given the horse immediately behind the trail ride leader.

Truthfully, I wasn't sure if my bad knee would allow me to get up on the horse and ride, but I wanted to try. I was given a milk crate to stand on but I was still so low I had no clue how I'd get into the saddle. The girl brought a small step-ladder and that was better but my mounting skills are seemingly non-existent. While one girl behind me tried to push me up on the horse, a girl on the other side was trying to pull me up. I'm a heavy woman so it wasn't easy for them--nor for me. There I was, one leg partly over the horse, but unable to get the rest of me where it should be. So much for my dignity!

Then the girl behind me noticed something. "Put your left foot into the stirrup." Oh! Yeah! Duh! How did I miss that? In a moment I was seated.

I loved the ride! The trail was pathetically short so when the girl asked if we wanted to go around a second time, I enthusiastically agreed. When she asked if we wanted to go faster, I don't think anyone else heard her but I did. Yes! Let's go faster!

By the time we dismounted, a much easier task than getting up, I was so pleased I declared, "I want to do this every week if I can!" I may not be able to take riding lessons, but I could join trail rides that nearby stables offer. The only hitch is allergies. My eyes were watering very badly and I couldn't keep one of them open. Tying what I was wearing into a plastic bag, washing my hands well and having a second shower kept things from getting worse. I still want to ride often if I can.

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