Giddyup! Now with more photos!

Saturday morning I went horseback riding with Madre.  (Yes, this will be that post, the one I teased you with earlier.)  Now Madre has ridden horses her entire life.  I know she rode until she was eight months pregnant with me and likely only took that break because the doctor made her.  I, on the other hand, have not regularly ridden a horse since I was a toddler.  I’ve had interludes here and there but nothing with any sort of consistency.  Plus I was thrown once.  It was a small fall but it was enough to put a stop to my riding for a while.  I say it again, I have no great skills but I can bounce along merrily on occasion. 

Before I get further into the story, I should introduce you to the cast of characters. 

Meet Monty, my valiant steed.  Isn’t he handsome?  Apparently he’s a sports car.


Meet Precious, Madre’s majestic beast.  Gorgeous, ain’t she?  She’s also classified as a sports car. 

Meet Girlfriend. She didn’t get to go but I had to include her because she’s just so pretty and she was slightly miffed at being left out.  She’s the limousine of the bunch.

Madre and I saddled up and with the help of some cinder blocks, I wriggled my way onto Monty’s back.  Those are some tall animals and I’m not nearly as flexible as I like to think I am.  I snuck an apple to him in an effort to butter him up, you know, so that he wouldn’t do anything wild and crazy with me atop his back.  I also gave him a few horse cookies on the sly.  As we took off, Madre explained that our mounts for the day were her sports cars (see above) and I had a momentary freak out where I imagined all of the racing around the fields they were going to do with us clinging on for dear life.  This was not what I had signed up for.  I wanted a stroll really, not some sort of NASCAR preview in Mr. Sisk’s hayfield.  Gah!

We moseyed down the hill from the barn and I was preparing for battle with the reins, just knowing that Monty was ready to take off at a canter as soon as we hit flat ground.  Madre even warned me, “Monty will be full of piss and vinegar for a bit but then he will get it out of his system and you’ll be fine.”  Heh, heh, shaky grin.  I was slightly nervous but I was not going to let it show!  I was brave!  And here we went, plod, plod, plod, five minutes pass, plod, plod, plod.  And then! Trot, trot, trot!  Ten paces at trot, trot, trot, then back to plod, plod, plod.  No canter in sight.  Apparently that was it.  That was the piss and vinegar.  Madre then had to explain that “sports car” only meant “smaller horse” and “limousine” meant “larger horse”.  Oh.  I can’t say I wasn’t slightly disappointed.

To make up for it, though, I got these pictures of our lovely horses.  Once you stop your guffawing at the Amish head gear, Madre will explain with only the smallest of sniffs that the proper term for these garments are “fly bonnets” and they protect the horse’s ears from the flies.  Again, oh.  My bad. 

We ran into a bunch of neighbors and one sneaky little cat named Jezebel.  I really wanted to get a picture of her but as I said, sneaky . . . .

I took a picture of my dream house. 

I gave my most winning smile to the couple that owns it when I asked if they would leave it to me in their will.  In reply, they told us about their new puppy. I suppose charm and winning smiles only go so far. 

We saw this swimming hole, complete with perfect little cabin which you can almost see in the background.  If I weren’t certain that the water was just infested with giant poisonous snakes in every make and model, I’d go swimming there.  But I’m a big old chicken.

We crossed two creeks.  Monty was ready for both of them and I was not.  Trot, trot, trot right into a big old ravine and there was no stopping him.  I just knew I was going down and I was mentally preparing for it.  He stopped suddenly, my toes touching the water, his belly skimming it, and started flailing around in the water.  I was a goner.  We both were I was certain. Surprisingly, I didn’t panic.  I was ready for The End.  After a moment of the horrors, I realized that Monty was only playing in the water, splashing both of us in his excitement.  Oh.  It was the most rowdy I had seen him.  I was soaked, of course, and so was he which was most likely the point.  Heh, heh, shaky grin.

We rode through a whole pile of cicadas.  Apparently I smell like the best of potential cicada girlfriends.  A charming young cicada attached himself to my hair and made sweet, sweet love to it for a while before I could figure out how to kindly extricate myself from the tryst and not hurt his feelings. Denied.  He was pissed off and let everyone know it by flying off in a noisy huff.  I’m such a heart breaker.  He just could not accept that it was nothing personal – he’s just not my type.

By the time we ran into Phranke’s mom (her house is on the way to Madre’s), my butt was starting to go numb and my legs were tired.  Holding yourself upright on a horse isn’t as easy as it looks.  You have to use INNER THIGH muscles, people.  And SMALL BACK muscles.  Neither of which I was aware I possessed.  Let it be known that I have both and they are making themselves known to me, even still.  Ow. 

We plod, plod, plodded our way home after hours of riding around glorious scenery and the minute Monty realized that food and bath were imminent, it was canter, canter, canter all the way up the hill.  Heh, heh, shaky grin.  I sort of slithered my way off his back when we stopped and gasped a bit, my head smushed into his neck.  Here I should say that I love the smell of horses and the feel of those long slabs of muscles.  They are such powerful animals.  Anyway, when my legs came back to life, I waddled him into the barn to be de-robed and then back out to be hosed off.  I was overjoyed to have made it home in one piece with only a minimal sunburn and no injuries to speak of.  Madre was flitting around like a bird, jumping around and such.  Oh the humiliating irony of that . . . .

Other than my really sweet farmer’s tan and a plethora of mosquito bites, I think the entire trip was a success.  Of course if I find a tick on me I will lose my mind and rewrite the whole weekend as a tragedy.  So far so good. 

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