Thursday, April 26, 2012

Horsing Around

It hadn't been a lifelong dream.

In fact, for a good twenty years, I couldn't have cared less about doing it.

It only irked me slightly that my brother had gotten to go on one of those circular pony rides as a kid and I had never even touched a horse, much less ridden one. All I ever got to ride was a circus elephant when I was five or so. I was wearing shorts and the elephant's scratchy skin was uncomfortable on my bare legs.

But horses aren't the same as elephants. Horses are in all kinds of movies. They can run like the wind. They can do tricks. You can braid their tails. What other animal lets you braid its tail? 

So at some point, a few years back, possibly during a period of excessive Brisco County Jr. viewing, I decided that my new goal in life was to ride a horse.

Well, actually, what I really wanted was to get cast in a movie where I got to play a heroic western woman who got to ride, nay FLY across a desert on a noble steed in pursuit of A) Bandits, B) A wayward stagecoach, or, you know, C) an escaped elephant. SOME worthy goal, anyway.

But when I came to my senses and realized that was never gonna happen, I decided to settle for just riding a horse, period. Even an old horse whose galloping days were over. Whatever. As long as it was equine, I'd take it. (Yes, I would even ride a zebra, if such a thing were common.)

So. I'm taking a horsemanship class, now. It goes for 8 or 9 weeks.

We are learning all kinds of crazy stuff. Combing fur. Cleaning hooves. Putting on saddles. And, I guess, most importantly... riding.

The first week we rode the horses, it was all good. We walked along, the animals were well behaved and they did their thing.

The next week? The horses decided to revolt.

Actually, it was just this one horse. A big brown guy with an attitude. He was the epitome of naughty. He kept coming to a dead stop. Sometimes he'd even start walking backwards for no reason whatsoever. And if you asked him to go a little faster? He'd burst into a run, as if to say, "Oh, you want to go a bit faster huh? Try THIS!" The only thing he didn't do was completely buck me off. But I'll bet he wanted to.

You know what that means?

That's right. No apple treats. Ha ha on you, horse!

But the other horses were great. At least the ones I rode. And there's this sweet old lady horse that lives at the stables I go to, and I give her treats but nobody rides her because she's an elder.

D'aw, I love her.

I really do love being around horses. After four weeks, I think grooming is my favorite part, though I certainly wouldn't want to do it all day. And while I like riding, I prefer going slow to going fast. Going fast just jangles my nerves.

And so, my illustrious career as a virtuoso horse-riding stuntwoman on the silver screen can be kissed goodbye.

But that's more than okay.

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