Day 74: Horseback Riding! Finally!

I have spent the last 5 years of my life dreaming I was on top of a horse. I have an entire shelf filled with notebooks containing my drawings of horses and have had countless dreams filled with me horseback riding. OK, not really. I actually was never a huge horse lover growing up, but lately I’ve wished I had had more experience with them and I think it would be awesome to have a ranch out west and own them. It’s strange that I haven’t ridden one. I mean, I’ve done that pony ride thing but the only proof I have of that are pictures. So today I decided to jump in the saddle (pun totally intended).

My friend Frankie has a beautiful horse named Harley and took me to the barn where he is stabled to take me riding. Before we went on the trail we had to groom the horses. I wasn’t expecting all this, but as it turned out it was awesome to get to see the work that goes into a horse (although I know I only saw the tip of the iceberg), and to be able to have time to “bond” with Harley, who got the privilege of having me ride him.

He just loved his sugar cubes!

I thought I was going to feel really intimidated by these big animals, but in actuality they are just like big puppies. And let me tell you, Harley loved getting treats, and once I gave him some wouldn’t stop sniffing me. Because it was my first time, I loved scraping the dirt off of him and brushing him, making his coat shine. I’m sure after weeks and months and years of doing it, it could become a chore. We also had to clean the dirt from his hooves. I was awful at this because I was paranoid at scraping the nerve in the middle of it (or whatever it is) that Frankie said would hurt him if scraped. Which by the way, Frankie was great with showing me how to do all this and putting his saddle and bridle on. She let me ride Harley, who is tall and slender, and she rode Jack, a short, little, fat horse who was shedding a ton. Now, the whole time we were grooming the horses, I was talking to Harley and rubbing him down, winning his admiration through flattery. Whenever I would look over at Jack, he would just be standing there with his head down, looking dejected and insecure ( Frankie was busy running around getting the stuff we needed). Haha, it was so funny, but I felt bad for him, so I would go over ever few minutes and give him a rub.

It was finally time to ride, and I wish I had a funny story for you about getting up on the horse, but other than an initial hesitation, I stepped in the stirrup and pulled my body up and over. Super. I was so high! For the first time ever, I was taller than Frankie!

And then Harley decided he was going to walk backwards on me. Not knowing quite what to do to get him to stop, we just kept going. I think Frankie was just laughing, but I can’t remember, I was too focused on figuring out what to do. Frankie and the woman who runs the barn showed me how to get Harley to stop and go and after a quick lesson on holding the reins and keeping good posture, we were off.

I soon learned that Harley had a tendency of walking close to the trees. This was perfectly fine for him, but not so much for me seeing as how my leg would almost get crushed between the tree and him. I soon learned that if I directed him in the opposite direction a few feet before the tree, we would miss it. Harley and I then became great trail buddies. The trail led us into an open field and Frankie gave me a quick lesson on trotting. It took me awhile to get Harley to pick up his speed, but once he did I immediately felt like a fish out of water. My stirrups were a bit too long so I was bumping out everywhere. I slowed him down and decided to keep trotting for another day.

The experience was great. Just as I suspected, I loved being on a horse and am really excited to go again. It was just awesome. I loved Harley. Oh, except for the last 10 seconds, right before I was about to leave him, when he stepped on my foot and wouldn’t get off. Yea, that wasn’t so fun.

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One Comment on “Day 74: Horseback Riding! Finally!”

  1. Geri Says:

    You met my other twelve year old son! Glad you enjoyed your ride on him, he’s a sweetie!


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