I turned 23 this past weekend.
Birthdays and holidays aren’t really my “thing”. I’m not much for big get togethers, and am REALLY not a fan when the spotlight is on me for an extended period of time. I can’t remember the last time I had a real birthday party. I’m much happier hanging out, going for a ride, and maybe going out to dinner!
However, I got a text from K two weeks before the actual day, asking me if I was at all interested in spending the weekend in New York City.
Obviously, she had to twist my arm really, really hard 😉 There would be no celebrity stalking this time, but K promised me a lovely surprise (which turned out to be 2nd row tickets to Wicked, which was AMAZING and you should all go see it!) and a ride on her sweet Quarter Horse gelding, Rocket.
So, after getting Friday off from work, I toodled my way down to CT. K and I arrived at her barn, and the views took my breath away. It wasn’t a fancy barn, but it was 100% functional and well looked after, with a small indoor and gorgeous paddocks that were in direct line of the warm evening sun…also known as a photographer’s dream. I wanted to move in immediately!
K introduced me to the critters at the barn, and pulled her chunky monkey of a gelding out into the aisle. Rocket immediately inspected me for cookies. Upon finding out that I was cookie-less, he flopped his ears out to the side and let K and I clean him up. The pastures have a great assortment of burrs, so we had to spend some time picking the offensive things out of Rocket’s mane and tail. He allowed me to smooch his nose and cuddle his face without looking too put off by all the attention!
K tacked him up, and hopped on. Rocket is in his mid teens, and is mostly a steady eddy kind of guy…maybe a little bit too “steady eddy”. K warned me that spurs might be a good idea, so I wrestled mine out from my car trunk tack room, and strapped them on for the first time in God knows how long. We went outside, I snapped some pictures of her running around on her pony, and then she handed the reins over to me.
I ground mounted (!!!) very carefully, as I am a Big Girl and I don’t ground mount well. I swung my leg over, settled in the saddle, and immediately my body went “Oh! We remember this!”
It’s the first time since my ride on Dorada that I got to walk, trot, canter and gallop. I ditched the spurs about ten minutes in because while my body remembers how to do this, my muscles are no longer conditioned to hold the proper leg position for spurs…so, after accidentally poking him in the side and getting the world’s most pathetic buck, I wrestled them off and was able to easily get him into all four gaits without them. It’s been so, so long since I last rode a nice, rocking horse lope that I couldn’t help the wide grin that spread across my face. K, who also happens to be an aspiring equine photographer, manned my camera while I was cruising around on her sweet gelding.
It was really wonderful to hop on a horse and ride…no worrying about getting bucked off, or having to micromanage their every move because they’re green…just get on and GO. Rocket and I got along well, and I got off feeling much lighter (figuratively, anyway) than I have in quite some time. This time of year is tough for me, with so many not-so-fun anniversaries, my birthday, and the holidays squished into one short period of time. A good canter can cure anything, though, and I felt a little more human when I dismounted. Of course, Rocket continued to woo me when we untacked him, and he happily stayed nearby in the pasture for hugs, kisses, and cuddles.
After we gave Rocket an adequate amount of treats and snuggles, we headed into the city. Of course, the two of us sat on the train with my laptop and laughed hysterically at the pictures we took of each other. I mean, seriously…
You’d think I was riding into battle or something! Just need a sword or something and I’d be set. Please ignore my hands. I like to pretend I’m a puppy when I ride and forget that I have fingers. Grumble.
|Less battle like, more normal horseback riding woman like. Again with the hands. Bah!
|Spurs came off directly after this. Poking the pony in the sides made him buck, which made me laugh…but still, probably not the best idea 😉
This weekend is going to be just as exciting, as I’ll be attending the Equine Affaire come Saturday. It’s a little more difficult for me this year…I realized yesterday that exactly a year ago, I decided to take the plunge into horse ownership with Image. I miss him more than I can describe. I was so excited at the last Equine Affaire, because I could actually plan and purchase for my very own horse. It’s going to be a little heartbreaking to be there this year, and not have that. However, I do plan to poke around the sale barn a bit, just to see what’s there.
Who knows? Maybe my dream pony and I will find each other 🙂