I almost didn’t because winter made a sudden reappearance on Saturday morning but after a viewing of The Second Best Marigold Hotel (cute, but it was a 10 AM showing and I was the only one under 50 in the theater…hah), the snow had stopped and it was a lovely, balmy, 40 degrees.
So, I said “screw it” and went and rode a pony. She had four legs and a mane and tail and we walked and trotted and cantered (sort of, holy weirdass canter on this mare!) and I hugged her neck and it was FUN!
|Footing here in Massachusetts is still not spectacular. Fuck you, winter. Go away!|
It was wonderful. These cute black ears belong to a coworker’s horse. Her name is Casey, and she is a 21 year old Welsh Cob/Thoroughbred cross mare who toted my VERY out of shape behind around without any fuss. She also looked fab in my bright blue tack. She’s not particularly tall, but the cob gave her the body of a wee draft and the Thoroughbred lended its athleticism and lightened her just enough to make me feel like I was riding a saddle horse, and not a draft masquerading as one. And she had a BARREL. I didn’t once feel like I was going to squish her or that I was causing her undue stress. She also had dinner plates for feet, which I stupidly did not get pictures of.
|Baaaad lighting…she looks mildly possessed, but I swear, she was sweet as the day is long!|
I hadn’t ever ridden any of this coworker’s critters before so I found myself feeling nervous as I stepped up into the saddle…and then REALLY irritated at myself for being nervous. I got on and everything was fine, but man, I was not prepared for that little bit of niggling fear in the back of my head. What the frickfrack was that about? I can only guess it’s residual from my Image days (big black pony = YOU’RE GOING TO BE UNCEREMONIOUSLY BUCKED OFF NOW!), anticipating an hour long battle with a horse a la Simba, or just me being completely out of practice. Who knows? I told it to fuck off and got on anyway.
Thankfully, I had no reason to be nervous in the end. Casey was very much agreeable to toodling around the snow covered riding ring. She, too, was quite out of shape and we were both only good for a couple of laps of trot at a time. I was delighted to find I can still sit the trot without looking like a complete sack of potatoes, and while her canter was like riding a dolphin jumping through the waves and I probably looked like a dumbass, that was fun too! It likely didn’t help that the second she launched (and I mean LAUNCHED) into her canter, I burst into hysterical laughter and could only two point my way through it. After we were done, she was content to stand around and let me talk to my coworker J, my other coworker I who showed up to ride her horse — bareback, with just a halter and lead line…she sat some impressive acrobatics as her horse hadn’t been ridden since January. I may hate her and her velcro butt a little…! — and for some barn girls to love on her. She let me squeeze her in between I’s truck and my car so I could load my saddle back into my trunk without having to haul it up and down the driveway, and then stood while we all chatted some more and let me use her as a headrest.
Image left me with such a soft spot for big, round black horses, and I was already predisposed to adore grand old mares that are worth their weight in gold, that I couldn’t help but be enamored with this lovely lady. She took care of me and I’m so glad J seemed more than happy to have me hop on her. In short, it was a good, solid reintroduction into riding for the season. I’m really hopeful that despite the fact that I am horseless, I will not be riding-less this spring and summer. I just want to ride a lot of fun horses with a lot of fun people in a lot of fun places. Is that so much to ask…?!
In other news, I bought a car that doesn’t make me worry about it blowing up, got really sick, had some medical stuff done, had to make some serious lifestyle changes, and have lost close to 40 pounds.
So, in closing…