Monday, September 22, 2008

Sucking and Horses

At the beginning of the summer I was lucky enough to participate in a hell-ish date with horses. Now before you gutter-trained minds wander too far, I was taken on a horse ride. This is my recounting of that trip. I wrote this the day after the trip to one of my friends after she asked how my experience was. Enjoy.

Said horse ride was more-or-less my first time. To fully understand and respect my fearful and tentative demeanor around the horses, you must first realize I don’t like horses. Nothing against them, I just have never enjoyed horses. They’re big and do the one thing I hate doing, run.

Now we arrive to the ranch where my friend’s horses are kept and I'm confused as to what to do - this is all new territory for me. We first have to go out into the field and find them. Along the way the two largest horses decided that I had sugar cubes or some sort of sweet in my pockets and that they wanted them. These Goliath-proportioned equine would surround me to nip at my pants. In no exaggeration, these horses were at least seven feet tall. They towered above me. Given my misunderstanding of horses, I really didn’t appreciate my predicament. Not that there was a situation to be worried about but I really didn’t enjoy my current position in between 2 horses that I couldn’t see over. Fast forwarding through the rest of the boring search, we eventually find her horses and take them to her shack to saddle them up.

Upon being acquainted with her horses, I have decided that it would be best if I took the smaller one. In my mind, the smaller they are the less than can hurt me. Nay, my friend refuses and gives me Colt, a gorgeous horse that looks me right in my eyes - according to horse trainer Jonathan (me) that is much too tall. Without much arguing (they are her horses and I'm not quite ready to appear like some sort of sissy) I saddle up Colt and we head out.

We start out in the arena rink as I get accustomed to riding on a horse. I quickly pick up on the general instructions. Tug right to go right, left for left, back to stop, kick-tap to go. Simple, right? Well in this arena lay a nice hurdle just sitting in the middle of the rink. Unbeknown to me, Colt used to be a show horse that was ridden regularly in arena competitions. While the arena contained Colt from darting into hyper speed, it also tempted him to run a figure eight right into the God-awful hurdle.

Now, I consider myself a quick learner and of the athletic type. With this accredited to me, I immediately realize I’m screwed. I have no idea how to stay on a horse whilst in the air let alone while trotting (she had failed to give me a proper instruction on how to correctly ride a horse at their different speeds). Once I realize what I’m about to experience, I hit a state of existence that I’m positive everyone has felt before. I scramble into survival mode. Finding any possible means to stay on this incompatible means of transportation, I clench my legs around the belly, grab to horn of the saddle, and close my eyes. With a bolt of energy, we rise in the air several feet only to collapse on the other side. Breathing heavily, I open my eyes. To my amazement, I am still on the horse. Minus the whiplash experienced, it actually wasn’t that bad. At least she was impressed. Thank God for luck.

Well for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And in my case, the consequence for my astounding feat of beginner's luck was the belief that I was comfortable enough to leave the arena and go riding through the valleys and forests. Once again, not to be viewed as the wimp, I quietly agree and follow.

If you thought this was the terrific and hilarious story of my trip, you are mistaken. The fun was only beginning.

With my friend in the lead, I observe how she rides her horse and quickly adapt a crude version for me to execute. With each change in speed, I use this cheat to form a style that looks like I can’t decide whether I want to sit or stand. Thankfully, she was ahead and didn’t have to witness my attempt at riding. As we go along, I become sorer but much more comfortable on my horse. I actually begin to enjoy trotting about with Colt, who has proven to be quite a gentle horse. We find a trail that leads through the woods and she decides to follow it.

Now begins what is commonly referred to as hell.

As soon as we enter the shady brush, we are attacked by mosquitoes the size of quarters. After a few bites on the horses, they respond by entering a quick trot. Although sudden, I quickly adjust and things seem to better. Another 5 minutes pass and we arrive at the top of a large hill that looks down into some valleys surrounded by fairly thick woods. In the center of the valley sits a small deer. While I would say that deer are only good to look at from a distance, it's apparently even cooler to see them up close for my friend took off down into the valley. Following, I find all this to be pure silliness. As if the deer was actually going to come up and let us pet him? This was a vain mission in following an elusive animal.

After quietly following my friend while she chased Bambi for 5 minutes, I notice that she stops in the middle of the thick of the forest. The closer I come, the more I realize she didn’t stop but her horse did. (Cue eerie suspense music)

I watched in horror as the horse bucked my friend off. Throwing her right into what looked like a convenient placement of comfortable looking brush. I was so wrong. To this day I don’t know specifically what it is called, but along with other names and adjectives, it was referred to as stinging metal - I believe, like I said I’m not sure. Well this agitated my friend into a yelling frenzy with her horse. While they had their battle of control, I felt some stinging on what little forearm I had bare. I look down to find over a dozen mosquitoes on each arm. Cursing, I swat them off. It is at this moment that I realize why the horse bucked. On Colt's neck lay the most mosquitoes I've seen in my life. It was as if a black blanket had been thrown over his neck in an attempt to warm him; except instead of warming the horse, the blanket was sucking the life out of him. Terrified that I was about to be bucked off by a horse that was quickly becoming aggravated, I discover my true hidden talent - I am a superb motivational speaker.

Ignoring the growing amount of pests on me, I immediately start to swat the bugs off of Colt's neck while whispering anything comforting I can think of. Speaking not only to him but also to myself, I attempt to keep things under control. While panic settled and more irrationally horrid outcomes flashed through my head, I began to speak and swat faster. Eventually both arms became involved in the effort to keep Colt bug free and me still mounted. This situation continued for a few minutes until I have an ingenious idea, let's get out of this blood-sucking, cursed, God-forsaken, hell-on-earth, life-draining, etc. , horrid terror of a place. I grab the reins and use my newly learned technique to leave. I shout something to my friend saying something like "let’s get out of here." I’m not quite sure what exactly I said and I’m sure it was laced with more emphatic words but it got the point across. She finally got onto her horse and we took off at what seemed a break-neck, full tilt gallop.

Mind you, I am still new to this whole horse riding deal so I had no idea how to ride at this rate. But once again I quickly adapt and manage to stay on. We race all the way up the hill, through the woods, down the valley, and up to the stables. It was only here did my poor butt get a rest. I have a pale panic stricken look upon my face as I dismount, not to mention almost completely swollen forearms. Looking back at it, the paleness could be attributed to my dramatic loss of blood. Needless to say, somewhere in Jordan, MN there floats a pint of my blood. Maybe it has been transfused with other animals or people by now turning average beings into amazing encouragers, but I do believe it that it has been smeared all throughout the woods as a marker for danger.

Amazingly, this entire time I had stayed mounted and never fell. Along with the amazing feat, I do believe Colt and I gained a silent respect for each other. As I fed him his sugar cube, I felt as if we both realized that we had connected. Tired, I plop into the car silent still from the event. It could also have been from having a sore throat from all the encouraging I handed out in the past hour. She gets in the car and asks what I thought of the ride. To this I replied in the most concise and enveloping statement possible, "I feel like I was just raped in my butt while lying in the middle of poison ivy."

1 comment:

sayruh :) said...

haha i didnt realize how freaking long this thing is all typed out at once... DANG! lol.