When I look back on my riding lifetime, I’m not quite sure how I’m still alive. How’s that for positivity! I wouldn’t so much say I am a naturally gifted rider so much as I would say I possibly sustained one too many knocks to the head and my concept of a good time is far from equivalent to a smart idea. It could also explain why I’m 32 going on 92.
My beloved equine with the spectacular jumping abilities was about the cleverest little man I’ve ever come across. I’m quite certain he was put on this earth to knock some sense into me. Credit to him he really gave it a good shot. The problem being either he was an overachiever, and there were a few knocks too many, or there was no sense to be found in the first place.
When I first got my horse I was broke as could be (never a good idea when going into animal ownership) and couldn’t afford a saddle. But it’s okay because way back then forever ago I had crazy abilities I couldn’t achieve now with a scotch on the rocks and an IV of pain killers set to go. We rode bareback everywhere, generally speaking, it was a case of no saddle, no helmet and no common sense to be found anywhere. Indestructible (idiotic) teenager at its finest. I did eventually learn to wear a helmet, and somehow I realised that my horse would only buck if I wasn’t wearing a helmet. The epitome of tough love.
Every morning I would give my beloved equine his feed, then we would walk a couple of blocks from the stable down to his day paddock. In the evening I would collect him, put on his halter and jump on bareback to ride home. One evening I went a different way home. This was perfectly acceptable to beloved equine because it was simply an alternate track to his feed bin which he knew would be full and waiting for him. Low and behold said friend was saddled and headed out for a ride. What a great idea! We will join you.
Now, worth pointing out here, I don’t get great ideas.
Off we went, back the way we came and down a little ditch to go for a lovely canter along a stretch of grass. See, the thing about this very clever horse of mine is he was an old soul with more than enough brain capacity to make up for my complete lack of, and he knew this young whipper snapper needed a lesson (or two, or two million). So here we were, cantering along bareback in a halter until we weren’t. As I picked myself up off the ground and met the glaring eye of starving and never fed steed, I reminded him firmly who was the boss (not me) and jumped back on. These days I can barely drag myself up into the saddle using a mounting block. Ahhh, the memories.
Turning around and headed back home we went back down through the little ditch when beloved steed taught me life lesson number 3502. Don’t mess with the feed routine. As he was coming back out of the ditch he stopped at the rise and bucked once, pushing me up onto his neck, then bucked again sending me face first into the top of the ditch. Now credit to him. He never ran away when he was sans rider (which was often). He far preferred to stand there and allow me to fully soak in his utter disgust at my complete lack of any brain capacity what so ever. Judgemental bastard.
Pretty certain the only thing dented more than my ego that day was my body. Wise steed was returned to his stable with his feed which in hindsight he really earned that day. And I stood there nursing a sore backside wondering when I’d get rich enough to buy a saddle. I would never be rich enough to buy common sense.
Till next time.. Nicki Dee…