Back In The Saddle
October 3, 2013
“Oww! Oh! Ouch! Whooooa, Pale Face!” Allow me to explain. It all started one night while watching an awesome movie about a cowboy who had so much integrity and dignity that I fell asleep dreaming of meeting a man like him; didn’t hurt that he was easy on the eyes. The next day my mind kept drifting back to the movie, which was actually based on a true story. So, just for fun I thought I’d see if there was a date-a-cowboy website. And there is! Well durn diddles, don’t think I didn’t sign right up. Thought I’d lasso a tall, dark, handsome cowboy who’d capture my heart and we’d ride off into the sunset together. Sigh.
Anyway, to make a short story shorter, I only met one cowboy named Jerry who owns a horse ranch in S.C. We met for dinner first; then he invited me down to ride. “Um…let me think…YES!” Dickens, it’s been a long time since I’ve ridden a horse and I was ready to get back in the saddle again. Plus, it didn’t hurt that Jerry is easy on the eyes too.
Arriving on a Tuesday afternoon I watched as he readied Pale Face, my horse, and Romeo, his horse. He showed me how to clean their hoofs and use the inside of your arm to determine your inseam and adjust the stirrups. (Gee, I know my inseam is, it’s called EXTRA LONG on the tag.) However, I found myself mesmerized by this soft spoken man’s riding instructions as he mounted Pale Face and explained the proper body line with heels down. Then he talked about doing the ‘hula’ with your hips during the walk and trot, and ‘rock and roll’ while cantering and galloping. (What? No disco. That’s really my area of expertise, you know. )
Then, confident he had told me everything I needed to know to stay in the saddle, without the use of seat belts or super glue, it was time to ride. Before I mounted, I asked Jerry if riding a horse was like riding a bike, it just comes back to you. He laughed, but I noted he didn’t answer. Alllrighty then, everything I had been looking forward to culminated in that magic moment as I placed my left foot in the stirrup and…bounce…bounce...up. Wowzer, I was straddling Pale Face and feeling Sharon Stone-ish in “The Quick and the Dead,” only I wasn’t looking for a gun fight. Of course, I’ve watched a lot of westerns and didn’t remember any bouncing cowboys, but Jerry said it was all part of the mount. Sort of like priming the pump, I suppose. Who knew?
Bobbie & Pale Face
Starting our trail ride we entered the woods as Jerry carried a riding whip to clear the path of cobwebs. “Oops, missed one!” I called out laughing as I got a face full of spider web. Our first destination was ‘Paradise’ where water from a small waterfall, nestled under the trees, pools briefly before traveling downstream. Pale Face stopped for a drink as I took it all in. Amazingly, I fell in love with nature all over again and could have stayed right there in the middle of the stream soaking up the wonders of it all. But we had to continue on the trail and walked through ‘Earthquake Alley’ then passed by the ‘Edge of the World’ on our way to the ‘Rocky Mountains’ where we stopped and talked for bit. I believe that’s when Jerry reached over and apprehended an arachnid. Yes, tranquility was temporarily interrupted because I had a spider in my hair. (Sounds like a country song, doesn’t it? Jiminy, throw in a pickup, grandma, and a blue tick hound and it’d be a hit.)
On the way back, we reached a wide spot in the path and he asked if I wanted to canter. I said, “Sure, why not? We’ve already trotted, and my bum is numb. So dickens, why not canter?” He laughed and started Romeo on a canter. Man, he made it look so easy. Giving Pale Face a nudge with my heels he took off cantering and it was beyond awesome. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was canter! But my sunglasses had flown off and we had to go back and get them. Then we cantered back up the path again, which didn’t go as well as the first time…not sure I was quite ready. Well, the final canter was more like me doing my impersonation of Jiffy Pop popcorn in the saddle! “Hey Jerry, I’m bouncing now!” Dickens, I bounced, I flailed my arms, I tried to hold on, I even hollered “WHOA!” Not my most graceful moment. Needless to say, even I can admit I’m not horsewomanie enough for Jerry. But I you should see me bounce!
Can you imagine…singing, “Oh baby, I love spiders in your hair…and cobwebs everywhere.”
Whoa…don’t stop smiling!
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