My arms hurt, my abs hurt, my legs hurt, my hands hurt. I hurt all over but it’s that good pain that you get from a good ride! A few days ago my friend’s status on Facebook was something about going riding. I commented and then the invited me to go along. She is my old riding buddy. But we haven’t ridden together in about 6 years. We met because of horses and horses were our lives but eventually horses are what pushed us apart. But that story is best saved for another day! Today’s story is about my ride last night.
We met up at a small town bar for a quick bottle of “liquid courage” before heading out to the farm. She assured me that the horses were great and I should have nothing to worry about. But me being me I was nervous. I pretended not to be as she showed me which horse I’d be riding. A fat little chestnut mare that the owner used for team penning before she had her baby. She seemed very sweet and she was. My friend told me that she had a lot of get up and go and that I wouldn’t have a comfortable ride until I let her go for a bit. That of course made way nervous. I always get nervous cantering or galloping a new horse…heck I get nervous cantering a horse I’ve ridden before! But I smiled and laughed and pretended I was fine with the thought of galloping away on a horse I’d just met.
The saddle I was using weighed about 17 tons. This was the heaviest saddle I’ve ever encountered in my life! It was about 3 times heavier than my western saddle. The mare I was riding wasn’t very tall, thank heavens but it was still a struggle to put it on her! I did and then put on her bridle, sprayed her with bug spray and hopped on. Deep breath and we were off. My friend had told me that the horse I was riding had allergies and would wheeze and cough a lot but her owner and vet told her that she was fine. We rode for about 10 minutes but decided it seemed just cruel to let her huff and puff so we turned around. I put her back in the corral and then my friend pointed to a little black mare that I was to ride instead.
The little black mare was a devil to catch. She wouldn’t have any of it. It took about 10 minutes but we managed to catch her. Tacking her up was a bit of a challenge because she was a bit prancy. I looked up at her ears and face and then asked my friend “what kind of horse is this?” and she said “Arabian”. I laughed and replied “Oh, great! My ‘favorite’ breed of horse!” we both laughed and she then told me it was the owner’s barrel horse. And I said “AWESOME! A hot speed horse! Can’t wait to go to the hospital tonight! My insurance card is in my wallet, don’t’ forget to grab that for me.” But I hopped on we were off again. We calmly walked out of the yard and then after we warmed up a bit my friend said that she wanted to long trot the horse she was riding but I could lope my horse if I wanted to. I didn’t want to but I figured I would give it a shot since my horse was ready to go and her trot was really, really choppy and uncomfortable. I let her go and she was awesome. Very smooth and easy to ride and then came the part I was worried about, slowing down. I sat back and gently pulled back on my reins and to my surprise…she slowed down. In the back of my mind I wasn’t expecting that. I guess I forget that some horses are actually trained to do what you ask haha.
We got up to a field that had been harvested and dug up that belonged to the owners of the horses. So we were able to play in it. It felt awesome to just let my horse go and have the wind blowing through my hair. I got up into two point grabbed mane and let her go. It been forever since I’ve done that. I suppose the last time I’ve done that fearlessly was about 10 years ago on a completely dead broke ranch horse. And when I used to ride with my riding buddy we would do that all the time but I was filled with fear and it was never fun!
We rode and played for about an hour and a half. I must admit that I was hasty to judge that little Arabian I rode. Being the owner of a Thoroughbred I should know better than to judge a horse based on what some of the breed are like. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Especially since she was two things I generally stay far, far away from. Arabians and Mares. I told my friend that when I come back to ride I definitely will ride that little horse again. Even if she was a bit hot and a bit more firey than my thoroughbred, she was a total doll. She had a very jiggy prancy walk. I felt like we were in a parade most of the time but It was fun. I was very happy with my ride on her yesterday. My body is not happy with me today but I am happy! Who knows maybe my next horse will be an arabian! hehe