A few years ago, my boyfriend surprised me with an afternoon date of
horseback riding. I had convinced myself that we were going on a hot air balloon ride while en route so I was really surprised when we drove into horse stables. I’m no equestrian master (mistress?) or anything, but I’ve ridden a horse or two in my day (no pun) so I wasn’t too worried about this little guided trail ride.
But apparently I should have been because this was one of the first days of spring, which meant very muddy trails and horses that had not been out on these trails yet this season.
Our horse and rider group sets out. The horses are skittish and not interested in listening to us equestrian novices. One of the trail guides gets off her horse and walks it back to the stables because she can’t get the horse under control. Hindsight tells me that not only was this an omen, but clearly I should have also pulled the shoot.
Finally after a somewhat tense ride, we start heading back to the stable, but first we have to come down a (muddy) trail which opens up into a large field. The remaining trail guide informs us to keep our horses under control because the horses love to take off running into this open field. Great.
We start heading down the trail and I can feel my horse getting antsy. I’m trying to hold him/her back but I quickly realize this is futile. This horse wants to run and I am his/her dark passenger. So we take off down the hill.
We’re not at a full gallop, but only because my horse first has to pass all the other horse and riders on this slippery narrow trail before he/she really lights it up in the open field. Perfect. My only thought: get your feet out of the stirrups so this horse doesn’t trample your head once you are flung off.
What do I do? Well obviously I remove my feet from the stirrups and prepare to evacuate. The horse is picking up speed and just as we get really close to the field, I tuck and roll off the horse. Except I don’t quite tuck and roll properly and land squarely on my shoulder/arm and my head hammers against the ground (thank goodness for muddy/soft grass) as my feet fly up over my head.
I guess this is why you sign waivers at these places.
Later that night, I develop a migraine and spend the evening barfing while at his Grandmother’s house for dinner. Awesome. I spend the next 3 days high as a kite on painkillers for my shoulder and neck.
Moral of the story: pick a better stallion before you go for a ride.