Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Riding Horses

This past weekend my future sister in law Melodi took my sister Rachel and I riding. She has worked with the horses at a camp in the past few years and has permission to ride the horses on occasion. Rachel and I were pretty excited. I haven't ridden in years but I have fond memories of riding lessons when I was a kid....I can't believe I am 25 years old...ahem.

I took these pictures while we were driving out there. The camp in near Manhattan and it really is pretty land out there. It was such a wet day!

It was a dreary day and while I usually love it, we wanted to ride! Melodi was under the impression that we couldn't get the horses out and ride them in the rain and until she was told otherwise, we waited for the rain to stop.

First we had to catch the horses. This involved Melodi carrying a bucket of treats and me watching. I like horses but they have always made me nervous. Rachel on the other hand has always wanted to ride the biggest, tallest horse and is all about riding fast and being crazy. The horse walking towards the camera is Clint. To quote Melodi "Princess is his girl friend". She is the one walking away from the camera.

Clint kept sticking his head out of the stable to make sure Princess was still around. She followed us over to the stable and it was so cute watching them. After loading the horses into the stable all we could do was wait until the rain cleared out. So we ate a picnic lunch...In the car. Melodi brought everything to put in the sandwiches, Rachel made bread and cookies and I brought mustard and chex mix.

Rachel just stared out into the rain, depressed because we weren't riding yet. And I took pictures.

After sitting in the car for a while, Melodi got a call from her friend who let us know that we could ride the horses in the rain. Rachel was ecstatic to get going. Along our ride we saw Rascal at the front of the camp. He is an old blind horse that wanders around eating grass. I loved his spots.

Out on the riding trail.

On the way out to the trail to ride for a while I took some pictures while riding. It was nice being out in the country taking in the views. After being out on the trail for about 15 minutes Rachel's horse Clint tripped and fell to his front knees. It was a little scary but Rachel hung on and waited for him to get back up again. We kept going since his legs looked good. After going for another 10 minutes, we decided to turn around because he was obviously limping due to his left back leg really lagging.

This is where the fun started for me.

My horse, Rego realized that we were turning around to head back home and because he's a trail horse and knows the paths, decided to start trotting. This was fine although it was REALLY bumpy. At the point where we had turned around we were on an asphalt road that was abandoned. By the time we got back to the path in the woods I was having a hard time controlling Rego. Do you ever really "control" animals? Anyways to get back on the path in the woods, there is a steep incline. Rego decided to run down this little incline and bank sharply around the fence that was in the way to get to the more open area of the path. At this point he decided to canter. Now I was a little nervous at first but cantering is way more smooth than trotting and so it felt okay. I tried to slow him down and he finally did when we reached an embankment to climb back onto the gravel road we had originally come down. Once on the road we waited for Rachel and Melodi since I had gotten ahead of them. We walked up the gravel road, but it was hard to stay so slow since the horses knew where we were going.

Rachel decided to have Clint trot ahead and so they were about half a mile ahead of Melodi and I when I thought "maybe I could let Rego canter again"..."We'll just catch up to Rachel". Melodi thought it would be okay so I let Rego go. And GO he did. We took off and quickly started galloping and possibly something faster than galloping (is there something faster than galloping?). I started calling out "wooaahhh" and pulling back on the reins when Rachel was becoming larger in view but Rego wouldn't have it. We blew past Rachel and shot to the entrance of the camp. The road to the camp was perpendicular to the road we were on and so Rego made a sharp turn to the right wherein I almost fell off. My leg muscles felt that turn the next day...So after flying through the front entrance I started to really panic. I realized that Rachel and Melodi were in no position to help me and I was going to have to do it on my own! I am pretty sure I screamed "heeeelllpp" and "WOOOAHHHH" several times but it didn't help. I was leaning all the way back in my saddle and pulling with both hands on the reins to no avail. Finally I pushed my stirrups out in front of me to get more leverage. I furiously thought about what I could do to help the situation and thought about just grabbing his neck and hanging on. I knew that wasn't the best decision and I also pondered jumping off for about 1 second. I just kpt leaning back and the last thing I yelled was "Lord HELP me!". The horse actually started to slow down! I was amazed. We went a little farther for him to come to a complete stop and when we finally did stop, I was shaking. The muscles in my hands were sore and I was ready to be done riding for the day.

It felt like 45 seconds of shaking scariness but Melodi tells me it last for a couple minutes and a couple miles. After stopping I made sure that Rego knew I didn't want to go anywhere. I waited for a couple minutes so that Rachel and Melodi could catch up. On the way back I had to struggle to keep him walking.

Needless to say, I was done for the day. I was shaky and tired and my allergies and asthma were affecting me. Melodi decided to stay with me while Rachel went back out with Melodi's friend even though all I did was sleep!

I think I am ready to go back out riding sometime but I'll be relying on the Lord to keep me safe the whole time...

This is the butthead that took off with me...After he's done riding he likes to give who ever is nearest a rub with his head. Melodi is used to this and so she took my place, thankfully!


Rachel said...

Wow! What a story! I'm glad you're okay - the pictures were gorgeous!

Ren said...

what an eventful day! wow. those horses are beautiful though! im jealous. :)