Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Use to Love Horseback Riding

Homemade Vegetable soup last night.

And dessert. Am I JUST LIKE Rachel Ray, or what?


When I was a young thing with slim, coltish legs and bangs, I loved horseback riding. The idea of it, the mental vision of myself galloping along with the wind whipping my hair back - yee-haw! And I loved the reality of it as well. I had friends with horses so I rode in college, rode on trails whenever given the opportunity and even took horseback riding lessons. I was never really trained so I was definitely not an expert rider but I was confident and had a lot of fun. Those days are over.

One of the last times I rode was in Punta Cana when my daughter and I went on a weekend getaway to this gorgeous, tropical coast. We bought the VIP package which included, among other things, a horseback ride on the beach. Anyway, I had my horseback riding vision in my head. I hadn't ridden in years, since the kids were small and we rode in Gatlinburg. But the wind in the hair vision was alive and well. And riding horseback on the beach? Well, that was just a bright colored, enhanced slow-mo vision in my head.

We got to the horseback riding stables and one of my worries was appeased when I saw the horses were glossy, well-fed and well taken care of. Liz mounted up, effortlessly and with textbook perfection. She still has the long, coltish legs. Sigh. Then I mounted up, not quite so effortlessly. Oh. This kinda hurts. My butt. My knees. But I'm cool. I can do this. I have a vision. We set out down the dusty, gravel road for the beach and I am managing but my knees are killing me. To give myself credit, I did figure out later that my stirrups were too high but I'm not sure that would solved all my problems. It was sorta painful, but the whole experience was just so...neat...that I ignored it. The beach was beautiful and the horses set off down the sandy coast, splashing in the turquoise water. It really was beautiful. But then I made a big mistake. The guide asked if we wanted to gallop.

Now, at this point, I should have given up on the vision. The vision was no longer in existence. I was a middle-aged woman who should have been content just walking down the beach, making a memory that would last forever. But no. I was simply too proud to say no. So we galloped.

Oh. My. God. That hurt.

If anyone had been passing by, they probably would have thought we looked like an advertisement for some beach vacation. Just gallopin' down the beach, our horse's hooves tossing up gleaming drops of water. Liz was holding lightly onto her reins, her bottom neatly in the saddle, effortlessly enjoying the ride. I had a death grip on the reins, my bottom not so much on the saddle as bouncing on it. My pride again kept me from screaming to stop but, finally, after about 6 or 7 days, we did. OK, it wasn't that long, it just felt like it.

That was one of the times I had to admit that I have gotten older.

How extremely annoying.


Lucy's Mom said...

You had me laughing out loud. It doesn't get any better than that. My horse days are long behind me as well. I used to ride, but no more, it really does hurt!

boo said...

You're right, it does hurt! I rode in Ca, I'd never been in better shape and Ooouch! I guess you have to ride a lot to get used to it...