Saturday, February 02, 2008
I went horseback riding today. I'd been wanting to for a long time, and last week when a friend (Mike) said he wanted to do something on Saturday, I suggested it. I'd seen an ad for Happy Trails Farm on Craigslist, and it seemed like fun.
I had not been on a horse since junior high (a Girl Scout summer camp), and all I remember is wanting to go faster. Well, fast forward 20 years, and boy does the picture change. Just getting up on the horse was a little scary! They provided a step stool (thank goodness!) but once you're up there, it feels so high (even though it's really not), and you don't exactly have guardrails or anything. It took a while to get used to the feel of the horse walking and me being jostled side to side. Thankfully the lady who was in charge was very patient with me and kept an eye on me.
The ride was through the woods up in Wake Forest, and although this time of year it's not exactly beautiful, it was still nice. It had rained pretty hard the previous day so the trail was a little muddy, and in a couple parts there were big puddles. I guess horses are trained to run through water, because that's what mine did, with no prodding from me. It freaked me out the first time! But the second time, I knew to expect it, and it was kind of fun! But I definitely have a new respect for people who gallop and run on horses, let alone people who actually jump over things!
At one point some dogs came running up to us, and the lady in charge told us to stop our horses. She didn't know the dogs, and didn't know why they were on her property. Their owner called them back and nothing came of it, but for a second I envisioned all our horses bucking us off, and the thought of falling from that high was not, shall we say, cheerful.
After an hour we headed back to the barn, and you could tell the horses were excited. I guess all creatures like to go home. Mine liked to take shortcuts. If everyone else was making a 90-degree turn to follow the trail, mine would cut the corner. Kind of funny. I'm told I'll be sore tomorrow, but right now I'm ok. If I go horseback riding again, I'd want to go someplace a little more scenic. But for my first time in two decades, it was a delightful excursion!