What she MEANT to say—

Got a twofer coupon offer in my e-mail box.

Horseback lessons.


Ever since I was a kid and was thrown by a (seemingly at the time) huge horse my cousin owned, I’ve been waiting to accomplish the proverbial, “Get back on the horse.”

Also, since I have very few things I’m doing* and need yet another diversion activity, I wrangled Dear Friend into going with me.**

It.  Was.  Magic.

…and has become a pretty standard weekly activity for the two of us.***

Every lesson, I get to ride “My” horse—Izzy.    She has a mind of her own, so it’s always a battle of wills.****

One of my favorite things about Izzy is that she belches and farts at the same time.  Noisily.  Such a lady.  But, I often get blamed.

I’ve gone from being tentative (remembering that fall I took as a kid) to sort of competent in ‘driving’ my horse in a walk and trot.

It’s been great fun, though there was one moment of panic when a trot turned into an uncommanded canter (sort of like third gear for horses).  Izzy just got excited that other horses around her were cantering, so joined in.  I grabbed onto the saddle to keep from falling off and looked frantically to the instructor.  The instructor gave a little laugh and nonchalantly asked, “Going somewhere, GnuKid?”  Shit.  Guess I have to handle this myself.  Was able to get Izzy under control and release my severely clenched butt muscles from the saddle.*****

Not me (found here), but this is how it felt

It was only afterwards that I learned that, if you fall off a horse, you have to buy ice cream for anyone witnessing it (which, effectively, is the entire class).  I’m guessing the class was cheering for Izzy on that ride.

But I will continue to get back on that proverbial horse.  And learn to command that canter.  Oh, and I’ll be sure to wear a helmet…

A fun aside:  Recently, our instructor—a sweet, petite woman who has a pure heart and innocent spirit—informed us she and her family were going on vacation.  She was back yakking about the trip with Dear Friend and I was half listening while getting Izzy ready for the lesson when I heard:

“Yes, my husband is an anal packer.”


I was just about to open my mouth to comment when Dear Friend gave me ‘that look’, meaning, “If you say anything to embarrass this sweet lady, I will kill you.”

“Anal Packer” – – <silent chuckling>


*well, other than scuba diving, skiing, motorcycle riding, flying, bicycling, drinking…

**’wrangling’ roughly equated to her running over me, climbing in the car, and hollering, “Let’s go!  We’re late!”

***…or even one of us, if the other is out and about doing someonething else.

****yes, I just admitted that a horse is giving me a run for my money, intellectually speaking.

*****I’m still picking bits of leather out of there.

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21 Responses to “What she MEANT to say—”

  1. Rob Says:

    Well, gnukid, sounds like you’re not doing too bad…….for a total dude! 😀

    I’m sure they’ve told you this, but the secret is in the knees and quads. You’ve got to *squeeze* that horse hard with your knees, boy. You squeeze hard enough and Izzy will start to have trouble drawing breath. That’s how you let the horse know who’s boss.

    If you think breaking into a canter was exhilarating, I can hardly wait to hear about a full on gallop. And then, of course, the heart stopping fun when Izzy jumps a ditch.

    What kind of stable is this? Most of those dude ranch/trail ride places just have plugs. None of them wants (or needs) the risks that might come with saddling up 1500 pounds of stupid and plunking a rookie on it.

    • thegnukid Says:

      oh, i’m squeezing. still need to work on thigh strength though. think i’m just tickling her.

      this is a horse farm. no trails. and lessons are in an ‘arena barn’. but looking forward to rides outside come spring.

  2. savannah Says:

    i’ll just watch, sugar! good luck and all that good stuff! xoxoxox

  3. dinahmow Says:

    Pea green with envy, I am. 5 years ago, in Vanuatu, my hired horse managed a gentle canter along a beach and it took me right back to schooldays.

    psst…take a camera next time, ok?

  4. daisyfae Says:

    ice cream? not beer? oh, yeah… most of the students are probably under the legal drinking age…. right….

  5. Dolce Says:

    Ride, cowboy, ride 😉

  6. bloomolly Says:

    Anal packers are my favourite: they fill available space so … efficiently!

    Vicariously thrilled to learn of your equestrian pursuits. Make sure you watch the film ‘National Velvet’ for inspiration.

  7. nursemyra Says:

    I’m an anal packer…. i think. That is if i understand the term correctly. i roll everything up – you can fit so much more in that way.

    Oh dear, it still sounds like a double entendre doesn’t it? I AM talking about putting clothes into a suitcase

  8. nursemyra Says:

    Try as i might, I just can’t “drop ’em all over the floor”

  9. carlae Says:

    I always get the horse that wants to lead and will work hard to mow down everyone in front of her. My husband gets the horse that wants to stop for a snack. silly beasts…us not them.

    • thegnukid Says:

      [nods head sympathetically] and another “Izzy-ism” is that she will invariably stop about 2:35 into the lesson to take a dump or a whiz. and, nine times out of ten, do it in the exact same place in the practice barn, no matter where you start. silly beasts…

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