Sunday, September 30, 2007

More pet prozac

Saturday we headed over to the Little Red Bike cafe grand opening party, which by all appearances and accounts was a whopping success. I'm sure the excellence of the meatloaf and the "meat"loaf sandwiches had something to do with it.

In the afternoon, we headed up to Vancouver where my friend Denise keeps her horses. Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I still had a mom and I owned my own car, I used to head down to her house in Gladstone every Thursday night for riding lessons. I'd trot around the indoor ring on while she yelled at me (in a nice way) to keep my toes in, squeeze with my thighs and remember to post while trotting.

I hadn't seen her in a while, but she came to our house warming party and the subject of a ride came up. So we finally worked out the scheduling and that is how we found ourselves at the Clark County fairgrounds on a cloudy Saturday afternoon.

Denise has two horses of her own and her friend Lynn has one that's also stabled in the same barn. I was slated to ride Lynn's horse, Peanut, a sweet and people-loving soul who lived to please. Jess was given a horse named Handsome who lived up to his name, but who's reputation for obedience was suspect.

We got them all brushed and saddled and set off on a trail that started at the end of one of the pastures. The woods were gorgeous and quiet and you would never know there was a city just 20 miles away. It was awesome.

We were warned that Peanut and Handsome didn't really get along so I brought up the rear and made sure not to get too close. That wasn't really a problem because Peanut was the slowest walker ever. I didn't mind that though, because it meant every so often, he or I would decide it was time to trot to catch up with the others. Since I still not-so-secretly want to be a jockey, the faster I can go, the better--at least in theory.

Meanwhile, up in front, things were heating up. Handsome spent most of his time biting Ryo's butt or trying to get ahead of him. Jess was having quite a time trying to control him and not having much success. Denise assured her that he didn't listen to her either. Maybe that was why she kept turning me down when I offered to switch horses. Not that I would have had any better luck, but at least I had a little experience with horses, while Jess had almost zero. But she toughed it out, which I totally admired.

I got invited to move to the front of the line and Peanut, liking it much better up there, walked a bit faster. We were also free to trot whenever we wanted and even managed a couple of gallops here and there. We were having a grand time.

Unfortunately, behind us, Handsome was getting more bullheaded by the moment. When we got near the end of the trail and onto the wide straight road that lead back to the barn, I decided to gallop in. That got Handsome really worked up and he up and ran off with Jess, galloping down the road with her sawing the reigns and shouting "Whoa!" She finally got him stopped and I stayed put behind them so as not to give Handsome any more ideas. I waited till they reached the gate and then galloped the rest of the way in, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

"Can we do that again before I get down?" I asked Denise.


So we trotted off again to the end of the road and this time came back at a faster gallop. I'm used to going 35 mph downhill on my bike but this was totally different. My bike bounces less and doesn't have it's own brain. Watching the ground go by while bumping along is a totally different thrill. Slightly scary but in a good way.

I really mustn't let so much time go by before I do that again. And perhaps I won't have to. Denise told me that she and a friend of hers have gotten into three team penning and she invited me out to watch this week and if I get into it, maybe I'll go out on a regular basis, help warm up the horses and see where it goes from there.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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