Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Tale of Two Citiots

I’m a city girl … who enjoys the country. Although I was born and raised in the Detroit area and later moved to the D.C. area, somehow I managed to get my share of the great outdoors growing up and developed a love for horseback riding. I’ve done a lot of riding for a city girl – horse camp every summer, friends and family with horses, the occasional ride through the Gettysburg battlefield – but I may have had just a bit too much confidence for someone who hasn’t been on horse for over 3 years.

On our Thanksgiving trip to Arizona, the boys and I wanted to take my dad and step-mom’s horses out for a quick ride around the property. The most skilled rider in the group, I was elected to ride the most obnoxious horse, fondly nicknamed "Stupid." Now Stupid did his best to buck me off, but after 4 tries and 20 minutes, I was sure he’d given up. Thinking it was safe, my youngest got on the back with me and off we went to hit the trails. Not seven minutes down the road, Stupid lived up to his namesake and began bucking again. I managed to hold on (earned my rodeo hat on that one) but my young rider of 115 lbs and 13 years went flying straight up and landed square on his feet. Clearly, he has a future as a rodeo clown.

About 30 minutes later, 200 feet from the finish line of our ride, I let my guard down just as the horse got spooked by the ATV my 13-year-old had chosen as alternate transportation and Stupid bucked me right over his head, 20 feet into a cactus and a few rocks. No broken bones, some nasty bruises and many, many hair fine cactus needles that took two weeks to pick out of my hands and backside, I have keen recognition that I don’t bounce back like I did when I was 13 but I still look forward to my next ride.

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