Monday, April 11, 2011

The Horse Experience

This weekend Jimmy and I went horse back riding! Yay! I've always loved horses, ever since I was little. I've always been fascinated by them.

So, for my birthday I asked Jimmy to give me horseback riding. Ever grateful for suggestions, that's exactly what he did. Of course horse riding isn't very baby friendly. So Carla offered to watch Brynlee for me while we went.

My experience on horses has been limited. Limited to about 10 min or so when Audrey and her family so kindly let me ride their horse Mouse a few years ago when I was out there. I was a bit nervous (images of a paralyzed Christopher Reeves kept flashing though my head..) but really excited as well.

Jimmy... was not so excited. But he went along anyway, what a trooper. We drove to Malibu Canyon where all the ridiculously rich people live and found the ranch. It was $65 per person per hour (I know Audrey, close your mouth that I'm sure is currently wide open right now. People charge a lot of money to let you ride their horses out here!). We figured 1 hour would be plenty for us.

We were in a group of 5 people. The other 3 people were relatively in experienced as well. The instructor very quickly ran over how to mount the horse and how to make it go/stop/turn/back up, etc. How hard can it be right? Wrong! Very wrong!

As everyone was getting on their horses Jimmy's horse started backing him into a bush. And then started backing him into a trailer. His horse had some big time attitude. He would pull the reigns, and the horse would just back him even further into the bush.

It's very strange thing to ride something with a mind of its own. We are used to driving cars, where you press buttons and turn a wheel and the car does what you want. Horses on the other hand do what they want unless you very sternly tell them otherwise.

As we started towards the trail all the horses went left, and my horse went right to the water bucket. I pulled and pulled those reigns to the left and my horse just kept on going. I guess she was really thirsty? They told me not to let her drink too much, so I tried to yank up on her reigns to no avail.

With animals, we are used to being fragile with them, tender with them. It’s not like I would ever kick my cat! But then again my cat is not a huge 1000 lb beast I’m trying to ride. It's odd to have to be rough with horses. Finally I got her to stop drinking and away we went.

We started to get the hang of it after a few minutes. No more backing into bushes incidents. But there was a ton of tall grass and the instructor told us not to let the horses eat it. Well the horses had other ideas. When they put their heads down to eat, you were supposed to yank them up. Yeah, easier said than done. Jimmy's almost pulled him out of his saddle (such attitude!).

Between white knuckling my reigns, I did manage to get a few pictures (which are to follow next post). Sure enough when I took one hand off my reigns, my horse tried to eat some of the forbidden grass. Sneaky girl! She knew I couldn't pull her head up with just one hand.

I was really surprised at how much horse back riding hurt! After 1 hour, my butt was killing me. Not that I have a ton of cushion down there, but jeez. I'm still sore and it is 3 days later. It's crazy to think that was the main mode of transportation for a long time. I can't imagine riding a horse for days on end on a cattle drive or something.

I think at one point or another all 5 horses pooped. Yum! It was real pleasant when the horse in front of you went, and you got a front row view. Jimmy pulled his horse up next to mine, which you are not supposed to do. We were supposed to stay in line. Surprise, he broke the rules. Maybe that is why his horse was trying to shove him in a bush. Anyway, he pulled his horse up next to mine where it proceeded to pee a gallon of fluid for about 3 min. It peed so much it splashed up and got my shoes. Thanks hun!

By the end of the hour I felt like a seasoned pro. Ok not like a pro but I felt I had better control of my horse. And I had a ton of fun. I'm bummed that I can't do that again anytime soon. I need to make friends with people around here who have horses so I can go again!

1 comment:

Audrey Spence said...

This just makes me smile. I guess horseback riding in Malibu is cheaper than driving/flying to UT. Horses are funny though. I love watching Mouse and Dove. They are hilarious. Horses are a lot smarter than people think and they can really sense things about you. If you're nervous. They know it. I bet Jimmy's horse was just testing Jimmy out because Mouse does that with me. She knows that I don't know how to train her or anything so she sees what she can get away with. She's always in order with my mom but even Chloe who is experienced she'll see how far she can push her limits. Oh how I love horses. They each have their own personality. Well if you're ever up here anytime soon you're more than welcome to go riding again!