“It will be fun,” they said. “You will love it,” they said.
They were wrong.
My twelve-year-old self got dressed that morning, not knowing if I should wear jeans and a T-shirt, or try to be chić and dress like I thought a cowgirl would dress.
Luckily I didn’t own a cowboy hat, boots, or spurs, and a bandana seemed a bit much with my Care Bear shirt and rhinestoned jeans.
My best friend and I buzzed with excitement the entire hour-long drive out to the stables. We had been invited to a big birthday party at the ranch where our friend, Shannon had her horse boarded.
We were all going to get to ride one of the horses that lived there!
We finally arrived, nearly jumping out of the car before my mom maneuvered the gear shift into park. We could see the beautiful horses galloping around the whitewashed fences in the distance.
Cloud nine was the only way to describe our mental faculties at that time! This was going to be amazing.
This Was Going To Be Amazing … Or So I Thought.
We met the other kids at the big barn. There were saddles, bridles, leads, and blankets everywhere. It smelled musty, and there were bales of hay stacked along the walls.
It was all fun and games until they brought the massive beast through the barn doors.
This horse was huge. It’s back was taller than me on a good day. It snorted and snuffed, and I realized there was no way I wanted to get on that thing.
I stood behind my friend, so I wouldn’t have to look the thing in its piercing eyes. I made myself as small as I could as I stood, dreading what was inevitably in my future.
The horse was outfitted with a blanket and a western saddle. It had a bit in its mouth that it loudly chewed on as the handler-cowboy-guy held the reins.
In my mind I remember the foot straps dangling way up at eye level, but I’m sure it wasn’t quite that dramatic.
All the kids were in a flurry of excitement.
One by one the kids took their turns hoisting themselves on this “practice” horse, swinging their leg over the saddle, and sitting like a full-fledged equestrian rider.
It Was Finally My Turn.
I was the last to go. I couldn’t lift my leg high enough to secure my foot in the stirrup (Is it even called a stirrup? I don’t know). Some stranger had to lift me up so I could get my foot safely secured.
Then came the grand moment I was to throw my leg over the saddle to sit tall in all my cowgirl glory.
Only, I forgot to hold on to the horn of the saddle, so I started to quickly slide (that’s a nice way to say I totally fell) off the other side of said saddle.
Three of the girls quickly tried to save me. Only, this spooked the horse. Do you know what it feels like to be falling off the side of a gigantic horse while it bucks? I do.
The stranger got me untangled and down from the giant creature, and I was so glad we were done.
But, We Weren’t Done.
It was now the cowboys took us out to the horses we would get to ride. All the girls had beautiful horses that looked so sleek. I think, because of my spectacular fall off the beast, they put me on a petite horse named Little Bit.
Little Bit was a mommy horse who’s baby followed the entire time we rode around.
When I say it followed, I mean the baby tried to nurse while I was on top.
When Little Bit moved so the baby couldn’t nurse, this baby nipped her rear. This caused the horse, remember I’m on top, to buck. The baby didn’t like this, so it nipped my leg.
For real?!? Get me off this thing!
Eventually they ended my torture, and it was time to get off the horses. I’ve never gotten off something so fast!
I will never ride a horse again, unless it’s the carousel at Disney World!