My experiences with horses are few and far between. When I was younger, a couple of the neighbor girls had horses, and my sister and I were able to ride them a couple of times. Please note, I am using the term ride very loosely. What I remember is one neighbor getting her horse (Twisty or Twister or some other dangerous name like that) to a nice gallop, and hopping off to let me fend for myself! Thanks, girlfriend.
Another traumatic horse experience took place near Vermillion, SD, when I was about six. My mom had a friend who was a “horse person.” Therefore, her stepdaughters were also into horses. In my opinion, small children should not be allowed to prepare a horse for other riders, but these two girls saddled two horses, and my sister and I were allowed to hop on with them. It was not very long before I was brushing dirt off my pants and stumbling around like a drunkard. It took me a minute to figure out where I was and what had happened. These young girls (the ones who should have had more supervision during the saddling process), did not get the saddles tight enough, and we went sliding right underneath the horse while it was walking around the yard. Needless to say, it was quite awhile before I rode again.
My most recent horse malfunction occurred in 2008 when John and I first started dating. One of my close friends and I were going to get a couple of horses ready for a trail ride the following morning. Again, if you are following this post you can guess that I was having very little (nothing) to do with getting these horses ready for a trail ride. At this point, I could not have even saddled a horse on my own (I still can’t). Well, Carp had saddled and bridled the horse I was to ride. I stood near her for awhile, stroked her face, and talked to her. As I am usually a Nervous Nelly around horses, I wanted us both to be acquainted with one another before hopping on this beast. I kid you not, when I say I was on that horse for no more than twenty seconds when the accident happened. The only thing I really remember is waking up to an EMT cutting off my favorite basketball camp t-shirt. My head was strapped to a board, my mom and sister were already there, and there were flashing lights everywhere.
The horse (Carp later named her Dolly, because we are both fans of Dolly Parton. I feel she should be named Devil.) had gotten a little spooked and started to rear up. I, with my awesome horsemanship capabilities, pulled on the reins like an idiot and made the situation even worse. She threw me off her back and I landed right on my head. This caused a grand mal seizure, a severe concussion, and a subdural hematoma. Needless to say, I ended up in the ER. Although I had to see a neurosurgeon, I did not have to have surgery. I have only been on a horse (which could more rightly be called a Shetland pony) once since this accident, but my fears are fading once again, and I sense it will not be long before I attempt to ride again.
In my little (or lack of) experience as an equestrian, I have learned some things about horse people. It seems that people who love horses are of the mindset, “Go big or go home!” As you have noticed, I call them “horse people,” because that is what they are! Every ounce of their being seems to revolve around these tall, sleek, four-legged creatures, who, mind you, can run way too fast and are much too far off of the ground for this gal’s liking. Something else I have recently learned, you city folk might be surprised, too, is the price of a good horse. My husband told me that some people spend upwards of $50,000.00 on a barrel racing horse. Uff da!
Someday, I will get back in the saddle. Someday, I might even learn to put that saddle on without help. Until someday, I will not wear anything that says “Cowgirl” or anything adorned in horse shoes, because, folks, this gal just isn’t a horse gal.