Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Eatin' dust

Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground. ~Author Unknown

Unruly has been on horses since she was about three and in the past year or so, she's been riding by herself. Recently she discovered that riding isn't as easy as she's been led to believe.

In fact, it can be quite painful at times. Well, not the riding part, but the hitting the ground part. Especially when you plummet to the earth head first and eat dirt.

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire. ~Sharon Ralls Lemon

Lately she has decided that she's going to be a "famous" horse rider and trainer. She even said I could live with her and clean the stalls and horses when she grows up. Lucky me!

So, to practice for her new career goals, she's been riding faster and trying more things. She aims Chief at logs and ditches and tries to get him to jump. She kicks him up into a trot a lot more often and just grins and giggles like a madwoman as she's bouncing along. He doesn't move very fast, but for her, trotting is almost like flying.
She decided on her own that she was ready to canter. She wanted to not just fly, but soar. And soar she did. Chief is such a amenable old man. He lifted up into his lumbering canter, as she asked, and sprung along, as much as a nearly 20-year-old horse can spring.

But he went faster than she expected. The trees and the ground flew by in a blur and she panicked and dropped the reins. What happens when you have no reins? Well, for a six-year-old, you have no control. Then you're flying along, out of control and you panic. Which she did. But she thankfully remembered my lessons..."If he doesn't want to stop, just yell "WHOA! and mean it." and yell she did. Once. Loud and clear.

Chief heard her and obeyed. Immediately. Which she didn't expect. The horse stopped, the kid kept going. She hit the hard ground with an audible thud, sat there for a minute, stunned and surprised then got up to pat her good, good riding partner on the neck as he stood there and eyed her quizzically, wondering how the heck she managed to end up in front of him instead of on his back where she belonged. She told him what a good boy he was for stopping and kissed him on his velvety-soft nose. He loves that kid. He doesn't much care for anyone else, but Unruly is HIS kid. He takes good care of her.

When you're young and you fall off a horse, you may break something. When you're my age, you splatter. ~Roy Rogers

I thought I'd have to convince her to get back on, because falling off your horse can be a pretty traumatic and scary experience. I was ready to give the ole "dust yourself off and get back on," speech, but I didn't have to. Without shedding a tear she climbed back up and trotted off as if nothing had happened.

In the horse world you aren't truly a rider until you've fallen off at least once. I guess this means she's well on her way to a lifetime love of the horses who are such a rich part of our lives.


MP said...

That's a tough little lady you have there! You can tell mama's proud!

Dorky Dad said...

Way to go Unruly for getting back on the horse. I probably would have started running ...

Wendy said...

Oh, ouch! I'm sore just reading.

lov grma said...

You've got yourself a real horse girl there. A true lover of horses.
She Will be just like her grandma and mom.

Jenny said...

I had a horse scare once. Never got back on.

Good for her.

Grundir the Implacable said...

I have been riding for hundreds of years, and not once have I fallen.

Ok, maybe once.

Jenn said...

MP...I am VERY proud! She's such an awesome kid.

Wendy...I think she was a little bruised, but too proud to say anything about it.

lov grma...I think she will! Horses are definitely her first love! She reminds me of me. Chief is her best friend right now, hopefully she'll continue that love through the "boys" stage, too.

Jenny...I was SO thankful it didn't scare her enough to make her not want to get up again. I'm sorry you had a scary fall, because they can be terrifying! I've had my fair share of falls, too, some of them VERY VERY scary.

Grundir...I've seen those horses you ride, I'd be afraid they'd stomp me to smoldering smithereens if I fell off! I wouldn't be surprised if you Super Glued your cloaked self to the saddle.

Jenn said...

Dorky Dad...I think if she had run, Chief would have run after her! He follows her everywhere if he can.

goat roper said...

I love her colorful attire and that red saddle is the best! To have a best friend like Chief is so special, I bet she carries on long, involved conversations with him. We both know this won't be the first time she'll eat dirt! I look forward to when she is old enough to come hit the mountain trails with me.

nell said...

You got yourself a pretty amazing girl there! I'm impressed. It's so sweet that she's going to give you a nice job in the stables when she's famous too!

Nancy @ World Wide Rolves said...

What a hoot that must have been to see - well, aside from the heart stopping terror of course.

ReesePie said...

Right On! I'm so impressed!

Lisa said...

Yeay Unruly. Way to get back up on that horse. (I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been that brave. heehee.)

kristi said...

OUCH. Hope she is okay.