About a year ago, I shared with you all the story of the end of my horseback riding career. And I had really held to that until our last trip to the ranch last weekend.
On Thursday, Papa and I were talking and he mentioned that on Saturday, he would like to ride from the gate, along the ridge, then down to the hogan. Then told me that if I would like to ride, he would saddle a horse for me. (Hello, passive aggressive, I'm Airplane, nice to meet you.) I said I would go ahead and ride with him.
After all, he made it sound like a leisurely ride. From the gate, along the ridge, down to the hogan. That is basically only one elevation change - I can handle that.
I was so misled.
We got dropped off at the gate. Then almost immediately went down into the badlands. Rode through there for a little, came back out of the badlands, rode along the ridge, rode back down, back up, back down, and then ran across the open prairie.
Admittedly, that may be a little exaggerated, but not much.
I will agree that the reason I don't like to ride a horse is because I'm a control freak and that is not a situation in which I am in control. But that doesn't make it wrong. It is just the reality of the situation.
What I really don't like is going downhill - it just defies everything that I believe to be logical.
So, either way. I make it down the first hill with no problems. As we were riding around in the badlands for a while I was telling Papa how I really disliked the downhill portion, and he said, "just stay right behind my horse, and we'll take it slow."
Ok, I can do that.
So we cruise around for a while and are slowly making our way up a hill to the ridge, I am following right behind Papa's horse when all of the sudden his horse goes into a hole, his back legs buried up to the flanks. I freaked out a little, but my horse took control and went around, as Papa's horse got out of the hole.
Later, I was talking to my cousin who was also on the ride, and she said that when his horse went into that hole she just closed her eyes and figured her horse would get her to the top. Probably not a bad idea.
The rest of the ride was semi-uneventful. Though there was a lot of wind and a couple of times that I thought we were going to relive the descent scene of Return to Snowy River. We all survived the ride, but we never found the hogan.
(It occurred to me that not everyone has seen The Man From Snowy River and Return to Snowy River, so this wouldn't make sense to those people without watching this video.)