Wild Adventures in the Rain


Being that its time for a more light-hearted post:

Sometimes life just doesn’t go as planned. In reality, life rarely follows our plans, perhaps because we are not the makers of our day. Today was one of those days when life’s twists and turns created mayhem, adventure, and pure joy.

I whistled, yelled, hollered, and whistled again. “Let’s go, girls!” “C’mon, get up!” It was to no avail. Grazing peacefully at the very top of the pasture, all four horses clearly had no intention of coming down to the barn for grain. It was raining, making the trek through the paddock treacherous. Slipping and sliding through the mud, I traipsed up to the back end of the field to catch the obstinate creatures people so often think I love. “Love horses? Who in their right mind can actually own and care for the beasts and still say they love them? Grr. Stupid critters.” When I finally reached the horses, I could only catch Senorita, using her fly mask as a halter. She followed quietly behind me as I began walking back down to the barn. But wait. The other three horses were not following us. “Shoot.”

At this point I had an idea. A clever, brilliant idea—as long as one did not think about it too hard. With a quick hop I was astride Senorita. I rarely ride her bareback, much less without a bridle or even a halter. “Kick.” (pause). “Kick. Kick.” (pause). “Kick. Kick. Kick.” (pause). Seriously! Each time I kicked her, it became more and more obvious that she had no idea what I wanted her to do. Somewhere in the knotted mess of wires that comprise a horse’s brain, there was a disconnect between the kick equals go under saddle and the kick equals go bareback. “For real! C’mon Senorita! Walk!” I kept kicking, but the only response I received was a definite flicking back of her ears. She had no idea what I wanted, but she did know that she did not like being kicked while she was trying to eat. This was not working.

Being the clever, brilliant person that I am, I decided to kiss to her. “MMMwheeck.” It worked! Senorita took off cantering. “Wait a second. I have no steering.” My clever, brilliant idea began to look a little sketchy at about the same point that I started hanging on for dear life. Senorita was cantering randomly around the field, completely ignoring any attempts on my part to steer her toward the barn. The other horses soon began to follow her lead, also running haphazardly around the field. Dandy, full of spice and vinegar as usual, ran alongside me kicking and leaping. “Oh no! Now I’m not only going to be run away with, I’m going to get kicked in the head by a crazy beast!”

Symphony, always the friend in times of sheer desperation, chose to take the lead, turning the cacophony of hoof beats into a settled rhythm of horses galloping. Straight. For. The. Barn. “I’m going to die!” Senorita’s stride stretched out as she followed the other horses towards the barn. Throwing a few small bucks in for the fun of it, she was headed directly for the barn. There was no passing go, no collection of money, and no chance to escape near and certain death. I clenched my legs tighter and grabbed another handful of mane as I saw the gate and the right-angle turn into the second pasture approaching at a million miles an hour. “Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. She’s not going to make the turn.” Slipping, sliding, and nearly crashing into the gate, we made it around the corner. If my brother ever thought drifting around corners in a car was cool, Senorita had just established a whole new “cool.” At one point in the corner I could nearly touch the ground as we slid, almost fell, recovered footing, and took off again at a gallop. Making up for lost time. Here came the second gate. Into the paddock we slid, a little cleaner than the first time, throwing up mud with every footfall.

I recovered from the scare of the corners, looked up, and: “Oh no. The trees.” My heart sunk inside me. Had I made it all this way only to be swiped off the back of my horse by a tree branch? Falling today would be a muddy, nasty, disaster. Instinctively I laid down on her back, wishing I had started dieting a few years ago. “Think thin.” “Crash!” The branch hit my shoulder, knocking me off balance, but not completely off my horse.

I breathed a sigh of relief. I made it. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. I am clever and brilliant. All of the horses were in the barn, ready for their grain, and, best of all, I only had to walk one way.

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