I’ve known it from the beginning. Just been waiting for it, y’all. I shared previously how, throughout my life, I’ve come off of every horse I’ve been on, one way or another. Every time I ride I wonder if this will be the day. Yesterday was no exception.
Before I went out to the barn, I had asked God to protect me, because it could be “the day”. And then it was. We were headed across the field, away from the barn, where Scarlet’s “mate”, Davy, was tied up and waiting for her to return. Not quietly, either. Her ears were perked toward his every whiny as she reluctantly followed Zep, who my HH was riding. Zep had been causing his own kind of trouble, so he had been getting all the attention.
As we got up to a lope, Scarlet saw her opportunity. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to buck from a dead stand still, or even a walk? If you were a horse, you’d know. But when a horse is running, he/she can really kick up that hind end! I am not a cowgirl, y’all. And I don’t really know the “proper” way to ride. But I do know how to hang on, as well as when to give up the fight and get off that horse while trying to do the least amount of damage to this “age 50+” body.
The field was nice and fluffy with freshly-tilled, powdery soil. Since I wasn’t positioned to land on my feet (I’m not a cat, y’all!), I tried to have some semblance of control. So, I landed on my face. My left elbow took a lot of the force, along with my entire left front. But my face was in the dirt, and I found True Grit! In my teeth, up my nose, in my eyes, glasses off (broken) and in the dirt. As I looked back, Scarlet was still bucking, making her way to the barn, happy she’d been successful. Me, not so much.
HH (or shall I say my Knight in Shining Armour?) was at my side immediately to make sure I was OK. As I stood, he told me I was bleeding and mashed his sleeve to my face. What? In shock that I was feeling no pain after falling so hard, I checked to see if all the body parts were working. Forget the blood, I had a mouth full of grit. Let a girl spit!
I gathered up my broken glasses and injured pride, and we made our way back to the barn. I said a prayer, thanking God for protecting me from serious injury. He is ever faithful! He protects me, even in my stupidity of riding a horse at over 50 and no training. Me, y’all, not the horse. She’s not over 50, and she’s had training. After my prayer of thanks, I looked toward Scarlet, now standing outside the open gate. Why didn’t she go through it and be with HER “Knight in Shining Armour”?
After a quick detour into the house to rinse that True Grit out of my mouth, I discovered that HH had gotten Scarlet inside the gate but had not yet “caught” her. I approached her slowly. Her guilty self wouldn’t look at me and wouldn’t let me get close to her. It’s funny how animals know when they’ve wronged you. Our dogs are the same way. When you reprimand them, they tuck their head in shame. Scarlet’s case was a little different. Not so much shameful, but maybe fearful of what I would do to her. This was a first time for both of us, with each other, that is. She’s bucked others, and I’ve been bucked by others. Never with each other. This is the horse I love. This is the horse I thought I’d bonded with. Well, she busted that bond to pieces, y’all!
She eventually came back up to the barn (’cause that’s where she wanted to be all along), so I slowly approached, grabbed her lead rope, and spoke to her softly. Then I got her back. I gave that lead rope to MY Knight in Shining Armour! He got on her and wore her out, rode her up and down the pasture and didn’t come off when she bucked, made her keep going when she was tired. So THERE!
Thank you, HH, you are my Knight in Shining Armour! When she was good and tired, HH handed her over to me, and I put her on a long rope and made her run in circles. I could not allow this horse to forget this day. I certainly wouldn’t! Round and round she went, first one way, then the other. And again, and again. You get it. Then I rode Scarlet a little, just in the pasture. She had to know that bucking me off of her was not going to be the easy way for her in the long run. It made for a very long day.
I finally let her go, but not with my usual “I love you, my sweet Scarlet.” I gave her the silent treatment, not that she cared or noticed.
Finally, time to get myself cleaned up, I did not like my new look. Scar face was my first thought as I looked in the mirror. Well, hopefully not. But for now, a long ugly scab on my left cheek. This morning brought the real pain. The elbow reminded me of my stupidity in trying to do something I know too little about, but again a reminder of God’s protection. Pain can be a blessing, y’all! “Now take 3 Advil and get to church!”