Much ado about horses

My blog is quickly turning into a photo blog of old vacations I’ve taken…


So, where were we?  I vaguely remember mentioning going to the cabin- and going horseback riding. 

We’ll go with that.

So, last week was Brisket and my 4 year wedding anniversary.  (insert doves and puffy hearts here)

We celebrated early by going up to the cabin for a weekend get-away- it’s quiet, relaxing, bug-filled…and it also happens to be pretty close to a relatively large tourist trap recreational destination in Wisconsin.   A destination that many native Wisconsinites either LOVELOVELOVE, or GAH!!!HATE!!!GAH due to the crowds of out-of-state visitors…so, let’s just call it…um…the Bells, shall we? 

So, the Bells is really a summer type of place- lots of water parks, a couple of large lakes, many resorts with outdoorsy attractions and a fair amount of kitsch- duck rides and “authentic” trading posts and candy stores…you get the drift.

In the fall, quite a few of these places shut down because, frankly, it’s cold here in the fall…even Labor Day can be a bit chilly for water slides…so it was almost like we had this big playground to ourselves.  A playground with half the places closed for the winter, but nonetheless…

One of the things still open were the stables- and the colors of the leaves were just changing- so we decided to go horseback riding. 

Let me just state that I’ve never been on a horse.

And may have been nervous about falling off and breaking my neck.

Or having the horse bite me.

Or being trampled.  Or kicked.

Naturally none of those things happened.

Instead, it was a nice trail ride through the surrounding woods and a horribly tacky “western town” complete with mannequins in cowboy hats and piped-in dialogue… 

It turned out my horse had originally been a guide horse for the stable- so when our guide would turn her horse to get all 15 of us back in line, my horse would turn to get all 14 other horses back in line. 

This made me laugh, because I realized it wasn’t so much me directing my horse, as him deciding when/where to stop and I just happened to be sitting on top.

The ride was fun…except when Brisket decided to go all Seabiscuit on a poor 8-year old boy who happened to have the horse between us in line…

Yes- you read that correctly.

The boy, “Connor J!” as his mom was fond of screaming out, knew about half as much as I did* of horses and proceeded to ride the poor thing like he was on a carousel…flapping the reigns, pulling on the reigns, asking 10 minutes in if we were done, and NOT HOLDING ONTO THE POMMEL**…the horse was gentle enough though that it pretty much ignored him and acted like it was on a buffet line in Vegas.

Walk a few steps and then nibble on some grass.  Walk a few steps and then nibble on some leaves.

We were told not to let our horses eat- but Connor J! had a hard time getting his horse to do anything he wanted.  I can’t really blame the horse, I guess.

Anyway, we were walking down a straight stretch, me, Connor J!, and then Brisket, when Connor J!’s horse stopped to eat again- holding up the rest of the line.  Brisket guided his horse around Connor J!’s to pass, breaking into a bit of a trot, when Connor J’s horse noticed and started RUNNING TO KEEP AHEAD. 

Blame the competitive spirit in Brisket- or maybe that he kept having to wait on Connor J! and his munching friend- but Brisket nudged his horse into a run and the two horses raced down the path towards me.  Me… on a horse with its own agenda of “Keep everyone in line!!!”

I think Brisket came to his senses though- or realized that Connor J!’s horse was winning- because before my horse could spring into action, he slowed his horse down and fell back again. 

Connor J!’s horse also slowed, confident that his place in the pack had been successfully defended…and went back to getting a snack.

 I’m still recovering from my heart attack.

*My horse-knowledge consists of second-hand anecdotes from my mom and Black Beauty books from my childhood…

**The other instruction Connor J!’s mom liked to scream out from the back of the line.

Categories: Hus (Brisket), of course, travel | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Much ado about horses

  1. This cracked me up because while I love and adore animals, they don’t always reciprocate. This is never more true than with horses. I think they’re beautiful creatures. And while I will still pat one, you won’t catch me riding one anytime soon.

    When I was about 4 and feeding apples and carrots to a horse, it politely reached over and bit my shoulder.

    The following year, one repeatedly stomped one of my feet, following me around to do it again and again when I kept escaping!

    The best was when I finally got brave enough to try and ride one. I was around 8 and with cousins, all on horseback. (Two of the cousins were siblings and the horses belonged to their family.) I should have known I was doomed when the horse initially refused to let me on! Then, as we slowly rode past a small stream, my horse suddenly reared up and kept bucking until it threw me off at the water’s edge.

    Yeah. Last time I got on a horse. 😉

  2. That’s so funny! You’re braver than I- if the horse had tried to bite me I would have been out of there and waiting in the car!!

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