It's Friday and I'm talking horses today. Sure, I'm pretty fond of those ponies that run around the track while I'm cheering for my favorites to win (sorry, I never claimed to be a card-carrying PETA member). But that's for another post. I mean, Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby are a few weeks away!
Today I'm talking about really riding horses. Yes, me, the girl who grew up on a farm; whose daddy had a best friend who was a rodeo cowboy; the same girl who dated a guy in high school that bronc-busted. Yeah, said farm girl had her own horse...
And today I'm scared of horses! Why? Because that dern horse my daddy gave me ran away with me!! One minute I'm in the barn in Patches' saddle (laugh now--real creative name for a Pinto horse but I was only four or five years old). The next minute that dern horse starts galloping out of the barn and down the dirt road.
The story gets more traumatic! I lose grip on one of the reins. Then the other. No stopping Patches now! And believe me when I say, yanking at and out mane hairs WON'T stop a horse. Lord, that horse was fast when he wanted to be. Apparently, this was the day he wanted to be :(
We've now left the dirt road and are headed across a field. I can barely stay in the saddle much less keep my eyes focused on where Patches is going. OH! MY! GOSH! He was headed straight for the levee! **Remember I'm only four or five years old!
Y'all know what's on the other side of a levee? WATER! In that split second, I made a decision that forever changed the course of my life (Ok, maybe that's a little OVERLY dramatic :) ). I decided to jump off the damn horse, landing only inches away from a big rock (ok, maybe there wasn't a rock but it makes the story more interesting, right?).
As I'm laid out in the field ascertaining if I have all my body parts and they're functioning properly, I hear screaming and yelling. Here comes my momma running through the field to save the day and get me home safely. I'm not sure where Patches ended up. I'm pretty sure I never got on that horse again.
Many decades have passed since the "Runaway Patches" episode. I've tried several times to get over my fear of horses. I've even taken a trail ride on Seabrook Island. And, guess what, the horse I was given decided to stop in the middle of the ride, take a bite of grass, only to realize we had to "hurry" to catch up with the rest of the horses and riders. Ack! Horse fear reignited!
This summer I will conquer my horse fear!
Seabrook Island has a great Equestrian Center. Seabrook is one of the few places on the East Coast which offers beach rides. They now offer "walking beach rides" that seem right up my alley. Additionally, advanced beach rides are offered for those riders who have three or more years of riding experience (I will not be doing the advanced beach ride).
Beginner Trail Rides are a great way to see some scenic views of Seabrook Island. For the youngest riders, kiddos up to eight years old, pony rides are available (hmmm, I wonder if I could pass as an eight year old?)
To view Seabrook Island Equestrian Center's riding schedules and pricing, click here.
If horseback riding is not your thing, just stop by the Equestrian Center and say "hello" to the horses.
I'm off to dust off my cowboy boots!