As I mentioned yesterday, I saw a chiropractor on Thursday, July 16th.
She was all, “You’re a DISASTER.”
And I was all, “You don’t even KNOW me.”
And she went, “Do you know what I call people like you?”
And I go, “A disaster?”
And she was like, “Yes! And also? A TURTLEHEAD.”
And *I* was like, “Well, you haven’t seen anything yet, because in two days I’m going to ride a horse for the first time in my life! And that’s probably not the best idea!”
On Saturday, July 18th, Harper and I met half of her Girl Scout troop at a ranch near the airport for a horseback riding session. Because I had never ridden a horse before, I was matched up with Luke, and then told that Luke’s bad habit is stopping for snacks. (SO IS MINE!!!) Helmet on, quick lesson in steering and stopping, and off we went! Into the woods!
(Into the woods without delay! But careful not to lose the way. Into the woods, who knows what may be lurking on the journey?)
Anyway, all of the scouts and the scout leader and the wranglers were in front of me on our ride. The fact that I was last in line and riding on a horse that liked to snack made me a little nervous, because Luke? Luke really did like to snack. Often. Every time he stopped to grab some leaves off of a tree, the wrangler two horses in front of me would yell, “Kick him. KICK him!!!” But I was wearing my suede sneakers and I’m afraid my kicks felt like velvety love pats to sweet Luke, so: No luck.
When you’re me, you tend to take things entirely too personally. And you’re working on it, but you also know that you’re 45 and still completely self-conscious and it’s hard to NOT take “You’re a disaster!” personally, even if “you” is referring to the musculature surrounding your shoulders and neck and not to The Whole You. When you top all of that off with a (very) young wrangler encouraging you to kick a snacking horse, well, it’s taxing for a fragile flower in the wilderness.
Thirty minutes into the ride, the horse in front of me stopped.
Wrangler: KICK him!!! KICK HIM!!!
The Girl Scout on the horse in front of me tried to kick her horse. She tried to steer him. She tried everything. Resting Horse was done. (The mud on the trail was knee high in some places. If I was a horse, I wouldn’t want to slop through it, either. (Sometimes I take three showers in one day for no good reason.)) The wrangler looked back at me and said, “Take Luke up and see if you can smack her horse on the rear.”
Me (in my head): I’ve never even spanked my own children!!!
Me (to the wrangler): Gotcha! Tally ho, then!
So suddenly I’m trying to inch a snacking Luke up to Resting Horse and I’m leaning way over Luke’s head to see if I can touch Resting Horse’s butt and my fingertips barely touch him, but my fingertips clearly feel more like a fly than a command because Resting Horse starts throwing his beautiful white tail into my face and I Quit. I quit, damnit! I’ve never ridden a horse before and I also have no idea how to swim, and I’m so sick of feeling tired and headachey and ugly and unmarketable and my life is halfway over and my brain STILL hiccups when I try to change a halogen bulb and twice in the past week I’ve forgotten to put detergent in the washing machine and I think my eyebrows are getting thinner which means it’s only a matter of time before my bones start breaking and I spend all of my time talking about illnesses and funerals. You know what? If my horse wants to eat and her horse wants to stop, let’s just GO WITH THAT, because how many of us have the opportunity to do whatever the hell we want WHENEVER the hell we want?! Not many of us! More power to the horses! IT’S SNACK TIME!!!
(I’ve always been intrigued with the programs that pair horses with troubled teens. After spending 45 minutes on Luke, I totally get it. Breakthroughs can happen on the back of a horse.)
Quick route to a happy ending: The wrangler did a very impressive U-turn on her horse, grabbed the reins of Resting Horse to get him moving, and then Luke followed along without snacking again for nearly ten minutes, which was just long enough to arrive at the clearing where The End Was In Sight, where The End = My Hyundai.
(Suddenly, the way is clear, the light is good, I have no fear, nor no one should. The woods are just trees, the trees are just wood. No need to be afraid there.)