To my left, a long, crooked bolt of lightning silently flashes from the dark clouds. The overcast sky is promising more rain but not yet. A quick glance into my rearview mirror confirms that the storm is still behind me. I stop at another traffic light and glance behind me. It’s slowly gaining on me.

What was that? Thunder? It’s so faint I can’t be sure. The race continues but I’m still in the lead and almost at the barn.

As I exit my car I glance up at the sky. The wind has picked up and the dirty white clouds are rolling past. Maybe the storm will blow south and miss us? An hour. All I need is an hour. Please.

Instinct tells me to ride the Draft/TB cross tonight. It’s been a while but I’m not about to second guess my gut.

We enter the dark indoor and I peer into the inky black corners. Where’s the mounting block? I walk back to the door and looking longingly at the mounting block out in the ring. Should I mount out there? Clang! The wind just blew the metal gate closed. Huh, maybe not. I turn my horse around and look at her. I’ll just have to climb this 16h mountain on my own. I grab the stirrup leather and drop it a bunch of holes. I lift my left foot up and aim for my armpit. Stretching. More. Gasp. I don’t think so. Even on tip toe I can’t quite reach it. A few more holes should do it. There. I awkwardly hoist myself into the saddle while Savannah peers curiously over her shoulder at me. Good girl! A few pats and I’ve readjusted the stirrup length again. Whew! I haven’t done that in years.

The lightning briefly lights up the indoor as we start to walk around. I can’t hear any thunder but it’s lightly raining now. My trainer joins us and turns on the lights. I forgot about those. Oh, and look! The mounting block was there all along. I stare at it suspiciously as we walk by. Or was it?

We get down to work and I’m doing a great job of filling out my lower back. No more duck butt! That is until we start to trot. She’s so heavy in the bridle and strong that all my bad body positions come back to haunt me. She’s bracing and now I’m bracing. My arms have straightened, my feet are pushing into the stirrups and I’m NOT sitting! No, I’m in two point trying to get a downward transition to walk.

Uh, walk. Hey, I said walk. WALK!

I can’t ride this horse. What ever made me think I could ride?

I hate my body. HATE IT!

Relax and sit DOWN!

I have so much more work to do. I’m never going to get all this right. NEVER!

As we cool out on a long rein, I concentrate on my left side. It’s stiff and I’m collapsing on that side. I focus on relaxing my hip and stretching up and down. Keeping even weight on both of my seat bones. I notice that it’s still raining and so much cooler near the door.

A loud rumble emanates from behind us and I’m almost unsaddled as Savannah take flight! My whip is waving in my left hand as I scramble to take up the reins.

“Sorry about that. I should’ve warned you about the door.”

“Good girl!” I pat her and realize that my legs are trembling. Low rumbling thunder? No problem. Lightning flashes? Who cares. Doors in need of WD-40? Horse eating monsters.

Huh, I guess I can ride.

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