Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. Nah-nah, nah-nah. They’ll just make me laugh. Maybe. Uh, the name calling will make me laugh. The sticks and stones still hurt. Hey, don’t throw that!

Um, let’s back up here. You see I’m cursed. That’s right, cursed. I spend my days sitting at a desk. Do you have any idea what that does to your body? Well, let’s just say it’s not rider friendly. No, sitting at a desk makes me squirm and scrunch. Then I’m leaning to one side with my left leg tucked up under me. Then both legs are under me and I’m making myself as small as possible. Watching the clock slowly creep toward 5 pm.


Ha, no wonder I collapse on the left side and tip forward. I’m a natural. I live and ride in the fetal position!

Then there’s the job stress. Lately, there’s been a lot of last minute deadlines. A lot. My shoulders are so tense that they’re creeping up toward my ears. Maybe I deserved being called Turtle. Oh my God, look at the time! I need to get this off my desk. NOW. I’ll be late for my lesson. I can’t breathe. Correction. I am breathing but I don’t think that smoke and flames really qualify.

I’m a mess. Seriously. Relax and move with the horse? You’ve got to be dreaming. That’s it! It’s all a bad, bad dream. A dream…a bad…bad…dream… Hey, I heard that! Don’t you dare call me a Desk Jockey!

Whew! I finally made it to my riding lesson and mounted the horse. Unfortunately, the Turtle and Desk Jockey joined me there. A few trips around the ring and Duck Butt was back along with a new friend Barbie Doll Arms. How am I supposed to ride with all this? It’s way too crowded up here.

That’s when my instructor had a light bulb moment. I had to lose the tension and rigidity in my arms and upper body. She asked me to get up into a two-point position and join my hands together in front of my chest. This placed my elbows out to my sides. Then I was to row with my elbows.

That’s right, row. While teetering in two-point—uh, I’m a wee bit rusty—rowing my arms and thinking about the Chicken Dance. I couldn’t help it. What’s more ridiculous than a grown woman doing the Chicken Dance on horseback?

It was the magic I needed because as I started to laugh I saw Barbie Doll Arms, Duck Butt, Turtle and Desk Jockey fade away. I know they’ll be back next Thursday but I’ll have a weapon—The Chicken Dance!