Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Horse Tale - My Experience

Though aprehensive about riding, I did ride while at the Silver Spur Ranch in Bandera. This is me atop Texas. A nice, gentle horse, he had to be prodded to keep up while along the trail as he liked to stop and smell the roses. Actually, he liked to nibble anything growing.

The trail took us over rocky ground where the horse had to maneuver steps up and down, through thick foilage, and paths overlooking deep drop offs. Texas has a varied landscape and it was interesting to see the terrain change from rocks, scrub brush, and mesquites to pines and sandy dirt all within a mile or so.

My horseback riding experience is limited. My grandfather had a farm and I must have ridden his horse because he let me and a girlfriend ride double one day. A big mistake. We rode in the dirt road and when a car approached us we panicked. My friend must have kicked the horse in the flanks because he started bucking and she flew through the air backwards and landed in the soft dirt of the ditch. I'd been yanked loosed by then and fell into the dirt road. When the horse ran home riderless my dad came for us in the car minutes later. My shoulder was dislocated and required surgery to put it back in place. I didn't get on a horse again for many years.

Close to forty years later, while teaching school in Fort Stockton, my students raised money for a day at the Prude Ranch in Fort Davis. Of course, horseback riding was one of the days activities. I decided if I was ever to get back on a horse, it had to be then. The experience went well though I did fall while dismounting. I'm just a clutz.

I've learned riding, even when you're sore, helps to work the soreness out of muscles. The next time I go to a dude ranch, I'll ride everyday we're there.

I hope you enjoyed my horse tale. Leave a comment and share your riding experiences.

Thanks for Reading and Writing!



  1. I've only been on a horse once. While taking a trip in Colorado, I went on a trail ride through the mountains. It was quite an experience just getting into the saddle.

  2. Before moving to TX I was quite the cowgirl, presiding over my local saddle club, planning shows and riding trail and competition.
    I love horses, but they are a living, breathing creature normally more concerned about their own personal safety (and comfort) than they are about mine.
    At a late summer show, my vice-president asked me to be in the pick-up race with him. (For my friends who don't know, the 'pick-up' race is where one person (me) waits at the end of the arena. My partner gallops full tilt down the arena toward me and (in the perfect world) he bends from his waist, arm extended and 'hooks' it with mine at which point I 'swoop' up behind him and off we rush to the finish.) Now, in our safety conscious world of elbow pads and helmets the rider comes to a complete stop at which point the 'ground man' uses the stirrup to clamber up behind the rider, then off they gallop. Well, my experience was somewhat different. Oh, he got the gallop, and even the stop. I even got my foot in the stirrup. Have you ever tried to mount a horse with someone already in the saddle? It's not especially easy since the stirrup isn't exactly positioned for that, but I managed. I'm up behind Jack, clinging to the cantle (the back of the saddle) and his little Appy mare decided this was simply enough (or maybe she was sooo overjoyed to be carrying to well-fed adults that she couldn't express her joy any other way)but regardless of what was in her head, she started bucking. At this point, I felt myself sliding forward, the kind of forward where I knew I was hitting the dirt. The good thing about your body though is that it can block painful memories because I don't remember hitting the dirt. I remember waking up with a half dozen people holding me immobile while my husband asked me stupid questions like "who is the president?" (He is a licensed EMT and it turns out this is one of the ways they determine your degree of head trauma.) I remember parts of my ambulance ride (after they turned the helicopter back because I woke up). I remember my paramedic was a nice young man who did a really great job of inserting my first ever I.V. (I congratulated him on his needle inserting prowess, probably several times). The good news was that there was no head trauma that there was no head trauma that there was...I think you get the picture. :)
    But I love horses and wouldn't trade my experiences with them for anything. Loved your post and your CD is safe with me!

  3. I bet it was a fun trip, Linda. Colorado is beautiful country.

  4. What an experience, Autumn. I'm surprise you ever got on a horse again. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I so envy you your stay at 'The Silver Spur'm Linda. It's long been my dream to stay at a 'real live dude ranch' but unfortunately, although Hubby and I promised ourselves a trip to the States one day, it doesn't look like materializing.

    I've been mad about horses for as long as I can remember and worked at the local riding stables in return for riding lessons. I learnt to ride 'English' but always imagined myself as a 'cowgirl' and after saving for five years, eventually managed to buy my first horse,Flikka, and later on my first Western saddle. I've been riding 'Western' style for some years now and have a lovely gentle black Welsh cob called Harri and a slightly manic, Alpha paint/Quarterhorse mare called T'pau. She's a sweetheart but spooks at the slightest thing, bucks like a bronc and then looks down as if to say 'What you doing on the ground mum?' I did endurance riding in Wales on my buckskin mare Sally, who died at the ripe old age of 34 a couple of years ago. She was a character too, but she worked her socks off for me once we'd reached an understanding.

    One of the funniest experiences I've had was when there was a 'Western' event in Wales and they asked for volunteers for the barrel racing. I immediately put myself forward - but what they hadn't said was that it was bareback - on Fjord horses. The bareback bit wasn't too much of a problem - but as we galloped around the first barrel my horse slipped. I reached for the mane - yikes, the mane of a Fjord is only about an inch long, and there's nothing to grab hold of - so I went sailing out the side door! Luckily nothing was hurt except my pride!

  6. Hey Linda,

    I had only been on a horse once before Texas, but I still went riding twice a day. I wish I could ride better. The trot was tough - all that bouncing! I'd love to be able to gallop in an open field. Wouldn't that feel wonderful!

    Anyway, it was a pleasure meeting you in Texas. Happy writing! (P.S. I just received a contract for my paranormal romance. Woohoo! My first contracted story! I'm so excited.)