Thursday, November 11, 2010

Crazy stunts

The other day on another blog that I follow regularly (Equestrian Ink) we started talking about silly things we do on horse back. As a kid, I did all kinds of foolishness on horse back. I rode standing up, backwards, side saddle, double - one facing frontward, one facing backwards and all these with and without a saddle. We towed tires around with people riding on them, we dragged anything and every thing we could move, rode bridle-less and/or with a string around the neck. We slid off the butts, jumped on the butts, hung around their neck, laid on the ground and let horses walk over us, laid under jumps and let them jump over us. We would make the horses and ponys buck, rear, run, slide, jump. They were ladders to reach plums, blackberries, and pomegranates when we could find them. We rode everywhere we had to go, traversed trails that mountain goats wouldn't have dared go over, swam in dredger ponds, rivers, and in the lake. We rode at daytime, night time, any time was the right time. All this foolishness made me a pretty decent rider.

Every once in a while I get a hankering to try one of these little stunts from my past. I like to ride bareback. I like to see if I can't get my riding buddy to engage in a trotting race. As I ride into the barn I grab on to the rafters and swing off the back of my horse, swing a little and drop. Semper has gotten so used to it he pauses under the rafter and waits to see if I am going to grab on, then takes three or four steps so I can come all the way off. He just waits patiently for me to drop down. The other day I got to swinging pretty good and then let go, well my leather soled boots were a little wet and my feet went out from underneath me and I landed square on my ass. I looked around to make sure that no one else had seen me and laughed at myself for my foolishness. I do limit my childish behavior to Semper.

I can't pick out any one particular thing that is zanier than the rest but I would love to hear your stories of things that you did in your wild and crazy youth. Do you think that foolishness made you a better rider? Do you ever feel like trying something that you know you shouldn't do but you want to anyway?