I was thisclose to riding a horse on Sunday. I have never gone horseback riding and I am a little bit terrified of the idea, which is why I knew I had to do it.
Okay, so I’m not that brave. First, I tried to weasel my way out of it. “You guys can go,” I told Rama and his friend Peet, “and I’ll just … find some place to sit.”
“Well, if you don’t want to go, we won’t,” Peet said gently, “but let me just tell you something before you make up your mind.” He told me this story about how he got thrown off a horse when he was 4 years old and how it was so traumatizing that he refused to get back on one after that. But his girlfriend Allison wouldn’t stop asking him to go and, one day, he got the courage to do it, and you know what, it wasn’t bad at all. It was actually fun.
Now Peet rides all the time. He even wears cowboy boots.
So, I said, “Okay, I’ll do it!” with half-enthusiasm, half-terror, and I gripped Rama’s hand as I said it, and we followed Peet and Allison up two highways and a windy, hilly road to Sunset Ranch. It smelled like horses and, you know, horse stuff. I felt kind of queasy, but I told myself was going to do it. I wanted to do it.
When we got up to the window to pay, a lady’s voice called out to us. “Are you here for a day ride?” she hollered.
“Yes,” we nodded.
“The last ride went out at 3:30pm,” she said. It was 3:45pm.
“Saved by the bell,” Rama whispered. I think he expected me to feel relieved. I expected it, too. But instead, I was sad.
Now, I’m determined to return to Sunset Ranch and get on a horse and stay on that horse down and back up the trail. Who knows. Maybe I’ll even ride off into the sunset. Wouldn’t that be something?