Horsing Around

The kids wanted to arrive early (once again) for their youth group this evening.  They planned to meet with their friends to just “hang out” together before the group met. So, we dropped them off a couple of hours before.  As soon as they were out the door, Mark and I headed on over to Penn Yan to visit the Mennonite store once again. 

As we were coming almost into the town, we came upon this fellow….

I thought he might be a Mennonite, but perhaps not. He could also be a more “modern” (liberal) Amishman. Whatever the case, you can see just how considerate this man was,  pulling over far enough off the road so a vehicle could easily pass.

I have noticed that the drivers of horse drawn buggies always sit on the right side of the buggy….curious, as in the United States, drivers of vehicles sit on the left side.  Oh, and the “blur” on the right side of my photo was a nasty bug “splat” on the windshield!  Yes, this and the next photo were taken from the truck….

We arrived at the Mennonite store a little after four, and I shopped while Mark waited in the truck. After shopping, I noticed that the outdoor store was also open, with an offering of beautiful plants and flowers.  I wandered on over and visited with the woman working there.

I bought a very nice Fuchsia plant but didn’t take a photo….that is for another day!

As I was getting ready to leave, I looked up and saw three pretty horses grazing in a field beyond the store.  I asked the woman from whom I purchased my Fuchsia if she thought it would be okay to take some photos of the horses, and she said it should be just fine.

Suddenly, one of the horses looked up at me and began coming to me just like an obedient dog!

Maybe this particular horse is very friendly, or even curious, but it just came right over to me!

Did I mention I love horses?

As I finished taking my photos, I said good-bye to my newfound friend!

The Mennonite woman asked if I had gotten any pictures and I told her yes, I did!  I also told her about the friendly horse that came right over to me.  She grinned as I told her about how I scratched behind the horse’s ears and I think it would have followed me all the way home!

I think I shall end this entry with another story from my past.  This one should certainly put a smile on your face!

Years ago,  I lived in the country, and Carly and I became quite good friends with a girl who lived down the hill from us.  Jo was a real lover of horses….certainly a real “Queen” of all things Equine.

Jo had some horses of her own and she also boarded a few horses.  It was always an incredibly happy day when Jo invited us to ride with her.  And so, on my very first ride with her big boy, Cajun, I was ecstatic.

Now, I had ridden her small pony, Shawnee, previously, but she was small of stature and very easy to ride.  Just looking at the enormous size of Cajun made me get goosebumps….riding such a grand horse would truly be an honor.  Oh, such  an honor!

Jo tried to convince me it might be advantageous to ride Cajun bareback.  Feeling very “greenhorn”, I convinced her to place a saddle upon the fellow.  She didn’t mind, but thought it might be easier to get a “feel” for Cajun bareback. 

Getting onto Cajun proved to be a bit of a challenge.  I finally was able to hop up on him from a high step….up and into the saddle!  Ah, all was well.  Or, was it?

Jo began our little jaunt.  And, there I sat on Cajun. Both of us, unmoving. 

“Humpf!”  I kicked my boots into his sides.  Nothing.  I picked up the reins and slapped the side of his flank. Nothing. 

Finally, Jo came back and yanked on the reins, trying to get the stubborn “mule-horse” moving.  Nothing.

I sat high in the saddle for several minutes trying to think how to get Cajun moving.

Suddenly, after I had sat back in the saddle and relaxed a bit,  Cajun took off in a gallop!

Jo’s eyes must have nearly popped out of their sockets as my now out-of-control horse galloped in circles around the family’s huge pond.  Call me crazed….called me insane….but I was laughing hysterically as we made our ’rounds’!

Forget the reins!  I was now holding on to the horse’s mane as it flagged up towards me as we raced around and around.

My peripheral vision caught sight of an Amishman who was working for Jo’s father, but had stopped to take a break.  Curiously, the poor man was doubled over in laughter as he watched my wild ride!

Nearly as suddenly as our little escapade had started out, Cajun abruptly stopped.  By this time, the saddle was in front of me.  Yes, I had been basically lying on my belly throughout my “ride”….watching as the ground moved past beneath me, giggling probably more from nervousness than delight!

As soon as the horse stopped, the Amishman’s countenance immediately changed from sheer humor at my expense, to serious concern.  He called out, asking if I was okay! I, of course, smiled back and assured him all was well!

After that little excursion, Jo and I did indeed go for a ride.  And, thereafter, I did indeed ride that stubborn old bugger bareback!

And so, whenever I think about horseback riding,  my mind always strays back to the summer day when Cajun took me for the “ride of my life”!