Riding horseback in my dreams and then in real life . . .Written for the Writer's Cramp!
|A jet-black horse . . . me in a flowing white chiffon garment . . . galloping across a meadow. The scene played out frequently in my dreams as a child. I'd never really ridden a horse but I had read Black Beauty. I had seen horses in westerns. In my dreams, I was a heroine on a black horse in that white flowing dress.
The first horse I rode in real life was a jet black horse. Her name was Cookie. One summer while at my grandparents, I met Cookie . . . the horse of my dreams. She lived down the road.
Cookie was a big horse. She was tall and she was also wide. She was very, very pregnant. She was very, very wide!
The first time I rode Cookie alone, I got in trouble. I only had permission to visit Cookie but I coaxed her over to the fence and climbed up on her back. My dream came to life!
We flew across the fields. It was oil country so Cookie and I had to navigate rod lines. We ducked under the high ones and jumped the low ones.
I was riding a jet-black horse! Bareback! No reins! In real life! Not just in my dreams!
Cookie was due to foal any day. Her owner was very upset with me for riding her that hard but I was delighted!
My next real life horse experience was Lucky.
Lucky was not particularly lucky for me.
My only real life horse before Lucky had been Cookie and except for my wild solitary ride, I'd only had short supervised walks atop that big, black horse.
As a child, I lived in town except for one year when I lived in a foster home. It was in the country with horses, cows, and foster sisters who really were horsewomen.
For my first ride, they gave me a pair of cowboy boots and saddled Lucky for me. We were off with me pretending that I knew what I was doing. Of course, I didn't fool anyone. I did keep up with them on that day. It was a long ride and they kept asking if I was okay. I kept saying yes.
On my dramatic gallop through the pastures with Cookie, I had not bounced. I'd ridden her bareback with no stirrups so maybe that's why.
On my first ride on Lucky, I did bounce . . . and bounce . . . and bounce!
My foster sisters noticed. I tried to follow their advice . . . but I continued to bounce.
When we got home, I was tired, dirty and smelled horsey but I was in seventh heaven. I loved being on a horse. Again, it was a dream come true. At least until I hopped in the bathtub . . . a tub full of soapy bubbles. My dream was about to burst!
I hopped in, sat down and hopped right back up in a flash . . . a flash of pain!
Saddle sores . . . fresh, brand new saddle sores . . . and bubbles DO NOT MIX!
So Lucky was a bit unlucky for me.
The next lesson I learned, while gaining a bit of real life horsewoman experience, was how to make a horse pick up its leg. Unfortunately, it was a painful lesson.
My foster sisters and I were out riding again. I was still feigning horse knowledge.
Lucky was not fooled!
At one point, we dismounted. I started to walk around Lucky but I didn't make it. Instead, Lucky stepped on my foot. Lucky seemed to shift all his weight to the left hind leg that had my foot pinned!
I pushed on Lucky's backside but he did not move. I didn't want to ask for help so I pushed again and again to no avail.
Finally, my foster sister discovered my dilemma. She quickly grabbed the back of Lucky's knee easily lifting that heavy load of horsemeat that was squishing the life out of my foot.
The girls cautioned me not to take my boot off until we got back to the house. My foot hurt so bad but I listened to their wise advice. When we got back to the house, I sat on the steps and pulled off my left boot. My foot ballooned instantly to five times its normal size.
Nothing was broken but I learned the hard way that injured feet take forever to heal completely.
That was my second unlucky Lucky experience.
Then came the day that I became a cowgirl! What an adventure! My foster sisters were sick and their grandmother called from down the road. The cows were loose! They needed someone to round them up. My foster mother said that I could do it.
I didn't think that I could but she said that Lucky would know what to do. All I had to do was saddle him up and ride in that direction.
Well, she was right. I saddled Lucky all by myself for the very first time, climbed aboard and headed toward the cows.
What a triumph! It worked! Lucky did know what to do and so did the cows.
We got the cows in and we headed home. I stopped Lucky in front of the small barn and gracefully dismounted.
Oh wait, it wasn't a graceful dismount. My triumphant cowgirl experience ended with me falling on my tush. When I started to dismount, I discovered that the saddle was not as snug as I had thought. When I shifted my weight as I dismounted, the saddle slid around to that side and kerplop! I dismounted in a heap! My foot still in the stirrup.
Lucky just stood there. That time, him standing still was a bit lucky.
Ah yes . . . I was a horsewoman in my dreams!
Word Count: 985