I am an equestrienne.

I just got back from a 5-day Colorado vacation extravaganza with My Guy’s family. As you might expect, my brain is swimming.

Let’s just put it this way – I have a new life motto: You can’t change people. But you can write about them.

But I need to ease into that, lest my brain explode, ka-pow style. So, let’s start with the basics: I rode a horse. For the very first time ever.

Now, my grandparents were the sort that clambered upon 1 horse with 7 siblings to head to school, sans adult supervision, starting at the age of 5. Somehow, the fact that I made it to the age of 36 without ever riding a horse feels like I have failed my ancestors.

But I tried to make up for it. A group of us family vacationing fools went for a trail ride in Rocky Mountain National Park. The ride was 2 hours and involved tourism horses. You know, the horses that have been doing this same damned trail all summer and are just over it? You know, those rides that require absolutely no skill on the part of the human passenger?


My horse’s name was Bravo. He was not pleased being the second horse. He wanted to be the first horse and so spent 2 whole hours attempting to pass the horse in front of him. Each time I corrected him with my meager horsewoman skills, he “accidentally” brushed me up against something. Like a boulder.

My common refrain during the ride: “Dude. Give me a break.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My Guy and I compared notes and had many similar experiences during our first riding experiences. I was not alone. In fact, maybe my experience was even … universal!

And so, I determined The 8 Stages of New Equestrianism:

1. Apprehension.
OK, I’ve never been on a horse. I was never one of those little girls who fantasize about ponies. I never even had a My Little Pony. But this will be a great life experience! And this horse is really pretty.

2. Terror.
This horse is pretty, but it didn’t seem pleased when I stroked his nose. And he’s really, really tall and the guide had to hoist my ass up to get me on the horse and now I’m sitting here and the horse is supposed to be standing still but he’s moving. He’s moving under my crotchal region and ohmigod I don’t think I remember what I’m supposed to do with the reigns and WEAREALLGOINGTODIE!

3. Resignation.
Oh. The horse knows what to do. I just have to sit here and make peace with the fact that there’s a moving animal under my crotchal region. Look how cute the guide girl is in front of us. She is so darling. Maybe I could be an outdoorsy girl.

4. Hallucination.
I’m on a horse! Outside! On a trail! In nature! Maybe I have missed my calling. Maybe I’m meant to be an outdoorsy girl, an outdoorsy girl on a horse. Maybe I’ll start taking riding lessons. Maybe we’ll start taking vacations where we ride horses.

5. Realization.
Fuck that shit. My knees hurt.

6. Impatience.
This is the longest 2 hours of my life. I’m covered in dust and have no feeling below my waist. The trail has a crappy view and my horse is flatulent and keeps trying to cut in line. The guide actually fwapped him in the head because he kept trying to pass her. I guess he’s bored, too. I’m pretty sick of looking at the guide’s back. At least she isn’t farting as much as my horse.

7. Relief.
I see the barn. The end is in sight! And I almost don’t even care that it takes me 3 minutes to dismount Bravo the Asshole Flatulent Horse because I’m numb and my knee is totally torqued and I can barely stand on my own. I will gladly take my place along the fence with my other wounded compatriots.

8. Sanity.
That was an interesting life experience. Let us never speak of it again.

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