Made everyone breakfast and multi-tasked some work between hashbrowns so I wouldn’t feel so guilty about playing hooky for the day.
Once everyone was dressed and and ready, we headed out for our day at the farm where devcubber keeps her horses and subsequently spends most of her week giving riding lessons and training for the Olympics.
The farm is owned by the parents of her friend and training partner Jill.
The place was huge, tucked into the rolling hills which lay about 45 minutes southwest of St. Louis. Corrugated metal roofed stables and a covered training arena overlooks the pasture where imported horses with price-tags of high-end luxury cars roam and graze.
Elise saw me doing the math in my head trying to comprehend how much all this must cost to run and cleared up my mystery: “You know Round-up? – The weed killer?”
“yeah…” (I replied trying to calculate what 18 Mercedes would cost.)
“Jill’s dad invented it.”
Elise and Chris mounted up and took a trail ride while little Andy took hiked us around and toured the farm. When they returned, Chris was smiling ear to ear. It was nice to see him shake the blues from yesterday.
George and I both wanted to at least say we’ve “sat” on a horse, so on their return we did just that. George went first, getting up on “Cubby”, Elise’s “pet” horse who’s been retired from competition.
Elise gave a quick horse-navigation 101 lesson and though he had trouble getting Cubby to do anything but stand there – George got him to walk slowly in a circle..
Then came my turn. It was in inexplicable feeling, being on the back of such a large animal.
I cued the horse to walk forward… He did… and the group howled with praise… it seemed like I was a natural!
He kept walking… and walking… and at this point I realized I wasn’t really doing the driving. By the time we were getting too far away from Elise for comfort it was too late.. Cubby was walking straight into the barn and I couldn’t get him to stop.
All I saw was the end of the metal roof coming at me as Cubby entered the barn.
I let go of the reigns and grabbed the roof…
Cubby went in… I bounced off the roof and fell to the ground – fortunately (yet disgustingly) in a large pile of horse poop and sand at the stable entrance.
Elise was mortified but was quick to check me over and throw homeopathic anti-bruising pills down my throat.. Aside from some scraches and a welt across my chest where the roof hit, I was fine…. My ego suffered the greatest damage. Elise reassured me that I didn’t do anything wrong – if anything commended my quick thinking for dismounting
Apparently horses are smart critters and prone to personality. Cubby had had it for the day and knew there was an inexperienced person on it’s back.
We spend the rest of the afternoon by the pool relaxing and nursing my wounds. Jill’s mom, a completely charming old hippy came outside and chatted us up and gave us karmic energy demonstrations on how to remove the bad energy from our cigarettes.
This extremely interesting lady is worth an entry all to herself – but we were invited back and I’m sure I’ll not blog about her in more detail another time.
In the meantime I’ve got a new fear of equines and a bunch of cliche farm photography to get through.
I’d blog about this but I really need to spray some more Shout-it-Out on my horse-poop encrusted outfit from yesterday.