Horseback riding with my daughter on the beach was proof that you CAN teach an old horse new tricks.
I hadn’t stepped foot aboard a horse in
years decades. I approached the giant beast with a bit of trepidation. It was MY daughter who held my hand and encouraged ME with a you-can-do-it voice.
It was Labor Day weekend last year and we had an hour-long horse ride on the beach.
The ranchers sized me up and down. I was thinking they’d put me on an old, slow gal named Molasses. But no. Mine was Ginger. And she should have been called Seabiscuit, what with her breakaway speed I later found out.
The ranchers went over the procedures and techniques beforehand. “Keep your horses walking. No galloping and if they start trotting, slow them down.”
My horse was whinnying and. well, chomping at the bit. She was raring to go. I pretty much forgot to listen about how to slow down. Was it pull the reigns? Or kick the horse in the ribs? And was it tap in the ribs gently or more like cowboys-with-spurs who say “Giddy-up,” heading out on a 14-day cattle drive? I forgot.
No worries. The 20 or so horses lined up single file and we headed to the waves.
I looked over at my daughter on her horse. My daughter was confident. Beaming. Calm.
I smiled back, still scared shitless. As
Ginger Seabiscuit started to trot.
OK, this was not so bad. The horses were clomping along, through the dunes. Mild mannered.
When we came to the open beach, my horse decided to trot and gallop. What’s a Mom to do? Go along with it, of course.
Because basically, I had no choice. And I hadn’t worn my sports bra.
The rancher rode up alongside of me and hollered, “Pull the reigns!” Ah. It worked. Temporarily. Though my horse was in the mood to run, and would sneak in some trotting.
I can do this, I thought. Trot. Pull the reigns. Trot. Pull the reigns.
Scanning the group for my daughter, we finally caught up to each other. And she said:
- I am having the best day ever!
- Oh and don’t let go of the reigns.
We smiled. Grinned.
I loved watching my daughter, who was glowing, as the wind whipped her hair. She was free. No fears.
After I let go of some fears (about losing control, losing my life), I too, felt free.
On that little excursion, it was my daughter who taught me a thing or two about having fun and letting go. Proving that you CAN teach an old horse new tricks.