It's official.... I have Chronic Equinitis... You can tell even without a doctor.
*laughs* I love medical terminology (mainly because it involves so much Latin), and I often make up imaginary medical conditions based on how I feel.
Chronic: An illness that lasts for a very, very long time, often until a person's death.
Equin-: "Equus" in Latin means horse, and "Equine" is its scientific name.
-itis: Inflammation. My heart is getting bigger when it comes to horses.
There you go. Has anyone else experienced this condition???
This fourth of July was the best yet. Nope, no fireworks. No big cookout or major pigging out.
A parade! My first time seeing a live parade, and, I got to be in it, riding Mist! Talk about major fun!
So, as I've said in previous posts, I am pretty nervous when it comes to reining and riding out a jog (trot, for English riders) In Western, you have to manage BOTH reins in ONE hand. That's a challenge for me, since I'm used to two hands working together for one thing, such as piano, violin, and tae kwon do.
It seems as if the whole ordeal on Saturday cured me from all of my fears.
Shall I start from the beginning?
I woke up VERY early on Independence Day. About four o'clock, but I stayed in bed until six. The excitement was getting to me. After I got my getup ready and all the things I needed (saddle mainly. I actually got one, only for $125!) my dad and I hopped in our van, and drove for fifteen minutes to get there. When we arrived, we found everything in full swing. The owner of all the horses was getting his horse ready, and another lady was there. We all brushed down our horses, saddled them up (I bought this beautiful saddle pad from the lady. It's a cool mixture of purple, blue, and black), and then we rode for a mile or so to get where all of the other horse people were. It was sort of weird, having people gawk at us as we rode by. Some said, "Oh look, horses!" and other comments similar to that. Parents pointed us out to their children and a group of teenagers we passed just stared.
It didn't take long for me to figure out that I was wearing very casual clothes. It was my usual riding outfit: jeans, boots, a t-shirt. The only difference was that I was wearing a nicer-looking shirt that I usually did, and it had patriotic designs. However, there was a group of trail riding ladies, and they were all decked out. Their horses looked like storybook animals with sequins and flowers everywhere. There was a huge group of boys who looked all the same, with red shirts, jeans, and cowboy hats. I felt a teensy bit out of place, but I didn’t have much time to think about it. Mist was acting really weird. She was back up a lot, throwing her head around, and doing all kinds of things to make me feel nervous and like a new rider, which I totally am. I did the best I could, patting her neck, talking to her, and using hand and leg signals to tell her not to back up. We got really close to this new-looking pickup truck.
Due to her behavior, I didn’t get to mix around and talk with the riding ladies as much as I wished I did, but that was okay. Several people got to ask me questions such as: “What type of horse is she?”, “What’s her name?”, and “Is she yours?” There were also some comments. “You look like a perfect match for each other!”, “A mustang, huh?”, and “You’re pretty daring to be riding a mustang!”
After I while, I was beginning to really think that. Mist was being berserk, especially when her owner went somewhere else. Perhaps she was antsy to get moving, was wondering what was going on, or being annoyed with the things her silly little rider was unknowingly telling her to do.
Eventually, we were told to get in the parade line. There was a horse wagon in front of us and behind us. Mist freaked out and backed up into the nose of the horse behind us. She bunny-hopped forward and I nearly lost my balance.
The rest was a blur. I rode next to the woman who had been at Mist’s owner’s house, and waved randomly at people. I was pretty surprised that I saw some people that I recognized. Mist responded like a dream. She moved forward when told to, sped up and slowed down at my command, and had no trouble making turns.
Amazingly, I was able to see my family in the crowd, and we have a pretty good picture of Mist high-stepping her way through the streets with me grinning like a fool on her back, having the time of my life. Let me pause here and tell ya’ll that horse in incredibly photogenic. Any picture you take while a person is riding her turns out amazingly good.
Anyway, it was fun watching the little kid’s reaction to horses. They did such things as “I want that horse! No, I want THAT horse!”, “That’s MY horse!”, “Oh, look at the black one!”, “Look at her pretty saddle-thing!” (in reference to Mist’s saddle pad).
I picked out random people in the parade (primarily girls my age, young families, and little kids), and waved. It was funny, when I waved at one person, all of the people around them waved. I didn’t really worry about the uncomfortable-ness of the trot, or the positioning of my hands on the reins. When you don’t really think about it, it just doesn’t matter.
Eventually we just pulled out of the parade. It was still going, but the owner deciding it was time to head back. That was Mist acting weird time again. She plowed into a tree with low branches, and it was a miracle that I didn’t come out looking like a giraffe that had just eaten. My sunglasses, that were perched on my head, fell off and a very kind man (he probably had no clue how much I was thankful for him being there) picked them up for me. I managed a breathless thank you.
We stopped by a 7-11 to get the owner a drink, and the building was in front of the parade (which was ending). We naturally acquired a ton of attention. Girls asking to pet Mist and the other horse. There was a boy (maybe eight or so) who looked like a boy scout, and I could practically see hearts in his eyes when he looked at Mist or the other horse. He told me about how he wanted to ride so bad, and I had to hold my tongue. He had such longing in his voice, and I couldn’t do a thing to help his dreams come true. Whoever he is, I hope he finds an awesome place to ride. Several young families came, and I found myself warning a lot of people to keep away from her rear end.
For those of you who would like to someday start riding or be around horses, be sure a horse knows when you’re walking behind it. Either talk to it softly or make sure it sees you. He/She may spook and kick. If you are near a horse, the closer you are to it, the better. You see, when a horse kicks, he has a lot of momentum going, so you get the full impact. When you are closer, the hooves won’t reach, and you won’t get as harmed as you could by standing away. Also, be confident. Horses can really pick up on nervousness or anger, and understand that in ways you don’t want (i.e. bullying you, ignoring you, and freaking out)
So I rode on back to the owner’s house, unsaddled her (with the help of the lady.), brushed her down, and took her back to the pasture. The weird thing was, she bit at the bark of a nearby tree when I was brushing her! That just stuck me as odd, but I had myself a laugh when she reached up to get some leaves from a tree. It was so comical. Her lips stretched out and wiggled as she tried to get some of that good green stuff.
I stood at the fence under trees, watching her, two other horses, and a foal for some time. After the owner came back from giving some kids rides on his mount, he encourage me to go inside the pasture and see if the foal would come to me. His Momma and him didn’t, so I had to run after them, but the owner eventually came and caught her. That baby I the cutest in the world. A light red, with white on his face. THE softest coat and mane ever. The goofy thing was like a puppy. He started sniffing my shirt and jeans, and licking me. I even put my hand in his mouth and felt his little teeth that were coming in. Baby animals are the best.
I got a curry comb and brushed Mist again (she had rolled in dust), and then it was time to go. I was tired, but satisfied. What better way to spend my fourth of July???