Friday, November 27, 2009

November 9, 2009: Bareback & Bridleless: Morrison, WI: State #1

I was having one of those days. You know what I’m talking about. Everything went wrong, I didn’t want to do anything, Life sucked! So, my best therapy is Ray. A lot of horse people say they pay their therapist in carrots and sugar cubes. Or in my case, puffy peppermints!

I called to Ray and brought him in to brush him up and the thought crossed my mind. Why not bridleless? F*** it! So we did. I took his halter and crossed the lead rope to make reins and I rode that way. All of my cares went away and all of my focus went on what I was doing! It was such a powerful experience. And Ray was marvelous, however, without having a bit in his mouth, he felt at liberty to eat when he felt like it. So, we took a lot of pit stops to grab a mouthful of stringy grass and it made me happy because he was.

November 7, 2009: Attacked by a Cat: Morrison, WI: State #1

What a beautiful day this had turned out to be. For a November in Wisconsin, we really lucked out! Unfortunately, I had sold my saddle. I needed a new one anyway and assumed we weren’t going to have any more nice days, so I sold it.

I called Ray from the pasture, and of course, he came running. I groomed him over, put the bridle in his mouth and off we went into the fields. As you already know, I love riding Ray bareback. I feel like we become closer and have a stronger bond. Nothing is in between us. We were riding along just fine, and Ray, of course was a pro. We were coming up on some thick grass and I barely remember hearing a noise, when that darn black cat, that stalked us before, came out of nowhere and hissed at us like a cougar! Well, Geez, my heart stopped so you can only imagine what Ray did! He went up on his hind legs and I didn’t have a chance… Down I went. Luckily, my trusty stead didn’t go too far. Once I fell off, he stopped and kind of looked at me like, “I’m not sure why you are on the ground, but I didn’t do it! And if I did, I didn’t mean too!” I got up, dusted myself off and checked him out to make sure he was ok. Unfortunately, I haven’t mastered the art of getting on bareback without a stool, so I did the walk of shame home with a bruised butt and a bruised ego.

September 26, 2009: Long Beach, WA: State #8

Long Beach, Washington has probably been my favorite ride without Ray. ( It wasn’t exciting as far as things we saw, but the experience was incredible.

Again, it was just Christine and I and the wrangler, who was just amazing. The ocean was so loud, it sounded as if a freight train was coming through. My horses’ name was Spruce and we did A LOT of loping! Running on the beach was dreamlike, only something I ever saw on movies. The horses would run and we’d have to stop after awhile because we were laughing so much! You know how you get when you are doing something really fun and it and just makes you happy? For someone who had never been on a horse before, Christine proved to be a natural! And did it all in Sandals… :)

September 25, 2009: Pacific City, OR: State #7

I had the great pleasure, through the magic of Facebook, to reconnect with an old college friend of mine, Christine. Christine is such a wonderful person who is so laid back and would literally give the shirt off her back! She lives in Portland, OR and suggested that I come out and visit so I jumped at the opportunity. I explained to her my goal of riding in every state and she was up for it. She had never road before, but was willing to give it the good old college try. She said we could even get into Washington and get that state done as well.

We drove to Pacific City to ride on Oregon’s Pacific Coast at sunset. We got a real cheap Motel Room and rode with Oregon Beach Rides ( Luckily, Christine and I were the only two riding with the two guides. I got a horse named Cola, which at the time was poetic justice since I had just given up Diet Coke… (Key words there are: at the time, as I sip on my Diet CokeJ).

We rode in the woods for a while. A lot of evergreen trees and trees that had moss growing on them; I almost felt as if we were riding in the Rainforest a few times. The ground also had a carpet of green moss that looked extremely spongy. We stopped every so often and there were huckleberry bushes and, it was our luck that they were in season. Huckleberries look a lot like blueberries and taste like them as well; however they have a hint and aftertaste of apple. At least they did to me.

The beach and riding in the sand, and actually we even got the horse’s hooves wet, was really cool for me. The sand was sugar white and we even saw seals hanging out and playing in the water. As they sun started to go down we were able to trot and even lope for awhile. The sunset was breathtaking and the sound of the crashing waves of the ocean was awe-inspiring.