Last week, Jamie came up from Florida for a few days and as expected, we did something horse related. Wherever us horsepeople go, we always try to find something horse related to do.
In the old days, before I began my equestrian career, I did my best to stay at the periphery of such activities, observing, maybe taking photos and never missing an opportunity to make a smart-assed remark – and then writing them down and selling them.
These days, I’m a participant.
I’m glad too. Because one of our horse-related activities this time was a visit to Tim and Karen Leenhouts’ barn. We’ve known them for a long time and Jamie and Karen are good horse-related pals from way back.
I’ve always enjoyed visiting the Leenhouts’ barn. It’s like my instructor Karin’s set-up: organized, well maintained and lots of room for the horses. Pleasant, but not pretentious or so sterile you’re afraid to touch anything.
The night before we visited, Jamie told me that Karen said I could ride “Sam”. This sounded fine to me, I’ve never rode a horse named Sam before.
“Sam” as I was to discover, is short for “Samson”. And there’s a good reason why they call him that. Actually, there are 19 good reasons why they call him that.
Here is what I saw when I walked through the door at the Leenhouts’ barn:
I was sure that the horse had to be standing on something. Hokey Pete, he was a big one.
Jamie didn’t waste any time: “Want to ride him, Dad?”
Again, in my non-equestrian days, this would have been a sort of a challenge/joke. And I would have responded with a one-liner that left little doubt in anyone’s mind that the answer was “absolutely not”.
But now, nine months into my equestrian career, I simply said, “Get off. My turn.”
After the obligatory ground walk/conversation and foot comparison, I ascended.
He was a very good boy. I was glad about that.
Jamie provided me with plenty of instructions on how to properly ride this magnificent horse. I’ll tell you about that next time.