At the end of this month, Karin is hosting a Trail Mix vaulting fest. By “Trail Mix” she means different ages. And since I’m a different age, I am expected to participate.
I’m still not in shape for this. I’m emerging from winter about 20 pounds overweight and about 35 of that is in my gut. But I’m going to vault anyway.
Because it’s fun.
So Lesson #91 was all about vaulting.
I was fortunate to have brought along my Special Designer Vaulting Socks.
I never vault in shoes, even when Karin says I can. I don’t want to look conspicuous. And then there’s that thing about digging into the horses back with your heels. Since the horse is already dealing with what from his perspective is a one-rider triple, I don’t want to do anything else to piss him off.
I began by warming up on the vaulting barrel. With Karin and Charity busy with other students, this mainly consisted of me taking pictures on top of the barrel without falling off.
Since the weather was nice – the breeze was actually warm and not the freeze breeze that penetrates your clothes and skin and tries to kill you from the inside out – we got to go out into the round pen.
Prior to that, I had noticed that Karin had put wood chips all around the property as part of her annual counter-offensive against the spring mud.
The round pen had a particularly ominous pile. There were toys around it…
Charity (the nice one) took me through some basic instruction that resulted in a number of undignified poses:
For me, the wood chip pile marked the center of the ring and was useful in keeping me oriented as I did my tricky moves. For Karin the wood chip pile was an opportunity for something else.
“You have to go up it,” she announced.
“No, I am not going up it,” I informed her.
This woman is incapable of leaving anything alone. The whole place is like her personal playground and the horses – and people – are her toys.
The great thing about vaulting is that you, the rider, don’t have to control the horse. The bad thing about vaulting is that someone else does.
So despite my protesting like a baby being born, Karin coaxed Habakuk – and thus me – up that wood chip hill.
“Now put your hands up in the air!”
“Hell no!” I was already feeling a little iffy with Habakuk trying to find his footing on top of the pile. No way was I going to compound the problem by putting my hands up in the air…
It’s like she has strings attached to your limbs or something.
“You know,” she told us as we posed for the Post Ridiculous Activity photo op…
“I always say that the little horses like Peanut are my toys. Habakuk is like one of my big toys.”
Oh, the indignity…
It was a fun lesson.