Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Whoa horsie, nice horsie

Monday morning we left Bodega Bay and headed south down Highway 1, following it as it winds along the coast, teetering near the edges of cliffs, dipping into valleys of mustard and poppy and then disappearing into a thick grove of eucalyptus. Soon we passed a sign that said horseback riding, three miles, this way, and Theresa looked at me and said horseback riding? And I said horseback riding! So we drove three miles and turned that way and came upon a stable of horses down in a valley of thick evergreens. We made our way down the path making jokes with each other about mounting steeds in the way that only forty-something women coming off a two-day bacchanal will think is funny, paid some dollars to the nice Swedish man who ran the outfit and before we could talk ourselves out of it were heading off down a trail on horseback led by a small quiet man named Jose.

Thereasa's fine steed, for all her talk, was not much to write home about as he was lazy as all get out and couldn't be arsed to keep up with me or our guide, who kept turning around and hissing at the horse, which seemed to give him only momentary momentum. My mare was more game and seemed eager to take every hill and dale and break into a trot at the least inclination, though she was a bit nippy and pissy about her personal space and some reading this may be noting, how apt.

We would walk and sometimes trot but much to my chagrin never broke into anything faster. I used to ride when I was younger, much younger. I never owned a horse, but for years as a child I took lessons and while I remember trotting was never a joy, breaking into a canter or even a gallop could be electrifying. Jose kept turning around and saying trot yes, you want to trot? And regardless of how unenthusiastically we answered yes or no or even remained silent, off he would go at a trot and our horses would follow. Ours was a two-hour ride and since it was unplanned it hadn't occurred to me to wear a jog bra that day or butt cushions for that matter, and towards the end of the ride I thought if we did any more happy fucking trotting I was going to have to pull out a gun and shoot Jose or my horse or myself in the ass.

The scenery was gorgeous however and almost made me forget how much my ass and thighs and ankles hurt. The trail wound through towering redwoods covered in green moss and the forest floor was blanketed with ferns. We could see the ocean when we climbed to the top of the trail, glittering brilliant blue in the distance.

We had to go down a steep incline for perhaps half a mile or so towards the end of the ride and the horses had to carefully pick their way down the muddy trail and I spent about twenty minutes slipping forward in the saddle which was not particularly comfortable and I thought that when I got home, in addition to ordering a new head from Amazon I might want to order a new vulva as well.

When we were in the home stretch it started to rain and I held out my hand and realized it wasn't raining at all, it was hailing. And then it started to hail harder. While I would expect this in Kansas I was surprised to encounter it on the California coast. While horseback riding. Jose determined that we'd best start trotting again, god dammit, to get back to the stables forthwith.

When we got back and dismounted we limped and hobbled back to the car and realized that we were hungry and that it had been hours since we'd had anything sculpted or artisanal or dipped in truffle oil so we headed off to Stinson Beach to remedy that.

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  1. I was always scared of forty-something women when I was a kid

  2. I guess if you are going to order a new vulva online -amazon is a better place to get it than craigs list…

  3. Beware Glen, I trust you'll soon be married to one. Craig's list (shudder)... no, nothing gently used or otherwise discarded.

  4. Wow! Sounds like a super amazing trip! I love horse back riding. We took a 2 hour trail ride last summer, and I am still amazed that I can actually walk again - my thighs and knees were in such agony, I wasn't sure if I would ever recover! But the calm, peaceful sensation as we wound our way through the mountains was so worth it.

  5. Besides hail and a sore vulva, sounds like you are having a blast!!

  6. ALWAYS wear butt pads. ALWAYS. You just never know...

  7. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat! Next year...6 hr. ride to the beach!!!? :)

  8. Mmph, nippy horses that are reluctant to do more than walk, let alone trot or canter, are sending out subtle messages more often than not. Next time eyeball the saddle before you mount up and if it doesn't look like it fits right, or the horse looks like it has a permanent saddle dent/white hairs around the withers or the spine, move on to a different stable.

    Love always, your local retired non-professional equine massage therapist that worked with horses like those. *shudders*


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