While in Aspen with the Stangers we went horseback riding. It was quite the experience to say the least.
I haven't ridden a horse since probably my last Indian Princess camp out when dear ol' Shadow ran me into a cactus. (circa 1993?) I have been terrified. When we showed up Mrs. Stanger and I told the guide how scared we were. The next thing we know this horse tied up to the gate starts to go crazy. I mean, insane. He didn't like to be tied up and decided to throw a fit. I was ready to call it quits until the guide said he’d put me on the horse that they take to kids stuff.
We all headed out through this neighborhood to head up the mountain. The guide's horse was being trained and had never been on concrete before. When we got to the streets in the neighborhood he freaked out. He was running up against our other horses and trying to get the guide off of him. This would have been the second time I was ready to head back. After calming down his horse, we headed up the mountain. I was really enjoying the ride. I was shocked seeing as how normally the mention of horses sent me into a panic.
Halfway up the mountain the guide's horse once again got spooked by a black hose and started to run off the trail. At first all our other horses were about to take off, but we kept them under control. I'm so mad I forgot my camera because being up on those mountains was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen.
On the way back down, my horse, Trigger, was probably the slowest horse I had ever seen. We were barely moving. There were times I couldn't see or hear the rest of the group. Everyone kept telling me to kick the horse. Well, sweet Trigger had two speeds. Running or barely moving. There was nothing in between. While I was overcoming a fear, running wasn't something I was ready for yet. So, I settled for slow as molases and prayed I didn't get lost. At one point I came around a corner, to see the guide's horse running around the mountain... without the guide. He had bent down to pick up a piece of trash, and once again spooked the horse. When the horse took off down the mountain, the guide
jumped fell off. After rolling for a bit, he got up and had to go
find his horse, who had stepped on his reigns and broken them.
Once again we started our ride up. Think this almost over? Not quite yet. Kendall’s horse was short and stout and almost looked like a pony. I guess her horse had no withers. The saddle wouldn’t stay on and kept moving up. I had to yell to the guide once because Kendall’s saddle was pretty much in the air. The guide came and fixed it. When the mountain got really steep, I came around the corner with my super slow horse and saw Kendall’s butt in the air and her head hanging over the horses shoulder. She was hanging onto his neck for dear life. The saddle had completely come off this time. The guide once again came to help and this time realized who ever had saddled the horse and put a blanket that required a horse with withers. He removed the blanket, explained again this had never happened before, and we got started again. Twice more we had to stop for Kendall’s horse to be re-saddled. I think she offered to walk about a million times.
Each time we stopped the guide’s horse broke his reigns again and had to be retied. Mean while, Mrs. Stanger had been put on a horse that was super tall, even though she was the shortest of us all. Her horse was super hungry and every time we stopped he would head off the trail for something to eat. He would bend his head down so much, and her arms were so short, that she nearly fell over each time. She looked like a pro pulling on those reigns though. The funniest part was Mr. Stanger had gotten on the horse that freaked out about being tied to the gate, and never had a problem with him the whole time
Even though this sounds like a total mess, it was so much fun. We laughed about the horse trip for the rest of our time in Aspen. I overcame a fear that I have had for a long time and would totally do it again.