This week was a bit of a rough one for me. I spent it out of the country at an intensive business conference, flying home late Thursday evening. By the time Saturday morning rolled around, I was still feeling jet lagged and exhausted. But there was no way I was going to miss my weekly ride.
I dragged myself out of bed and Jen (Luc’s owner and my sister) and I headed off to see my favourite big grey gelding. Thankfully I am completely spoiled when it comes to having to actually groom and tack up. Jen handled it all, and it was probably a good thing. Having my finger splinted has been more of a burden than I thought it would be. It turns out I can’t just use my right hand (which happens to be my dominant one) as I normally would. It also meant I had to ride without gloves—something I hate to do since I have very sensitive and delicate hands (not enough manual labour!).
Since I’d already ridden with the splint on, I had at least somewhat of an idea about how to work around it. After mounting up (with some assistance doing up the girth—darn pinky finger kept getting in the way) I slipped the reins between my middle and ring fingers. It felt so strange and like I had lost a great deal of control and feel. Which I suppose I had.
Thankfully for me, I get to ride Luc. And this week he decided to play the I’m the slowest, laziest horse in the world card. I didn’t mind. I was half asleep in the saddle and with my finger sticking out awkwardly, not really motivated to do much. I had planned on a nice, relaxing, easy ride. Things were off to a great, albeit incredibly slow start, when the commotion started. Yelling and running and a horse sans its person galloping toward the sand ring where we were riding. A horse had gotten loose while being turned out.
As soon as I saw it headed in our direction, I jumped off Luc and hoped he’d behave himself as the horse galloped into the ring (this is what I get for not locking myself in the sand ring), racing up and down the fence line to the adjoining paddock. Thankfully for me, Luc was quite content to just whip his head around and shuffle his feet to get a better look at everything that was going on.
Once they’d caught the errant horse and put him back where he belonged, it was time for me to get back on. After mounting up for the second time, Luc was even lazier and less willing to work than when we started. He clearly thought we should be done since I’d already gotten off once. Since I had opted to ride without a crop—I wasn’t sure how well I’d manage with it given my broken finger—it was really my own fault when I had to kick and cluck and growl to get him moving forward. Even with all my effort, we barely made it into a trot, at which point we were moving forward but at a snail’s pace.
I did manage a bit of trot and canter in each direction before deciding to call it quits. I was exhausted, Luc was less than willing to accommodate for that fact, and frankly, I wasn’t up to picking a fight over it. I hopped off for the second time, to which Luc greeted me with nuzzles and nickers, and we headed back to the barn.
Why does it always seem that when I’m planning on an easy, relaxing ride, I never get my wish? That’s horses for you! But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
PS. For those wondering after my last blog where I am on finding a horse of my own—still looking and waiting for the right one. Good thing I have Luc in the interim, because patience really isn’t my strong suit!