I was born into a family of very active people. My father grew up playing soccer and eventually coached my brother and I in the same sport. We soon opted out of it since he is literally the scariest coach/person alive. My brother excelled in every sport and activity he tried, from baseball to skateboarding to archery- he did it all.
My mother grew up riding horses and she was super good at it. She was so good, in fact, that she didn’t even compete at school because she didn’t want the other girls to look bad.
And then there’s me. Granted, I was high as a kite during most of high school, which is where people really find their “athletic stride”, but I’ve honestly just never been good at anything physical.
Everything we did together had to be challenging- a hike, bike riding, snorkeling, jumping off cliffs. All I ever wanted to do was lay by the pool with my book. I’m grateful that my family taught me about the benefits of health and wellness, and while I’m not a fat ass, I still prefer lounging over pretty much anything.
For some reason, I really wanted to follow in my mother’s footsteps and try out this horse shit. I love animals, I always have, and I thought learning how to ride a horse would be like…fun. So I found a lesson package on Groupon and bought myself some horsey rides.
After driving for about an hour, I arrived at the ranch. The second I got out of my shiny silver Beetle I was regretting my choice. I was dressed in stupid Cathy Jean brown boots that I had totally convinced myself were farm appropriate and looked like a complete idiot. There were stray dogs running around everywhere, it smelled like crap, and it was dirty. I literally wandered around for about 10 minutes hoping to find somewhere to “check in”.
Finally a lady with a giant belt buckle waved me over. I had to spend the first half of my lesson grooming a grey horse named BJ (uh, ok) and hoping no one would talk to me. A tiny gay kid was showing me how to clear out the horse’s hooves, which I was really on the fence about. I told him I was afraid the horse was going to kick me, and he straight up said: “Oh don’t worry, he hasn’t kicked anyone in like 3 months”. COOL, I FEEL SAFE.
The instructor told me to put my $300 Michael Kohrs bag OVER IN THE DIRT so we could get started. Jesus, help me.
By the time I got the horse “groomed” and saddled, I just wanted a cocktail, but I had a full hour left to do. I had to ride this giant, cranky horse around in a circle while the trainer screamed RELAX at me over and over. I’m no teacher or coach, but I kind of feel like that’s counter-productive.
At one point I was trying to get the horse to “trot” and he just walked out of the arena towards the road. Obviously we were both super over this lesson. Because I was such a horse idiot, the trainer put BJ on this leash thing and made him trot in a circle while she held a whip. I could tell he loved it.
It was hot and I felt dirty and I knew my horse didn’t like me. My nails looked like shit and I had an ugly helmet on. I must have been thinking all of this while I bounced around on this huge animal because my trainer pulled the horse over and said: “You’re not going to start crying are you?”
Thankfully the lesson wrapped up pretty quick after that. I ran out of that place so fast my fake riding boots much have kicked up a dust storm. I kind of felt like an ass because I obviously have none of my mother’s care free horse spirit in me, but then I drank three white sangrias at my favorite bar and I felt fine about myself.
I’m a city girl, through and through. I’ll never be the person that plans an 8-mile hike on a vacation. I don’t want to learn how to SCUBA dive, and I sure as shit don’t want to “backpack through Europe”. Thankfully there are plenty of lounge chairs and bars that are happy to meet my needs in the future.
At least I gave it a shot.