As all three readers of my blog already know, Anne and I spent a few days a week or two ago on our first little getaway. Fully funded by my company--a reward for our outstanding-ness--it was extremely affordable (free always is), relaxing, and eventful.
Okay, not eventful--momentous. That's right, momentous.
All of my married life (indeed, all 11 months of it), I've been listening to Anne talk about how she hates horses, that she's scared of horses, and that every time she gets near a horse the horse can sense her fear and starts to do little things that only she can see that provoke her and make her never want to be around horses ever again.
So imagine my surprise when Anne said she wanted to go horseback riding. I guess it was a testament to her "when you fall off the horse you've gotta get back on and ride again" attitude. Or maybe she has a penchant for fear and needed her fix. Whatever was driving her, a-horseback riding we did go.
On the drive up to the corral I could tell Anne was getting a little overworked about the looming horse experience. I had seen that overworked Anne all too well when I met her on the top of the Sundance Resort in the dead of winter just six months prior. She doesn't freak out at the bottom in time to not get on the lift and not get off at the back mountain where the only way down is on your skis. No, she waits 'til the top of the mountain where I have to panic and think of asking a nice ski patrolman to toboggan her to safety.
As a testament to Anne she always overcomes and ends up enjoying herself, but those moments leading up to the event can be tense. She'll probably kill me when she reads this because the pre-horse tensity was nothing compared to the near ski-death experience/meltdown we had at Sundance. But as she let you all (all three of you, yes) know here, I live to get a rise out of her. So back to the story.
As we waited for our horses, things were getting a little tense. Anne was nervous and I was trying to assuage her fears by making jokes about the situation, which usually only intensifies the problem. (I'll have to find a better coping mechanism.) When we were finally assigned horses, Anne got the sluggish and slow Jazz and I got the former racehorse Pokey. Jazz took his own sweet time on the trail (to my chagrin and Anne's delight) and Pokey galloped every chance he got (literally). If there were five feet between me and the next horse, he would gallop and then slam on the brakes.
When the ride was over, we took our horses to the water trough, which only made me think of the adage "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." Maybe one of you horse savvy readers can fill me in, but why is that adage even necessary? Sure, you can't make him drink, but he probably will anyway. At least that was the case with Pokey and Jazz, who we found out are bitter waterhole rivals. In the picture above, I was trying to climb down Pokey's neck to recover the reins he had yanked out of my hands as he and Jazz bit each other as a show of their extreme disdain for sharing the same trough.
As we dismounted, Anne walked away a confident horse riding woman and I walked away bowlegged and saddle sore.
We spent the rest of our time at the resort winding around the lazy river, eating smores, walking the banks of the Colorado River, getting attacked by mosquitoes, buying overpriced resort bug spray, never using said overpriced resort bug spray, and bringing home a full can of overpriced resort bug spray as a souvenir.