My history with horseback riding is spotty at best.
There was the one time in college when I went riding with B and a couple other friends. We thought it’d be fun to discover the Blue Ridge Mountains on horseback. My horse thought it would be more fun to faint and fall over, forcing me to dive into rocky gravel to escape being crushed by a horse.
But as far back as high school, I can remember thinking that horseback riding was a super great idea….and learning otherwise. Some people just never learn.
Take the time I went riding with my little brother, blog name Chuck, back in high school. We were living in Asia and our family had traveled to Bali (Indonesia) on vacation.
Let me just say that Bali is my #1 favorite place on this planet. It is majestically beautiful, the people are warm and welcoming, and everything is dirt cheap. Picture in your mind what you think the Garden of Eden looks like. You’ve just envisioned the landscape of Bali.
So there we were on vacation in paradise. Chuck and I decided to go on a horseback ride on the beach. The stable provided experienced guides to stay with us the whole time, so we figured it would be a nice, relaxing ride.
Oh, we were so wrong.
In fact, this was the only happy scene from the ride:
We started out with our stable guide who walked in front of us and led the horses. The brochure had been right – it was a relaxing ride. Idyllic, even. The horses cooled their hoofs in the lapping surf. We spoke lovingly to them and gently patted their necks.
But at some point our guide stopped to chat with a friend on the beach. And our horses kept going.
Now I don’t speak much Bahasa nor am I a horse whisperer. So when my horse took a right turn off the beach into uncharted territory and Chuck’s horse followed, I knew we were in trouble. I yelled to the guide who
completely ignored clearly didn’t hear me.
I remember thinking, “I’m 17 and I’ve ridden horses before. I’m totally capable of steering this horse back to the beach.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that either Indonesian horses are trained differently or I am an EPIC FAILURE at horseback riding. (You can guess which one my money’s on.) Because as I tried to “steer” the horse back to the beach, the horse clearly got the message that there was a fire encroaching from behind. So she took off at a full gallop.
And Chuck’s horse, not to be outdone, followed suit.
So now I’ve got a horse running full speed through the backwoods of Indonesia and behind me, a 10-year-old brother hanging on for dear life. Chuck started half-laughing, half-yelling (in the way that 10 year old boys do).
In an extraordinary moment of denial, I shouted back to my brother, “Don’t worry, Chuck! These horses totally know where they are going and are probably running back to the stables!”
At that very second, I heard a whooooosh and a white blur streaked past my eyes.
And that’s when the yelling started. I’m not really sure if it was me or the golfers who started yelling first. All I remember is looking to my right and seeing a line of men in argyle, then looking to my left and seeing this:
TUNE IN NEXT WEDNESDAY FOR THE EXCITING CONCLUSION!!!
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